Multi-Campus Public Universities and Public University Systems


The Pappas Consulting Group Inc. conducted a Performance Assessment of the Arizona Board of Regents and its leadership, including its organizational structure and operations to ensure it could meet the needs of its member institutions and the people of the state of Arizona.

The specific objectives of the study were to:

  • more efficiently define the Board's mission, vision, governance role and strategic direction;
  • provide for an organizational structure that would better enable the Board to carry out its governance and oversight responsibilities;
  • ensure effective and efficient Board and staff operations; and
  • improve communications

The report enumerated the need for greater focus on the most critical issues facing the University system; greater relevance of the work and work product generated by ABOR; improved productivity and efficiency; and, enhanced governance and stewardship of the University system. Best practices were presented throughout.


We have conducted six assignments for this multi-campus, public research university. We undertook a review of the provision of administrative services among the University's four geographically dispersed campuses to determine the degree to which services should be centralized or distributed to the campuses. During the course of this work, we researched best practices at a number of public research universities and their systems.

We also were engaged to review the Human Resources office to assess its organizational structure and business practices and determine the degree to which the Main campus Human Resources operations should be providing services to the three other campuses of the University.

We also have conducted various organizational redesign and process reengineering studies for administrative technology support services, capital construction and planning as well as risk management, facilities management and the administrative services department resident in the division of Facilities Planning and Management. All of these studies have looked at the manner and degree to which services should be provided at the local level as well as from an enterprise-wide perspective, given the arrival of a new President with a vision for "a new American University".

All of this work was conducted within the context of the University's aggressive strategic planning and positioning efforts.

Administrative Services

As a result of our work with ASU, the University adopted a new Administrative Services model that will serve the University's anticipated enrollment growth without necessarily requiring proportional funding increases. The Pappas Consulting Group worked with the Administrative Services Taskforce for the purpose of recommending an organizational structure for providing administrative services for the three campuses of the University, and the technology infrastructure needed to support the expansion of services.

The Pappas Consulting Group worked with the Administrative Services Taskforce to:

  • complete a high level "As Is" review of the existing Administrative Services organizational structure to determine potential growth related problems;
  • assess the existing technology infrastructure and identify potential improved efficiencies to support the expansion of services;
  • develop a high level "To Be" conceptual organizational structure that:
- reflects potentially revised high level (e.g., purchasing) approval processes;
- identifies the staffing to support anticipated future transaction flow; and
- will support significant growth with limited resources.
  • assess changes required for the utilization of existing technology that would further accommodate the proposed "To Be" environment; and
  • identify barriers that needed to be addressed to implement changes and meet the challenges of anticipated growth in student and related support services.

Capital Planning and Construction

The Pappas Consulting Group conducted a diagnostic review of the capital planning and construction unit within the facilities management division of Arizona State University (ASU).

The diagnostic review included structure, staffing, business processes in place, technology/information systems support (including the web page), as well as the unit's policies and procedures manual. The final report of findings and recommendations, to which was attached an implementation plan for actions based on the resulting recommendations from the study, included such topics as:

  • Organizational structure/personnel, including assessment of current unit organizational structure and capabilities in the area of facilities planning and construction (including a high-level look at any consultants currently retained by ASU for facilities planning and construction); interaction with other administrative departments to coordinate reporting requirements and information; etc.
  • Capital planning, including methodologies for planning, reporting, and supervising ASU capital projects; etc.
  • Construction project management, including methodologies for project planning and definition of project scope, cost estimation, architectural design and engineering services, project bidding and selection of contractors, change orders, and compliance with construction contract specifications.
  • Long range master planning, including how options are assessed for inclusion in a capital plan; relationship to the University strategic plan; etc.
  • Financial planning, including integration with overall division planning; linkage to budget process; etc.

Human Resources

Arizona State University (ASU) engaged the Pappas Consulting Group to conduct a high-level diagnostic review of the services provided by the Human Resources department to assist campus decision makers as they prepared to appoint a new Assistant Vice Provost for Human Resources.

The Pappas Group conducted interviews with selected members of the campus community and virtually all members of the main campus Human Resources department for the purpose of:

  • collecting information from users and providers on their perceptions of the type, level and quality of services provided by the Human Resources department; and
  • providing guidance to the search committee and the Vice Provost for Administrative Services with regard to the type of qualifications and experience that would prepare a new Assistant Vice Provost for Human Resources.

Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer

The Pappas Consulting Group conducted a survey of 13 universities that, for the most part, undertake basic research as part of their mission. The purpose of the survey was to gather information on the methods other universities use to manage intellectual property generated from their research activities. Particular focus was on the extent other universities are engaged in holding equity positions in start-up companies spun off from university-based research. The Pappas Consulting Group:

  • Developed a survey instrument that inquired about the status of research foundations at other universities and how those research foundations were used to manage intellectual property and foster technology transfer.
  • Identified 13 research universities that had a broad range of experience with technology transfer. The participating universities represented the spectrum of ways that are being used to manage intellectual property.
  • Invited representatives of each of the selected campuses to participate in the survey. All those invited agreed to participate.
  • E-mailed the survey in advance and conducted a pre-scheduled, 45-minute telephone interview, going over each of the questions on the survey instrument.
  • Summarized the results of the survey and developed a set of recommendations for possible ASU action.

The results of the survey enabled ASU to create a not-for-profit entity to manage its intellectual property and technology transfer initiatives.

Administrative Services Information Technology

The ASU Vice Provost for Administrative Services sought to restructure the technology support provided to the various operating departments within the VPAS organization. This restructuring included the organization of technology support personnel, the functional services provided, staffing assignments, server deployment, as well as development and support of VPAS-customized software applications. The objective of this restructuring was to implement effective mechanisms for planning future technologies, their functional use by VPAS, and their integration within VPAS and, where appropriate, with the ASU community as a whole.

The Pappas Consulting Group was subsequently engaged to review the organizational and support structure of the departmental technology units to determine if a revised structure would be more appropriate to meeting VPAS's future technology needs.

The Pappas Consulting Group delivered:

  • A governance structure for management guidance and oversight of technology planning, development and support functions.
  • A listing of technology service and support functions to be performed, and the organizational unit(s) to which they would be assigned, including: VPAS technical personnel; VPAS functional personnel; and where appropriate other non-VPAS personnel.
  • An organizational chart at the unit level (versus employee) for a new technology support structure within VPAS.
  • A written evaluation of the results, outcomes, and required adjustments to the technology support structure upon conclusion of the project.

Risk Management

The Pappas Consulting Group was engaged by the Division of University Services to conduct a review of the department of Risk Management.

