Sept. 3, 2019
Dear Faculty and Staff,
One of our four strategic priorities is to build financial strength. UNH seeks to be a national leader in cost management and aligning its budget and resources with its strategic priorities. We want UNH to be more accessible and affordable for students by diversifying revenue sources and doing the best we can in managing our expenses. At the same time, we want to identify resources to invest strategically to meet our overarching aspiration of being a top 25 public university on the most important measures of academic performance.
One of the key initiatives to build financial strength is to establish a new budget office and hire a CFO. Last week you received an update on our CFO search. Another key initiative is to conduct a comprehensive review of our financials. Toward that end, UNH has hired Huron to work with us this fall semester to conduct an in-depth review including revenues and costs across all academic and administrative areas at the university. The goal of this effort is to make sure we are pursuing promising revenue opportunities and that we are using our limited financial resources as effectively as possible.
Huron was selected to perform this work because of their extensive experience doing similar work at over 100 other colleges and universities. It is also worth noting that Huron has previously worked for UNH and the University System. The contract with Huron is significant at $600,000. Given our limited resources, we gave careful consideration to whether we should spend this amount of money. After consulting with members of the board of trustees, members of our senior administration and several alumni who have been involved in similar financial reviews, we came to the conclusion that this investment is critical for UNH at this time. Based on Huron’s work with other universities, we anticipate that UNH could realize benefits greater than $12 million or approximately 2% of our operating budget over the next two years as a result of their work and implementation of their recommendations. In short, we are confident that this will be a very good return on investment. Ultimately, this effort will allow us to make important investments in teaching, research and infrastructure while making UNH as affordable and accessible as possible for students.
Huron’s work will start on September 9 and we will receive their report and recommendations by mid-December. We will keep the university community informed as the work unfolds this semester; we are in the process of building out a webpage for this effort off of unh.edu/future. Please check there for updates. We are in the midst of assembling an internal steering committee to work with Huron. It will be led by Provost Jones, Vice President Clement and Interim CFO Provencher. The steering committee will include administrators, faculty, staff, undergraduate and graduate students.
James W. Dean Jr.