The nuts and bolts of the UT Shared Services plan

Madlin Mekelburg

A brief history:

In January, the Committee on Business Productivity released a plan titled “Smarter Systems for a Greater UT” that outlined recommendations on how to increase the University’s productivity and efficiency. This plan recommended a centralization of University services, leading to the birth of the “UT Shared Services Plan”.

President William Powers Jr. called the initiative to centralize services a “no-brainer” in a report to the University community on Jan. 29.

The Shared Services Committee was formed in order to provide feedback and guidance on the plan through its development.



To create a more financially efficient and productive operation of the University by centralizing human resources, IT, finance and procurement operations.


Recommended Actions:

§  Create a singular administrative organization for human resources, IT, finance and procurement operations — rather than having individual services offered at different colleges and departments, as is currently the case.


§  Replace the current virtual administrative network, “DEFINE,” with new system, “Workday” in order to keep up with current technology.


§  Reduce the work force of the administrative fields in question — human resources, IT, finance and procurement — by 500 jobs over four years. The report projects that this can be done primarily through attrition. Currently, there are an estimated 4,500 employees in these fields. Kevin Hegarty, vice president and chief financial officer, said the quota of 500 is a conservative estimation and could be subject to change. 


§  Hegarty said the University will implement a pilot program on a large university unit before applying the plan campus-wide.


Dollars and Cents:

§  Projected savings of the plan: $280 million to $320 million over 10 years.


§  Projected cost of the plan: $160 million to $180 million over 10 years.


§  Projected net benefit of the plan: $120 million to $140 million over 10 years.



§  A final copy of the plan will reportedly be released in January of 2014.


§  Hegarty said the pilot could be expected in eight to 10 months.


§  The elimination of all 500 jobs is expected to be complete by the fourth year of the plan’s implementation.


§  The sixth year of the plan’s implementation is expected to yield a payback.