Monday, August 03, 2009

University Bureaucracy Exposed

by Daniel L. Bennett

A few months ago, an anonymous donor to the University of North Carolina stipulated that UNC undergo a Bain & Company consultative evaluation to identify potential areas of savings. That evaluation has been completed and Jay Schalin has an excellent commentary over at the Pope Center website in which he discusses the results from the Bain & Company audit of UNC. Among the findings that expose the prodigal bureaucratic largess include:
At the least, tens of millions of dollars in inefficiencies have been uncovered, at a time when every dollar counts.

[B]ecause there are too many supervisors and levels of command, the ultimate decision-makers are often too far removed from the problems, and the workers are “too disconnected from strategy and decisions” and are therefore not “empowered."

One area where big savings are projected is the procurement of goods and services—as much as $40 to $45 million per year...because many departments and other small units perform their own purchasing on a small scale

[M]any processes are not fully automated, so that employees continue to use paper documents, a time-consuming process, instead of capturing data electronically. In other cases, processes have evolved in an unwieldy fashion so that employees must “work around” previous fixes to problems.

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