February 18, 2011
KNOXVILLE –- The University of Tennessee has identified and implemented effectiveness and efficiency initiatives that have the potential to save the University $45.8 million.
The University of Tennessee Board of Trustees’ Committee on Effectiveness and Efficiency for the Future, or EEF, spearheads this effort and has worked with campus and institute leaders and employees statewide since September 2008 to establish an ongoing emphasis on practicing the most responsible stewardship of University resources. Several of the adopted effectiveness and efficiency measures were selected from more than 800 employee suggestions received via UTALK.
The committee met today to discuss 117 initiatives already underway and to hear from UT Chattanooga finance, UT Knoxville academic affairs and Institute of Agriculture leaders on specific activities dealing with information technology reorganization, capital outlay and maintenance processes, academic affairs efficiencies and online instruction effectiveness.
“It is our challenge to use resources in the most effective and efficient ways possible while meeting growing demands for greater access and accountability,” UT President Joe DiPietro said. “These are tremendous results and are due to the hard work of campus and institute leaders and the support and assistance of the Board committee. I’m proud of how far we have come to prepare for the challenges ahead with the end of federal stimulus funding.”
Implementation of 92 percent of the effectiveness and efficiency initiatives is already complete or in progress.
These initiatives include program consolidations, energy efficiencies, outsourcing decisions, paperless programs, vacant position eliminations, administrative reductions, IT efficiencies, space utilizations, travel reductions, commencement ceremony changes and campus transportation adjustments. A complete listing of these efforts by campus and institute is at http://bot.tennessee.edu/committees/eef/index.html under the heading Measures and Actions.
Almost 90 percent of the initiatives are recurring expense reductions. Fiscal impacts for each initiative are listed on the website.
“We are committed to supporting and augmenting University efforts to look for areas of potential efficiency gains, unrealized savings and more effectiveness in our overall effort,” Committee Chairman Doug Horne said.
The initiatives discussed today are not intended to offset the effects of the end of federal stimulus funding the University faces on July 1. The University has undertaken other comprehensive streamlining and cost reductions to meet the overall funding shortfall.
“I’m confident we are prepared to face these challenges as we succeed at our mission of delivering quality education, service and outreach with the resources available,” DiPietro said. “It’s been a tough road, but I believe we are a stronger and more capable University.”
While the EEF committee was formed, in part, to aid the University in funding shortfall planning, its work will not stop there.
“Our goal is to facilitate a culture of careful and conservative use of operating resources allowing UT to best serve the people of Tennessee,” Horne said.