Lackey responds to more TIER questions

Members of the Professional and Scientific Council heard an update on the state Board of Regents' efficiency review from associate vice president and chief of staff Miles Lackey. Lackey represents Iowa State on the review committee.

"The main objectives associated with TIER (Transparent Inclusive Efficiency Review) is to operate more efficiently, more effectively and to optimize the revenue streams," Lackey said.

Lackey fielded these questions about the TIER process:

Are the 250 staff positions to be eliminated at ISU, or across the three regents schools?
"I think it is important to stress that these opportunities -- particularly the ones that are involving FTE reductions -- have not even been approved yet. The changes and savings have not been verified. I think it is way too early to have a tremendous amount of confidence in those estimates."

Were people in the positions that will be directly affected by the business cases consulted as part of the study?
"Yes, in most of the cases. However, because a lot of that extensive design work has not yet been accomplished, I can't say that in every specific circumstance that would be the case. Before anything would be implemented or changed, those folks would be engaged in the process."

Will all or part of the proposed business cases require mandatory implementation?
"If the cases are adopted by the board of regents, then the institutions will be expected to implement the changes. There will be quite a bit of flexibility from one institution to the next."

What reporting to the board of regents is required regarding implementation of the business cases?
"For each of the individual business cases, you will have a university lead on each campus. Depending on the case, you will have a team or council tasked with helping to move forward that implementation. Reporting back will focus on agreed-upon key performance indicators for those opportunities."

What does the implementation process for the approved business cases look like?
"It will look very different from one opportunity to the next. Some of these are likely to be -- or already are -- university- and/or regents-led, some are likely to be consultant-coached, and some of them even could be consultant-driven."

Can you provide an update on academic cases and how that will work going forward?
"The regents are now in the process of trying to identify and select a new subcontractor to work on the academic components of the TIER study. There are a couple of opportunities which I do anticipate moving forward simultaneous to the selection process -- that would be some of the classroom scheduling pieces (being done by another subcontractor)."

How strongly has ISU responded to the opportunities brought forward by the Deloitte consultants?
"We've been very, very candid. I appreciate the ability to have that kind of dialogue with the regents and task force members."

How will ISU measure the effect of the changes and their success?
"It really is going to take a 'balanced score card' approach. We're going to have to think in a very thoughtful and prudent way. We certainly don’t want to get to the point where we are sacrificing quality to save a few pennies."