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    Home > Higher Education > What Others Are Saying

    What Experts Say About BCG Higher Ed

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  •  What Experts Say About BCG Higher Education

  • "Neil Strodel and I began our HR careers in Upstate New York higher education at nearly the same time—Neil with Syracuse University, and I with Cornell University. We quickly became close friends and colleagues, sharing best practices and each other's perspective on the challenges that came with being chief HR officers.

    "I witnessed the evolution of SU's HR function as Neil transformed what had been a largely transactional function into a one driven towards best practices. Under Neil's leadership, the HR department at SU was able to achieve that rare balance of high-touch/high-technology to which all HR professionals aspire.

    "While at SU, Neil introduced organizational development while achieving a new level of expert service to campus leadership. Neil redefined the university's union management relationship and spearheaded a "service first" redesign of the HR function that ultimately extended to all of the university's support services.

    "Higher education is facing unprecedented challenges caused by an unsustainable revenue model. Institutional leadership will need new thinking to navigate these challenges. Now, as Vice President of Benefit Consulting Group, Neil greatly increases their bench strength making them formidable in this regard."

    Mary Opperman
    Vice President for Human Resources
    Cornell University

    "As Chief HR Officer of Syracuse University, Neil Strodel hired me into higher education and away from the private sector where I was with Carrier Corporation. Neil had assessed that SU needed a disciple for organizational development to assist SU leadership in constructing some bold organizational changes.

    "Neil brought me to SU in a new position as Director of Organizational Development and Training. Together, Neil and I accomplished enormous change, revamping many functions across the University resulting in the transformation of many of the University's work units.

    "Today, I am the Associate Vice President of HR at Ithaca College. I continue to draw upon the many experiences and lessons that I learned while working with Neil, one of which is that behind every successful initiative is a thoughtful, detailed plan. I also learned that interwoven communication strategies are a fundamental building block to success, and most important: Hire the best talent you can find and do not be afraid to empower them.

    "As Vice President of Benefit Consulting Group, Neil Strodel offers higher education clients the invaluable expertise of a consultant who has been there-done that. Neil has walked the talk."

    Mark Coldren
    Associate Vice President, Human Resources
    Ithaca College

    "Syracuse University was very familiar with BCG and the breadth of expertise they offered in the areas of human resources and employee benefits. We had successfully partnered with BCG for many other projects including a complete overhaul of several ancillary benefits, life insurance and disability, long-term care insurance and a comprehensive voluntary benefits program.

    "As we approached union negotiations for our part-time faculty, we took advantage of BCG's substantial expertise in this area as well. BCG did a masterful job of reviewing our current benefits offerings and providing comprehensive research on alternative benefit options. They worked closely with our leadership team to review potential benefit outcomes that met our business needs on this difficult negotiation issue.

    "As consultants in the higher education space related to HR and benefits, BCG is first rate. As partners in helping you to achieve your operational goals, you will be very hard pressed to find a firm with the willingness to invest in you by taking the time to really get to know your business. Add to that how easy BCG is to work with and what great value you receive, and it's easy to see why recommending BCG is a no-brainer."

    Jack Matson
    Former Director Staff Relations and Recruiting
    Syracuse University

    "During my tenure at Syracuse University, with BCG's continual guidance, we accomplished a complete overhaul of our employee benefits menu, transforming it from a one-size-fits-all model to a best in class program offering choice, tax advantaged options, and voluntary benefits. BCG helped us progress from a "reactive" benefits group that was struggling to keep pace with the needs of our more than 8,500 employees, to one that incorporated a wide range of state-of-the-art employee benefit services.

    "BCG was a most valued partner providing oversight and facilitation of the revamping of our benefits program, a national search for a new benefits department director, creation and oversight of numerous RFPs, and guiding us through intense union negotiations. BCG's handling of executive and staff education and communication throughout the process was nothing short of exceptional!

    "What I found remarkable was how easily BCG meshed with our own staff. They arrived fully up-to-speed with our current status, understood our organizational goals, and were extremely easy to work with. More importantly, BCG brought far more to the table than we expected of them by continually offering solutions in areas where they saw opportunities to make our program and systems even better.

    "Having gained tremendous exposure to higher education's benefit program needs through my positions at Syracuse University, Dartmouth, and University of Kentucky, I'm most comfortable recommending BCG to assist colleges and universities of any size."

    Myra Johnson
    Past Director of Human Resource Services
    Syracuse University—Now Retired

    "Neil Strodel and I served together on the board for the CUPA Eastern Region Board.

    "He served the higher education community by adding talent and imagination to conference strategy and to the education and development of future leaders. What I found in working with Neil is that he possesses these qualities:
    • A finely tuned understanding of higher education human capital issues;
    • A penchant toward leading change when faced with the status quo;
    • A questioning mind that searches for creative solutions;
    • A leadership style that complements not dominates.
    "Benefit Consulting Group has added significant bench strength by the addition Neil Strodel to the team. His rare blend of private sector and higher education experience adds a value-added element for higher education to tap into."

    Christopher Lee
    Associate Vice President of Human Resources
    Virginia Community College System

    "As a result of my past successful business relationship with BCG, GIS Information Systems, Inc. dba Polaris Library Systems (Polaris) has recently partnered with BCG and BHL. BCG and BHL espouse our own business philosophy –we see each customer as unique and important. They have always demonstrated that they put our interests first. In our experience, BCG and BHL are unique because they will do whatever it takes to gain a deep understanding of our business goals before they provide any recommendations. We appreciate that and it's very effective!

    "BCG and BHL's Premier Advantage program has been very beneficial to us. With so many services under one roof, we are assured that we are not duplicating cost and effort and that our various programs—benefits, retirement, commercial insurance—are integrated properly and that experts in these areas are working closely together.

    "Based on the outstanding work BCG has done with improving our 401(k), human resource and benefit programs, and BHL's cost-saving approach to workers' compensation and commercial insurance, Polaris is quite comfortable recommending BCG and BHL."

    Kevin Bryans
    Chief Financial Officer
    GIS Information Systems, Inc.
    DBA Polaris Library Systems

    To reach a BCG human capital expert, contact Neil Strodel at nstrodel@bcgcny.com, Alison Dunn at adunn@bcgcny.com, or call 315-474-1707.

    If you don't see something
    you're looking for, or have
    any questions, please feel
    free to call us.

    Neil Strodel

    (315) 474-1707

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