February 22, 2022
Dear Members of the Hobart and William Smith Community,
I write with news about a creative new initiative underway that has the potential to enhance and expand the level of services we provide to campus.
As many of you are aware, Hobart and William Smith belong to a number of academic consortia, including the Upstate New York College Collaborative, the New York Six, and the Consortium of Liberal Arts Colleges, among others. Through these consortia, we seek to find more efficient and effective ways to deliver services and expertise to our faculty, staff and students. After recent dialogue among the leadership of consortia schools, we are exploring how we can create and implement a shared service delivery model, essentially partnering with other colleges and universities to supply services related to finance, business, human resources and information technology.
Currently, Le Moyne College in Syracuse, N.Y., has shown a strong interest in advancing this project with us, and we have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Le Moyne to create a Shared Services Organization (SSO). Although Le Moyne has a different history than HWS, they are committed to the liberal arts, share our vision on how we can better deliver some campus services, and, like us, are seeking new technology options to replace their current enterprise systems. Once the SSO is up and running, other colleges, universities, and not-for-profit organizations will be recruited to join us, pooling our collective talent and resources further.
The SSO will not compromise the autonomy or independence of any participating organization. Other models like this exist, including The Claremont Colleges Services in Los Angeles that was established in 1925 and the Green Mountain Consortium in Vermont. We intend to learn from and leverage the best of what other higher education institutions have been able to accomplish and, where applicable, adopt their best practices. No one at Hobart and William Smith will lose their job, nor will anyone’s pay or benefits decrease as a result of the creation of the SSO. We expect campus operations to run as well or better than they do today with the improved resources and new capabilities from this SSO.
The Presidents and Boards of Trustees of both institutions support and have approved moving forward with this initiative. In the coming months, a cross‐functional team of people from both campuses will collaborate to establish the legal entity and determine the organizational structure needed to provide shared services to each campus. Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and Chief Information Officer Fred Damiano and Vice President for Finance and Administration/Chief Financial Officer Carolee White will lead the HWS team in this work. Please see the attached FAQs and submit any additional questions you may have to email@example.com; Fred and Carolee will be monitoring the account.
This will be demanding and innovative work, but the potential benefits to our community are numerous and represent our continued commitment to providing an exceptional educational experience. I look forward to updating you on our progress.
Joyce P. Jacobsen