Our first assignment was to conduct an organizational study of the department. We did so by reaching out to members of the ASU community at large, including chief academic officers, Deans (as well as their assistants), incumbents responsible for academic research regulatory activities, and members of the departments within the Division of Facilities Planning and Management all of whom are clients or users of Risk Management Services. In addition, we interviewed each member of the Risk Management department.

Upon conclusion of that first phase, we spoke with a number of Principal Investigators and members of various University Committees charged with academic research regulatory activities (biological, animal and human subjects) and radiation research.

After that second phase of work, the Pappas Consulting Group made a series of organizational and process related recommendations that impacted the entire University.


Members of the Pappas Consulting Group have been engaged to conduct management reviews of administrative business functions and financial operations and controls at a number of campuses of this complex state university system. Here are but a few examples of such work.

Chancellor's Office

We examined work processes conducted by the contract services and procurement, receiving, and accounts payable units of the Chancellor's Office of the California State University system. The study resulted in recommendations to improve efficiency, enhance the level of service, and position the office to take maximum advantage of emerging technologies and effectively support campus consortiums.

California State University, Fullerton

We conducted a financial management review of California State University, Fullerton, evaluating overall management of campus fiscal operations related to general financial internal control systems and examining underlying centralized and campus-wide fiscal operation management control. We reviewed, tested and recommended improvements in management oversight and business processes and made observations about the state of financial management on the campus relative to staffing and use of technology.

California State University, Northridge

We performed a comprehensive financial management review at California State University, Northridge, which included assessing policies and procedures, financial authority and responsibilities, technology, qualifications and expertise of finance staff, and interaction between central and campus-wide financial units. Our review also comprised examination of financial procedures and controls practiced by each of five auxiliaries and business processes conducted by Physical Plant Management.

We identified areas that need to be strengthened and provided an implementation plan for improving financial management on each campus.


The Pappas Consulting Group was engaged to conduct an organizational assessment of the Chancellor's Office of the City University of New York.

The objectives of this study were to:

  • Transfer increased authority to the twenty campus Presidents.
  • Provide a more accountable and supportive administrative resource (The Office of the Chancellor) to the campuses.
  • Work with the campuses to effect efficiencies and ensure the development and measurement of test practices.

When Dr. Goldstein arrived as the new Chancellor in 1999, he was concerned that the System Office was an impediment to the day-to-day operations of the 20 campuses. We reviewed the various functions that were performed at the Chancellor's Office and determined where activities and functions would more appropriately be carried out at the campus level to achieve greater efficiency and effectiveness. As a result, the Chancellor's Office was converted from a "command and control center" to a "service center" with clearly stipulated performance and accountability measures put in place. A significantly transformed table of organization of the Chancellor's Office resulted. We changed the name of the Office that Dr. Goldstein assumed ("The Central Office") to the Chancellor's Office to reflect clearly its transformed mission.


Master Plan

The Florida Board of Governors Foundation, Inc. engaged the Pappas Consulting Group to identify appropriate recommendations for the future structure of the state university system as well as the policies and investments necessary to create that structure.

The Pappas Group created a master plan for Florida's higher education future with the target date of 2030 at the 90,000-foot level. We intentionally designed an interview and focus group process that elicited dialogue and thought provoking decisions rather than a process designed to generate curt, technocratic answers. We met with the Chancellor and the Board of Governors and his staff in small groups to ascertain the role of the Board of Governors staff and their relationship to the Board of Governors. We met with the leadership teams of the eleven institutions that comprise the System as well as members of the Board of Education, Independent Colleges & Universities of Florida (ICUF), the Community College Chancellor and his chief academic officer, as well as members of the state legislature.

We held eleven, three to four hour focus groups with the Presidents of each of the FBOG institutions and their Vice Presidents. These sessions provided valuable insight into the ambitions of the individual institutions as well as their perception of the role and responsibilities of the Board of Governors and its staff. We interviewed each Board of Trustees Chair to ascertain his/her perceptions of the role and responsibilities of the local board of trustees vis-à-vis the Board of Governors.

We also reached out to the Chancellor of the Florida Community College System and his senior staff as well as with selected community college presidents whose institutions offered the baccalaureate. The Chair of the State Board of Education and the Commissioner of Education made themselves available and provided their perceptions of the future structure and governance of the FBOG. We spoke with the senior staff of ICUF and several ICUF member institutions along with several leaders of the business community. Legislative leaders and others were also interviewed in order to gain a broad perspective of their vision of the State University System and the challenges confronting it.

Upon conclusion of this extensive and broad data gathering effort, we developed a series of observations and recommendations based on our own extensive experience with public higher education and their systems. From February 2007 through January 2008, Dr. Pappas participated in multiple public hearings, appeared before State Senate Appropriations Committees and spoke at the Askew Institute. She addressed the Florida Association of Colleges and Universities in June, 2007 and ICUF in 2009.

We additionally served as advisors to the Board of Governors, the Chancellor, and the Governor's Advisor to Higher Education as essential planning decisions were vetted and made.

Staffing Plan

The Florida Board of Governors subsequently asked the Pappas Consulting Group to continue working with them in two areas: technical expertise relating to the further development and implementation of the "road map" for the State University System; and development of a FBOG staffing plan consistent with the strategic direction of the Board.

We provided technical expertise to address queries relating to institutional funding, economic development and business collaboration, e-learning, branch campuses, K-12 pipeline, Board of Trustees and Board of Governors roles and relationships and other subject matters addressed in the report.

The staffing plan assignment utilized the high level strategic direction outlined in the Pappas Report as the backdrop for its organizational and staffing recommendations. A baseline of the current organizational structure, reporting relationships and roles and responsibilities of each incumbent in the FBOG was established.

During the course of this effort, we determined the degree to which FBOG staff should: work with the FBOG as an entity and with individual FBOG members; engage with campus-based personnel and for what purpose; engage with campus-based Board of Trustees; interface with the Legislature and state agencies; and collaborate with the Council of 100, economic development agencies, ICUF, the community colleges, etc. We generated a report that outlines the current baseline and describe the ideal future state. An implementation plan was developed.


We have served the Iowa Board of Regents on two separate occasions.

Organizational Audit

The first study was a five campus organizational audit of every major function, including the review of the colleges/schools of the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa. We recommended the elimination/consolidation of academic program offerings as well as schools/colleges. We learned during this initial study that the role of alumni is a force with which to be reckoned in the redesign of any educational enterprise.

