FINAL UPDATE: March 9, 2021
The Budget Operations Committee completed all of their assigned tasks in early March 2021. The committee will no longer do regular work, but stands ready to reengage with the budget process if deemed necessary. Below you can find the Budget Guidelines, a process flowchart, the list of committee members and the major action items that the BOC addressed with formal recommendations or communications to cabinet.
The BOC processed 106 ideas that came from across campus into our suggestion box. Each of these ideas was added to our task list and decisions were made on how to process them. Some were included in formal recommendations to cabinet. Other ideas were sent on to divisions, deans or other directors to consider. If you submitted an idea, thank you, and know that it has received our attention. The BOC will not be taking action on any future suggestion box items, but will forward those to cabinet until some other process is defined for soliciting and receiving these types of ideas.
FORMAL ACTIONS TAKEN:
Professional Development Program: BOC recommended to cabinet that $560,000 be eliminated from PDP and that the remaining $40,000 be focused on supporting individuals that have work related requirements to engage in professional development (e.g. paper presentations for assistant professors.) This was an unbudgeted item. Cabinet Approved.
Additional Student Help: BOC recommended to cabinet that this be eliminated, saving $300,000 be eliminated. This was an unbudgeted item. This recommendation does not impact the budgeted student help in unit budgets or the use of work study funds. This was an unbudgeted item. Cabinet Approved.
Lump Sums: BOC was asked to look at lump sum payments to identify if budget reductions should be made. BOC reviewed the overall amount of lump sum payments made as well as the types of payments made. BOC has sent communication to cabinet indicating that BOC does not believe lump sum payments should be targeted for budget reductions. Lump sum payments serve a practical purpose and often are used to save on expenses or operate revenue generating programs. Cabinet Approved. Note there are some lump sums that are being reduced or eliminated; and divisions/units still may make decisions to reduce or eliminate lump sums. The amount of identified lump sum reductions will appear as “confirmed” on the Financial Roadmap.
Tuition Remissions: BOC was asked to look at tuition remission expenses to identify if budget reductions could be made. A BOC task group reviewed remissions and determined that remissions amounts for FY21 and FY22 have already been publicized to incoming students, so no reductions should be made for FY21 or FY22. Any decisions to reduce (or increase) remissions need to be made prior to publicizing these to the incoming Fall 2022 class and would impact FY23 at the earliest. Cabinet accepted the recommendation. Cabinet tasked others with reviewing remissions and institutional scholarships.
Rock Shuttle: BOC was asked to review the Rock Shuttle transportation for cost savings or elimination. A BOC task group was established and reviewed the current service and costs. The task group identified ways to reduce the costs by a significant amount by adjusting the shuttle schedule and contracting services. That recommendation was sent to cabinet. Cabinet Approved. Additional work needs to be done to identify how the costs of the shuttle will be covered as this service is not currently in the budget. Adding it to the budget as a central expense would add to the overall budget deficit.
Combined ADA (and other) positions: BOC was asked to look at utlizing Combined ADA positions and others. A BOC task group reviewed this and identified a variety of roles that ADA’s perform on campus and that decisions to combine positions will need to be made on a case-by-case basis. That recommendation was sent to cabinet and accepted. BOC has communicated that division leaders should be looking at all positions, not just ADA positions, as VSIPs, vacancies and other budget saving opportunities arise. HR should be consulted as these decisions potentially have titling and compensation impacts.
Winterim and Summer Teaching Stipends: BOC received a suggestion to reduce the winterim and summer teaching stipends to previous levels. A BOC task group reviewed this and recommended that winterim and teaching stipends be reset to $1800 per credit hour effective Summer 2021. That recommendation was forwarded to cabinet. Cabinet Approved. (Note a second proposal recommended adjusted this rate further and made changes to the internship rate see below.
Unbudgeted Investments / SEP: BOC was asked to review the list of “unbudgeted investments” and make budget recommendations. A BOC task group reviewed this, engaged experts in this area and made a recommendation for a reduction in a number of items that would reduce the expenses by just over $500,000. That recommendation was forwarded to cabinet. Cabinet approved.
Utilities: The BOC received numerous suggestions around potential utility savings. After review, the BOC recommended to cabinet that the Energy and Operation Task Force begin meeting to gather data and make data-driven recommendations for future savings. Cabinet approved.
Marketing Consolidation: BOC was asked to review the idea of Marketing Consolidation. A task group collected information from other UW System schools that had undergone reorganization of marketing efforts or other similar types of “centralization”. The BOC has developed a recommendation that attempts to focus the work of consolidation and coordination focused on undergraduate student enrollment and graduate and online student enrollment. The recommendation is to establish a task force to review further and build an implementation plan. Cabine accepted.
