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University of Minnesota Board of Regents to vote on President Kaler's recommended FY14 operating budget and review benchmarking analysis

June 7, 2013

What: University of Minnesota Board of Regents meetings
When: Thursday, June 13 and Friday, June 14, 2013
Where: 600 McNamara Alumni Center, 200 Oak St. S.E., Minneapolis

For media only:
Media briefing detailing University of Minnesota benchmarking analysis performed by Huron Consulting Services, LLC
Who: University of Minnesota Vice President of Human Resources Kathryn Brown, Director of Debt Management Carole Fleck, Vice President and CFO Richard Pfutzenreuter, and Vice President and CIO Scott Studham; Huron Consulting Services, LLC Executive Vice President Laura Yaeger
When: 4 p.m., Thursday, June 13, 2013
Where: Room 238A, Morrill Hall, 100 Church St. S.E., Minneapolis

The University of Minnesota Board of Regents will take action on President Eric Kaler’s recommended operating budget for fiscal year 2014 during its meeting Friday, June 14.

The second operating budget of Kaler’s tenure leverages the state’s renewed investment in the University and reflects his priorities: a commitment to ensuring excellence in teaching, research and outreach, and affordable education at a world-class public research university that is operated efficiently and effectively. The proposed budget and corresponding board resolution include a two-year tuition freeze for resident undergraduate students. The budget also invests in critical research to enhance the state’s economy and improve the health and well-being of Minnesotans.

First presented to Regents June 5, the proposed budget will undergo an in-depth analysis during the Board’s Finance Committee meeting Thursday, June 13. The Board will take final action June 14.

Benchmarking analysis

The Board will also review results of an external benchmarking study of the U’s central administration, as mandated by state legislators.

The study indicates that the University faces many of the same administrative challenges as its peers and, while there are opportunities for continued improvement, is already undertaking major initiatives to promote efficiency and effectiveness.

In accordance with legislation authored by Higher Education Committee Chair Terri Bonoff, the University hired Huron Consulting Services, LCC at a cost of $495,000 to perform the study.

Huron conducted a 12-week study focused on the efficiency and efficacy of finance, procurement, human resources and information technology. The study had three primary objectives:

  • Identify, determine the scale of and prioritize opportunities for improvement;
  • Describe primary factors such as technology, organizational structures and service delivery, which may impact performance in each area;
  • Highlight peer and industry-leading practices that may have applicability.

Earlier this year, the U retained Sibson Consulting to analyze the same areas in terms of layers of decision-making from top to bottom and the number of employees that directly report to each supervisor. Results from that interim "spans and layers" report were presented to the board and legislators in March; Sibson will complete an extended analysis across the U’s entire management structure in the coming months.

Once data are complete, the University will identify near-term and long-range improvement opportunities with the goal to continually administrative and managerial costs.

Other agenda items include:

  • Capital improvements: The Board will take action on the U’s FY2014 capital improvement budget and six-year capital improvement plan for FY 2014-19. The U is aligning its capital planning process to reflect priorities articulated by President Kaler. Areas for investment include research and discovery, teaching and learning, stewardship (focusing on efficiency and effective use of resources) and enhancing the U’s reputation and impact on Minnesota communities.
  • Duluth campus master plan: The Board will take action on the campus master plan. Presented to Regents in May for review, the plan outlines potential projects to better integrate the campus into the surrounding community, improve the visibility of its entrance and enhance pedestrian and bicycle access.
  • Arboretum master plan update: The Board will review a proposed circulation and development framework amendment to the 15-year-old master plan. It describes the long-term vision for the Arboretum, as well as short-term implementation goals, which will help the Arboretum support its unique mission through its physical presence.
  • UPlan update: Per Board policy, Office of Human Resources (OHR) Vice President Kathryn Brown and OHR Benefits Director Dann Chapman will provide an annual update on the University’s health and wellness programs, specifically addressing UPlan history and oversight; UPlan financials and successes; and plan changes being considered as a result of the Affordable Care Act.
  • Enterprise system: The Board will hear a progress report on the U’s Enterprise Systems Upgrade Program (ESUP). ESUP will significantly improve key functions such as essential student service, human resources and financial systems, while improving user experience and increasing operational effectiveness. The program’s executive oversight committee will provide the update.
  • Introductions: President Kaler will formally introduce and welcome Dr. Katrice Albert, who began work June 1 as the U’s vice president for equity and diversity; William Donohue, who assumed the role of general counsel May 22; and Lisa Lewis, who started May 31 as the president and chief executive officer of the University of Minnesota Alumni Association.
  • Board officer election: Regents will elect Board officers to serve a two-year term from July 2013 through June 2015.
  • Meeting dates: The Board will establish meeting dates for 2013-14.
  • President’s review: The Board will report on its annual review of President Kaler’s performance.

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