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Savings from WAICU’s Collaborative Services Are Reinvested in Students

One of the things I realized when I became a university president was how much serving as a local government leader—council president and mayor—prepared me for the job. College and university campuses are much like small towns or cities. Campus leaders must deal with waste management, water, and sewer lines, building and grounds maintenance, facility planning, security, technology, master planning, and housing, plus a multitude of other services.

The goal of the WAICU Cost-Saving Collaborative Programs is to help our members simplify procurement of these services, while also providing cost savings. Our more than forty-five programs in benefits and insurance, commodities, services and training, software, and employee services help save our campuses more than $18 million per year. Over the lifetime of these programs, our institutions have saved more than $268 million, money reinvested in serving and supporting students.

Our collaborative services provide vetted, high-quality programs and services to our member campuses at a lower cost. When our campus presidents launched these collaborative programs twenty years ago, they understood there was strength in numbers and synergy in idea sharing. Along the way, we have discovered that working together reduces liability, consolidates administrative burden, and ensures that collectively our pro-grams are serving our current and future needs. Recent additions, such as Title IX training and resources, executive leadership training, and professional licensure services, are evidence that our group of programs continue to change to meet evolving needs.

One program we are uplifting this summer is the WAICU Benefits Consortium (WBC). The WBC, a jointly administered, self-funded health plan developed to manage health care costs and offer exceptional health care benefits, is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2023. This collaborative program is a game changer for participating member campuses and has provided excellent health benefits to a generation of faculty and staff while saving the member institutions millions of dollars. WBC is staffed by WAICU and governed by a board consisting of administrators from the participating campuses.

These cost-saving collaborative programs help WAICU-member institutions redirect resources to support students. The 52,000 students who attend Wisconsin’s private colleges remain our focus. We will continue to invest our time and resources in providing the best collaborative programs to help our campuses thrive.