2011-15 STRATEGIC AGENDA FOCUS ON EFFICIENCY AND INNOVATION: UPDATE ON POLICY OBJECTIVE 9
Goal: Kentucky will be stronger by creating new ways of serving more postsecondary students at a high quality in a challenging resource environment.
Policy Objective 9: Maximize the use of postsecondary and adult education resources.
Strategy 9.1. Effectively integrate Kentucky’s independent colleges and universities into efforts to achieve greater efficiencies and expand postsecondary opportunities.
- Kentucky’s independent colleges are key partners in Kentucky’s efforts to achieve the goals of House Bill 1, improve educational opportunity, and increase educational attainment at all levels.
- The president of the Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities (AIKCU) is a member of Kentucky’s Advisory Conference of Presidents, and AIKCU staff members and independent college representatives regularly participate in planning and policy related discussions hosted by the Council.
- The independent colleges and universities present performance information annually to the Council, and for many years, AIKCU members have voluntarily provided unit record data to the Council for integration into the state’s comprehensive postsecondary data system. This participation has provided Kentucky with a much more comprehensive understanding of postsecondary performance within the state.
- All independent colleges and universities (for-profit, baccalaureate degree granting and nonprofit) are licensed by the Council and all new programs are submitted for Council approval.
- Kentucky undergraduates attending independent colleges and universities are eligible for both need-based grants and KEES scholarships. The Kentucky Tuition Grant, established in the 1970s, is solely for Kentucky students with demonstrated financial need attending the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) accredited independent colleges, or have been approved through a SACS-like review conducted by the Council. The grant program is designed to help equalize tuition between the public and private sectors and expand postsecondary choice and opportunity for Kentuckians.
- Many of Kentucky’s independent colleges and universities are located in rural regions of the state far from any public university campus. The presence of these campuses in these areas allows greater access to postsecondary education for students who may be place bound or who are interested in a smaller campus environment.
- Kentucky’s independent colleges and universities participate in a range of programs and services hosted or managed by the Council, including the Kentucky Virtual Library, SB 1 (college readiness)-related initiatives, transfer programs, teacher quality activities, among others.
Strategy 9.2. Explore options for consolidating or outsourcing pertinent operations, as well as facilitating joint purchasing and contracts.
There are a range of cost containment practices and ideas to improve the efficiency of business practices that are followed by institutional chief budget officers, institutional chief information officers, the Distance Learning Steering Team, the Kentucky Educational Purchasing Cooperative, Kentucky public university business officers, and the Kentucky Higher Education Risk Managers. Examples include:
- Institutions have established policies that encourage the use of document imaging systems for management and retention of all official personnel records.
- Institutions have implemented employment/applicant tracking systems applicable for all staff and faculty hiring (full-time, part-time, temporary, seasonal, etc.). The systems manage and retain all employment applications and resumes in a totally electronic format and communicates with hiring units and with applicants electronically.
- A pharmacy coalition, KYRX Coalition, has been established by several public institutions to improve financial outcomes and services within the prescription benefit plans.
- Some institutions are exploring opportunities to outsource retiree billing to create efficiencies and reallocate staffing to higher levels of service.
Strategy 9.3. Develop statewide policies that promote the effective and efficient use of capital facilities and infrastructure.
Facilities Construction, Operation, and Management: All Kentucky institutions outsource select noncore functions and/or operate noncore functions as self‐supporting enterprises. This approach can result in improved service, cost savings, and better resource consumption decisions on campus. In addition, management focus would be shifted from the more time consuming task of managing complex operations to the less time consuming task of managing contractual relationships. Below are examples of cost saving strategies that one or more campuses are implementing to reduce costs, respond to increased student enrollment or staff numbers, or provide increased access to existing programs or services.
- Kentucky LEED Standards: Experts recommend the use of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards for construction and renovation, and for the recommission buildings at the conclusion of construction to ensure that expected and intended savings are realized. The 2008 General Assembly enacted legislation to implement High Performance Building Standards. Among the institutions having buildings designated LEED Silver of above are EKU, KCTCS, MoSU, MuSU, NKU, UK, UofL, and WKU. Consideration is being given to recommissioning existing buildings at some reasonable interval. As buildings age and repairs are completed, it is not uncommon for the operating parameters of the systems to be changed or to drift from the original design. Over time building efficiency declines and it is possible to achieve an improvement in efficiency of 10 percent or more through recommissioning.
- Energy Use/Savings (ESCOs): All Kentucky postsecondary education institutions currently have energy performance savings contracts to secure immediate and long‐term savings and upgrades in buildings. These programs invest in energy savings to reduce long‐term operating costs while implementing programs that encourage faculty, staff, and students to reduce energy consumption while on campus.
- Administrative practices: Kentucky’s postsecondary institutions are reviewing and reorganizing administrative practices and structures to increase efficiencies and reduce bureaucracy. Examples of some of the activities undertaken at one or more institutions include:
- Business Centers: Consolidation of business functions (IT, purchasing, payroll, etc.) across academic/business units.
- Academic Administration: Review of academic administrative structure to ensure responsibilities are optimally assigned to the appropriate resource while reducing the number of organizational units in the colleges.
- Administrative Reviews: Cost/benefit analysis and performance reviews on all nonmandatory functions of the institution to ensure all services are achieving measurable results and they are being undertaken in the most effective manner possible.