The vice president of Boeing International. The chief operating officer of Accenture. A senior vice president at Dell.
What do these particular executives share in common? A commitment to apply their business acumen to help UT.
Today the University announced the formation of the 13-member Committee on Business Productivity, which will help UT review its business practices and make recommendations to cut costs and increase efficiency.
And after last year’s $92 million cut in state funding, never before have those recommendations been needed so urgently.
The committee will analyze data, interview staffers, and develop benchmarks, all with the goal of increasing efficiency. It will deliver a final report by the end of December.
“Examining and, when necessary, overhauling the way we do business is essential for UT to remain a top national research university,” President Bill Powers said in an official statement.
Last month, Texas A&M University drew criticism after announcing that they were looking at privatizing some campus services to cut costs.
Jenifer Sarver, spokeswoman for the UT advocacy group the Texas Coalition for Excellence in Higher Education, calls the committee a “smart and savvy” move by the University.
“We applaud UT for continuing to push the envelope and become stronger and more efficient,” Sarver says. “This committee is in direct contrast to anyone who would suggest UT is trying to maintain the status quo. Universities shouldn’t always be run like businesses, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have much to learn from business leaders.”
The committee already has one meeting, from late March, under its belt. UT’s announcement is timely, since the UT Board of Regents will meet this Thursday.
Many of the committee members are Texas Exes, but those who aren’t come from schools that aren’t too shabby, either: among their alma maters are Harvard, Oxford, and Stanford.
Photo by Marsha Miller.