We continue to make good progress simultaneously on phases I and II of our process to develop a sustainable budget for Wooster. In this update I will highlight our progress in generating ideas and initial discussions about them.
- To date, students, faculty, and staff have submitted 106 ideas for revenue generation, efficiencies, cost reductions, and things we should stop doing or do differently. These are forwarded, daily, to Cabinet members in whose areas the ideas fall for analysis and consideration. Many of these are appearing as ideas in the first drafts of divisional sustainable budget recommendations; many more will be considered and added. You can peruse our growing list on our Sustainable Budget wiki.
- As I note above, first drafts of suggestions of ideas for new revenues and expense reductions have been submitted by all areas of the College. I have asked that the ideas be categorized as “can and should do,” “can do, but it will be difficult or a loss of something valuable,” and “do only if absolutely necessary as the impact of doing this will have a significant negative impact on the quality of our mission.” The ideas to date total about $5.4 million, yet many fall in the latter two categories.
- On Saturday November 22, 45 faculty committee members and department and program chairs braved the icy roads to gather for a three-hour retreat to discuss the emerging ideas in the Academic Affairs area. A number of ideas were suggested for further exploration, on the basis of having less impact on our core mission. You can read Provost Newton’s report of the retreat that was sent to all faculty on the wiki site.
The last of our initial open sessions in our Building a Shared Understanding phase occurred before break: SGA sponsored an open session for students in Lowry, Provost Newton and I met with department chairs, and a “Budget 101” session was well attended by our third-shift staff members. Last week’s issue of The Voice featured an article on the SGA sessions.
This month, we will commence discussion of the sustainable budget ideas with groups of staff, as we did with faculty last weekend. In addition, we are making progress on analyzing the history of our budget so that we can assess in finer detail how, where, and why budgets have grown over the last decade. We will share this analysis as soon as we can.
Please continue to submit sustainable budget ideas through the on-line suggestion box.
Thank you for your continued engagement in this important project.