University Budget Discussions Continue Through Blackboard

University Budget Discussions Continue Through Blackboard

After hosting two University Budget Workshops last month, President Michael Ortiz encouraged the campus community to continue an online dialogue of budget-related issues through a digital Blackboard set up by the division of Instructional & Information Technology.

The campus-wide workshop and Blackboard topics included ideas about generating revenue, preserving jobs, saving money and working better during challenging budgetary times.

More than 230 faculty, staff and students took part in the two-hour University Budget Workshops on March 8 and 11 in the Bronco Student Center?s Ursa Major Suite. Participants broke into small groups to brainstorm on ways to mitigate the effects of the 2004-05 state budget. Among the suggestions to save and/or generate funds were: employee donations via payroll deductions; 9/80 work weeks in order to save energy costs across campus; marketing on-campus events to the surrounding community; cross-training; increasing facility leasing; and the use of advertising on campus.

Since the workshops, additional ideas presented by faculty and staff through the Blackboard include:

  • Telecommuting ? Allowing some employees to perform job functions from home or an off-campus location could save commute times and university resources, such as electricity, telephone calls, paper, etc.
  • Voluntary Reduction ? Voluntary reduction in hours by faculty and staff could allow for departmental salary savings.
  • Fund-raising Training ? Training every employee to recognize opportunities that may lead to fund-raising or contributions.
  • Venue Rentals ? Marketing and leasing university venues for dances, concerts, movies, family recreation, weddings, etc.
  • Summer Programs ? Offering elementary, middle and high school students a ?College for a Day? or ?College for a Week? program during the summer. For a fee, these students could participate in science and computer labs, sports clinics, etc.
  • Meetings ? Critically planning meetings. Saving time and reducing the number of people involved in a meeting could equate to additional savings of money and resources for the university.
  • Classification ? Evaluating the classification of positions that become vacant. A careful assessment may reveal that the job can be accomplished equally well in a less expensive classification.
  • Payroll ? Implementation of a payroll debit card system could cut payroll costs by eliminating the cost of producing and distributing paper checks/direct deposit vouchers.
  • Student Hiring ? Hiring additional students instead of staff to assume a wider range of job opportunities.

To include additional ideas for the 2004-05 draft budget, Blackboard will remain available through Friday, May 7 at