Tulane University hired Huron Consulting Group to help it identify ways it can improve its efficiency, increase its revenues and decrease its deficit. The consultancy, chosen for its track record in the field of education, is expected to complete its review by the summer.
Early January, Moody’s Investors Service, which reviews and rates the financial health of all universities, revised the outlook of Tulane University from negative to stable. According to the University, the decision to hire Huron Education, which is part of Huron Consulting Group, is in line with its commitment to continue this positive process. “The decision to review our finances underscores our commitment to being good stewards of the university's resources and ensures that we are using them wisely,” explains Tulane President Mike Fitts.
Commenting on the appointment of Huron, Fitts says: “The goals of this initiative are twofold: to solidify our financial position by eliminating our annual operating cash deficit of $15-20 million; and to develop a new budgeting system that is better suited for our future plans.”
As part of the review, Huron’s consultants will speak to the University’s leadership team, including the deans, plus representatives of all academic and administrative units. In total, they will interview 150 staff, faculty and administrators, who are actively involved in university operations. To help guide the review process and to integrate the recommendations into positive change for the University, Fitts has appointed a Budget Review steering committee and an Operational Review steering committee. The first is charged with the creation of a new budget model for Tulane, and the latter with the decision of how to better spend the funds based on this new model.
Huron’s review is scheduled to be finished in the summer of 2015.