Duke University


University Center Organization Business Planning

Duke University engaged B&D in 2013 to develop a business plan for its University Center Activities & Events (UCAE) organization. The UCAE recently had gone through a transformation as Student Affairs merged with various departments within the university’s former auxiliary division, resulting in a more comprehensive offering for its students. Also, several capital projects were underway that would add 35,000 square feet to UCAE spaces. Our business plan was built around the objectives of improving the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the UCAE, reviewing and improving the financial parameters of the new hybrid operation, recommending appropriate operational changes, and incorporating new facilities coming online in the next few years. The scope of work was comprised of developing a business plan framework to identify goals and deliverables for the plan and determining the most effective operating paradigm for the facilities. This was accomplished through stakeholder/customer interviews, benchmarking, and data analysis. Additionally, each division of the UCAE was assessed against eight operational categories to help inform its current and future impact on the organization, its mission, and the strategic plan. The approaches we recommended were based on three principles: greater focus on facilities and services relating directly to the new organizational structure, staff alignment and repurposing of resources to leverage and complement resources, and creating a management staff serving students’ changing needs and allowing for student engagement. A new organizational structure also was presented that called for five distinct departments, with job descriptions outlined for each management position. In September 2016, the $62 million West Union renovation was completed.