Shared Service Centers

What is a Shared Service Center?

The concept of a shared service center at KU will redefine how HR, Finance and Research Administration functions are conducted at KU.

The goal of shared service centers is to reorganize some of the transaction-based activities that occur in the units and departments at KU with a focus on providing increased level of service by training shared service center staff and providing them the tools to succeed.

While some HR, Finance and Research Administration responsibilities will move to shared service centers, many current functions will remain in the departments.

The goal of the implementation is to create support functions which are efficient, timely, and based on best-practice. The accountability structure for shared service centers will be designed to create an environment of continuous process improvement.

    Critical goals of the shared service centers include:
  • A culture of customer service to provide timely, efficient and accurate service to the departments and units served by shared service centers
  • An accountability structure, including regularly assessed metrics and customer satisfaction
  • An environment of professionalism, with staff having a deep understanding of the business practices underlying the tasks they perform—reduced errors and processing times will create efficiencies at both the departmental/unit level and the central offices

KU will develop a regional shared service center model, with each of the 9 centers distributed around campus serving a specific group of customers.

Universities Developing and Implementing Shared Service Centers

Many universities have implemented, or are in the process of implementing, shared service centers.

Click on the university logos below to learn more.

Links to Other Schools University of Michigan NC State Hopkins UNH OSU UNC Berkeley Cornell Harvard UCSF New Hampshire UC - Davis UIC Illinois SUNY


  • Implementing shared service centers across campus is a transformational opportunity for KU to reduce costs and improve processes. Once fully implemented in 2 -3 years, creating shared service centers to centralize and streamline transactional functions across campus are expected to create a net annual cost savings of $3.1M - $5.2M.
  • Regional shared service centers will be created to process high volume financial and human resource transactions that are currently managed in a decentralized manner across campus. It will take up to 2.5 years to fully implement shared service centers and realize these savings.
  • The Shared Service Centers business case aligns with Strategy 6-A of Bold Aspirations, transforming organizational structures.


  • Create regional shared service centers across campus to streamline staff around job functions and increase training effectiveness for business processes.
  • Begin with an initial site that will eventually lead to the creation of six to nine centers on campus.
  • Decrease risks and increase compliance.
  • Improve career paths for USS/UPS personnel.
  • Better customer service for end user.


Change management risk presents the most significant challenge to the implementation of shared service centers at KU.

  • The implementation of shared service centers will have a dramatic impact on the way in which decentralized HR and finance staff do their jobs; it will also impact the way in which faculty and staff access services.
  • There is a prevalent fear of change across campus
    • Staff may feel threatened by the change, with departments perceiving that they will lose personal attention, staff perceiving that their employer does not trust them, and administrative staff fearing job reductions.
    • Customers lack a clear picture of what the alternative to the status quo is, leaving them to believe that business services in their departments are operating efficiently.
  • There will be pushback across campus to implement shared service centers with the minimal amount of change possible (e.g., unit level centers); however, unless shared service centers are of a sufficient scale, efficiencies will not be realized.


  • Executive Leadership Team (Chancellor, Provost, Vice Provosts, Deans)
  • Academic Chairs and Department Directors with administrative responsibilities
  • KU Lawrence faculty and staff with budget and/or personnel responsibilities
  • KU Lawrence faculty and staff that utilize shared service center services and are customers
  • Central Administrative Offices such as Human Resources, Comptroller's Office, Budget Management & Fiscal Services, Internal Audit

Jason Hornberger
Jason Hornberger
Assistant Vice Provost for Business Operations

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