President Reveley Message

12-17-2013

Dear William & Mary Community,

Last April, we launched the William & Mary Promise. It is a crucial step in building a financial foundation strong enough to sustain W&M as a leading liberal arts university in this century, providing one of the best undergraduate educations in the world, complemented by outstanding graduate and professional programs.  The Promise calls on the whole William & Mary family to contribute in the ways each of us can contribute: students through tuition, alumni and friends through philanthropy, and faculty and staff through productivity gains in our work on campus. We will all benefit from our common success.

Part of this effort on campus involves looking at our own administrative processes to see where we can improve them. Success in pressing to higher levels of operational excellence will allow us to invest even more in our highest priorities.

Working with outside consultants, we are about to begin a comprehensive consideration of our operations that is likely to take several years. We will start with a two-month initial look to spot the areas with greatest potential to reduce costs, improve efficiency and generate new net revenues. This initial review will begin in mid-January and extend to March, examining business processes across the university.

The consultants will not look at academic programs.  The Provost continues to lead a separate effort, working closely with deans and schools, to identify opportunities in the academic area.

The business process review will emphasize our IT, HR, finance, procurement and facilities operations. In each case, we will have a W&M team working with the consultants, and these teams will include staff who provide the various services and users who benefit from them.

I have established a 13-member steering committee, chaired by Provost Michael Halleran and Vice President Jim Golden, to coordinate this effort. The committee includes faculty, staff, a student and a member of the Board of Visitors. After the preliminary review, we will have a better sense of which processes are already operating quite efficiently and which ones have the greatest potential for improvement. We will discuss the possibilities internally and with the Board of Visitors, and together, we will decide which projects to pursue and in what sequence. Some projects we will handle ourselves, and some with the assistance of consultants.

William & Mary has a long history of innovation. And we are recognized for our impressive stewardship of resources these days:  According to U.S. News and World Report, we are ranked 32nd in quality and 114th in resources; no other university has a gap between performance and funds that comes close to that. Recently, we have made progress in reallocating funds, finding net new revenues, and exploring creative adaptation. We must keep building on that success.