Bain & Company has a proven track record of success with similar initiatives at other highly regarded universities. Bain & Company has a reputation as a highly collaborative firm. Its analysis will take into account SMU’s unique context and culture. Bain’s role is to provide recommendations as to process, structure and best practices. It will be SMU’s responsibility to decide on a course of action and methods of implementation.
Some changes and consolidation of duplicate functions to improve efficiency will require adjustments. It is not known at present what these might be. The chief aim of this study is to increase resources directed to the academic mission of the University, so any changes that could have an impact on faculty will be carefully deliberated with that goal in mind.
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.
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.