Outcomes of the Strategic Resource Initiative (Year One)
April 25th, 2013
Dear Wake Forest Faculty and Staff,
As the academic year draws to a close, so does year one of the Strategic Resource Initiative (SRI). We are immensely grateful for the efforts of both the SRI Working Group and the Steering Committee to conceive, research, and analyze dozens of potential cost saving and revenue enhancing opportunities. The process has been thoughtful and collaborative, drawing on the expertise and perspective of faculty and staff from across the University. (Indeed, thanks to the many of you who continue to provide specific suggestions for us to consider.) To date, approved SRI initiatives account for $6.1 million in recurring annual operating funds that will help fund student financial aid, faculty and staff compensation, and other University strategic priorities.
Earlier today, we discussed outcomes of our SRI work to date with the audience assembled for Campus Connections. Slides from today’s presentation are available as a PDF. Face-to-face exchanges like this morning’s will be vital to understanding—and collectively advancing—the intent and the benefits of changes made under the SRI umbrella. The following are opportunities to learn more about our SRI work:
• May Faculty Senate Meeting: Monday: Monday, May 6th, 4-5pm, Pugh Auditorium
• May Staff Advisory Council Meeting: Thursday, May 30th, 9:30-10:30am, Benson 401 (Open to everyone)
Implementing our recommended initiatives will take time, as will realizing expected savings. Some initiatives are organized as pilot programs, while others require additional planning and process creation. Some savings have already been realized through changes in business practices.
Additionally, we believe there are more cost savings (and revenue-raising opportunities) to be found. Members of our steering committee, as we worked across the academic year, concluded that this type of effort to reallocate resources should be part of our institutional culture, not a ‘one-off’ process. At the recommendation of our faculty and staff representatives on the committee, our SRI work will continue in 2013-14.
Our committee considered a wide array of proposed SRI changes. Our recommended initiatives fall into four broad categories:
• Recommended changes to business processes resulted in approximately $3.5 million in potential savings.
• Shifts in our technology purchasing and updating schedule are expected to realize approximately $1 million in potential savings.
• Changes to procurement practices resulted in approximately $900,000 in expected savings.
• A review of employee benefits resulted in approximately $700,000 in potential savings.
The presentation linked above includes a more detailed breakdown of each area. Detailed additional communication will be forthcoming prior to implementing initiatives that affect faculty/staff benefits or professional activities at Wake Forest.
Given the array of pressures on higher-education costs and access, our SRI work represents a necessary first step to keep the University on solid financial footing and enable us to advance our shared mission and priorities. We appreciate your understanding of the spirit behind this effort, as well as your continued suggestions about opportunities to reduce costs and enhance revenue. Questions and additional ideas may be sent to SRI@wfu.edu.
Provost and Professor
of Politics and International Affairs
B. Hofler Milam
Sr. VP for Finance & Administration