Printing Services: BOC received suggestions to look at options for printing services to reduce costs and potentially improve quality. A task group met with several key individuals to explore this topic. Printing services is a complex and highly regulated function that includes not only the manual printing of material but also managing the outsourcing of print jobs. BOC recommended that a group of key stakeholders meet to review printing services with goals to focus on overall campus costs and quality. Cabinet accepted.
IT Consolidation: BOC was asked to review the idea of IT consolidation. A task group gathered information on positions and potential ideas for moving forward. The BOC then built a recommendation that a task group of experts in this area be convened and charged with reviewing this further and identifying a path forward. Cabinet accepted.
Winterim and Summer Teaching Stipends (Part 2): To further address the budget shortfall, BOC continued to evaluate winterim and summer teaching stipends. The focus of this work was to bring internship/independent study stipends into alignment with the revised stipends for regular classes as well as to adjust the regular class stipends into alignment with overloads and adjunct pay during the regular academic year. This new recommendation set the per credit pay for regular winterim and summer classes to $1667 (e.g. $5000 for a 3 credit course) beginning Winterim 2022. It set the internship rates at $120/SCH up to 41 SCH, a plateau up to 75 SCH, and an additional $120 for each SCH above 75. Cabinet approved.
The following items are new since our Feb 1 update. If we already received and processed related items we don’t include them here although they may have triggered follow-up messages to individual areas as new suggestions.
|Review custodial staffing||Sent to Student Affairs and Admin Affairs|
|Review interim positions||Confirmed that this is ongoing work already|
|Review all Employee job descriptions and current work|
|Suggestions for reevaluating the need and options for providing student support in UHCS||Ideas were shared with Student Affairs|
|Another year of furlough||Chancellor has indicated that this is not happening|
|Negotiate better pricing on software purchases||Individual units can take advantage of negotiation. Some report some success in this area. Larger purchases must follow a procurement process that attempts to find lowest prices.|
The following items were all included in our Feb 1 update. New actions since Feb 1are bolded (items recommended to cabinet and identified above have been removed from the table)
|Review the need for UWW issued cell phones||Feedback is being sent to ICIT|
|Specific ideas for reorganization (e.g. use a director of graduate studies model rather than doing a national search for a dean of graduate school and continuing education; evaluate need for both a Chief Equity Officer and an assistant vice chancellor of student diversity)||All restructuring ideas have been resolved via feedback to appropriate divisions or suggestion to cabinet that further work in this area should be conducted by taskgroups with experts from the areas.|
|A variety of suggestions that have to do with saving utility costs by reducing thermostat settings (all the time or during set times in set locations), closing buildings during different times (holidays, winterim, weekends, etc.) or otherwise impacting our utility expenses.||Cabinet approved several building closures over winterim, which will allow for some temperature reductions. This can then be evaluated to determine whether similar actions can be taken in the future.|
|Renegotiate Contract with Cisco to reduce phone lines on campus||BOC sent this to ICIT/Academic Affairs for response|
|Combine divisions/colleges||Recommendation sent to cabinet that further exploration if needed should be conducted by a taskgroup (or groups) with a specific charge and timeline.|
|Consolidate IT||BOC has recommended that cabinet establish a task group for further work.|
|Reduce or eliminate Printing Services via outsourcing||BOC has recommended that cabinet charge key experts with continued evaluation.|
|Allow faculty/staff to take an unpaid sabbatical/leave with continuing benefits||BOC has asked HR to provide feedback|
|A variety of recommendations around new academic programs||Academic program related suggestions are sent to the provosts office, deans and the University Program Array Review Committee|
|Evaluate costs associated with new COVID related testing measures||This work is already done by the EOC.|
|Reduce number of “frontdesks” in Roseman (admissions, advising, registrar)||This has been sent to provost’s office and enrollment management to review.|
|A suggestion that some students who applied to UWW did not receive admission notification.||This was sent to provost’s office and admissions for review. Processes were reviewed and all students that apply to UWW receive multiple communications.|
|Run a VIP program for athletics||Sent to Intercollegiate Athletics|
|Include campus benches as a potential memorial gift idea||Sent to University Advancement|
|Sell office space if we have underutilized offices||BOC received clarification regarding what options are available depending on type of building. This will be communicated out to building managers.|
|Rethink the testing center; is it cost effective?||BOC is gathering some initial information from the Testing Center and will review.|
|Reduce/eliminate academic holds||This suggestion was forwarded to the UWW advising council.|
|Utilize volunteers for some landscaping||BOC is forwarding to Admin Affairs and the Landscaping committee|
