March 17, 2020

TO:                 UA Board of Regents
                         System Governance Leaders

FROM:        Jim Johnsen


Please find attached a report prepared for the university by the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS).

This is the first of two reports on studies being conducted for us by NCHEMS. The second, not due until later this spring, addresses policy and structural issues under review by the BOR Governance Committee being led by Regent Hughes.

The attached report is referenced in a January 13, 2020, letter from Chair Buretta to the UAA Faculty Senate, as follows:

In addition to the reviews described above, the university has engaged the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS) to conduct a benchmarking analysis to help us answer questions such as:

  • What administrative functions are performed at Statewide and at the universities?
  • What are the costs associated with performing these functions?
  • What would be the effect on collective system-wide administrative costs if those functions now performed at Statewide were devolved to the universities?

NCHEMS will examine these questions in two ways. First, by comparing administrative costs at each of our universities to already established peer universities investigating differences for those institutions that are part of systems and those that are not. Second, by examining our organization and estimating the number of positions that would be needed at each university to provide services and functions now performed in the Statewide office. We anticipate this analysis will be ready for presentation to the Board and the public this spring.

I commend this report to your serious consideration as one of several sources of authoritative information used for determining the academic program and administrative service cost reductions needed to meet our budget targets for FY 2021 and FY 2022, decisions scheduled to be made by the Board in June. In addition to distribution of the report via this memorandum, the report will be posted on the Board of Regents’ website for wide access to the university community and the public.