Comprehensive Administrative Review

White Paper

Comprehensive Administrative Review

The University System of Georgia (USG) is a complex organization that impacts every aspect of life in Georgia, ranging from economic development to research-based innovations to the arts. As a public institution, we understand that USG has a duty to make college both affordable and accessible, ensuring that more Georgians are entering the workforce with a college credential. We also recognize that increases in higher education spending - particularly administrative spending - are a concern among everyone, from those who pay tuition to those elected partners who fund public higher education. We share this concern, and we believe our institutions work diligently to control costs.

As a system, we saw that we had not conducted a comprehensive examination of administrative costs across the USG. Seeing the need for examination, at the April 2017 Board meeting, Chancellor Steve Wrigley announced a Comprehensive Administrative Review of the USG which would include the System Office and all USG institutions. A steering committee composed of campus and system representatives provided oversight of the review and provided broad guidance on use of savings to ensure consistency with objectives.

Through the review, an in-depth examination of non-faculty administrative costs across the University System and within all departments was made. It incorporated feedback and data points from supervisors and employees at all levels. Those involved worked on analyzing organizational structure and activities in order to identify opportunities to improve management processes and eliminate unnecessary duplication of efforts and redundant processes. The committee benchmarked levels of effort and staffing around functions such as (not an exhaustive list):

  • Audit and Compliance Activities
  • Auxiliary Activities
  • Departmental Support
  • Facilities and Grounds Maintenance
  • Financial Management
  • Fundraising, External Relations, and Communications
  • Human Resources
  • Information Technology (networks, telecommunications, etc.)
  • Library Management
  • Pre- and Post-award Grants and Contract Activity
  • Safety (environmental, public, etc.)
  • Student and Student-Related Services (enrollment management, admissions, financial aid, etc.)

The committee also created a series of post-project benchmarks and metrics for continued use across the USG to ensure continued efficiency and effectiveness gains. They identified opportunities for savings through a combination of more efficient and effective processes, realignment of positions, and the restructuring and centralizing of certain operations.

With this undertaking, the USG engaged external assistance to assist in conducting this analysis under the guidance and leadership of the Chancellor, the Board of Regent’s Committee on Finance & Business Operations, and the Chancellor’s Comprehensive Administrative Review Steering Committee. The USG Office of Organizational Effectiveness, under Vice Chancellor for Organizational Effectiveness John Fuchko III, managed this project. University of West Georgia President Dr. Kyle Marrero chaired the Steering Committee. At the onset, the Steering Committee members included:

  • Chair, Dr. Kyle Marrero, President, University of West Georgia
  • Trip Addison, Vice President for External Affairs, Georgia Southern University
  • Dr. Christopher Blake, President, Middle Georgia State University
  • Victoria Brock, Student Government President, Kennesaw State University
  • Dr. Kelli Brown, Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs, Georgia College & State University
  • Jeff Davis, Vice President of Finance & Administration, Georgia Highlands College
  • Jimmy Harper, Chief Information Officer, South Georgia State College
  • Dr. Jodi Johnson, Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services, Dalton State College
  • Dr. Brooks A. Keel, President, Augusta University
  • Heidi Benford, Administrative Assistant, Clayton State University, USG Staff Council
  • Dr. Chris Markwood, President, Columbus State University
  • Dr. Kelly McFaden, Associate Professor, University of North Georgia, USG Faculty Council
  • Dr. Kim Harrington, Associate Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Juan Jarrett, Associate Vice President for Human Resources, University of Georgia
  • Jerry Rackliffe, Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration, Georgia State University
  • Dr. Theresa Wright, Director, Survey Research & Evaluation, Carl Vinson Institute of Government, University of Georgia

The Steering Committee has been involved in critical steps during the administrative review process to include a review of the proposed methodology, project phases, analysis of initial results, communication of outcomes and recommendations on how to effectively engage institutions in this process. The Steering Committee also advised on how to implement recommendations designed to achieve enduring, positive impact. Institutional presidents provided periodic updates on the implementation status of the final report to the Board of Regent’s Committee on Finance & Business Operations. The Office of Organizational Effectiveness supported the USG’s efforts in this regard.


The administrative review was conducted over two primary phases. Phase I began with the University System Office and then spread out to USG institutions. In Phase II, the process continued with each subsequent institution, taking 8-16 months to fully complete. By the end of Fiscal Year 2020, all institutions should complete their CAR report. Individual reports for the CAR will then be available on USG institutions’ websites. A final summary of results for the entire CAR will be available on this site at that time as well.