In September 2010, IUC’s Institutional Excellence and Shared Services (IESS) project was approved by the IUC Presidents Council. The IUC is conducting benchmarking surveys at all 14 IUC-member institutions, which includes the University of Akron (UA). A final report will be provided to the UA leadership on March 1, 2011.
This project is only an assessment of what services at IUC member institutions might be shared to achieve reduced costs and efficiencies. While it can inform decision-makers about how they might choose to proceed, it is only an assessment. Taken alone, this study will not be at the level of detail to enable an organization to redesign or make changes to the workforce.
UA anticipated the need for shared services several years ago and began building the UA/Lorain County Community College (LCCC) Shared Services proof-of-concept. We’re hopeful that the platform we’re building with LCCC can be the platform for Northeast Ohio shared services and, potentially, the entire state.
Shared Services consolidates operations in order to increase efficiencies and reduce costs. It is a service-focused model that can take many forms, anywhere from consolidating transactions within a division or campus all the way to a standalone entity to serve portions or all of the University System of Ohio.
While there can be many advantages to moving quickly, Shared Services initiatives usually take years to complete. This means that reductions in personnel and other costs are primarily realized through attrition as employees naturally move on or retire. Resources realized in this process are reallocated to better support the core academic mission and other support services.
To evaluate the opportunities that Shared Services can provide, data must be collected to build the appropriate foundation from which to assess this business model. UA along with other IUC institutions is participating in the IUC state-wide study to benchmark administrative services. The project is being coordinated at UA by Nathan Mortimer.
For questions about this project, please review the FAQ page. You can also submit your question to IUC_benchmarking@uakron.edu
IUC Information Technology Shared Services
Shared Services: Administrative Services
In 2008, The University of Akron (UA) began working with Lorain County Community College (LCCC) on the installation, management, and maintenance of PeopleSoft applications for LCCC. The purpose was to enable UA and LCCC to reduce costs by eliminating duplicate efforts that are required to manage PeopleSoft independently. Access to UA-developed PeopleSoft applications sped up deployment and eliminated the costs that would have been incurred by Lorain to develop these applications independently.
Already successful at Lorain, the ongoing shared-services effort will demonstrate that the same collaborative process can be used at other institutions throughout the state and as a model for the University System of Ohio.
Shared Services: Technology
Hardware is an area where institutions could readily share services and realize significant benefits. As part of the pilot initiative to demonstrate that non-unique software and business processes can be shared, The University of Akron is running LCCC’s PeopleSoft applications on servers in Akron. While Akron and Lorain maintain separate instances of PeopleSoft, the software operates from a common data center at Akron. This same, shared technology approach can be replicated for other services.