A recent report is criticizing the University of Kansas’ previous administration for spending more than $21 million over a five-year period on consulting fees to find savings and efficiencies at its campuses.
Chancellor Douglas Girod and Provost Neeli Bendapudi defend the spending, saying the Chicago-based Huron Consulting Services, which was paid more than $9 million over five years, produced more than $51 million in savings and other benefits for the university.
Among the savings cited were $13.8 million in information technology costs and $10.4 million in purchasing costs through the use of rebates, signing bonuses and contract cost savings, the Lawrence Journal-World reported .
The report by a committee of the University Senate, an advisory group that is part of the university’s internal governance structure, began in 2016 amid concerns about the amount of money being spent on consultants.
“We received quite a number of complaints and remarks by a number of staff members that there were much larger payments than just tens of thousands of dollars,” said Ron Barrett-Gonzalez, an aerospace engineering professor and a member of the University Senate. “And so we worked through the university governance structure and with our friends primarily on the staff, to unearth more details.”