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Budget: Consulting Firm Suggests Cal Trim Student Advising, Housing, Etc.

Posted By Alex Bigman On Apr 13, 2010 @ 7:09 pm In News | Comments Disabled

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A little while back Chancellor Birgeneau informed us of the soon-to-be-launched “Operational Excellence Project [1]“—hiring a private consulting firm (for a cool 3 mil) to help UC Berkeley run its business more efficiently, a move that was itself the object of some controversy. Well, the consultants did their homework and the results are in. Verdict: We’re a bunch of F*CKING AMATEURS (in so many words). Their findings and suggestions [2] below:

Bain & Company found Berkeley’s biggest bloat to be an unnecessary amount of managerial jobs. For perspective, our human resources department has a manger:employee ration of 1:63, compared to an average of 1:127 in other universities. There are redundant people.

Next, Berkeley apparently purchases contracts for supplies and things on a department by department basis. If they consolidated these purchases into university-wide contracts, they would get better discounts.

Bain & Co. saw three student services as particularly bad business: Undergraduate advising, graduate student housing and child care. According to a recent survey, most undergrads find advising marginally helpful, if not downright bad. Here’s a quote from one respondent: “I never trust what I am being told.” And yet, Berkeley spends $17 million per year on this service.

As far as grad student housing goes, “95 percent rent their own apartment anyway.” Bain & Co. asks, is it really worth it to be involved in graduate housing at all? Our expenditure of $5 million per year on child care was also deemed questionable.

Cutting bloat in these (and a few other) areas, the consultants believe, could save Berkeley $75 million per year.

Pending Chancellor Birgeneau’s signature, a team will draft a plan to trim the aforementioned bloat over the course of three years. Of course, those who are lower on the bureaucratic totem pole tend to see the problem not as residing in middle management and student services, but an overabundance of executives.

For a super comprehensive look at the findings, check out The Daily Cal’s full article [3]!

Image Source: dogwatcher [4] under Creative Commons
UC Berkeley bloated, wasteful, consultants say [Chron [2]]
How to Save $75 Million [Daily Cal [3]]


Article printed from The Daily Clog: http://clog.dailycal.org

URL to article: http://clog.dailycal.org/2010/04/13/budget-consulting-firm-suggests-cal-trim-student-advising-housing-etc/

URLs in this post:

[1] Operational Excellence Project: http://clog.dailycal.org/2009/10/02/save-us-from-the-sac-birgeneau-plans-effort-to-rethink-spending/

[2] findings and suggestions: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/04/12/BAIH1CTI5M.DTL

[3] full article: http://www.dailycal.org/article/109030/how_to_save_75_million

[4] dogwatcher: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dogwatcher/3804776833/

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