Board of Regents to discuss efficiency review


Representatives from Deloitte give an update on the TIER study at the Board of Regents meeting Sept. 10 in the Sun Room of the Memorial Union.

Danielle Ferguson

The consulting firm hired to perform a comprehensive review of the three regent universities will finish proposals designed to help the universities function more efficiently this week. 

Deloitte Consulting presented the first three suggestions of the efficiency study at the September Board of Regents meeting. Deloitte will present the eight remaining suggestions — which look at the functions of human resources, information technology and finance — at a special regents meeting Oct. 2.

The suggestions resulted from phases one and two of the study, which was an almost seven-month long process of interviews and data-mining at each university. The goal was to find improvements in university functions. 

“The business cases are intended to take a deeper dive into these areas that were originally in phase one … as efficiencies to be achieved,” said Miles Lackey, ISU associate vice president.

The first three cases approved at the September meeting included a new method on how prospective students apply to one or all of the regent universities and how much time professional and scientific staff spend on search committees.

The eight remaining business cases look into how universities perform finance transactions, deliver human resource inquiries and collaborate between information technology departments.

The board will hear the final draft of the business cases but will not vote on whether or not to move them into the implementation phase, Lackey said.

“The [board] is going to take in the information and take time to review the business cases and receive input,” Lackey said.

In the weeks after the board’s special meeting, there will be town halls and public forums held on each campus to give students and those involved in the university the ability to provide feedback on the cases or other board projects.

“We want this to be an effort where all ideas are accepted,” said Larry McKibben, member of the board.

The board will have a telephonic meeting in the first or second week of November to vote on whether or not to move forward with the eight business cases.

The board hired Deloitte Consulting to perform the state-wide efficiency study to find opportunities for the universities to become more efficient and save money. All money saved would stay within each university.

Deloitte savings projections range between $30 and $80 million annually. The state has paid Deloitte about $3.3 million for the study.

The current portion of the study, phase two, could be completed in early 2015, said Sheila Doyle Koppin, communications director for the board. The third phase is the implementation of the cases.

The special meeting is from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Oct. 2 in room 230 in the Scheman Building at Iowa State. The regular meeting is Oct. 22 and 23 at University of Iowa.