Audit of the Prior Organizational Audit

We worked closely with the Executive Director of the Iowa Board of Regents and the Chair of the Board in this subsequent study where the Pappas Consulting Group was asked to assess, after a five year hiatus, the progress made in redesigning strategic planning, funding and resource allocation processes, faculty promotion, tenure and review processes, information technology, financial and management reporting and administrative process redesign.

K-12 Blue Ribbon Task Force

In yet a subsequent assignment, the Pappas Consulting Group was engaged by the Governor-appointed Commission on Educational Excellence for the 21st Century to serve as its staff to create a vision and roadmap for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade education in Iowa to ensure that Iowa's educational system continues its tradition of providing the best education to its young people. The four key areas included: high expectations for students; quality of the instructional program; student achievement and; parent and community involvement. Mr. Pomerantz served as the Chair of that Commission.


This complex college system engaged the Pappas Consulting Group to perform a series of operations reviews of Computer Services, Telecommunications, Human Resources, and Bookstores. The purpose was to identify means by which to improve services and reduce administrative costs. An additional objective was to redesign the processes and workflow between the Central Office and its 6 campuses/sites.

We established an Administrative Review Committee, comprised of three Board members and three senior administrators, to provide oversight. Throughout the project, we had significant interaction with operational managers and service recipients. We analyzed each area using our proprietary methodology and addressed specific service and process issues identified by Miami-Dade College.

The project resulted in a series of detailed recommendations to: simplify the computing environment while enhancing functionality in all process areas, redirect Miami-Dade's software acquisition/development strategy, enhance its telecommunications management structure, reengineer a set of human resource operations, and restructure the management of the Bookstores operations. For each recommendation, we calculated the estimated cost savings and benefits. We further developed an action plan that identified responsibilities, estimated costs, and timeframe required for full implementation.


The Pappas Consulting Group was engaged to assist the University in its review of: (1) the Administration and Finance Division of the Bozeman campus; and (2) the support services commonly provided by the Administration and Finance Office across the four campuses (Bozeman, Billings, Northern, and Great Falls) of MSU.

Review of Administration and Finance Organization at MSU-Bozeman

Our work plan targeted ways to improve service levels, consolidate organizational structures, and strengthen operating efficiency. A key aspect of the analysis was the extent to which the Banner software and other forms of technology were used to streamline transaction processing, access accurate and timely operational information and generate useful management information.

Our work plan was designed to give the University system guidance for continuing its efforts to improve service quality, streamline operating efficiency, and reduce its administrative overhead costs as it adapts to the mega-trends driving our society.

Review of Common Administration and Finance Services Throughout the University

We identified alternative organizational structures and service delivery methods, evaluating their advantages and disadvantages, and recommended opportunities for service delivery, improvements, and cost savings.

Human Resources/Personnel and Payroll Organizational Review

The Pappas Consulting Group was engaged to conduct a review of the Human Resources/Personnel and Payroll (HR/PP) within the Administration and Finance division at Montana State University. The review defined an organizational structure and operating environment that: created shared responsibility for customer satisfaction throughout all HR/PP services and processes; provided the types of services and level of service wanted and required by customers; resolved current customer concerns and improved customer perceptions of HR/PP services across campus; enhanced operating efficiency and effected cost/time savings for HR/PP staff and customers; and streamlined the processes through which faculty, staff and students interfaced with HR/PP while maintaining appropriate controls and data integrity.

The project was conducted within the context of the overall mission of the division of Administration and Finance as well as that of the University.  


The Pappas Consulting Group provided on-going technical and facilitation assistance to the Executive Director of the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education as it continued to develop and direct the implementation of the state's Long-Range Plan for Higher Education.

In addition, we developed a series of concept papers on funding and capital planning that have been vetted by all the public university Presidents in the state.


The Pappas Consulting Group was charged by a Review, Planning and Implementation Steering Committee (Executive Order 42) charged to:

  • Review the impact of the Commission on Health Science, Education and Training's recommendation to create a comprehensive plan for restructuring New Jersey public research universities (Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, the University of Medicine and Dentistry, and the New Jersey Institute of Technology).
  • Facilitate the collection of information pertaining to the restructuring.
  • Examine and prioritize specific strategies to restructure the three public research universities.
  • Outline a proposed work plan.
  • Deliver an assessment and implementation interim report to the Governor that included, for the various stages of implementation, the actions required, a timeline for those actions, specific milestones, and responsibilities for the proposed multi-year effort.

A structure of committees and working groups was designed in order to involve multiple constituencies in the project, identify and examine the myriad issues inherent in restructuring, and compile extensive information on which to base decisions. P.Roy Vegelos, M.D., retired CEO of Merck served as the client and Chair of the Steering Committee.

Phase I: Preparation and Organization

During the first 90 days of the project the Pappas Consulting Group spent time organizing and orienting the various committees and working groups. We developed draft governance, structure and budget scenarios, and consulted and collaborated with existing governing bodies within the Universities and the state.

Phase II: Research and Discussion

Phase II focused on identifying information needs and collecting data relative to the many academic and administrative functions within the existing universities and their various sites. We interacted with numerous committees and working groups during this part of the planning project. We conducted system-wide committees and group meetings in collaboration with university-level committees and groups at regional locations throughout this phase. During this phase of our work, we researched and documented the governance mechanisms of public university systems in place in all fifty states.

Phase III: Analysis and Conclusions

During this phase, we analyzed the data compiled for each of the functional areas and formulated conclusions relative to the new public research university system and its funding.

Phase IV

As the new system of public research universities was being developed, we were asked to develop appropriate benchmarks and accountability measures for it.

During the course of this assessment, we utilized existing data from the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education and supplanted it with comparative data from the Lombardi Program on Measuring University Performance produced by TheCenter at The University of Florida (Its successor, TARU, is currently housed at Arizona State University).

We utilized Lombardi's nine different measures:

  • Total research expenditures
  • Federal research expenditures
  • Endowment assets
  • Annual giving
  • Faculty members in the National Academies
  • Faculty awards
  • Doctoral degrees
  • Postdoctoral appointees
  • Entering freshmen SAT scores

Our report concluded that there would be a lot of opportunity if the correct synergies could be created within and across the three proposed public research universities.


The Board of Trustees engaged the Pappas Consulting Group to undertake a number of strategic planning, business process redesign, and outsourcing initiatives for OSSHE and its five campuses.

We created a new strategic plan for the Chancellor's Office and helped to define the operating and strategic relationships with the five campuses. During the course of our work, we recommended changes to policies and procedures affecting the conduct of business between and among the Chancellor's Office and the five institutions. We reviewed each of the campuses and the Chancellor's Office at the operational level. Multiple layers of approval and fragmentation and duplication of worksteps were eliminated at the System and its campuses.

