CUNY tightens up financial, administrative practices following inspector general report
- The City University of New York, following recommendations from an inspector general report, enacted changes to governance and university policies Monday, spanning everything from vendor relationships to day-to-day fiscal management practices.
- Among the changes are provisions to allow officials to "deny use of facilities under certain circumstances," as well as standardize, provide oversight on and strengthen internal controls and accountability around banking and cash management practices, according to a university press release.
- This is the second wave of changes following recommendations that the institution centralize spending policies and enact "more rigorous controls over the financial management of CUNY-based foundations and their affiliates."
Public funding for higher ed will not likely increase in the foreseeable future. It's time for public systems in particular, but higher ed in general to take a close look at procurement and financial practices across campus to consolidate and eliminate waste in order to make the dollars coming in stretch farther. Something as seemingly simple as making sure departments are communicating with each other to see where needs overlap so they can negotiate services under one contract is too often not done on the college campus. Not only does that make for more costly initial investments, it could also mean more expense on the backend when systems don't communicate with each other to collect and process data efficiently. Waste and duplication have long plagued a generally inefficient industry — leading West Virginia University President and higher ed stalwart Gordon Gee to say it's time to "blow up the box" and do things differently.
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