The City University of New York is the country’s largest urban public university. It is home to more than 250,000 students enrolled in 25 senior and community campuses across all five boroughs of the City, fulfilling its mission to provide high quality and accessible educational opportunities, regardless of background or means.

The CUNY Master Plan highlights that access to multiple campuses within one city provides a “wonderful natural advantage” to higher educational attainment. The fact that CUNY enjoys the benefit of having 25 campuses and schools located within one city is also a wonderful natural advantage for creating best in class efficiencies. Best practice calls for increasing effectiveness and efficiency by taking full advantage of opportunities for consolidation, collaboration and connectivity across the CUNY system.

To help optimize this complex, integrated system, CUNY is partnering with ISLG’s operations management team to lay out a multi-year plan to identify and implement opportunities for best practice, cost savings and efficiencies, such as reducing the duplication of administrative functions. ISLG will leverage our expertise in the areas of government operations, cost efficiency, and process redesign to streamline the University’s operations to best-in-class and save $75 million. All savings will be reallocated to the priorities outlined in the Master Plan to further support CUNY’s academic and student mission.

Our team is working across six areas within CUNY—human resources, procurement, finance, IT, enrollment management, and facilities & capital—to identify and help implement priority, best practice, and cost efficient initiatives over the next four fiscal years.

CUNY Administrative Excellence Strategic Vision

HUMAN RESOURCES: Create Best in Class Payroll Shared Service

Reengineer a consolidated vision for payroll to automate time and leave and other manual payroll processes. Together these projects will streamline time and payroll processing, reduce costs and errors, and achieve standardized practices and documentation.

PROCUREMENT: Create Best in Class Procurement Process

Move to a cloud-based, online marketplace solution to significantly shorten the time to procure from requisition to payment, eliminate inconsistent spending by managing stock in online catalogues, consolidate suppliers, increase transparency, and ensure consistent and leveraged lowest volume prices.

ENROLLMENT: Create Best in Class Enrollment Process and Reengineer Retention Strategies

Implement new application software and reengineer the processing of applications to create a better experience for applicants, and leverage new retention tools to increase the graduation rates across the University.

FINANCE: Create an Automated, Cost-Saving Procurement Process for Non-Tax Levy Entities (NTEs)

Evaluate the use of e-Procurement capabilities in the short-term as a precursor to integrating NTEs into the University’s system of record to ensure adherence to central practices, compliance with audit requirements, transparency, and consistency in accounting and financial procedures and savings from leveraging purchases with CUNY volume discounts.

IT: Advance Best in Class Computing and Information Services (CIS) Organization

Evaluate CIS staffing and service level provision to optimize the use of current resources, and expand business area expertise within CIS to improve coordination between administrative areas and IT services.

FACILITIES: Support a University-Wide Critical System Maintenance Program

Establish consistent maintenance standards for critical infrastructure systems across the campuses to help ensure that these assets achieve their useful life and minimize capital replacement costs.

Throughout the implementation of these strategies, our team is focusing on incorporating the necessary structural changes in these areas to ensure these initiatives are effective long-term. We are exploring ways to automate or reengineer processes, promote collaboration, increase capacity, and gauge success through performance indicators.

For more information, contact Shaun Edwards at