The Times has a story about universities making cuts to save money. I am actually one of those believers in the “education bubble” which has yet to burst (particularly for private schools). Here at Columbia we have things like no salary increases, and stopping with planned renovations. The school has also gotten rid of a bunch of maintenance staff. My department is also doing things to cut back (getting rid of the water cooler and public printer). There was almost a riot when no alcohol was served at a Phi Betta Kappa reception at graduation (another cutback). What is your school doing? I particularly like the communications department at UW (Seattle) getting rid of their phones!From the Times:
¶At the University of Washington, the communications department faculty did away with their landlines. (“Phones were our biggest line item,” said David Domke, the department chairman. “We’ve still got landlines in common areas and for staff, but we’re saving about $1,100 a month by getting rid of faculty phones.”)
¶At Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa., the women’s swim team held a “virtual swim meet” with Bryn Mawr College, in Pennsylvania, about 112 miles away. Each team swam in its home pool, then compared times to determine the winners. (“We probably saved $900 on bus travel,” said William G. Durden, Dickinson’s president.). Dickinson is saving $150,000 by cutting back on free laundry service for students and an additional $75,000 by eliminating free ESPN and HBO in student rooms. Davidson saved more than $10,000 by switching from bottled water to tap at most college events.
¶At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the traditional bus tour of the state for new faculty members was suspended this year. (“In a recession, people don’t want to see 100 faculty members traveling around and staying in hotels,” said Holden Thorp, the chancellor.)
Oberlin College in Ohio saved $22,300 by scaling back on window washing
Carleton College in Northfield, Minn., is having office trash picked up weekly instead of daily, a change that eliminated three custodian jobs. Carleton, which recently eased teachers’ course loads to five per teacher from six, now plans to return to six courses to save money.
Whittier College in California cut one day of its new-student orientation, saving $50,000. Whittier began “Trayless Tuesdays” last fall, lunchtime food waste dropped to 4.6 ounces per student from 7.4 ounces — and the college saved almost $30,000 a semester after going fully trayless in the spring.
Whitman College in Walla Walla, Wash., put a cap on students’ free printing in libraries and labs, limiting them to $60 worth of free printing per semester. Next year, students will be limited to $50 per semester.
Colleges are also installing low-flow shower heads and energy-saving light bulbs.
Room phones and voicemail systems are fading away now that the vast majority of students depend on their cellphones. Cornell College, in Mount Vernon, Iowa, estimates that it saved $40,000 by not replacing old voicemail equipment.
Hundreds of colleges and universities are turning down their thermostats to save on heating.
Many colleges are reducing their use of paper by putting admissions brochures, course catalogs and phone directories online instead of on paper.
Rhodes College in Memphis economizes — and gives students work experience — by hiring students in 25 professional staff positions, saving $725,000 a year.
Of these the trend I find the most problematic is the laying off of staff. I always bristle when the least paid/most vulnerable are asked to bear the burden of economic downturns. Call me a softie.