FY17 SUMAR Priority Initiatives

SUMAR has identified priority initiatives for FY17 that focus on broad initiatives to strengthen University management functions, maintain cost-controlling measures, and ensure regulatory compliance. Priority projects represent compelling opportunities for cost savings or improved management of resources and impact or require significant participation across the entire University community. The priority initiatives for FY17 are:

Continuity of Operations Plans (COOPS) in Support of Emergency Preparedness
A three year project to review the University's emergency preparedness plans and to recommend enhancements to the management of emergency preparedness at Princeton was completed in FY16. A related project, led by the Office of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS), with support from the Office of the Executive Vice President (OEVP), has been underway to update and/or develop COOPs for all departments on campus in a prioritized manner. COOPs allow for a department to plan for continuing business activities during a prolonged emergency when infrastructure may be compromised or normal resource levels are unavailable.

New or renewed COOPs for all academic and administrative departments will be completed by December 2016. Support to the departments has been provided through the creation of a COOP template, division-specific presentations to academic managers, individual consultations, and workshops. Tools and support continue to be available through EHS and the OEVP throughout the fall semester.

Controlling Health Care Costs
This multi-year effort continues as the University seeks to identify additional opportunities to control rising healthcare costs or “bend the trend”. The national trend for healthcare costs continues to increase at a rate of 8%-9% each year since 2010 while Princeton’s increase has been 6%-7% over the past three years. Several strategies (e.g., My Medical Expert, My Health Coach, and use of urgent care centers) has contributed to employee health and mitigated the University’s rising portion of costs and annual increases to employee contributions.

These strategies require ongoing engagement of employees and dependents to use the healthcare system effectively in addition to the University optimizing the structures of our healthcare plans. The next phase of this effort involves a continued focus on education; sustained promotion of resources that have proven effective; and the development of additional tools for end users, including My Health Advocate and My Transparency Tool, which will be rolled out in 2017. My Health Advocate provides assistance with finding doctors, booking appointments, and solving claim issues. My Transparency Tool is a mobile application providing an integrated, personalized view of the employee’s selected plan and all programs offered by the University. Total savings from all cost-saving measures are on track to achieve the multi-year plan for an estimated cost mitigation of $5 million annually by 2018.

Temporary Workforce Policy
A new temporary workforce policy developed in response to regulatory changes regarding benefits eligibility under the Fair Labor Standards Act provides an opportunity to strengthen our workforce planning efforts. There are approximately 600 people in short term professional roles on campus, including approximately 70 that have been in place for two years or longer. A consistent approach to monitoring these roles is necessary to ensure compliance with federal benefits eligibility regulations. The new policy will have broad impact on workforce planning across all departments, and possibly require changed business practices for hiring and work execution. Both of these fiscal impacts will be modeled and monitored as the policy is communicated in early 2017 before the July 1, 2017 effective date.