Campus Community Participates in University Budget Workshops

Campus Community Participates in University Budget Workshops
?I?ve been going around campus talking with people and there are a lot of good ideas floating around out there,? President Michael Ortiz says to to participants at a University Budget Workshop. ?This will be a forum to share those ideas.”

The campus community was invited to participate in two University Budget Workshops last week as part of the President?s continued commitment to engage the university community in ways to mitigate the effects of the 2004-05 state budget. More than 230 faculty, staff and students took part in the two-hour workshops held March 8 and 11 in the Bronco Student Center?s Ursa Major Suite.

The meetings began with a brief update on the state budget from President Michael Ortiz. The goal in creating next year?s budget is to ?maintain instruction for students and do everything we can to protect jobs,? said Ortiz.

?I?ve been going around campus talking with people and there are a lot of good ideas floating around out there,? he said. ?This will be a forum to share those ideas. We will be gathering and utilizing this information to develop our budget.?

Participants then broke into small groups to brainstorm on ideas about generating revenue, preserving jobs, saving money and working better during challenging budgetary times. Ed Barnes, associate vice president for Executive Affairs, served as workshop moderator on Monday, while Debra Brum, associate provost, moderated Thursday?s event.

At the end of the session, representatives of each breakout group shared ideas with the larger audience. Among the suggestions to save and/or generate funds were: employee donations via payroll deductions; 4/10 work weeks in order to save energy costs across campus; marketing of on-campus events to surrounding community; cross-training; increase in facility leasing; and the use of advertising on campus.

Debra Brum, associate provost, moderates one of the workshops in the Ursa Major Suite, Bronco Student Center.
Faculty, staff and students divide up into small groups designed to brainstorm on how to generate revenue, preserve jobs and work better while saving money at a budget workshop.

Sue Baird, administrative assistant for Philosophy, said she left the workshop feeling ?cautiously hopeful.?

?The budget is such an anvil hanging over us, and I thought this workshop was a good idea, especially if some of the ideas are able to be implemented,? she said. ?In particular, I liked the energy-saving idea of changing to a 4/10 or 9/80 work schedule and the use of our expertise to the outside community as a means of earning money for the university.?

Christopher Caenepeel, professor of Chemical & Materials Engineering and faculty associate for general education advising, said the budget workshop was ?very open.?

?It was good to provide everyone with an opportunity to share ideas that could potentially help the university during these difficult economic times,? Caenepeel said.

The division of Instructional and Information Technology has set up a digital blackboard to collect ideas from across campus. The university community is strongly encouraged to take part in this online dialogue in the areas of:

  • Generating Revenue – What are some ways to generate revenue beyond what is allocated by the state?
  • Preserving Jobs – What strategies might we consider to reduce payroll costs while preserving jobs?
  • Saving Money – What are some ways to save resources and reduce expenditures?
  • Working Better – What can each of us personally do as we move forward through these budget challenges?

The Blackboard is available at