Administration focuses on cost reduction initiatives

While many students try to watch their bank accounts during their time at college, the university is in the process of saving pennies as well.

In mid-February, University President Joanne Glasser created a special ad-hoc presidential resources committee of Bradley staff to “enhance operating resources and reduce expenses.” Vice President for Business Affairs Gary Anna said so far, the committee is making progress.

“This is really an extension of administrative responsibilities as opposed to undermining University Senate or other student processes that we have in place,” Anna said. “That’s why the structure was set up the way it was.”

The goals of the committee include assessing the current budgetary cycle, encouraging and considering feedback that can enhance operating revenues and identify any policies that may inhibit alignment of university resources with operating priorities.

According to Anna, the committee is structured differently than other university ad-hoc committees. Some of the members are responsible for different aspects encompassed by their jobs, but the committee also includes members who do not have budgetary responsibilities, Anna said.

The committee is represented by a variety of departments, including the computing, controller, student involvement and marketing offices, Academic Affairs, the department of Teacher Education and the Foster College of Business Administration. Glasser asked Anna to chair the committee.

“I’m not always a big fan of committees – I think they can sometimes dilute a focus of an effort,” Anna said. “But in this case it’s more of a gathering of perspectives. It wasn’t just ‘here are some issues we want to try and problem solve.’”

Anna said although students are not sitting in on this committee, they can still be involved.

“You might ask why we haven’t included a student. This isn’t that kind of a committee,” he said. “We’re trying to keep it at a high level – not that our students wouldn’t have meaningful observations. Part of the process was to allow campus feedback … students can participate if they’re so inclined.”

The presidential resources committee has an anonymous survey available on Bradley’s website where students, faculty and staff can submit their ideas on enhancing resources and reducing expenses. Additionally, two lockboxes in the library and MacMillan Hall are available to submit feedback.

Glasser requested the committee to provide a summary of its observations by May 1.

“The committee has reviewed the feedback received to date,” Anna said. “We’ve reviewed a couple of particular procedures and policies that had some initial interest. We’ve talked about the procedures in process for developing the universities’ prospective on resources. We’ve talked about some specifics on ways to increase revenues and manage some costs.”

Anna said he is optimistic for the May 1 summary deadline.

“The time has been generally well-spent, sometimes more productive than others but it’s a process like other things,” he said. “I’m pretty satisfied we’re making progress.”