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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

December 10, 2004

Regents will consider other reorganizations next week

by Anne Krapfl

At its Dec. 16 meeting in Ames, the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, also is expected to approve proposals from the three university presidents to consolidate the schools' automotive fleet, internal audit and risk management offices into single units.

Last spring, the schools suggested these business functions for study when asked by the regents to propose strategies for administrative efficiency.

Internal audit staff assess the effectiveness and legality of processes, operations and business controls within the university. Risk managers are responsible for things such as purchasing property insurance to minimize the university's liability, developing prevention programs, writing insurance requirements and processing liability claims.

Fleet team

As proposed, a new director of the regents automotive fleet would report to Iowa State's director of business affairs. Each campus would keep a fleet operations manager. Many fleet components, such as new vehicle purchases and fuel purchases, already are packaged to qualify for volume discounts, in some cases with other state of Iowa departments. Anticipated benefits of a single unit include consistent rental rates, more efficient use of vehicles (moving them among schools as demand dictates), and more competitive rates for insurance, maintenance contracts and vehicle parts.

Strong campus presence

A proposed director of internal audit would report to the president of the University of Iowa and work closely with all three regent university presidents. Campus-based auditors would report to the director, but maintain a strong presence on their home campuses. The benefits of a consolidation are expected in the efficiency of inter-school planning and coordination of risk assessment and audit reporting processes.

A proposed director of risk management would report to the vice president for finance and operations at the University of Iowa, and work closely with the chief business officers at all the schools. Campus-based risk management staff also would continue to work closely with the leaders at their respective schools. The anticipated benefits are in coordinated programs and risk assessments, better communication and some cost savings due to consolidated insurance purchases, when possible.

More studies

In other business, the regents will review a list of administrative services at the three regent universities that may be studied for possible consolidation. The list was created by the universities' vice presidents. The four-year list includes:

  • 2005: faculty and staff benefits, benefits administration, campus-wide food services (excluding residence halls).
  • 2006: environmental health and safety, generated utilities operations, mail service, parking, information technology.
  • 2007: facilities operation and maintenance, purchasing administration, warehousing/storage/central stores, payroll/accounting/financial reporting.
  • 2008: human resource services (excluding benefits).


At their Dec. 16 meeting, the regents also will review a list of administrative services at the three regent universities that may be studied for possible consolidation. The four-year list was created by the universities' vice presidents.