Just before the pandemic hit, the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), a top 10 public research university with almost 14,000 employees, found itself experiencing a period of unprecedented growth. In order to ease “growing pains” and make the most of this extraordinary opportunity, Kelly Fox, executive vice president for administration and finance at the time, was charged with finding the right approach to strategic planning and shaping the substantial infrastructure needed to support the institution.
With explosive growth, new offerings, and a new budget model, they needed support in looking at data across and outside the organization with a wider, fresh lens. Read the case study to learn how HelioCampus’s Benchmarking Consortium helped Georgia Tech gain insight into their labor investment, helping them manage their growth and make better decisions around spending and investing.
"You really need a detailed understanding of how you’re keeping up with all this growth. At times you may be lagging in investment in key areas, or you may be duplicating in other areas. If you’re not careful with your infrastructure, all of the administrative components won’t keep pace with it."
After analyzing the benchmarking data, initial insights re-enforced some existing perceptions, including that Georgia Tech’s staffing budget was low, especially in the area of research administration—which was concerning given the huge jump in research grants over the last several years.
Another major realization from the benchmarking exercise was that Georgia Tech was overspending on user support. As a result, the team is now planning to move to a “shared services” model to reduce those costs.
Today, these insights are allowing Georgia Tech to gain a high level perspective of its staffing and spending, guiding their budget reform efforts to manage growth more effectively. As a result, the university is now better equipped to make decisions on where to invest precious dollars and resources, ultimately leading to better alignment with both its mission and its reputation as a world-class STEM institution.