First Report on Operational Efficiencies and Enhancements

Joint Planning and Budget Committee

Dec. 5, 2006

 

In the fall of 2005 the Joint Planning and Budget Committee (JPB) was presented a draft of potential Operational Efficiencies and Enhancements and charged to “...draft, develop recommendations and submit them to the governance groups, Alumni Association an Foundation Board.”  Given the vague nature and extensive list of items, JPB decided to approach the charge by prioritizing items.  Associate Chancellor Lostetter and JPB Chair David Riley proposed a prioritized list, which JPB approved.  The Appendix includes a copy of this list.  Highest priority items were discussed at one or more JPB meetings in an attempt to ascertain whether or not there was any associated practical potential for financial benefit.  These meetings were announced and key administrative personnel were invited.  The initial items and schedule for initial JPB consideration are as follows:

 

Sep 28 - several enrollment items

    - "increase intersession and summer enrollments"

    - "increase non-resident enrollment"

    - "increase academic year student enrollment"

    - "assess spring/intersession/summer contracts"

    - "evaluate academic year faculty teaching load if included in J-Term"

 

Oct. 5

    - "increase graduate enrollment"

    - "outsource bookstore"

 

Oct. 12

    - "increase student credit hour load for instructional academic staff"

 

Oct. 17

    - "reduce turnover of computers and/or # of computer in labs and classrooms"

    - "ask for voluntary cut-backs from staff"

    - "reduce Physical Plant services"

 

All items with the exception of “outsource bookstore” were considered at the indicated dates and further discussions continued through November JPB meetings.  At the encouragement of Associate Chancellor Lostetter, JPB discussed the following additional item:

 

- "moderate utilities; energy conservation"

 

Subcommittees were formed to (1) examine this utilities issue and (2) to recommend ways to provide incentives to increase enrollment during summer and J-Term.  (The final reports of these two subcommittees are not available at the time of this report.)

 

JPB recommendations are enumerated below.

 


 

 

Recommendation 1:

JPB recommends that administrators permit supervising employees to reduce the percentage of their appointment given two conditions:

   1. the employee requests such reduction of his/her own free will, and

   2. the reduction can occur without seriously impairing campus operations.

 

Recommendation 2:

With regard to summer school and J-Term the Joint Planning and Budget Committee recommends:

1.  UW-L departments should be encouraged to develop course offerings that are specifically fit to the unique characteristics of these terms.

2.  UW-L departments should be encouraged to develop summer courses with appeal for non UW-L students.

3.  UW-L should increase marketing of summer session.

4.  Summer session class schedules should be available at the time of spring registration.

 

Recommendation 3:

The Joint Planning and Budget Committee (JPB) recognizes that the wide variety of Instructional Academic Staff (IAS) assignments makes it impractical to establish a “one size fits all” IAS workload expectation - be it credits per semester, contact hours or student credit hours.  It is also clear that many IAS have already assumed substantial responsibilities at or beyond the original suggestion’s spirit of a 15-credit instructional load, and there is no evidence that there is a reasonable expectation for significant additional revenue from blanket changes to IAS assignments.  JPB recommends that academic departments in consultation with their deans re-evaluate workload policies to ensure that IAS are treated fairly and that IAS responsibilities are appropriate.  JPB further recommends that IAS contractual policies be amended to provide job security for this group of employees that is more consistent with other UW-L employees and other UW campuses.

 

Recommendation 4:

The Joint Budget and Planning Committee encourages the campus:

      1. to use more digital and less printed material.

      2. to investigate a campus-wide printing cost recovery solution.

 

Recommendation 5:

The Joint Planning and Budget Committee (JPB) recognizes that student printing at UW-L is a major cost to the campus that is currently subject to inconsistent controls.  Generally there are no explicit limits or costs for student printing.  JPB recommends that the chancellor charge a group to investigate and potentially implement a campus-wide and cost-effective solution that creates incentives for students to make rational trade-offs about on-campus printing.


