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March 13, 2014 - 11:08pm

University reports $16 million in strategic sourcing savings


For a University that had about $6.5 billion in total expenditures in the 2013 to 2014 fiscal year, $2 million in unexpected savings may seem like chump change.

But with state funding dwindling over the past decade, the University has launched a multitude of cost-saving initiatives to make up for declining state support.

The unanticipated extra $2 million were a portion of a larger $16 million in savings secured by the University’s strategic sourcing effort. Strategic sourcing, which entails purchasing University supplies and goods with more cost-effective methods, was initially slated to save around $14 million.

The effort stretches across six categories of goods and services: computers, office supplies, benefits administration, janitorial supplies, furniture and peripherals.

Timothy Slottow, executive vice president and chief financial officer, said the project will play a major role in reallocating $120 million in recurring general fund costs between fiscal years 2013 and 2017.

The biggest savings came from the category of computers, through which the University saved $7 million. Steve Munn, manager of information technology at the University’s Institute for Social Research, said the decision to purchase only Hewlett-Packard computers allows the University to negotiate a better deal.

“This allows our institute to invest in other technical solutions that might otherwise have been difficult to fund,” Munn said.