A series of detailed follow-up studies with proposed action plans to improve effectiveness and efficiency of administrative and support services for Oregon State University, The Chancellor's Office, the University of Oregon, and Portland State University were then undertaken.


Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) charged the Pappas Consulting Group to conduct an organizational assessment of the administrative operation of the central office and its 14 universities. This project reflected the Chancellor's goal to have the administrative operation of the System, for each campus and the central office as well as their interrelationships, examined for ways to enhance services and reduce costs. PASSHE sought to analyze the System's organizational alignment in support of its overall mission and strategy.  Towards that end, our consulting team:

  • Identified areas where similar support services, common business practices, or common use of technology could enable consolidation, decentralization or centralization, creation of new regional partnerships, outsourcing, improvement of workflow, or the deployment of a new cost-effective model for the delivery of services.
  • Identified opportunities to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and coordination of functions among the campuses and central office resources.
  • Provided guidance on what decisions, processes, and/or organizational structure changes should occur to achieve the appropriate balance between cost savings and service levels to our students, faculty and staff in the short term (12 months) and over the longer term.

The Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education engaged the Pappas Consulting Group to conduct a presidential review of the University of Rhode Island (URI). We conducted a series of focus groups and interviews with key constituencies of the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) and URI higher education communities, including the President's Cabinet, student leaders, executive committee of the faculty senate, and the URI executive committee of the American Association of University Professors; and the department chairs, union leadership, student leaders, senior administration, deans and staff at CCRI.  We produced a report summarizing our findings.


Strategic Planning

This 64-campus system has asked the Pappas Consulting Group to provide strategic planning and enrollment management assistance on several occasions over the last 6 years. To that end, we have worked with two Chancellors, the Chief Operating Officer of the system as well as various system-wide Strategic Planning Committee comprised of Presidents from the community colleges, the regional campuses and the research centers. During these efforts, we facilitated a number of strategic planning sessions and developed various drafts of the strategic plan for review and signoff by the Committee.

Information Technology Infrastructure

Phase I

The Chancellor asked the Pappas Consulting Group to work in partnership with the RF Vice President for Information Services to undertake a preliminary review of the IT infrastructure at all constituent SUNY Plaza organizations, including the Office of Administrative Systems (OAS), the State University Construction Fund (SUCF) and the Research Foundation of SUNY (RF SUNY).

The Chancellor commissioned this review to strengthen and enhance service levels and realize economies of scale as well as consolidate duplicate services, functions, organizations and technology. The primary goal of the review was to determine immediate action steps and long-term considerations to better position SUNY Plaza IT organizations in the support of the strategies emerging in the new SUNY strategic plan.

The subsequent baseline report of the administrative IT functions of SUNY Plaza set the stage for a Phase II review that includes the academic, student and other related IT functions of SUNY.

Presidential Evaluations

The Pappas Consulting Group Inc. has provided, and continues to provide, presidential evaluation services to the State University of New York.

Prior to each campus visit, the Pappas Consulting Group reviews extensive documentation, including: self-evaluations; the SUNY-Campus Memorandum of Understanding; and extensive written comments from Vice Chancellors, the President of the Research Foundation, campus administrators, faculty, students and union leaders. Based on this documentation, on-site interviews and observations, we provide SUNY Senior Leadership and the Board of Trustees a thorough written evaluation of the President and related operating issues. We have conducted such evaluations for:

  • Buffalo State College
  • College at Fredonia
  • College at Geneseo
  • State University at Cortland
  • State University Institute of Technology
  • State University at New Paltz
  • State University at Old Westbury
  • State University at Oswego
  • State University at Purchase
  • SUNY Chancellor

Phase I

The SUNY Research Foundation engaged the Pappas Group to be of counsel to the President of the SUNY Research Foundation in his efforts to assess: the operating and processing efficiencies of the Foundation vis a vis the services provided to the SUNY campuses and the Chancellor's Office and; the long-term strategies that should be adopted by the SUNY Research Foundation Board to optimize its effectiveness with the campuses that comprise the system.

We undertook an initial Diagnostic Review to understand: the mission of the Foundation; the roles and responsibilities of the different units within the Foundation; the interactions between the Foundation and the campuses; and the long-term strategy of the Foundation. The result of our diagnostic review was a preliminary assessment of the policy, strategic and operational issues facing the Foundation as well as an initial prioritization of the issues relating to the mission, strategic goals, and operating performance of the Foundation.

Phase II

The Pappas Consulting Group next drilled down into the operating and processing environment of The Research Foundation (RF) of the State University of New York (SUNY) to determine the long-term strategies that should be adopted to optimize the RF's relationship with the SUNY campuses. The review was conducted after responsibility for the Federal Relations, Philanthropy and Planned Giving programs was transferred from the Foundation to the Chancellor's Office. A detailed Operations Service Improvement Program (OSIP) was developed and implemented.

Phase III

The Pappas Consulting Group recently completed Phase III of this on-going assessment. Task forces for the four strategic initiatives delineated in our previous Phase of work were appointed with the charge to: clarify and articulate the role and responsibilities associated with each central Foundation unit; stimulate SUNY research funding opportunities, technology transfer royalties and economic development; define the level of service required for each central Foundation unit to adequately support SUNY research efforts; and, redefine the Foundations assessment structure.

These four areas became the cornerstone for two fundamental changes in the RF. The first was the Operations Service Improvement Program (OSIP) implemented in 2008. The second was the Strategic Planning Process that started in August 2008 and was completed in May 2010. The strategic plan was adopted at the RF's August Board meeting with a series of dashboard indicators.

During 2008, the Pappas Consulting Group assisted the RF with carrying out its Operations Service Improvement Program. OSIP was designed to dramatically improve RF service levels and change, in a fundamental way, the way the RF engages the campuses. A basic framework of Roles and Responsibilities was developed, using input from a Task Force comprised solely of campus users. This Task Force has now become the primary driver to ensure consistent service delivery to the campuses.  The RF portal was redesigned to streamline operations and improve communication. A study of Legal Counsel has led to service improvements in contract reviews and the use of external legal counsel. Throughout we relied on input from SUNY's 64 campuses as well as such external stakeholders as the Governor's office, Legislative staff, state agencies involved in R&D and economic development as well as business and community leaders.

The second major effort was the facilitation of the RF strategic planning process. Beginning in August 2008, internal studies and research efforts were undertaken to provide background for the planning effort. These studies first resulted in: an Information Services strategic plan; a study of technology transfer and economic development; a focused internal study on how to increase sponsored programs throughout SUNY and; the development of a series of white papers on the RF's Financial Structure.

