BGSU hires firm to find savings PDF Print E-mail
Written by DAVID DUPONT Sentinel Staff Writer   
Saturday, 05 October 2013 08:11
Bowling Green State University has hired an international management consultant to study its operations in hopes of finding significant savings that will prevent future tuition increases.
The university's board of trustees was informed Friday that the administration has contracted with Accenture to conduct an "Opportunity Assessment."
In a letter from President Mary Ellen Mazey  to faculty and staff, the goals of the project are: "Evaluate the current state of the university's operating structure" and "identify and recommend measurable, attainable, realistic opportunities to streamline operations both in the short term and the long term."
An Accenture team has already visited campus this week and is ready to get to work in earnest next week, said Sheri Stoll, the university chief financial officer and vice president for finance and administration. A report is expected in early December.
"They're looking across the institution ... for operational efficiencies," she said.
With state funding declining for six years in a row, she said, finding those savings is crucial.
In the letter to faculty, Mazey said, the university could be looking at shortfall of as much as $10 million over the next two to three years.
The university, Mazey said, cannot continue to make that up by raising tuition especially given BGSU's tuition is third highest in the state system and student debt is on the rise. "Simply put, our current operating model is unsustainable."
The company will be paid just shy of $500,000, Stoll said. That's a "not to exceed" figure.
Accenture is already familiar with the university. In 2010 it did a study of all of Ohio's public four-year schools. As part of that process BGSU provided five years of historic data, Stoll said
While other schools went ahead and had the company study their individual operations, BGSU was not in a position at that time to engage the company given it was searching for a new president and a new provost.
Now the university is ready, and with an Accenture team already working at the University of Michigan, the time is right.
"Our ultimate goal," Mazey said in her letter to faculty and staff, "is to develop a new, more efficient organizational design that helps us achieve large-scale cost reductions without jeopardizing our core mission."
Miami University realized "very significant" savings from Accenture's report, she said.
Mazey said she hoped any staff reductions that may result would be through attrition. But that, she added, is not a guarantee.

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