Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher announced this week that more than $6 million has been redirected to academic instruction and student services in the first year of SUNY’s system-wide shared services initiative.
Since last August, campuses have worked together to identify and eliminate duplicative administrative services and to collaborate on common expenses. Among structured findings, the campuses shared best practices, which led to enhanced program offerings and academic advances in every region of New York.
“The SUNY campuses have made remarkable progress in this inaugural year of our shared services initiative – truly realizing the capacity of SUNY’s systemness – and freeing up funds for what matters most, our students,” said Chancellor Zimpher.
And since a penny saved is a penny earned, the campuses are happy to have earned over a half-billion pennies to put toward their students.
“I am very pleased with the progress which has been made thus far,” SUNY Potsdam Presidnet John Schwaller said. “I am confident that future discussions will uncover more areas in which we can cooperate and provide enhanced services for our students.”
Some major items that have been discussed and have saved SUNY substantial money include the system’s first comprehensive procurement project in which the number of elevator service contracts for SUNY in the state is reduced from 27 to just four.
Campus Alliance Networks at six campuses including SUNY Potsdam, SUNYIT and SUNY Delhi combined for an estimated first-year administrative savings of more than $2.5 million. These savings have strengthened academic programs on each campus and led to more than 30 new full-time faculty hires.
Other collaborations based on printing services, trademark and licensing contracts, classes offered and even food service will help save the system tens of millions of dollars over the years to come. (Click here to read about all of the shared services.)
“Our students and our community can only benefit from our collaboration,” says Clinton Community College President John Jablonski.
Chancellor Zimpher added, “This is just the beginning as we continue to review where and how we can streamline our administrative costs and share best practices across SUNY.”
SUNY campuses across the system are working together on a regional, sector, and mission basis to shift – at minimum – five percent of their administrative spending to services that directly benefit students. Taken to scale over the next three years – as called for by Chancellor Zimpher in her 2012 State of the University Address – this will result in at least $100 million in annual savings to bolster student support services across SUNY.
Maxwell is the Coordinator of Digital Engagement for The State University of New York.