JHU embarks on multiyear cost-savings initiative

Johns Hopkins University will embark on an administrative excellence initiative designed to improve administrative service levels, curb spending growth, and allow the university to devote more resources to its core research, education, and service missions.

"The initiative will ultimately allow Johns Hopkins to strengthen administrative support of faculty and students, prepare for challenging financial times, and free resources needed to invest in achieving academic excellence," says Daniel Ennis, senior vice president for finance and administration.

The initiative's first phase will address procurement, with specific focus on lab supplies, computers and other IT equipment, and service contracts, among other areas. A Procurement Advisory Committee has been convened by Ennis and Provost Robert Lieberman and will be co-chaired by Dan Cronin, senior associate dean for finance and administration in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, and Jerry Hart, professor and chair of Biological Chemistry in the School of Medicine. The committee will work with an outside consulting firm to evaluate the current procurement structure and processes, and identify opportunities for improvement.

A survey of all faculty and staff is planned to gain insight into the university community's purchasing practices and needs. The committee will make recommendations for improving procurement to the senior vice president and provost later in the fall.

In future phases, the initiative is expected to address IT expenditures across JHU, as well as administrative simplification.

"We know that every day [our employees] are carrying out the important work of discovery, research, and education, and that our efforts must yield tools to leverage [their] work and to help the university navigate this uncertain funding climate," Ennis says.