For almost 40 years, the Associated Colleges of the Twin Cities (ACTC) – Augsburg, Hamline, Macalester, St. Catherine, and St. Thomas – have offered shared academic and administrative programs.
ACTC students and faculty have benefitted from collaborations in areas such as cross-registration for classes, bus service between campuses, art, creative writing, the Women’s Studies Program, CityLabs, and the annual Film Festival. ACTC also sponsors numerous operational programs and initiatives in areas such as human resources, safety and security, and purchasing. Taken together, these collaborations save ACTC campuses more than $1 million, collectively, each year.
Building on this history of success, the five ACTC schools are exploring ways to do even more together, particularly through sharing administrative services. The benefits of shared services include improving value, enhancing services, and decreasing costs, thus providing for the reallocation of resources that each campus can redirect to its institutional priorities and mission.
To better understand and evaluate the potential impact of shared services, in-depth exploration is necessary. ACTC will conduct a comprehensive analysis that will indicate whether shared services provide a valuable opportunity.
This analysis will be conducted over the next several months by a team from ACTC, supported by the chief financial officers and academic officers at each school. Craig Shafer of Shafer Business Solutions has been retained by ACTC to assist with the project, which is supported by the ACTC presidents.
This team will compile and analyze data from each ACTC institution and report the results to the ACTC Board of Directors, which is made up of the presidents of each of the schools. Staff members at each institution may be asked to provide information to support this effort.
Doug Anderson, Sr. V.P. Business, Finance and Technology at Hamline, commented, “Consistent with our program prioritization process work, it is important to look at all areas of potential cost savings, productivity, and efficiency.”
Anderson will coordinate the comprehensive analysis at Hamline, working in conjunction with Provost Eric Jensen, President Linda Hanson, and ACTC.