BY: KYLE WOOSLEY
The Strategic Budget Reallocation Task Force has set up a weekly email system in order to keep the campus community informed of their agenda.
The emails will be sent every Monday and will include a general update on what the task force has worked on the previous week.
“It’s very important for the task force to communication with the campus in a way that is broadly shared,” said Janna Vice, university provost and co-chair of the task force. “We determined that at least a weekly email is appropriate because the campus wants to have some idea of the progress that is being made.”
Eastern President Doug Whitlock said emails are to ensure the task force’s actions are transparent.
“I think it’s important that this be done in a transparent way,” Whitlock said. “But keep in mind that the core mission of this institution is going to be what drives them [task force].”
The task force has also created an email address that students, faculty and staff can use to communicate with members of the task force.
Vice said the task force chose to create an email in order to allow the campus community to give its input.
The task force was created after the Board of Regents determined the university needed to reallocate $23 million to the next administration by July.
The Board assigned the task force to develop a plan to cut costs at the university. Vice said they are looking at two main options.
“We’re looking at a voluntary buyout and looking at ways to reduce operation costs,” Vice said. “Unfortunately, this requires a reduction in force.”
Whitlock said in order to accomplish this, employees will have to be laid off.
“Unfortunately some number of layoffs will be required,” Whitlock said. “No determination has been made about how many or who.”
The task force will be responsible for completing an academic program review before the end of the semester.
“All of the colleges and academic units are looking at places where we can do some strategic things,” Whitlock said.
Craig Turner, chair of the Board of Regents, said the Board is awaiting an official plan of action to be proposed.
“They’re still working on it and nothing has been formally presented to the Board,” Turner said.
Once the two plans are presented to the Board, Vice said the task force would be able to develop a timeline for the university to reach their $23 million goal.
“This is both a challenge and an opportunity and I think we have to take this opportunity to make decisions that will strengthen the university in the long term and that’s how the task force is approaching our charge,” Vice said.
For more information on the Strategic Budget Reallocation Task Force, email email@example.com.