A comprehensive strategic plan was adopted at the 2010 May Board Retreat and is available on the SUNY RF Website at Read SUNY RF's 4th Quarter 2009-2010 "Strategic Plan Progress Report: The Year in Review".


The University of Houston System is comprised of the University of Houston, the University of Houston Downtown, the University of Houston Clear Lake, the University of Houston Victoria, and a number of metropolitan learning centers with multiple community college and UHS collaborative programs. The Chancellor of the System concurrently serves as the President of the University of Houston.

The UHS is committed to emerging as the preeminent metropolitan university system in the U.S. while differentiating the missions of each of its four constituent institutions. The University of Houston is vying for Tier One status from the Texas State Legislature.

The Pappas Consulting Group was engaged to work with the University of Houston System to: address system organizational structure; Board Governance; strategic enrollment management planning; UHS strategic direction and campus mission differentiation and funding.

We first facilitated an initial Board of Regents Retreat with the goal of: (1) providing the Board with the national best practices for the highest performing boards; and (2) reaching consensus with the Board and Chancellor on the thematic strategic directions for the UH System. This Retreat was a crucial step in the Chancellor's dual mission of strengthening governance and enabling this 4 campus system to become strategic in its long-term thinking. We then facilitated a retreat for the Chancellor's Leadership Team, focusing on the strategic themes that needed to be further vetted with key stakeholders including the identification of action steps and the development of accountability measures.

We reviewed and recommended revisions to the Standing Committee Charters and Bylaws. We provided a summary document with special focus on the themes of research prominence and student access/success. In addition, the Pappas Consulting Group provided the University of Houston System Board of Regents an independent analysis and specific recommendations responding to the Seven Breakthrough Solutions presented by the Governor's office.

Developing Organizational/Structural Options

The Pappas Consulting Group prepared organizational/structural options for consideration concerning the University of Houston System.  These options were developed for a five-year and a ten-year period enabling a thoughtful and well vetted implementation process. The Board  determined that structural solutions will be phased over time. We presented alternative organizational/structural options for discussion concerning campus alignment, branches, and possible specialized institutions at the May 2009 Board Retreat.

In parallel with the Development of Organizational/Structural Options, we worked with the UH Action Steps Steering Committee to enable the University of Houston to realize Tier One Status. With the arrival of a new President in January 2008, the University of Houston (UH) embarked on an ambitious agenda to become a top research university. While utilizing the University's existing strategic plan as the context for new strategic visioning, the Pappas Group sought ideas from both internal and external stakeholders concerning the future of UH over an intensive 100-day period. We also engaged in a retreat with the Board of Regents and with the leadership of the University to seek agreement on the key strategic themes for the University of Houston. All of this activity led to a remarkably consistent consensus on six themes that will be critical to the University of Houston and its future.

Strategic Enrollment Management Planning

The Pappas Consulting Group conducted a diagnostic review of Enrollment Services for both UH and UHS.  We interviewed University personnel on all four campuses, conducted one-on-one meetings with representative academic leaders, managers in the various Enrollment Services units. We conducted focus groups with representative staff members from selected Enrollment Services units and academic departments. 

The objective of this diagnostic was to: establish a baseline understanding of Enrollment Services from both an operational and organizational perspective at the unit level and the division level, and identify those organizational and operational issues that need to be addressed assertively from both a University of Houston and University of Houston System perspective.  Based upon our interviews, the information provided us, and our prior strategic planning work with the Board of Regents and the senior leadership of the University of Houston System and the University of Houston, we provided senior management and regents information about the enrollment profile, academic programs, and interaction of programs between system universities, system centers, and external institutions. We developed institutional profiles that demonstrated how each institution was distinctive, had unique yet core academic programs and displayed the student profile of each. These intensive and extensive working papers and reports are serving as the basis for a UHS and individual institutional enrollment management plans.

Board Self-Assessment

In May of 2010, we facilitated a Board Self-Assessment at the request of the Board Chair.


During the past several years, the Board and the senior leadership of the University of Illinois has undertaken a series of self-assessments focused on the academic, academic support, student and administrative functions of its three campuses, including the Chicago campus that is an urban health sciences university. We have conducted a number of planning and assessment projects for this three-campus University.

Peer Groups

The Pappas Consulting Group was asked to develop best practice metrics for the Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield campuses and work with the Illinois Board of Higher Education to modify the peer groups of the three campuses. This benchmarking work enabled the University to "measure" progress toward meeting their strategic goals and objectives and ensure accountability of University managers.

Financial Aid Study

We were engaged by the University of Illinois to assist in addressing a set of financial aid issues that focused on the growth of financial aid support funded through undergraduate tuition dollars.

The University's tuition-funded financial aid program was created as a way to supplement need-based financial aid no longer being met through the federal government (Pell Grants) and the State of Illinois Monetary Award Program (MAP) grants. The MAP Supplemental Aid expenditures began in the 1995-96 academic year when, for the first time, tuition and fees charged to Chicago and Urbana students exceeded the maximum award from the MAP program.

We undertook three specific tasks:

  • Benchmarked the University's MAP Supplemental Aid expenditures against national norms for both public and private 4-year universities.
  • Benchmarked the educational loan debt of graduating seniors at the University against national norms for both public and private universities.
  • Surveyed other external sources of financial aid grants besides the federal Pell Grants and the Illinois Student Assistance Commission MAP Grants that could replace the current University MAP Supplemental Aid grants.

The results of this benchmark study helped the Board of Trustees to understand better the policy questions surrounding financial aid.

Institutional Support Costs

The Pappas Consulting Group undertook a study of Institutional Support Costs in order to better understand and describe the level of administrative support required to oversee and manage the primary academic programs and activities of the University. Our report contained a series of analyses, using data from different sets of public institutions, to compare Institutional Support Costs with the University of Illinois.

Three sets of comparisons of Institutional Support Costs were presented in the study. They were:

  • University of Illinois compared to other Illinois Public Universities
  • University of Illinois compared to Big Ten Universities
  • University of Illinois compared to Selected Major Public Universities

The data presented in this report gave a perspective of how campus size and the number of campuses within a "system" can impact the amount being spent on Institutional Support Costs. The results of the study helped the University of Illinois to understand and present the long-term trends of their institutional support costs.

Information Technology

The University Administration Division of the President's Office engaged the Pappas Consulting Group Inc. to perform an assessment of the organization of administrative information technology services within the division. The goal of the study was to determine the best structure for the delivery of administrative information technology services to the University of Illinois by the various offices within the division.

