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Report to the President

March 8, 2010 — The committee charged with examining the use of administrative resources across campus has submitted its report to President Jehuda Reinharz after four months of information-gathering and direct inquiries in departments ranging from purchasing and development to library technology services and students and enrollment.


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The Administrative Resource Review Committee (ARRC) was asked to examine how the university utilizes employees and goods and services, and to identify possible efficiencies and best practices.
 
ARRC is part of a coordinated, campuswide push aimed at ensuring Brandeis' financial stability. ARRC examined administrative efficiencies; the Brandeis 2020 committee recommended restructuring and eliminating various programs in the arts and sciences; the Bold Initiatives Group (BIG) analyzed new revenue ideas; and the International Business School, Heller School for Social Policy and Management, and Rabb School of Continuing Studies developed new institutional contribution targets.
 
ARRC began its work after deep reductions had already been made in administrative department operating budgets and after 76 staff positions were lost to layoffs and attrition, with savings from such reductions carrying forward in the university’s financial plan.  ARRC has developed recommendations for an additional $1.49 million to $2.74 million in new program and initiative savings.
 
ARRC's main recommendations are in the areas of procurement, energy, health care and information technology. Several of the initiatives relating to energy use and consumable materials have the added benefit of being "green" in addition to being thrifty.
 
“We’re confident that ARRC’s critical analysis was broad and deep. We spared very little in an objective examination,” said ARRC chairman Jeff Apfel, the university's executive vice president and chief operating officer. “But cutting just for cutting’s sake or to meet a specific dollar amount was never the committee’s mission or the intent of its members.”
 
In addition to presenting recommendations for new savings initiatives, the committee was asked to review overall trends relative to staffing levels and the appropriateness of current staffing levels and administrative compensation. The committee found that Brandeis' staffing levels were consistent with, and in some instances lower than, staffing levels at comparable universities in the areas studied.

The committee also documented that administrative staffing levels increased a little over 3 percent since 2004, a lower level of percentage increase than in faculty or students. Staff compensation was also shown to be at or near market-comparable levels in terms of salary, with Brandeis' level of benefits being somewhat lower than comparable institutions.