The University of Kansas is in the midst of a transformation. By reallocating our resources, we've improved efficiency, reduced duplication, and reinvested savings in teaching and research. Changing for Excellence is a top-to-bottom review of every administrative process on all of our campuses, making our university more effective than ever and propelling KU toward our Bold Aspirations

SSCs: Sharing expertise, creating efficiency

A quiet renovation has been taking place across KU. Thanks to a unique implementation model, Shared Service Centers have been built without yellow caution tape, concrete saws, or even a traffic disruption.

New SSCs go online following the rule of "relentless incrementalism." Three teams representing each unit being served ensure an engaged process. The result has been individualized centers serving the needs of units, rather than a "one size fits all" model.

Learn more at

SSCs: Building on staff strengths

For 24 years, Carol Archinal was the go-to person in anthropology for finance, schedules, HR and much more. Yet she knew little about departments just a floor above in Fraser Hall.

"I didn't really know what they did," she says. That all changed when she joined the CLAS Shared Service Center. Now she focuses on finance and budgeting and is learning about departments across campus.

Working together, her team is more efficient and has a new team spirit. See a video with Carol's compete story on the Progress page.

Facilities: Technology

Maximo might sound like Godzilla’s next sparring partner. It’s actually mobile work order technology maintenance staff is using to knock out all that monster paperwork, punch up efficiency, and go the distance for reliability, standardization, and reporting.

Staff use handheld devices with wireless access to enter and track 6,500 assets, which has landed a near unanimous decision of 90% customer satisfaction.

See a video about a Facilities success story on the Progress page

Budgeting: BudCast

What’s a BudCast? No, not a webcast from a KU pre-game tailgate at Memorial Stadium. And no, not a new fishing technique devised by legendary KU basketball star Bud Stallworth.

BudCast is actually our new universitywide reporting tool, which merges four revenue sources — General Use, Restricted Use, Endowment Funds, and Other Revenues — into a single, easier to manage budget.

Facilities: Sustainability

We’ve created a 330,000-gallon rain barrel, but you’d need a divining rod to find it. It’s underneath reconstructed Lot 54. It irrigates campus trees, and the concrete can soak up runoff from a 100-year toad-strangling storm.

100 new trees along Jayhawk Boulevard do more than shade students between classes — they’ll sweep enough carbon out of the air to displace the nasty emissions of 1,500+ cars.

HR: Clarifying our positions

KU is a top 10 employer in Kansas. Private employers, though, have an advantage recruiting employees — their salaries and position titles are based on market analysis. True to our role as a flagship university, we're adopting that practice at KU.

A comprehensive Classification & Market Study has reviewed over 2,000 positions, adjusted salaries below market, and aligned positions. Titles have been clarified and duplicates eliminated; no more bureaucratic matrix; instead a true market salary regularly measured and adjusted. A strategy taught at every business school is being practiced at the state's largest public university.

Learn more at

Construction: Maintenance

What’s all that hammering and buzzing? The sound of growth. In fact, Associate Vice Provost Frank DeSalvo joked that orange and white are our new school colors — and our new mascot is the traffic cone. In the past five years, we've completed 700 projects in 120 buildings, to the tune of over $200 million in expenditures, more than $1,600 per student per year invested in campus.

And those Rock Chalk renovations resulted in a 24 percent cut in backlog of mission-critical building improvements between fall 2010 and fall 2012 — 5 percent better than average for Kansas Regents universities.

Procurement: Motor Pool

Talk about street smart. We eliminated 30 vehicles in the campus motor pool, thanks to our new, more efficient contract for campus travel needs with an outside vendor.

The motor pool cars found new homes either on campus or through sale. And the change to an outside vendor has reduced costs by almost 20% per year.

That's worth tooting our own horns!

Procurement: KUPPS

We’re knocking it out of the park with our KU Procure to Pay Systems (KUPPS):

  • At the department level, we process 99 percent of requisitions within one day — in baseball terms, that’s a .990 batting average.
  • At KU Central Purchasing (which reviews 71 percent of all requisitions), our team is batting .770 for getting orders processed in a single day — putting the “pro” in procurement for our largest orders.

Procurement: Sourcing

Need left-handed scissors? Crimson and blue pushpins? A dispenser for doublesided tape? Our buying pros stalk the best deals with a cost-cutter’s dream arsenal — dozens of catalogs of the most purchased commodities — to secure the best bulk prices on tens of thousands of items we previously sought out individually.

Restructuring IT

At KU IT, it’s about you. It’s about getting the right tech geek to the right job — right away. To make that happen, it’s been about centralizing 19 of our 22 campus units (that’s 86 percent).

It’s also about getting it right — 97 percent of our campus feedback survey respondents were satisfied with their overall experience.

Read the KU IT annual reports at

Construction: Cost Savings

Misers? Bean counters? We prefer calling them our Cost Wizards of Construction — using these magical “Four Rs” they’ve found us $1.6 million that we reinvested in teaching and research in FY2014:

The Four R's:

  1. Revamping construction procurement
  2. Realizing where it’s feasible to self-perform design, project management, and construction
  3. Recovering or avoiding costs through construction auditing
  4. Recouping revenues from historic rehabilitation and energy efficiency tax credits

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Changing for Excellence was the featured cover story in the January, 2015 edition of Business Officer, the official magazine of the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO). You can read the full story online.

One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
5th nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets: Colleges," Military Times