Regents Advisory Group Recommendations
At its November 18 meeting, the Board of Regents will hear a first reading of further recommendations from the Regents Advisory Group, established last April and charged with finding administrative and academic collaborations and efficiencies across the Regents enterprise.
The Advisory Group has put forth five recommendations in addition to its October moratorium on campus construction that results in new square footage:
- Digital Academic Delivery
The Advisory Group recommends the universities explore further opportunities for expanded digital delivery of courses, including assessing marketplace and identifying unmet needs and demand for distance and online learning. The group recommends the Executive Director initiate a Regents-wide analysis of the marketplace, assess new and existing delivery methods and infrastructure and identify potential for shared courses and academic resources.
- Board Office Collaboration
The Advisory Group also recommends the Executive Director find efficiencies that are possible through Board Office collaboration. These include internal audit integration, open records request policy, expansion of the Regents data warehouse, expansion of graduate tracking efforts, a concurrent and Postsecondary Enrollment Option (PSEO) joint taskforce with Iowa’s K-12 schools and community colleges and joint legal resources.
- Joint Contracts
Introducing joint contracts across Iowa’s public universities is another potential avenue for savings and efficiencies. The Advisory Group recommends the university presidents consider if joint contracts will realize cost savings with motor pool overflow contracts, mail and laundry services, insurance pools and pharmacy benefits, among others.
- Institutional Collaboration
The group recommends the university presidents explore cross-institutional resource and service sharing where cost reductions or service improvements could be realized. Examples include payroll services, procurement and human resources, among others.
- Resource Opportunities
The university presidents should explore additional resource opportunities, including joint grant-seeking, expanded collaboration with Iowa’s private institutions and community colleges, further recruitment of angel investors for economic development and property sales.
The Board will be asked to take action on these recommendations at its February 2021 meeting.