Utah’s colleges and universities get creative to increase institutional efficiency

Earlier this month, USHE presidents provided updates to the Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee on their progress on implementing the Board of Regents’ Completion Strategies, as well as improving institutional efficiencies. USHE presidents are constantly reprioritizing resources within their institutional budgets to expand new programs, reduce bottleneck courses, and maintain overall institutional efficiency. Presidents shared some of the recent efficiencies achieved at their institutions with the subcommittee:

University of Utah

  • Working to streamline procurement methods; projected to save $5 million.
  • Working to reduce costs in copying and printing area.
  • Embedding human resources: Locating human resource experts within major colleges/divisions.

Utah State University

  • Eliminated 55 programs since 2011 that are no longer relevant to workforce needs.

Weber State University

  • Reallocated funds from the Provost’s Office to fund new positions in the College of Engineering, Applied Science and Technology Department, and in the health sciences.
  • Reallocated funds from the Provost’s Office to fund the new Center for Study of Poverty and Inequality.
  • $1.5 million in energy savings allocated for efficiency projects.

Utah Valley University

  • Repurposed 10,800 ft2 in racquetball courts to a dance program space.
  • Combined eight administrative program offices into two – for better delivery of online programs.
  • Eliminated small student campus fees.

Southern Utah University

  • Reduced electricity usage per student FTE by 27.7%. Total consumption reduced by 10.6%.
  • Reallocated funds to create the Shark Tank, based off the television show, where students can propose business ideas and projects.
  • Appropriated full cost (less tuition and fees) of instruction.

Dixie State University

  • Repurposed 12 faculty positions.
  • Eliminated vice president, dean, and mid-level management positions.
  • Moved automotive and paramedic programs to Dixie Applied Technology College.

Snow College

  • Redistributed $600,000 for their internal strategic plan, which saved 2.1%.
  • Downsized and discontinued college programs no longer relevant to workforce needs.
  • Converted private dorm rooms to shared rooms for increased housing accommodations.

Salt Lake Community College

  • Shifted to Open Education Resources in 325 courses (including Concurrent Enrollment sections) saving students more than $1 million.
  • Consolidated low-enrollment classes saving over $1 million in adjunct costs.
  • Moved to more energy efficient and water saving usage, saving over $60,000.
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Trisha Dugovic
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