Increasing efficiency enables us to save money and reinvest it into our core missions of teaching, research, and service. 


When University operations run as effectively and efficiently as possible, students benefit. We are taking a look at the way we deliver administrative and academic services and considering new approaches and service models. TIER@Iowa offers us the opportunity to think innovatively and creatively and to make decisions that work best for our campus, and to create the most value for our students and families.

Anticipated benefits include:

  • Increased staff expertise regarding a defined group of administrative services
  • Enhanced career progression opportunities
  • Consistency of services across orgs
  • Opportunity for smaller orgs to share services

Changes as a result of TIER@Iowa are already happening across campus, with reported successes.

Working relationships

Working relationships are extremely important. Established working relationships — and the institutional knowledge that comes with them — are a foundational component of our culture and help us accomplish our goals. Every effort will be made to leverage established relationships and have services provided by individuals with whom faculty and staff already have a working relationship. Human Resource, Shared Services, and IT staff will, in general, remain located in the orgs they serve. The scope of services offered may change, and staff may provide service across orgs to best meet the needs of the University overall.

Quality and service

The UI is committed to maintaining the quality and speed of service that faculty and staff are accustomed to from human resources, IT, and finance functions. In some cases, the new service models may increase service quality because of increased specialization, increased backup coverage, improved consistency, and quicker turnaround time.

Collaboration with UNI and ISU

The initial review that spawned TIER@Iowa was conducted across all three Regents Universities — the University of Iowa, Iowa State University, and the University of Northern Iowa. A committee was established that included representatives from the three institutions, and some of the implementation efforts are being conducted collaboratively, such as sourcing and procurement. However, each campus developed their own self-implementation plans to address their specific needs, concerns, and opportunities and are implementing those plans separately.


In February 2014, the Board of Regents hired Deloitte Consulting LLP to conduct a wide-ranging study of Iowa State University, the University of Iowa, and the University of Northern Iowa—the largest such review in a generation. They identified potential cost savings and proposed plans to change how the universities are structured and how services are delivered.

The Deloitte report identified 63 opportunities for reducing or avoiding costs, 22 opportunities to increase revenue, and 90 opportunities to increase quality and improve service. 

From these recommendations, the Board approved 12 administrative business cases  — discussed in two reports — for implementation.

Ad Astra and Pappas Consulting were selected to complete the academic reviews; they presented their findings to the Board of Regents in October 2015.

The historical timeline provides additional information about the evolution of TIER.