The State University of New York at Buffalo

Reimagining Workforce Planning



The State University of New York at Buffalo, more commonly known as the University at Buffalo (UB), is a public research university serving more than 20,000 students in Amherst, New York. As one of the top 40 public universities in the country, the University at Buffalo is committed to continually improving its administrative and academic programming to drive student success. However, like most higher ed institutions, administrative costs take up a significant portion of Buffalo’s budget. The university knew they needed to rethink how they approach workforce planning to reallocate their resources—but to do that, they needed access to reliable, centralized data. 

In search of a new way to optimize their HR spending, Buffalo reached out to HelioCampus. Read the case study to learn how they were able to conduct a holistic analysis of their administrative spending using benchmarking data and come up with a new approach for hiring. 

"We needed to really compile all our data and do that deep analysis to make a case for this new approach. HelioCampus gave us the tools to draw those connections.”

Mark Coldren, Associate Vice President for Human Resources

The State University of New York at Buffalo

Getting Started:

  • Coldren and his team began grouping positions into one of three categories: strategic (for future-focused roles), core (for essential services), and “currently utilized”—positions that a department
    might re-envision if the current staff member were to leave or retire.
  • With the help of the HelioCampus team, who made it easy to compile and process data across units, Coldren analyzed every single position at the university, and discovered that about 25% of the current jobs fell in this final category.
  • After we read that report, we realized that this was an opportunity
    to fundamentally change how we approach hiring,” Coldren said.
    “And immediately, we started thinking about payroll reduction
    and redeployment. We could focus on promoting from within,
    turning veteran roles into entry level positions, and redeploying
    existing personnel into critical positions—and that would be more
    affordable for the college.”

The Result?

“My mission now is to convince people that we can use the money we already have, differently,” Coldren explains. Fortunately, HelioCampus’s benchmarking data allowed Coldren to identify gaps in personnel, pinpoint opportunities to shift to a centralized or shared services mode—and then compare current hiring data against peer institutions.

Learn More About the Results 

Read the Case Study