Legislators on the Government Efficiency Commission said Thursday the rest of Wyoming’s state agencies could learn from the efficiency measures currently being enacted at the University of Wyoming.

“We need our own David Jewell,” Senate President Drew Perkins, R-Casper, said of the UW administrator who led the creation of the WyoCloud system while working with Huron Consulting Group. In 2016, Jewell became UW’s associate vice president for budgeting and fiscal planning.

The roll-out of WyoCloud — the university’s cloud-based finance, administrative, research support and business intelligence reporting system — has created some frustrations for employees in the past two years as kinks have been worked out.

Meanwhile, administrators have been whole-heartedly enthusiastic about how WyoCloud has overhauled financial management at the university.

UW was one of several state agencies that presented to legislators on efficiency measures it’s undertaken. Jewell said WyoCloud has allowed UW to consolidate more than 7,000 accounts at the university into a chart of accounts that only has 267.

Perkins said UW is “about 2-3 years ahead” the rest of state agencies in improving its financial operations.

WyoCloud has provided UW administrators with the data they need to make the university more efficient — and subsequently more affordable for students attending UW.

“I now get to spend more of my time doing to type of work to make sure that our business model is as efficient as possible so that kids can eat every day and have a roof over their heads and don’t have to work three jobs,” Jewell said.

A major component of making the university more efficient, Jewell said, has been to change the way UW buys goods and services.

Jewell’s stressed the need to buy in bulk, and UW now has three major contracts with Office Max, CDWG, and Fisher Scientific to supply the university’s computers, research supplies and office supplies.

He estimates those deals will lead to $2.7 million in savings over three years.

UW is also hoping to negotiate contracts with certain airlines and hotels to get cheaper prices for employees that travel, Jewell said.

Jewell said a reorganization of the procurement and accounts payable offices has put “the right people in the right roles.”

Jewell said UW would also be happy to work with other state agencies to “leverage the entire buying power of the state.”

Adding more staff to the procurement office, he said, would also lead to more efficiencies.

“Candidly, we have the same number of procurement folks as we have at the state office,” he said. "I don’t think it’s enough."

Jewell said the procurement handles about 14,000 purchase orders each year and about 14,000 expense reimbursements.

UW is also working to make it easier for Wyoming vendors to sell to the university by launching the www.uwyo.edu/buy-wy/ website this year.

“We’re in the early stages of this, but we’re committed to this,” he said.

(1) comment

Oh Wow

Spin it however you want, but any staff member will tell you WyoCloud is difficult at best (and imo, "some frustrations" doesn't even cover it. Why else are so many long time staff members leaving UW?). Not surprised though. Jewell has always blamed staff 'not being open to change' in the difficulties with WyoCloud. Hoping it improves over time, but I've been saying that for nearly two years.

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