Officials skeptical of report on administrative efficiency at U of M

The Senate leader on higher-education says a new report on administrative efficiency at the University of Minnesota confirms her belief that the university is well-managed compared to its peers.

The authors of the report, released Thursday, say the university ranks middle of the pack among a sample of more than half a dozen peers. They say their study shows no glaring problems.

But Sen. Terri Bonoff, DFL-Minnetonka, says the report did not give her a good idea of the scope of the university’s weaknesses or identify the areas where it could save the most money.

“It was glaringly lacking any financial data in this report. And so that’s the missing link for me. I want the numbers,” Bonoff said.

Expecting such detail may have been premature, Bonoff said.

She said she will ask the university to provide those details when it submits a plan to carry out suggestions. The submission is expected to happen within 90 days.

The university needs to improve its procurement department and centralize some services, Bonoff said.

DFL Rep. Gene Pelowski of Winona said he is reserving final judgment until he thoroughly reads the report.

Pelowski said he read portions of the 174-page report, but has not found answers to legislators’ key questions about administrative staffing and potential financial savings.

“The answers may be there. They’re just unfathomable at this point,” Pelowski said.

Previously: The Huron report on administrative efficiency