Kentucky: Council on Postsecondary Education

Strategic Agenda Efficiency and Innovation Subgroup

Meetings and Materials:


The current budget and economic environment has heightened public interest in colleges and universities being more efficient and finding additional ways to contain and avoid institutional expenditures to help slow the rising cost of college. Campuses must maintain an unwavering focus on their core mission, work smarter, and equip themselves with the tools needed to survive and thrive in the future.

  • The current economic downturn is increasing demand on Kentucky campuses at the same time state funding to support this demand has been cut by $78 million since fiscal year 2007‐08.
  • State support per full‐time equivalent student (FTE) has decreased significantly over the past 10 years.
  • Many of the easiest operating efficiency strategies to implement have already been adopted by campuses to maintain their current level of operations.
  • There is increased public pressure to grow the number of graduates within available resources while preserving institutional quality.
  • While Kentucky institutions continue to attract more first-generation and nontraditional students, these students typically require extra support services to achieve successful outcomes.
  • The economic environment is placing additional pressure on Kentucky’s public postsecondary education system to moderate tuition increases at the same time that state appropriations are being cut.
  • The campuses operate an aging infrastructure, with great demands for capital renewal and ongoing maintenance, diverting operating funds away from mission-specific activities related to instruction, research, and service.

Mission and Deliverables:

The Efficiency and Innovation Subgroup will review relevant data and best practices and will propose objectives and strategies  to ensure Kentucky’s postsecondary and adult education systems are operating as efficiently and effectively as possible while continuing to make progress in achieving the educational goals of the state.  Areas of focus may include, but are not limited to:

  • Productivity gains through increasing student success rates and reducing redundancies and inefficiencies in student progress.
  • State incentives tied to increased degree productivity, persistence, graduation rates, and other performance factors.
  • Educating and training students in innovative and affordable ways (i.e., course redesign, online learning, textbook innovations).
  • Duplication in academic programming and administrative services.
  • Program and administrative function consolidation.
  • Regulatory burdens leading to increased expenditures.
  • Identifying instructional and operational efficiencies and cost savings that can be reinvested in services to undergraduate students.
  • Tuition policies, including discounts and waivers, nonresident tuition, graduate tuition, and policies that encourage more timely completion.
  • “No frills” university programs or centers.
  • Student employment on campus to help reduce operating costs while increasing retention and job skills of graduates. 
  • Employee benefits. 
  • Enhanced energy management.
  • Purchasing and business services (e.g., increased outsourcing, consolidation of services across campuses).
  • Financial metrics to assess how Kentucky institutions compare to similar institutions on educational spending per student and to create greater transparency about cost and expenditures. 
  • Role of independent institutions in achieving greater degree production and efficiency in the system.


Dan Flanagan, Member, Council on Postsecondary Education
Joe Graviss, Member, Council on Postsecondary Education

Staff Facilitator:

Allen Lind, Vice President, Information Technology

Subgroup Members

For the purposes of the strategic agenda planning work, “objectives” are defined as statements that describe an intended outcome, result, or process that are measurable, quantifiable, and achievable. (e.g., to increase the number of high school students going directly to college).  “Strategies” are defined as specific actions or activities that will be deployed to achieve objectives and performance targets.


Last Updated 6/22/2010