Administrative & Support Review
In April 2010, executive leadership identified the need to conduct a review of the university's academic, research and A/S functions, in part to help inform future budget allocations. A committee was appointed to oversee the project and membership included representatives from academic, research, CRCD, and administrative support functions. The committee was supported by staff from the Administrative Services division.
The committee was charged with three primary goals:
1. Develop a mechanism to inventory UAF's administrative and support capacity that is robust enough to provide insight, but simple enough to replicate on an annual basis. Measures include: a) current funding and staffing levels, b) trend information, and c) key indicators and benchmarks.
2. Develop criteria for rating importance, efficiency, and effectiveness among functions. These criteria will consider operational effectiveness in light of organization risk, compliance and safety concerns.
3. Identify common processes to streamline. Key processes have been identified that, when streamlined, can improve overall administrative effectiveness. To date major efforts are focused on grant award set-up, employee recruitment, procurement and travel processes. Achieving and documenting measurable costs savings or performance improvements is key to success in these areas.
The Administrative Review Phase I Report, completed in 2011, established baseline information and a comprehensive inventory of A/S capacity at UAF, focused primarily on the number of full-time equivalent benefitted employees (FTEs). The initial inventory provides a mechanism for annual updates to identify trends in staffing levels, using 2006 for historical perspective and fall 2010 as a baseline for active management of the A/S staffing.
Many factors, both internal and external, influence UAF's budget. Among the most influential are state general fund support, federal receipts, indirect cost recovery from research expenditures, tuition, fees and private and philanthropic giving.
UAF is facing significant, yet manageable, budget issues for FY14; however to improve our position for FY15-FY16, sustainable solutions must be implemented. Although there are modest State funding increases in FY14, a budget gap is projected for next fiscal year. Without managed change, UAF’s budgeted cost increase exceeds projected revenue in the $8.5M range.
UAF leaders have enacted several options to address this funding gap:
- Reducing off-campus lease obligations
- Saving money thru energy management
- Delaying hiring actions to maximize vacancy savings
- Identifying specific reductions to programs and services
- Utilizing staff benefit rate reductions
- Managing year-end reserves
UAF can balance its budget by increasing non-state revenue or decreasing spending. Based on state and national economic conditions, tuition and research funding will likely not increase enough to offset rising costs.
Based on the FY15 outlook, new funds will be harder to attain. This means process management and prioritization will be key areas of focus for optimizing the resources UAF already has. These conditions increase the need to understand each service unit, its make-up including staffing levels and functions, and its associated costs. Analysis of services and how they are provided becomes more important in this climate.
This data is meant to be used as a management tool so discussions regarding function and level of service can occur. This data has recently been updated to show Administrative & Support (A/S) trends from Spring 2008 through Spring 2013.
Unit specific detail has been provided to each UAF Dean, Director and Vice Chancellor. This data is intended to help provide leadership with some of the management information. Please review and consider what this data may tell you about your operations. If you have questions about the data or the trends, please contact OMB. Each Vice Chancellor, Dean and Director is invited to discuss staffing levels in the fall budget meetings.