|Explore utilizing additional shared services||BOC is reviewing shared services, which ones UWW participates in, what cost savings are achieved and whether there are additional shared services that could create additional savings.|
|Give colleges access to marketing resources||BOC has been asked to review marketing on campus, in particular whether to centralize. We will include this item in the review.|
|Cut the PIE program||BOC gathered information and the current PIE program does cover all of its costs and generates additional revenue for campus. No further action.|
|Allow department ADA’s to perform more functions that are currently done by the registrar’s office||BOC has asked Academic Affairs and university staff council to address this item outside of BOC.|
|Create opportunities for faculty and staff to be Warhawk ambassadors.||This item has been forwarded to Admissions and Enrollment Management and we have also asked governance leaders to take back to their organizations to collaborate with admissions and others.|
|Evaluate Amazon Prime enterprise to potentially reduce costs||UWS is working with Amazon as part of the new procure to pay system.|
|Suggest that the foundation look at investing in crypto-mining.||Foundation responded to this item and while the foundation directors may invest in this area it will have no material effect on the UWW budget as it would be part of an overall strategy to achieve targeted returns on investments.|
|Explore tuition benefits for employees and/or employee’s children in order to generate additional revenue.||BOC will send this to the same group that will evaluate the campus policy on tuition reimbursement. We are still clarifying where to send it.|
|Eliminate, reduce or combine the LEARN CENTER, LTC and ASSESSMENT to generate cost savings. Several suggestions that came in around this pointed to a variety of current or anticipated vacancies.||We received clarification from cabinet that items dealing with current vacancies should be sent to division heads. This has been sent to Academic Affairs.|
|Combine Grad Studies and ORSP with a single director.||This suggestion was forwarded to Academic Affairs as it related to an anticipated vacancy.|
|Ensure that our progams are “STEM certified” which may attract more international students.||This was reviewed by academic affairs and all of our programs that are eligible to be recognized as STEM by DHS are.|
|Change policies around vehicle charging stations to see if we can reduce costs or generate revenue.||This recommendation will be sent to the UWW Sustainability Coordinator for review.|
|Adjust work hours to 36 hour and 4 days a week for some individuals. Consider converting some hourly employees to salaried employees to reduce overtime and other expenses.||This recommendation will be reviewed by HR and brought back to the BOC.|
|Increase email storage quota or provide a better email archive system.||This recommendation will be reviewed by Academic Affairs to determine if cost savings can be achieved.|
|Suggest that the foundation look at investing in crypto-mining.||This recommendation was reviewed by the foundation and brought back to the BOC|
|Print individual salaries for faculty and staff. List the job responsibilities of each member.||BOC could not identify an action here that would generate cost savings or revenue generation in FY21 or FY22. All salaries are public information.|
|Review various “charge backs”, etc.||BOC has not identified a campus-wide cost savings here as these activities shift money within the university. However, BOC will continue to evaluate or forward to relevant division heads to improve transparency in this area.|
|Explore tuition benefits for employees and/or employee’s children in order to generate additional revenue.||BOC has not yet assigned this to a task group.|
|A variety of suggestions to review particular units based on overall budget or perceived loss of money based on data in the UWW budget book.||BOC is reviewing each of these as they have come in. We have noticed that because the budget book focuses on the EXPENSE budget and not the REVENUE budget, areas which show as “negative” in the budget book could lead someone to believe those units have “lost money”. For the units we have investigated so far, those units also exceed their REVENUE budgets by at least the amount they exceed their EXPENSE budgets. So those units have not lost money. It should be noted that also, because the university had “unbudgeted expenses” in prior years, quite a few units will show as negative because unbudgeted expenses were charged to their unit.|
|Introduce the idea of the upcoming enrollment cliff so people are aware of future potential enrollment/budget declines||This will be sent to cabinet members so they can include this where appropriate in future communication.|
|A variety of suggestions related to efficiencies related to the campus advising model.||Any changes to the advising model are likely to not impact the FY21 and FY22 budgets due to length of time to review and implement. The BOC is aware of other units that are already engaged in reviewing the advising model (e.g. the Faculty Senate Advising Audit Committee) and encourage that work to continue.|
|Review the eight ideas in this story for possible implementation.||BOC members are reviewing these ideas. Most are quite broad and so we encourage campus communities to submit specific suggestions related to these ideas.|
|Increase academic related summer camps and conferences to increase campus exposure to more middle school and high students, especially academic programs with majors in high demand or increasing demand.||This suggestion is being forwarded to Camps and Conferences and Deans Council.|
Submit your ideas for revenue generation or cost reductions to the Budget Operations Committee.