Newsflash: UNC Chapel Hill has far too much bureaucracy.
That's one message coming from a new report by Bain & Company, a consultant hired by the university to examine the university's financial processes. Bain's 107-page report will be presented to university trustees Thursday.
It suggests an institution bogged down by duplication and with too many levels of administrators and supervisors. One example: In at least one area of the university, a low-level worker is 10 steps from Thorp, the chancellor. In other words, that worker bee has nine bosses if you follow the chain-of-command concept.
Campus officials hope changes that stem from the analysis could reap millions in savings.
The Bain report examines administrative structures, spending processes and personnel decision-making across the university and proposes dozens of areas where money could be saved.
A few examples:
• UNC-CH has more than 100 academic centers and institutes but no standard reporting structure for them. Most have their own finance, human resources and information technology staffs; combining many of those support services and streamlining the way these centers report to supervisors could reap up to $6 million in annual savings, according to the report.
• UNC-CH conducts a massive amount of funded research, but technology in the offices supporting that work isn’t adequate. There are overlapping responsibilities in some places that create confusion and redundancy, and these support offices are scattered across campus and, in some examples, off campus. An investment in automation and some other resources within research support could save money over the long run, according to the report.
• UNC-CH should eliminate some supervisors and give more control to those who continue in those roles. Fewer management layers would lead to fewer meetings, less duplication, and could save up to $12 million annually, according to the report.
View the report here. For more on this story, read tomorrow's News & Observer.