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2010 July 27 - 12:00 am

MONEY TREE: Cash-Strapped Ohio Colleges Outsource Copying

CLEVELAND (AP) — Several Ohio colleges have outsourced their copy centers to Xerox in the latest attempt to cut costs.

Cuyahoga Community College said Xerox Corp. will operate its campus copy centers and provide new copying and printing equipment, following a similar move by Cleveland State University.

Cleveland State estimates that the copy center switch will save the school $500,000 per year, said Jack Boyle, the school’s vice president for business affairs and finance. The school won’t have to budget for new printers or copy machine maintenance because Xerox will provide new equipment every five years.

The copy center switches follow steps by colleges and universities to reduce costs by outsourcing the operation of book stores, recreation centers and dining halls.

“When the economy goes south, everybody is looking for new ways to do things,” Boyle said.

Most of Xerox’s managed services clients are large corporations that want to streamline their printing, said Brian Walsh, who manages the company’s sales operations in Ohio.

“Now we’re seeing universities, counties and state governments all interested in taking a piece of what they do and letting someone else do it for them,” Walsh said.

Outsourcing works at the college and university level because it reduces the number of people on payroll who receive benefits like free tuition for family members, said Bob Hassmiller, chief executive of the National Association of College Auxiliary Services.

“When you’re talking about a person behind the line at a food service operation, or a clerk at a bookstore, that’s a great perk,” Hassmiller said.

And it’s often less controversial to bring in outsiders to do the work, rather than take away benefits from some employees and not others, Hassmiller said.

The 11 copy-center employees at Cuyahoga Community College likely will move to other positions, said school spokesman Al Moran. Xerox employees will move to campus to do the copy-center jobs.

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