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USHE Shared Services Study

 
About

As part of the merger between the state’s two systems of higher education, the Utah Legislature gave the newly combined System the statutory charge to “maximize efficiency throughout the Utah System of Higher Education by identifying and establishing shared administrative services.”  The Legislature also provided funding to the System in the 2021 General Session to undertake a study of administrative functions at all 16 USHE institutions.

Using that funding, the System engaged with Huron Consulting Group to work to explore, identify, and assess achievable opportunities for creating common System processes and improved shared services in the context of institutional mission and culture. 

Functions that are the focus of this project include:

  • Information Technology
  • Finance & Accounting
  • Human Resources
  • Procurement

 

These functions will be examined in terms of:

  • Staff, Organization, and Culture
  • Processes and Workflow
  • Technology
  • Budget and Expenditures
 
Study Outcomes

The results of this study will include a set of recommendations and related analyses designed to help USHE leadership and governance groups best assess potential shared services operations and processes across the System.

Study Timeline

Huron Administrative Activity Study (HAAS) Resources

Please consult the resources linked below for information on how to complete the study. It is encouraged that all participants review these materials prior to the completion of the study.

  • HAAS Webinar – Overview of HAAS and instructions for completing the study
  • HAAS FAQs – Common questions and answers related to the study
  • HAAS Activity Catalog – Inventory of job functions and activities for estimating time

For questions about any of the resources above, please email USHE.HAAS@hcg.com

Frequently Asked Questions

The Utah Board of Higher Education is engaging in a Shared Services Study to assess current operations and departments across the System’s 16 campuses to identify opportunities for improved, common systemwide business processes and service delivery. The objective of the project is to identify ways to increase efficiency, improve service, or gain capacity to support System and institutional missions.

As part of the merger between the state’s two systems of higher education, the Utah Legislature gave the newly combined System the statutory charge to “maximize efficiency throughout the Utah System of Higher Education by identifying and establishing shared administrative services.”  The Legislature also provided funding to the System in the 2021 General Session to undertake a study of administrative functions at all 16 USHE institutions.

Using that funding, the System engaged Huron Consulting Group to perform a study to explore opportunities within the System to increase efficiency, improve service, and gain capacity to support institutional missions.

The in-scope functions (information technology, human resources, finance & accounting, and procurement services) were chosen because:

  • Activity in these areas exists across institutions, colleges, and units.
  • These functions are often fragmented across decentralized staff.
  • They represent an opportunity to leverage institutional or systemwide scale.

Yes. The study spans all 16 institutions and their various campuses, which have their own diverse and specific set of service delivery systems and processes. It is important that we understand all unique processes at each institution so that we can develop solutions that reflect the variety of parties involved. Therefore, contributions from every institution will be considered when identifying accessible development opportunities.

The USHE Shared Services Study is not focused on individual positions or job performance. This work is solely intended to study operations, processes, and structure to understand how to improve services, enable tasks to be done more efficiently, or identify ways to transform processes. No recommendations will be made around individual positions. In addition, there will be a specific focus throughout this work on the employee experience at each of the 16 institutions and how to establish clearer paths to advance professionally.

Potential recommendations and opportunities identified as a result of this study may take several years to design and implement if USHE decides to pursue them. However, one of the principles of this study is ensuring transparency, and USHE leaders are dedicated to ensuring faculty, staff, and students have the right level of information at the right time and that any guidance is provided in clear, unambiguous language.

The Activity Study asks questions that will provide information on:

  1. The scale of administrative work. (How much administration work are USHE institutions completing?)
  2. The distribution of administrative work. (Where is the work occurring?)
  3. The fragmentation of administrative work. (How many different administrative tasks are individuals responsible for on a weekly basis?)
  4. The consistency of administrative work. (Is someone in a similar role completing similar work?)


This information will be used to help identify opportunities for improvement within business processes and service delivery.

Data provided by USHE, including the survey data and information from interviews, focus groups, and committee meetings, will be used to support systemwide recommendations. No individual job assessments will be made.

USHE selected Huron Consulting Group for its experience and expertise in conducting similar studies for other university systems, college and universities, large corporations, and healthcare organizations. Huron is also overseeing the data analysis and identification of potential opportunities.

Comments and Feedback

If you have comments or other feedback about the USHE Shared Services Study, please let us know by filling out the form below.