Cost Reduction and Efficiency Task Force Recommendations

Published: November 29th, 2007

Category: Memos

Bernie Machen, President

As you may know, we formed a Cost Reduction and Efficiency Task Force at the beginning of the fall term to help identify ways to trim costs, create new revenues and operate more efficiently.

I am pleased to announce that the Task Force has completed the first phase of its work and has forwarded to me a series of recommendations that should contribute in getting us through some uncertain economic times ahead.

The work of this Task Force is critically important. State revenue shortfalls forced us to cut $22.1 million from this year’s budget and a sluggish economy appears to indicate that future cuts are a high probability.

The recommendations include strategies to bring in possibly $3 million more a year and cost-cutting suggestions to potentially save about $1.8 million annually. The group also has identified some potential one-time savings of about $3 million.

The Task Force, composed of faculty, staff and students, has taken its charge seriously and has met repeatedly since September. The Huron Consulting Group offered valuable guidance to the group by interviewing dozens of people from across our campus. It also compared practices here at the University of Florida with many of our peer universities and developed business cases around each recommendation.

Some of these recommendations will have minimal effect on the day-to-day operations of this university. Others, however, will require all of us to adapt to a new way of doing things.

Allow me to share these recommendations with you. They are:

•Initiate a charge for transcripts of as much as $10
•Require non-resident graduate students to become residents
•Eliminate paper payroll checks; implement payroll debit cards
•Sell off under-utilized vehicles and create a centralized motor pool
•Centralize vehicle maintenance
•Convert about half of our print publications to electronic
•Consolidate print vendors

Implementation plans for this first set of recommendations are expected to roll out in the coming months and additional information will be available as that occurs.

In the meantime, the Task Force is working on a second group of recommendations. Among the issues under consideration are to further automate employees’ time and attendance reporting systems, to implement a new electronic procurement system and to potentially downsize our broadcast offerings. Their work should be completed in January.

UF’s Board of Trustees Resource Committee also will be looking at ways to save money and to identify new revenue sources.

This is a challenging time for all of us. I appreciate your effort and cooperation.

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