Office for University Relations

Regulatory Compliance

As a state-supported institution, the University of Illinois must follow state rules and regulations that do not impact private higher education institutions. These requirements, while rooted in risk avoidance and, in some cases, affirming knowledge and understanding, add to administrative costs across all levels of the university. In addition to recordkeeping burdens, the regulations also require various amounts of time throughout the year from individual faculty and staff (and in some cases, students) as they complete forms and take tests. 

Identifying challenges and possible solutions

A subcommittee of a 2010 university-wide team reviewing opportunities for administrative costs reductions did not identify a specific cost associated with the regulatory burdens. The subcommittee did, however, note that changes in processes, some of which must be approved by state agencies, would reduce administrative processing overhead and costs. Among the suggested regulatory changes were:
  • Raising the financial threshold for reporting or requiring approval
  • Direct appropriation of funds to the university, eliminating a percentage management fee
  • Implementing electronic signatures and email notifications to eliminate paper flow
  • Adopting University-wide systems for contractor evaluation and review to streamline processes
Responsible offices were charged by the subcommittee to work with university staff and coordinate state outreach with the UA Office for Governmental Relations to suggest steps to reduce the burdens of regulations. 

Examples

Some examples of state-imposed regulations (including the impacted staff and the university office responsible for coordinating process):
  • Annual ethics examination: all employees including student workers (Ethics Office)
  • Annual conflict of interest and commitment: all regular employees (VP Research)
  • Annual economic interest statement: all regular employees meeting purchasing approval levels (Ethics Office)
  • Vendor contact reporting: all regular employees communicating about procurements (Ethics Office)
  • Positive time reporting: all academic professional and civil service employees (Human Resources)
  • Consultant selection requirements: staff handling all construction contracts over $25,000; staff handling construction subcontracts over $250,000 (Capital Programs Office)
  • Debtor notification: OBFS staff producing the hardcopy notifications to debtors (OBFS)
  • Inventory control: ~700 staff across the university who handle inventory valued over $500 on behalf of their units (OBFS)
  • Purchasing requirements/restrictions: all employees with procurement card access (OBFS)

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