CU achieves $428 million in operating efficiencies over six-year period

$96.4 million in efficiencies were achieved during the most recent fiscal year
By Staff

Delivering on the University of Colorado’s commitment to carrying out its educational and research mission efficiently, the CU system achieved $428 million in operating efficiencies from the 2017-18 fiscal year through the 2022-23 fiscal year.

The figure was reported as part of CU’s annual report on its ongoing efforts to increase efficiency and deliver greater value. These actions across the system result in savings for students, departments, campuses and employees. Chad Marturano, vice president and chief financial officer for the CU system, presented details to the Board of Regents Finance Committee during its meeting Tuesday, held virtually.

The $428 million figure totals cost savings to CU’s four campuses and system administration, cost savings to departments and units, costs avoided, cost savings to students, reallocation of resources and other measures.

Efficiencies are achieved through a wide range of efforts, including the pursuit of low-cost sources of books and educational materials like open educational resources (OER), with savings passed on to students.

Reduced energy costs in buildings – achieved with installment of LED lights and better boilers, roofs, insulation and other equipment – further the gains in efficiency.

Personnel savings are realized by restructuring, reorganizing administrative areas, and implementing new systems. Increased reliance on digital processes and less use of paper and printing achieve additional cost savings.

Of the $428 million total, $96.4 million in efficiencies were achieved during the most recent fiscal year completed, 2022-23. Some 323 actions were taken to reach that total, which then is applied to reducing ongoing operation costs, or redirected to other areas of need, or saved for investment.

At CU campuses last year, the CU Anschutz Medical Campus achieved $7.7 million in efficiencies; CU Boulder, $4.3 million; UCCS, $3.9 million; and CU Denver, $1.1 million. Most of the cost savings, $79.5 million, were realized at the system administration level, where service centers achieve efficiencies systemwide. Risk Management oversees the university’s self-insurance program ($18 million in estimated annual savings), and CU’s Treasury refinanced bonds and achieved other debt savings ($30.4 million estimated annual savings).