UConn’s Cost, Savings and Revenue Enhancement (CORE) Task Force has recommended initiatives that could save between $5 million and $7 million by the end of Fiscal Year 2010.
In a preliminary report to University President Michael Hogan, the task force recommends that UConn save money and generate new revenues by increasing energy conservation, selling energy credits, streamlining workflow, reducing print materials, offering an expanded summer session, reviewing how graduate assistants are appointed and how their assignments are determined, implementing a voluntary schedule reduction program, and more effectively allocating funds from the Research Foundation.
“The report reflects hours of careful work and consideration of more than 500 suggestions made by members of the UConn community,” said Hogan. “I am pleased that the task force has been able to identify significant savings and revenue enhancements without sacrificing student services.”
The report is available on the President’s web site at: http://president.uconn.edu/pdf/COREReport1.pdf
The task force, formed by Hogan in November, has been meeting weekly. Its members include faculty, staff, and administrators. It is co-chaired by Richard Gray, vice president and chief financial officer; Barry Feldman, vice president and chief operating officer; and Peter Nicholls, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs.
To ensure input from faculty, staff, and students, the task force hosted a series of town hall meetings at Storrs and West Hartford, and accepted e-mailed suggestions.
Hogan asked the task force to identify savings of between 3 percent and 5 percent of the University’s state appropriation, and revenue enhancements, excluding tuition and fees and state appropriations, of between 2 percent and 3 percent.
“I’m very impressed by the thoughtful ideas that were brought forward to CORE,” said Nicholls.
“Many of these are suggestions that are sensitive to student needs and interests, while also generating new revenues.”
The report is preliminary, and the task force will continue to meet and analyze other suggestions, some of which may take more than a year to put into place.
“We will be required to manage through a difficult economic period,” said Nicholls, “and we must seek every avenue possible to save costs and generate new revenues.”
UConn has already implemented significant cost reductions as a result of a 3 percent rescission to the University’s state appropriation for fiscal year 2009.
The report urges that the discretion of unit managers and department heads to implement savings should be maintained where possible, and notes that it is critical to preserve student access to outstanding academic programs, continue the University’s commitment to financial aid, and, where possible, preserve jobs.
“We recognize that difficult decisions must be made, but they should be made with care and compassion,” Nicholls said. “In addition, we must consider the long-term effects of any cuts on the University and its mission.”
The University implemented an across-the-board 3.5 percent assessment in the fall - including a rescission of 3 percent and a 0.5 percent reallocation – and achieved substantial savings by placing strict limits on out-of-state travel and implementing a freeze on hiring, except for the most critical positions.
The governor’s proposed budget for Fiscal Years 2010 and 2011 calls for further cuts, including a more than 9 percent reduction in the level of state support needed to maintain currently provided services in the next fiscal year.
“We must make every effort to impose efficiencies, contain costs, and seek every additional dollar of revenue possible,” said Hogan, “in order to help us meet our obligation to the state and to our students.”