MU dissolves Office of Administration to cut costs

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MU dissolves Office of Administration to cut costs

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Marquette University’s Office of Administration was dissolved, according to a news brief released Thursday, Feb. 20.

This would mark the second major change in the university’s leadership structure during Wild’s interim presidency, the first being the switch to a “strong provost” model in October.

“With families stretched to the limit in their ability to afford additional tuition costs, these challenging times require us to take difficult but necessary steps,” Wild said in his letter. “Only by aligning our operations and resources with our fiscal realities can we keep a Marquette education affordable for our students.”

Other administrative areas in the university will absorb the responsibilities of the Office of Administration, with many now falling under the jurisdiction of the Vice President of Planning, Tom Ganey. These include the Department of Public Safety, Information Technology Services, the Krueger Child Care Center and Parking Services.

Lynn Sheka, associate director of university communication, said Ganey’s new responsibilities will consist of leading the university’s strategic planning efforts in collaboration with administrative vice presidents and academic deans, as well as communication and public affairs efforts on behalf of the university.

“These changes are meant to create opportunities for collaboration across departments and administrative areas to lessen redundancies,” Sheka said, “and are the latest step in a comprehensive financial review that is identifying opportunities to reduce costs and ease the financial burden on our current and future students.”

Ganey said in an email that he understands the decision made by Wild to change the administrative structure, since Wild has “spoken often about the need to align the university’s operations and resources with our fiscal realities to keep a Marquette education affordable.”

“Enhancing our organizational effectiveness and ensuring sustainability of our valuable resources were priorities identified in our university-wide strategic plan, ‘Beyond Boundaries,’” Ganey said, “and we’re taking the difficult but necessary steps to achieve the ambitious goals we set for ourselves.”

Ganey also said the decisions made to consolidate certain university departments “were the result of months of analyzing more than 280 budget-review documents provided by vice presidents and deans.”

The new leadership structure will combine the Office of University Architect with Facilities Services, creating a single entity designed to build and maintain university infrastructure, Ganey said.

Margaret Callahan, interim provost and dean of the College of Nursing, said in an email that the Alumni Memorial Union and Auxiliary Services – which include the on-campus U.S. Bank, BookMarq, the food vendors at Marquette Place and the dining services in residence halls – will now report to the Vice President of Student Affairs, L. Christopher Miller.

“This new structure allows for synergies with the Office of Residence Life and the Office of Student Development,” Callahan said, “which are actively involved with the AMU and Auxiliary Services in planning student events, and creating a warm, welcoming environment in our residence halls and on-campus apartments.”

The letter from Wild also mentioned the elimination of 25 university staff positions as part of further efforts to reduce costs.

“Decisions such as these are among the toughest we face as university leaders,” Wild said in his letter. “Although Marquette has operated with positive margins for the past 16 years, they have remained thin. The decision announced today are steps we must take to ensure the university’s long-term fiscal health.”

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