A private liberal arts college found itself at a crossroads in the need to balance mission and margin, and sought outside help to identify options that would best align resources with strategic objectives and develop organizational and administrative structures that support the institution’s mission while supporting the needs of separate campuses. The overall goal of the project was to assess the organizational structure, staffing levels, and overall service delivery approach to non-academic functions at the institution.
In performing the two-stage, multi-year engagement, Baker Tilly interviewed crucial personnel and reviewed key documentation across primary institutional areas with the highest cost reduction potential, including institutional advancement, enrollment management, security, maintenance, IT, student life, HR, registrar’s office and provost, business, budget office, marketing and athletics. Our analysis for the areas included developing an understanding of service focus, critical activities and priorities, developing a baseline of staff to program/function allocations, and analysis of organizational structure, staffing levels and span of control, including, benchmarking. We also evaluated service delivery efficiency, including current technology functionality and use, and key reporting tools and metrics and determined options for shared services and/or outsourcing as appropriate. We analyzed the potential cost impact of outsourcing and current costs related to leading practice benchmarks. We discussed our findings with the institution and developed detailed reports outlining opportunities for improvement in each department.
In conjunction with the ongoing work being done by the institution’s leadership, the results of our analysis helped position the institution to ensure that resource allocations were focused on critical priorities for growing enrollment, ensuring academic quality and providing accessibility and an environment that promotes academic success in the tradition of a liberal arts education.
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