The study included each of the offices within UA that provides administrative technology. We reviewed the component parts of IT development and delivery, and addressed various general planning questions. Early on in the study process, several planning criteria and principles were established. These included goals for administrative technology that were identified by the Project Steering Team, as well as several IT service principles that were established by the Pappas Group. These criteria and principles guided the overall assessment of the current UA environment.

Our Organizational Assessment of Administrative Information Technology Report offered an analysis, assessment, and a total of 81 recommendations for action to be considered by University Administration.

Administrative IT Follow-On Study

The Pappas Group was engaged to conduct an Administrative IT Follow-On Study. Since the delivery of our original Assessment Report, a number of organizational and key personnel changes had occurred at the University.  For this reason, the Senior Associate Vice President for Administration and Planning requested that the Pappas Group return to campus and update the April 2007 Assessment Report in light of these changes and the passage of a year's time.  This update was intended to assist the University in developing an appropriate implementation plan for proceeding with desired recommendations from this assessment process and to provide the newly appointed Associate Vice President of AITS an initial roadmap for consideration.

The net result of this assessment was a series of positive steps in improving the quality of services and the working relationships between UA and its many administrative technology end users.


Administrative Redesign

The UMass Board of Trustees engaged the Pappas Consulting Group to conduct a three year multi-phased project to improve business services, reduce administrative costs, and improve the working environment of its five campuses and the President's office. The Phase I objective was to conduct a high level review of services: Student Services (enrollment); Human Resources; Procurement; and Financial Accounting and Reporting and to pinpoint significant processes for administrative redesign. Based on the study outcomes of Phase I, we undertook a series of pilot projects on each of the campuses in Phase II to identify tangible cost savings, demonstrate how administrative redesign could work on a larger scale, and build credibility and support for Phase III (on-going implementation and continuous improvement on each campus).

We redesigned admissions, financial aid, registration, and student accounts functions. This effort produced an integrated process for transfer and freshman student admissions resulting in reduced response time to applicants. In Human Resources, we improved hiring practices by reducing approvals and the number of forms. The Procurement redesign included the development of a procurement card for small dollar purchases, resulting in a 25% reduction in purchasing cost, as well as a streamlined travel reimbursement process. Financial Accounting and Reporting redesign resulted in the decision to implement one system (PeopleSoft) on all of the campuses and in the President's Office.

The System achieved the following results from administrative redesign and outcome measurement: students, faculty, and staff are satisfied with administrative services; administrative costs are under control; graduation rates have continued to rise; the University has reduced its dependence on tuition and fees; and dollars are being reallocated to the academic core in accordance with the strategic planning priorities for each campus. Other outcomes included a One-Stop Student Services Center (credited with greatly improved recruitment and retention rates at UMass Dartmouth and UMass Lowell).

Benchmark Study

We were engaged by the UMass Board of Trustees to develop a set of benchmarks and an outcome measurement process to gauge the effectiveness of the strategic planning and business process redesign initiatives being implemented in the President's office and on each of the five campuses.

The benchmark measurement process was developed in partnership with a Special Committee of the Board of Trustees and made use of five criteria for measuring administrative productivity. These criteria were: Satisfaction Surveys, Administrative Expenditure Ratios, Graduation Rates, Revenue Structure Ratios, and Dollars Invested in the Academic Core. These five outcome measures were linked to five specific objectives approved by the Board of Trustees for administrative redesign. Benchmark targets were set for each administrative redesign objective, and an annual reporting system continues to monitor progress.

The System achieved the following results from administrative redesign and outcome measurement: students, faculty, and staff are satisfied with administrative services; administrative costs are under control; graduation rates continue to rise; the University has reduced its dependence on tuition and fees; and dollars are being reallocated to the academic core in accordance with the strategic planning priorities for each campus.


The General Assembly of the State of North Carolina mandated a study (HB 1264) to ensure that the state's citizens would be academically prepared and equipped for current and future job opportunities in North Carolina's growing knowledge economy. The Legislature called on the University of North Carolina (UNC) and the North Carolina Community Colleges (NCCCS) to examine jointly this objective with the assistance of a consultant team.

Among the legislative requirements of the study:

  • analysis of state and regional demographic, economic and educational data
  • enrollment projections for UNC and NCCCS
  • analysis of current academic program offerings
  • recommendations on increased effectiveness through collaboration and distance learning
  • analysis of long-range capital plans
  • specific emphasis on the historically black universities and the Native American university
  • an analysis of the role of the liberal arts and of programs aimed at the state's knowledge-based economy

During the engagement, the Pappas Consulting Group discovered that there are many "North Carolinas". There are areas of population growth and areas of population decline. There are areas of the highly educated and areas plagued by illiteracy. There are areas with high household incomes and areas with high concentrations of poverty.

Our report indicated that by 2010, 750,000 people would join the workforce in such "traditional" occupations as:

  • Service occupations (office jobs to custodial services)
  • Professional and technical fields (over 250,000 by 2010 in education, health, and information technology)
  • Management and financial positions (accountants)
  • Construction
  • Transportation

There would also be growth in such "emerging" occupations as:

  • Advanced manufacturing
  • Advanced materials (chemicals and plastics)
  • Advanced materials (nanotechnology)
  • Biotechnology and pharmaceuticals
  • Computing, software and the internet
  • Logistics and distribution

We employed a gap analysis to determine the impact these projections had on the academic programs of the sixteen constituent members of the University of North Carolina and the state's 58 Community Colleges. The impact on the capital and infrastructure budgets of the two systems was assessed along with a funding and resource allocation analysis.

The economic development needs of the region in which each institution is located was examined. Serious discussion ensued regarding the development of regionally-based education centers that encompass both the Universities and the Community Colleges with a particular focus on e-learning.

Focus groups, town-hall meetings, and interviews with various business, K-12, and legislative leaders were conducted throughout the course of the study.


The University of North Carolina General Administration (G.A.) engaged the Pappas Consulting Group to assist focused growth institutions to meet new enrollment growth targets. These institutions included: Fayetteville State University; Winston-Salem State University; and Western Carolina University. The assignment was extended to a second year. In the case of Western Carolina University, our work was expanded further to include strategic marketing and retention.

The University of North Carolina projected an increase of over 50% in the traditional college-age population. We worked with these three campuses to design recruitment programs, develop retention initiatives, and prepare camera-ready recruitment materials for the purpose of attracting students to, and keeping students at, these campuses. Work plans for each of the campuses, while containing common elements, were tailored to meet the needs and niches of each institution.

For each of the campuses, the project deliverables included a/an:

  • Diagnostic review of recruitment, retention, and marketing activities;
  • Camera-ready copy for ViewBook and collateral recruitment materials;
  • Recruitment Plan for 2000; and
  • Action Plan for retention initiatives.

