UM System Administrative Review Suggests Closer Evaluation of Employee Benefits, Redundancies

Dec 6, 2017

The UM System Board of Curators will view an initial assessment of administrative departments during its meeting Friday. Among its contents: recommendations for a fresh look at employee benefits and hints at a potential decrease of full-time employees in several key departments.

The review was conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, a large corporate services and auditing firm. A copy obtained by KBIA suggests the firm’s work will take a multi-phased approach. This initial assessment will be followed by a more detailed one in the coming months. Using the information gained from that process, the UM System will prepare a set of changes to implement beginning in July 2018.

The assessment is focused on identifying inefficiencies in areas like facilities, information technology and human resources. It notes that the UM System and individual campuses have separate offices handling similar tasks, going so far as to call the institution’s heterogeneous approach to human resources a “potential legal liability.”

The report suggests consolidation of these offices and “realignment” of positions no longer necessary in their current forms. However, this initial assessment does not specifically recommend layoffs, saying further analysis will be required before creating a specific plan of action.

Employee pay and benefits across the university system are also suggested as a place for further evaluation. The report specifically targets UM System health benefits, saying “benchmarks indicate an opportunity” for reduction. It says administrators should anticipate significant backlash to any changes in these areas.

This review was made available this week as part of a package of materials for the upcoming board of curators’ meeting. UM System President Mun Choi is expected to present the report as part of general business Friday morning.