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 the USG has a duty to make college both affordable and accessible to ensure 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.

The recent special examination of higher education costs conducted by the State Auditor of Georgia demonstrates that we take this concern seriously, and we believe our institutions work diligently to control costs. However, we also recognize that we have not had a comprehensive examination of administrative costs across the USG. Doing so will help us make certain that we operate in an efficient manner that controls costs while maintaining the high quality education that has defined the USG for decades. We must also consider the effectiveness of our system and potential processes to improve effectiveness in support of our stated goals of student success and degree attainment. As a system of higher education, we have the ability to leverage best practices, our own internal expertise, and economies of scale to the benefit of the USG and our core stakeholders.

To that end, Chancellor Steve Wrigley announced a Comprehensive Administrative Review of the USG to include the System Office and all USG institutions at the April 2017 Board meeting. We will strive to address the challenge of how to provide quality instruction in the most cost-effective manner. The administrative review ultimately will result in opportunities for savings to provide greater affordability and access for our students, strengthen the core academic enterprise, and improve student support services.

A Steering Committee composed of campus and system representatives is providing oversight of the review and provide broad guidance on use of savings to ensure consistency with these objectives.

The administrative review provides an in-depth examination of non-faculty administrative costs across the University System and within all departments. The administrative review process is incorporating feedback and data points from supervisors and employees at all levels and:

Analyzing organizational structure and activities in order to identify opportunities to improve management processes, eliminate unnecessary duplication of effort and redundant processes, etc.

Benchmarking 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.)

Creating a series of post-project benchmarks and metrics for continued use across the USG to ensure continued efficiency and effectiveness gains.

Identifing opportunities for savings through a combination of more efficient and effective processes, realignment of positions, and the restructuring and centralizing of certain operations.

The USG has 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, will manage this project. University of West Georgia President Dr. Kyle Marrero will chair the Steering Committee. Steering Committee members include:

  • 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, and communication of outcomes, and recommendations on how to effectively engage institutions in this process. The Steering Committee also will advise on how to implement recommendations designed to achieve enduring, positive impact. Institutional presidents will provide 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 will support the USG’s efforts in this regard.


The administrative review will be conducted over at least two primary phases but may be expanded to include three phases. Phase I will begin with the University System Office and four to six USG institutions to be determined in consultation with the Steering Committee. The remaining institutions will be included in Phase II but Phase II may be broken into Phase II and III. Each phase will take 8-16 months to fully complete and likely will overlap in time.


  • May 2017: Identify initial framework and provide guidance to USG on preparing for review
  • August 2017: Establish survey, analytic requirements, complete data requests, and project plan
  • September 2017: Initiate Phase I initial data collection (organizational charts, etc.)
  • November 2017: Launch Phase I activity analysis
  • November 2017 - March 2018: Conduct Phase I analysis/review
  • April 2018: Initiate Phase II initial data collection
  • April 2018: Complete Phase I Report Initial Draft
  • July 2018: Publish Phase I Report
  • August 2018: Launch Phase II activity analysis
  • August - December 2018: Conduct Phase II analysis/review
  • January 2019: Complete Phase II Report Initial Draft
  • Fall 2019: Publish Phase II Report