In addition, we completed a comprehensive Enrollment Plan for each of the campuses. These were submitted to the General Administration, the state legislature and were ultimately approved for implementation.

Details of the Pappas Consulting Group work conducted for each of the Universities are summarized below.

Fayetteville State University

The Pappas Consulting Group was engaged to assess its enrollment and recruitment marketing programs, systems, and processes in order to recommend initiatives to increase undergraduate enrollment by as much as fifty percent in a several year period. During a second phase, we helped to develop and implement a strategic marketing plan that included, but was not limited to, a printed portfolio and electronic materials that conveyed creative and consistent messages about the University. A high school recruitment yield model, a corollary community college recruitment program, and the design of a "one stop" student information and help center also resulted, the details of which are:

High School/Community College Student Recruitment

The purpose of this follow-up engagement was to help FSU redirect recruitment efforts towards specific and potentially high yield high schools and primary feeder community college markets. This approach was a significant departure from FSUs recruitment strategy of providing general information to a wide body of high school students, and then taking action when recipients requested more information or an application for enrollment. This project concurrently sought to establish a campus-wide recruitment effort by coordinating University personnel who had previously attempted to recruit unique populations of students (e.g., Music Department, Athletics, Weekend & Evening, Departments, etc.) on their own.

One-Stop/Non Traditional Students

The Pappas Consulting Group was engaged to facilitate project management efforts, assist staff, and share national best practices with two project work teams: (1) One-Stop Student Center and; (2) the campus-based Non-Traditional and Degree Programs.

The work of the One-Stop Student Center project team led to the identification of a campus site for the Center's operation, approval of an implementation and operational budget for the Center, and the establishment of a staff training schedule and agenda for full implementation.

The second project, creating nontraditional student degree programs, resulted in a work plan that focused primarily on the potential interface with Fort Bragg and neighboring community colleges.

Western Carolina University

Western Carolina University has engaged the Pappas Consulting Group from time to time to assess and redesign its recruitment, admissions, and retention operations. Recruitment had been stagnant over several years, and Western's retention rate ranked at the bottom of the sixteen constituent institutions of UNC.

We initially  conducted a complete audit of the admissions office and its operations. We helped Western implement radical changes in recruitment and admissions processing that resulted in assigning support staff the review of routine applications and assigning admissions officers to hands-on recruitment activities. We then audited Western's marketing, communications, and public relations efforts and delivered a marketing plan. Very soon thereafter, we reviewed all operations, programs, and services associated with retention and advising. We recommended a "case management" approach to advising, early identification and management of "at risk students", and related initiatives to improve retention. Western is reaping the benefits of this consultancy in terms of exponential growth in the numbers of first-time freshmen and transfer students. The retention rate has also improved substantially.

Our work with Western Carolina continued with: the creation of a camera-ready ViewBook and corollary recruitment materials; a recruitment plan; refinements to the advising program; development of a plan for a One Stop enrollment/student services operation; and the creation of a comprehensive enrollment plan for submission to the General Administration for approval.


The objective of this project was to work in partnership with the Chancellor to: (1) assess the major factors contributing to the relatively low yield rates of the entering freshmen class and the decreasing retention rates for undergraduate students; and (2) put in place an integrated, University-wide plan to improve student recruitment and retention efforts. In that regard, we:

  • reviewed all aspects of enrollment management services to determine what needed to be done to increase student yield;
  • conducted student focus groups to determine student perceptions of the University, with an emphasis on why students either remain on campus to complete the degree or leave the University before completion of the degree. A report summarizing the results of the interviews was presented to senior University Officials as well as the Academic Senate;
  • assessed various academic policies, procedures and organizational paradigms to develop an action plan that clearly delineated next steps for the Provost and the Academic Senate Chair to undertake on behalf of the University for the improvement of student retention; and
  • undertook a diagnostic review of the organizational structure and staffing of the Student Affairs Division. During the course of this review, we assessed the effectiveness of the Division's efforts in student retention and the degree to which it interfaced with Academic Affairs, Enrollment Management, and Administration and Finance.

We were recently called back to update this work and create a unit dedicated solely to undergraduate student services and educational effectiveness. We issued a final report in March of 2009.

University Housing

The objective of this review was to work in partnership with the Director of Housing and the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs to assess all aspects of the University's housing operation. This included:

  • the residential life program (staffing, staffing levels, staff training and development, hall government associations, programming, student satisfaction);
  • learning communities and special/thematic housing (faculty participation, faculty incentives, student perceptions of need);
  • the Honors College;
  • the utilization of housing stock (use/mix of classes, gender, singles/doubles);
  • policies and procedures (judicial, parietals, room and board rate setting, all policies articulated in the existing booklet forwarded to all residential students);
  • administrative processes (room assignments, billings, student room inspections, interface with Administration and Finance);
  • all aspects of facilities management (maintenance and custodial, groundskeeping, security/safety);
  • capital budget/budget projection development (including renewal and replacement, bond retirement, reserves and preliminary identification of significant capital improvements);
  • annual operating budget development (assuming that housing is run as an auxiliary enterprise); and
  • the role of housing in student recruitment and retention (quality of life, quality of printed marketing material, messages sent to parents and students during site-visits, on the Web and in recruiting materials).

During this particular engagement, we conducted focus groups with hundreds of student residents, interviewed each housing staff member as well as key administrative and academic leaders.

Deliverables included:

  • Recommendations concerning printed and other visual material used in conjunction with the student housing operation and program
  • Recommendations concerning staff and staffing levels and the quality of the residence life program
  • An assessment of the facility and residential life components of this housing program
  • An inventory of the proposed utilization of existing housing stock as well as proposed housing stock
  • Revised policies and procedures in keeping with President's Office and campus policies with an eye toward improving student recruitment and retention efforts
  • Streamlined and automated processes for students as well as faculty and staff who have considerable daily interface with the Housing Office
  • Assessment of the current operations and interface with the Division of Administration and Finance
  • Preparation of a budget template as well as a five year budget projection based on information currently available in the Housing Office.
  • Review and recommendations for the fiscal year operating budget.

Media Relations

Western Carolina University engaged the Pappas Consulting Group to assess how the University's strengths could be used to promote the University in the national media. Our objective was to:

  • Create a national media visibility campaign that could generate national media attention.
  • Arrange interviews with key national editors, writers and broadcast producers in New York, Washington and Boston for the Chancellor.
  • Follow up with the media to encourage them to visit the campus.
  • Develop a format to display the results of media attention or "clips" generated nationally and regionally for distribution to key University constituencies.

