Yes, though every effort will be made to minimize that result. Wherever possible, position savings will come from attrition. If there are reductions, they would be determined in collaboration with the leadership in each affected person’s work area. Decisions will be made after reviewing budget, work flow and staffing data, and after the extensive interview process. If a review finds that SMU would benefit from restructuring in an area (achieving lower costs with equal or better service), then a recommendation would be made that could affect staff in that area. We have recently asked campus managers to put on hold filling any open or proposed new positions, with the exception of extraordinary circumstances. This will allow us first to determine the impact of our study on staffing overall. We want to preserve flexibility and consideration for staff whose positions are eliminated. Anyone losing his or her job as a result of this project will be provided transition support as well as severance compensation.
Author: Aayush Chandra
SMU Meadows Marketing & Communications
How will Bain collect information?
Bain will engage with hundreds of people across campus through a mix of interviews, focus groups, surveys and other interactions. Bain is collecting data, for example, on SMU’s operating budget, organizational structure, resource allocation, administrative and operational processes, and comparative information from aspirant and cohort universities. Every effort will be made to make decisions that are fact-based and responsive to what we learn from this information and from speaking with you.
Changes typically occur around spending and staffing levels. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for a campus. The Executive Committee and Steering Committee will carefully and thoughtfully consider all recommendations brought forward from the Bain OE2C team to ensure there is a workable solution for our campus. The goal is to provide better, more efficient services at less cost.
Gifts to any campaign are typically restricted to endowment for specific purposes or used for capital construction, which are indeed enabling a great many advancements at SMU. While SMU has had a successful major gifts campaign and continues to maintain a balanced operating budget, cost growth has exceeded revenue growth for the University over the past few years, increasing our reliance on reserves to balance the budget. Additionally, to become a top-50 university, a larger portion of our spending needs to be directed toward academic initiatives. This project is intended to help control administrative cost growth, redirect spending toward academic uses and improve SMU’s academic standing and student experience.
OE2C stands for Operational Excellence for the Second Century. We are engaging in this process because a number of external factors are having an impact on higher education institutions throughout the nation, including SMU. The institutions that will thrive are the ones that take proactive steps now to improve efficiencies and direct funds more fully to academic purposes. Some of these factors include a decline in college-age population and greater competition for the level of students we seek, decreasing federal research support and greater competition for grants, limits on what we can charge for tuition, growth in federal regulations and a decline in interest income.