Effectiveness and Efficiency Efforts Realize $37.8 Million in Savings for USM During FY 2007

ADELPHI, Md. (January 28, 2008) - The University System of Maryland's (USM) Effectiveness and Efficiency (E&E) Initiative brought $37.8 million in direct cost savings to the system in FY 2007 and an additional $40 million through cost avoidance, increased revenue, and the strategic reallocation of resources, according to the system's recently released annual Efficiency Efforts Report. Adopted in 2004, the E&E Initiative has been a signature program of USM to reduce costs while improving overall operations across the system. E&E cost savings alone have totaled more than $94 million for the system since FY 2005.

"As Maryland's public university system, we are answerable to the citizens for the wise use of the state support that we receive," said USM Chancellor William E. Kirwan. "Our commitment to E&E ensures that accountability and cost-containment are core principles for the management of the university system."

In FY 2007, USM saved or avoided costs totaling $77.9 million through E&E activities such as restructuring business processes; partnering with external organizations on the use of facilities and other resources; competitive contracting; energy conservation measures; technology improvements; entrepreneurial activities; and rebalancing in-sourcing and out-sourcing of staff for improved cost-effectiveness.

The system's E&E Initiative also includes a focus on academic operations, not just administrative and business operations, noted Irwin Goldstein, USM Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.

"An important aspect of E&E is to maximize capacity and reduce cost on the academic side so the system can admit and graduate more students year to year," Goldstein said. "At a time when we have received unprecedented budgetary support, we can demonstrate that we are using these funds to provide higher education for an ever increasing number of students while controlling the financial impact on the state."

In accordance with the board's goals, USM's E&E efforts in FY 2007 realized greater efficiencies and productivity in academic operations, such as:

  • Instructional workload, as a measure of faculty productivity, rose to an average of 7.5 course units taught per full-time faculty member (CU/FTEF) at the system's seven comprehensive universities, an increase from 7.0 CU/FTEF in FY 2003.
  • At the system's two undergraduate research universities-University of Maryland, College Park, and University of Maryland, Baltimore County-instructional workload rose even more dramatically to 5.9 CU/FTEF in FY 2007, a 20 percent increase since FY 2003.
  • Average time-to-degree, as a measure of "throughput" and the USM's ability to serve an increasing number of students, was shorter (8.9 semesters) and four-year graduation rates were higher (39 percent) than at any time since these measures were first systematically tracked in the early 1980s. (The national average four-year graduation rate for public universities is 27.9 percent according to the National Center for Education Statistics.)
  • USM's transfer success initiative with Maryland's community colleges is streamlining the community college-to-USM transfer process, resulting in fewer lost credits, better integration into four-year programs, and faster time-to-degree for community college transfer students.
  • The use of spring freshmen admission programs is allowing institutions to eliminate waiting lists, guarantee admission to a greater number of qualified students, counter the loss of students through fall attrition and December graduations, and ensure the optimal use of academic facilities and resources.

As a result of these and other academic initiatives, USM was able to take on an additional 1,103 students-an increase of 399 students above the FY 2006 total-with no commensurate rise in state funding to the system.

"This year's report demonstrates once again the results that USM is achieving by making effectiveness and efficiency a cornerstone of our administrative and academic operations," said Chancellor Kirwan. "I am proud that these efforts are giving Maryland a top-flight public university system whose accountability measures have become a model for higher education nationwide."

For more information on the USM effectiveness and efficiency initiative, visit: http://www.usmd.edu/usm/workgroups/EEWorkGroup/eeproject/index.

Contact: John Buettner
Phone: 301.445.2719
Email: jbuettner@usmd.edu