Strategic Organizational Redesign

As part of its routine follow-up efforts, the Pappas Group worked with Western Carolina University to improve further its record of undergraduate student retention.

The Pappas Group:

  • Collected, analyzed and summarized all relevant archival material to create a baseline understanding of prior recommendations and the degree to which recommendations were implemented.
  • Interviewed the Vice Chancellors, selected direct reports and the Deans to assess the degree to which remediation was necessary in the provision of student academic support services.
  • Undertook a global assessment of the major systems, services and practices that impact student retention.
  • Conducted a series of staff training and development workshops to enable staff to understand and internalize their individual as well as collective role in ensuring student success.
  • Served as a technical resource with the appropriate Vice Presidents and managers to determine ways in which processes, organizational structures, and practices could be improved.
  • Maintained on-going coaching of selected managers.

Winston-Salem State University

The Pappas Consulting Group facilitated a strategic planning process that developed a five-year plan of action. The role and the reach of the University was clarified while respecting and building upon the University's distinguished history of access and service to North Carolina's African-American students. WSSU has experienced a transformation within its campus, and has significantly improved its long-standing relationships with the city of Winston-Salem in which it is located.

The Pappas Consulting Group also worked with this HBCU for an elapsed period of two years. The first phase included an assessment of enrollment and recruitment marketing programs, systems, and processes for the purpose of recommending initiatives to increase undergraduate enrollment by as much as fifty percent over the next several years. We also helped to develop and implement a strategic marketing plan that includes, but is not limited to a portfolio of marketing materials that conveys creative and consistent messages about the institution. A high school recruitment yield model, a corollary community college recruitment program, and the design of a "one stop" student information and help center were completed as well.

As required by UNC policy, the WSSU Board of Trustees engaged the Pappas Consulting Group to assist in the evaluation of the Chancellor of Winston-Salem State University. WSSU employees, faculty and staff participated in the process.  We issued a report to the Board Committee that enumerated the results of the 360 degree evaluation; including recommendations for the next phase of the Presidency. 


The Pappas Consulting Group conducted a benchmarking study, a management review of administrative and financial practices and a data assessment review for the 35 campus University System of Georgia. The purpose of this three-part study was to: (a) compare the System office (Regents Central Office) and its institutions against their peers using state-of-the-art analytical tools and methods; and (b) review internal business policies and practices of the Regents Central Office and four sector-representative institutions: University of Georgia, Athens; Kennesaw State University; Macon State University; and Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.

Project Scope I entailed a benchmarking study, by sector, of the 35 USG institutions. Selected academic and administrative performance indicators were developed in order to calculate optimal ranges for performance and practice by peer group. This study established a database for the System and their institutions for decision-making and strategic resource allocation purposes.

During this phase of our work, we provided a template to the institutions so they could measure performance in comparison with their peers and aspirants at the state and national level, as appropriate. Based on the data we obtained, we provided USG and their institutions an analysis of our results and recommendations concerning business practices, measurement, and data collection. The Board of Regents continues to use these benchmarks to assess performance on an annual basis.

Project Scope II encompassed internal management reviews of business/administrative practices at the Regents Central Office and four representative institutions. A broad base of interviews and data collection efforts were undertaken to cover virtually all business and administrative areas. As a result of this effort, seven process areas were selected for intensive review: (1) purchasing; (2) budget and resource allocation; (3) facilities management design and construction; (4) warehouse operations; (5) materials requisition; (6) business services; and (7) custodial services. Our recommendations resulted in annual savings or cost avoidance to the System.

Project Scope III focused on the development of consistent approaches to define, collect, and analyze institutional data to assess performance at both the system and campus level.


Plan for the Future

The Pappas Group was engaged by the University of South Florida System to provide an external perspective of its strategic plan with the goal to gain more widespread ownership and understanding of its strategic direction across the University community.

Business and Finance

The Pappas Consulting Group was hired by the President of the University of South Florida System to reassess the needs and portfolio of the business and finance functions required to meet the System's strategic agenda due to the departure of the Executive Vice President and CFO. The Pappas Group defined an alignment of organizational responsibilities and leadership criteria to best advance USF's strategic objectives.

Organizational Restructuring

The purpose of this consulting engagement was to conduct a review of this multi-campus university in order to streamline the organizational structure and reengineer a dozen major administrative and academic processes. The President of the University initiated the study and served as the study sponsor. The Pappas Consulting Group established an Administrative Review Committee (ARC), comprised of senior University administrators and the consulting team to coordinate the broad-based effort.

We reviewed financial accounting and reporting, human resources, purchasing/accounts payable, enrollment, academic support, auxiliary, and development (fund raising) policies, processes, and structure on each of the campuses and in the President's Office. We focused our efforts on structure and process flow between the central office and the campuses.

Our recommendations resulted in action plans to reduce approval levels, eliminate unnecessary work steps, migrate manual processes and procedures to an electronic platform, and improve services to students, faculty, staff, and other constituents (internal and external).

We worked with the Chancellor of the State University System of Florida and his senior support team to determine the ways in which the campuses could be provided state regulatory relief. Many of our recommendations led the Presidents of the other campuses, as well as the Chancellor, to seek regulatory relief from the legislature.

Cost Allocation-Phase 1

In this particular study, the Pappas Consulting Group developed the parameters for a cost allocation plan and model for the University of South Florida (USF). In an effort to ensure that general direct and indirect costs for non-grant contract funding sources were allocated accurately, we worked with the University to determine appropriate overhead rate structures and develop a model for allocating these costs on an ongoing basis. We brought together key decision makers to evaluate the nature and purpose of the new cost allocation methodology. From these discussions, a set of guiding principles were established to assess alternative cost allocation approaches. After evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of alternative cost allocation methodologies, an appropriate costing approach was selected. Upon the conclusion of this process, we then worked in partnership with the University to craft an electronic model to support and keep current the methodology.

Cost Allocation Phase 2

As we made considerable strides with Phase 1, the Pappas Consulting Group was subsequently asked to provide technical assistance and project management oversight for Phase 2 of the Cost Allocation Plan and Model project. The Phase 2 effort utilized the technical knowledge of the Pappas Consulting Team as well as its proven project management skills to enable the University to begin to implement the model, develop Board policy and sign applicable service agreements.

System Governance and Reorganization

We are currently working with the University of South Florida System as it moves to the next stage of its development of a System.

The Pappas Consulting Group Inc. has been engaged by the University of Texas System on several occasions to facilitate Board retreats regarding strategic planning, assessment, best practices and benchmarking. The objective of these retreats was to focus on the distinctiveness of the UT System's leadership, governance, and opportunities within the broader context of American higher education.