Strategic Resource Initiative progress continues

This message is sent on behalf of Provost Rogan Kersh and Senior Vice President Hof Milam:

Dear Members of the Wake Forest Community,

About one month ago, President Hatch shared with you plans to implement a Strategic Resource Initiative (SRI). We write to update you on our progress and to further clarify the intent of the SRI.

Since September, the SRI Working Group has presented the Steering Committee with bi-monthly reports on administrative areas that should be examined for reduced spending or potential revenue. Topics addressed include practical changes in how we manage things like working capital investments, electronic payables, and optimizing use of procurement cards to reduce administrative costs. Additionally, by collaborating with the Medical School during vendor contract negotiations, we identified significant cost savings. Our early estimates suggest the potential to realize about $1.5 million in recurring annual savings through areas addressed under the SRI to date. Once actual savings are secured, we will be able to apply this money towards student financial aid, faculty and staff compensation, and other strategic priorities.

Additional topics have been proposed by the Working Group for upcoming examination and deliberation. These topics include opportunities for facilities to reduce utility costs through improved measurement and management, potential revenue from non-core real estate assets, improve management of employee benefits and additional partnering opportunities to realize economies of scale. Significant discussions on the horizon include a careful examination of the University’s administrative organizational structure.

We want to be clear that academic programs are outside the scope of the SRI. This is not an exercise intended to cut or otherwise affect academic programs. Areas under consideration are limited to University-wide strategy involving cost drivers, refining business practices and procedures and examining purchasing and contracts.

We are pleased with the progress of the SRI to date and the thoughtful approach of the Working Group and Steering Committee. Because of the complexity of the issues we expect to address, the work of the SRI will continue well into 2013.

We look forward to speaking with you at upcoming Faculty Senate and Staff Advisory Council meetings. You can also anticipate additional periodic progress updates by email. We continue to encourage you to submit suggestions to reduce spending or increase revenue to SRI@nullwfu.edu for consideration. Our grateful thanks to the many of you who have sent us ideas thus far.

Sincerely,

Rogan Kersh
Provost and Professor of Politics and International Affairs

Hof Milam
Senior VP for Finance & Administration

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