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Administrative study on track
March 30, 1998

An externally funded study of nine administrative functions at the University of Connecticut is proceeding, and officials expect reports to be ready for review by early to mid-summer.

Wilbur Jones, vice president for business affairs and finance, says consultants from the firm of Coopers & Lybrand have completed most of the data collection part of the process, and are now reviewing the numbers and ideas they collected with various administrators, directors and department heads. The analysis portion of the project will begin soon, Jones says.

During the process, says Gary Lewicki, assistant vice president for business affairs and finance, dozens of UConn employees supplied information and advice, and four focus groups were consulted, one of which met every two weeks to discuss the project. A total of more than 200 people were interviewed, including faculty, professional staff, deans, administrators, regional campus representatives, and directors, primarily representing the areas being studied.

The nine broad areas being reviewed are: financial management, purchasing, payroll, computers and telecommunications, operations and plant management, auxiliary and business services, public safety, human resources and benefits administration, and sponsored research administration.

The study will compare results gleaned from UConn with peer institutions selected from among Research I, public land grant universities. There are 15 institution-wide measures the project leaders are benchmarking, from total operating costs per student to questions regarding endowment, research funding, enrollment trends, retention, and faculty, staff and administrative costs. Additionally, approximately 40 specific operating processes will be benchmarked with those of Research I peer institutions, Jones says.

The report is expected to point out areas of strength and areas where improvements can be made.

Richard Veilleux