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UMass system says it will save $226m through operational efficiency, effectiveness improvements

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  February 26, 2014 02:46 PM

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The University of Massachusetts five-campus system says it will save a total of $226 million through an aggressive program that has improved operational efficiency and effectiveness in the three years since it launched.

"Every dollar we save is a dollar that can be re-invested in scholarships and in our academic core,” UMass president Robert L. Caret said in a statement. “Every dollar saved is a dollar that doesn't have to come from students and their families.”

"This is a great accomplishment and whets our appetite for more,” he added.

Most of the cost savings, about $143.6 million, have come from one of three major initiatives: energy and sustainability improvements, new procurement practices and streamlined information technology services, officials said.

The university is also saving money through enhanced borrowing strategies by the system’s building authority, efforts to increase general academic efficiency and effectiveness, strategies to reduce building costs, and campus-sponsored initiatives, officials said.

Some of the $226 million in budget savings has already been achieved and the rest will be realized over the life of existing contracts.

The university said it is currently implementing 147 efficiency projects, which is 28 more than last year.

UMass also said it plans to release the inaugural edition of an annual short-form performance report early next month.

The report titled “UMass Performance: Accountable and On the Move,” will use data-based rating to show “a clear and concise assessment,” of the university’s ability to reach its main goals, officials said.

"Our performance report represents an attempt to convey our story of priorities and progress in a way that is accessible to citizens across the Commonwealth,” Caret said. “Additionally, this report is intended to spur performance by establishing clear goals and priorities – goals that we believe are important for our university and for the Commonwealth.”

"We believe that we have a clear duty to provide this information to the taxpayers who help to fund UMass, to parents who look to UMass for affordable, high-quality education for their sons and daughters, to our partners in government and business, to our graduates, students, faculty and staff – in short to anyone who has a stake and interest in the University of Massachusetts," he added.

Matt Rocheleau can be reached at matthew.rocheleau@globe.com. Looking for more coverage of area colleges and universities? Go to our Your Campus pages.

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