 

Appendix - prioritized “Operation Efficiencies and Enhancements”

 

 

Near Term

Reduce Costs

Plan

1

Ask for voluntary cut-backs from staff

Make a call for volunteers, see what we get, evaluate

1

Reduce turnover of computers and/or # of computers in labs and classrooms

Current turnover plan is 3 yrs; project savings and costs for 4 yr plan

1

Increase student credit hour (SCH) load for instructional academic staff

Gather data, evaluate college and departmental impacts

1

Reduce Physical Plant services

 

1

Evaluate academic year faculty teaching load if included J-Term;

 

1

Assess Spring/intersession/SS contracts

 

 

 

 

Near Term

Revenue Enhancements

Plan

1

Increase graduate enrollment

 

1

Increase intersession and summer enrollments

 

1

Increase non-resident enrollment;

Increase non-res scholarships; allocate non-res scholarships by specific programs; use alumni to recruit; hire out-of-state recruitment agency

1

Increase academic year student enrollment

 

1

Outsource bookstore

 

 

 

 

Near Term

Reduce Costs

Plan

2

Moderate utilities; energy conservation;

On-going, evaluate options

2

Reduce travel costs;

Travel least expensively regardless of state contracts

2

Look at non-academic programs

 

2

Look at contracts not directly related to our mission

 

2

Eliminate multiple computers for staff

 

2

Examine faculty/staff vacancies and make decisions to best utilize resources (ratio tenure to aca staff)

 

2

Reduce phone numbers in half

 

2

Condense office equipment; e.g. number of printers and office equipment

 

2

Cut down on distribution of paper

Explore electronic/digital file storage

2

Reduce number of appointments reassigned thereby not hiring back-fill

 

2

Have more administrators teach

 

 

 

 

Longer Term

Reduce Costs

Plan

3

Reduce # of computers in labs and classrooms - go with laptop/tablet campus

Joint ITS is working on;

3

Evaluate credit load of students; e.g. 18 credits in aca yr

Evaluate as subset of Tuition by credit (Other Revenue Idea)

3

Evaluate combining/sharing of departments/services/support staff such as was done with Enrollment Mgt. Use of facilities

On-going as vacancies occur

3

Explore program consolidation or elimination; program array; cost/benefit; being all things to all people

 

3

Investigate impact of recruiting students to specific programs vs the University as a whole;

 

3

Expand use of web-based technology to reduce personnel costs and provide increased access

 

3

Evaluate library utilization in light of technology and on-line databases; purchase of paper books

 

3

Evaluate athletics and # of sports

 

3

Study size of curriculum and degree programs; Evaluate course offerings and number of times offered (5 students/class??)

 

3

Assess time to degree

 

3

Consolidate and centralize databases;

Eliminate duplication of records and maintenance of multiple data sources

3

Outsource Document Services

 

3

Outsource/Re-structure IT Services

 

 

 

 

Longer Term

Revenue Enhancements

Plan

3

Change to Tuition by credit

 

3

Increase differential tuition

 

3

Increase Distance Education, web-based instruction,

 

3

Increase Continuing Education camps/conferences/course offerings

 

3

Increase overall undergraduate tuition

 

3

Increase donor support

 

3

Increase grant writing among faculty;

Hire out for grant writing e.g. Ford;

3

Research other models like Learning Communities

 

3

Assess service-based pricing programs; e.g. move physicians assistant program to service-based

 

3

Explore UW Foundation; foundation grants

 

3

Boost student support; box office revenue (event pricing)

 

3

Increase International delivery of programs/degrees, e.g. Computer Science

 

3

Develop more partnerships, academically and administratively; e.g.. With WWTC, 3+2 programs, other colleges, businesses

 

3

Search out new programs (special offerings/opportunities)

Look at students not accepted into programs and ways to keep them

 

 

 

Longer Term

OTHER

Plan

3

Get the word out about UW System and impact of cuts

Put out unified messages

3

Be Politically more active

 

 

 

 

Longer Term

Increase Productivity

Plan

4

Engage operational units in idea generation