SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher says Canton and SUNY colleges made a significant contribution to the more than $6 million that has been redirected to academic instruction and student services the first year of SUNY's system-wide shared services initiative.
Zimpher said that since last August, campuses have worked to identify and eliminate duplicative administrative services and to collaborate on business, finance, and procurement operations. Increased opportunities to share best practices have also led to enhanced program offerings and academic advances in every region of New York, she said.
SUNY Potsdam has redirected approximately $700,000 in administrative spending to an investment in student services on campus in the past year, and SUNY Canton has invested at least an additional $500,000 in academic affairs, according to SUNY, according to a release issued by Zimpher.
The sharing idea did not start out amicably, however. A year-and-a-half ago, SUNY officials admonished SUNY Potsdam for refusing to share a chief financial officer with SUNY Canton as a way to cut costs. For details, view previous story.
SUNY Canton and SUNY Potsdam have hired two shared administrators in the past year, joint Chief Financial Officer Natalie Higley and joint Veterans Affairs Officer Patrick Massaro. The two campuses are currently working together to fill a joint interlibrary loan position, according to Zimpher’s release.
Zimpher said the SUNY Potsdam Department of Geology and the SUNY Canton Department of Environmental Technology will offer minors to students at both campuses in Geology and Environmental Technology, filling a need at both campuses and enriching opportunity for students.
SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Canton are well on their way to having a shared payroll office, Zimpher said. “Thanks to a spirit of camaraderie between the two offices, the Potsdam campus first began to assist with Canton's work when an employee became ill. Now, they are beginning to operate as one office serving both institutions, beginning with the student payroll for both colleges,” Zimpher said.
Zimpher said 27 SUNY campuses have undertaken the system’s first comprehensive procurement project – an Invitation For Bids (IFB) for elevator and escalator maintenance services, which the campuses collectively spent about $3 million on last year.
The IFB is expected to significantly reduce SUNY’s annual costs associated with elevator maintenance by reducing 27 individual contracts to four regional contracts and simplifying the process for campuses while expanding opportunities for local businesses across the state.
Renegotiations of SUNY System Administration contracts and new agreements in the area of information technology have generated approximately $2 million in systemwide savings over the past year, and it is anticipated that these contracts will save approximately $6 million over three years.
“The SUNY campuses have made remarkable progress in this inaugural year of our shared services initiative – truly realizing the capacity of SUNY’s systemness by sharing the costs associated with administrative salaries, IT functions, procurement, and more – and freeing up funds for what matters most, our students,” Zimpher said. “This is just the beginning as we continue to review where and how we can streamline our administrative costs and share best practices across SUNY. I thank the leadership at each campus for their dedication and diligence, and commend them for their collective efforts.”
For more information on SUNY’s shared services initiative visit www.suny.edu/sunynews/News.cfm?filname=9.18.12RedirectedFundsinFirstYear....