Implementing Shared Services

Rewards and Pitfalls in Implementing Shared Services by Catherine Provencher

CEO Connections

Progress Over Perfection: Rewards and Pitfalls in Implementing Shared Services

By Catherine Provencher, CPA
Chief Administrative Officer of the University System of New Hampshire (USNH)
Conversation Lead, CEO Connections by CampusWorks

May 24, 2022 | 5:30 PM ET

Note: participation is limited to allow for meaningful discussion.

Challenging past practices is an imperative in higher education as competition and price sensitivity intensifies, and students, faculty, and staff demand increased service. However, high touch, customized service for administrative functions is no longer sustainable. Leveraging scale and driving toward efficient shared services, as has been done for decades in the private sector, is the right direction for higher education. This is daunting and challenging work because change is difficult. It causes upheaval and delays in service when first implementing. Over the past two years, the University System of NH has reexamined and retooled almost every administrative function across its four institutions. This has resulted in significant cost savings, risk reduction, streamlined processes and new technology but it has come at a cost. Faculty and staff have questioned the wisdom of decisions made which initially eroded confidence in leadership. The goal of this session is to share these lessons to avoid pitfalls in the future as we continue to rethink our work.