In 2012, a group of 13 alumni and business leaders were asked to examine UT Austin's administrative structure and operations with the goal of increasing business productivity. Their recommendations, recorded in the report, Smarter Systems for a Greater UT , were released to campus in January 2013. One major recommendation of the committee was to consolidate certain administrative functions across campus to increase efficiency - a model known as shared services.
In 2013, Accenture was engaged to gather data and to educate our campus on what others in higher education were doing with shared services. This work was published in the UT Shared Services Draft Plan. Accenture has since completed its work and left the campus in February 2014.
The campus then took part in an extended dialogue, which resulted in substantial changes to the Draft Plan. Those changes led to the creation of the UT Austin Shared Services Plan.
Currently, the University is undertaking pilots in administrative and IT services. These pilots are underway and are expected to continue into the spring of the 2014-15 academic year. Please see Pilot for further details.
Why Shared Services?
The state of the UT Austin campus:
- 12,000 administrative positions, 4,500 of which perform Finance, HR, Procurement, and IT work
- More than 100 staff members have been laid off each year for the past five years as a result of ongoing organizational changes and budget cuts
- At full implementation of shared services, more than 11,000 of the 12,000 administrative positions (92%) will remain where they are today
Applying a shared services model for certain administrative and IT services has the potential to amend a system where staff are currently laid off and positions are vacated to balance the budget. By sharing services, we can:
- Provide high quality service
- Enhance career opportunities for our administrative staff
- Re-direct $30M-$40M recurring costs to the classroom by eliminating 500 positions over 3-5 years mainly through natural attrition and retirement
Lack of any type of change guarantees a perpetual need to lay off staff, which will lead to a decline in the stature of our institution. By testing shared services via pilots, we will produce real data that will inform our campus and allow us to make the best decision for our collective future.
Office of the Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer