First efficiency report next month

BY IAN MURPHY | APRIL 25, 2014 5:00 AM

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COUNCIL BLUFFS — The first inefficiencies at the state Board of Regents’ universities will come to light next month.

The regents said on Thursday that the first report from Deloitte — the auditing firm hired to evaluate efficiencies at the regent universities — will be released next month. This is the first comprehensive review of the regent universities since the 1980s.

Members of Deloitte consulting will be back on campuses in May for further meetings with university officials.

Representatives from Deloitte have been hard at work on the UI campus, said Joe Brennan, the UI vice president for Strategic Communication.

Brennan said the auditors held a series of meetings with people from across the university to discuss where efficiencies could be found.

Regent President Bruce xtetter said reports on the study will be ongoing and reviewed as the board receives them.

“There won’t be any one big report,” he said. “Rather, there will be ongoing steps in the process.”

Rastetter said there will be existing opportunities identified from the initial report in May that will be discussed at the regent meetings in May and August.

He said additional reports will come in as more savings opportunities are identified.

The regents hope to find savings of $15 million to $24 million with the review. The study will cost $2.45 million. The regents have said any savings found in the review will be reinvested in the university they are found in.

The study is in the sixth week of the 10-week period of phase one, according to a UI news release.

This phase included data gathering and setting benchmarks. Deloitte will work with faculty to find those inefficiencies and the implementation of solutions will be a gradual and ongoing rollout process.

Regent Larry McKibben, who is leading the study for the regents, said he has been impressed by the support he has seen and believes the venture could be successful.

“We have had great input from the stakeholders of the universities and the leaders of the universities” he said. “I’m cautiously optimistic. The glass of water is always half full for me.”

McKibben said officials have moved quickly through phase one of the study, but they will slow down during phase two as the study enters the academic areas of the system to ensure that stakeholders, faculty, and staff all have a chance to comment on cost-saving opportunities.

Rastetter said no decisions will be made on these savings over the summer while faculty members are away or without discussion from the regents and the public.

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