Vice chancellors give budget initiative updates

The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs is “open for business,” MartinWood, vice chancellor, University Advancement told more than 75 faculty and staff who attended a March Chancellor’s Campus Forum Tuesday afternoon.

Wood and Brian Burnett, vice chancellor, Administration and Finance, gave progress reports on budget initiatives they direct. Wood directs an Innovation/Partnerships Committee and Burnett an Efficiency/Effectiveness Committee. Previous forums focused on strategic enrollment management and academic innovations. A future forum will focus on business innovations.

Wood said he is busy spreading the word that UCCS is interested in building partnerships with for-profit, non-profit and government organizations whose strengths complement the university. He highlighted potential partnerships with organizations ranging from CISCO Systems to senior community health centers and the donor-supported UTeach Program. What each has in common, Wood said, is the potential for revenue for the campus.

Burnett outlined a variety of ideas submitted from across campus that will be implemented, discarded because they do not save money, or referred to a specific department for additional study. Topics ranged from university calendar programs to removing office phones and saving energy. A shared services model where staff work across departments and colleges was also discussed.

A PDF version of the status report is available on the VCAF website here.

Chancellor Pam Shockley-Zalabak complemented the estimated 400 faculty and staff who participated in the various subcommittees that led to the progress reports and provided context for the discussions by outlining cuts in state funding to the university and the potential for a cliff effect when the university no longer receives federal stimulus funds. Reductions could be as large as 60 percent in state funding, placing an increasing burden on tuition and both enrollment and retention of students. The cliff could be felt as early as December, giving the university only a few months to diversify its revenue and be less dependent on state support.

Shockley-Zalabak encouraged faculty and staff to attend one of two forums where she will provide a budget update. Those forums are scheduled for 3 p.m. March 30 in the University Center Theater and 9:30 a.m. March 31 in Columbine 128. A CU System announcement is expected April 2 that will outline reductions on all CU campuses.

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