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The STAR Review (Strategic Transformation of Administrative Resources) is Drexel’s University-wide assessment of how to make our administration more effective and cost-efficient, so that we can better invest in the priorities of our Strategic Plan.

In December 2012 we undertook phase 1 of this assessment in partnership with Huron Consulting Services, a leader in helping universities implement best practices in higher education. Drexel’s faculty and professional staff were integral to the process, as more than 220 people were interviewed by Huron, many of them multiple times, and nearly 570 employees completed an online survey about administrative activities.

Phase 1 of the STAR Review was completed in April 2013, and a series of recommendations was created for implementation beginning in phase 2.

Huron, guided by the STAR Steering Committee, recommended we focus our efforts on four key themes:

  1. Improve retention and graduation rates
  2. Improve management and stewardship of existing resources
  3. Create incentives that align local goals with institutional goals
  4. Improve coordination and collaboration

The Steering Committee, chaired by CFO Helen Bowman, has mapped the four key themes to eight specific initiatives designed to improve our overall performance. The implementation of these initiatives constitutes phase 2 of STAR:

  • Retention and Graduation
    1. Student Life Cycle Management
  • Management and Stewardship of Resources
    1. Procure-to-Pay Transformation
    2. Space Management
  • Aligned Incentives
    1. Budget Redesign
    2. Energy Management
  • Better Coordination and Collaboration
    1. Benefits and Perquisites Rationalization
    2. Span of Control
    3. Position Control

Click here to learn more about each of the initiatives.

The STAR Review has laid out a roadmap for Drexel to continue its transition to an efficient, responsive and effective administrative structure. There is a lot of work before us to realize these goals. But we have already demonstrated the strength of the collaborative spirit and drive for excellence at Drexel in phase 1 of this process, as well as the development and early implementation of our Strategic Plan. I am confident that these initiatives will be a great success, and I look forward to seeing the results.


John A. Fry

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