Office of the Provost

February 12, 2018

Redeploying existing funds to meet the needs of students, faculty, staff

Jerry Baldasty

The story is the same at nearly every public university in the United States – revenue is flat, and unlikely to grow any time soon. Here at the UW, we may see small increases in funding from tuition, the state legislature or granting agencies. But gone are the days in which the state provided 70 percent of the funding for a  student’s education and the student paid 30 percent. As you well know, those percentages have flipped. And we must find funding for new initiatives or programs that address the needs of our faculty, staff and students – without additional dollars.

One answer is to redeploy existing funds. We need to ask ourselves: What can we stop doing? Or do more efficiently, with fewer resources? What are the programs or initiatives that require funding?

Last summer, I asked each of our central student-facing units (Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity, Undergraduate Academic Affairs, Student Life, the Graduate School and Enrollment Management) to take a 2 percent cut in their permanent funding. Then, I asked them to redeploy those funds within their units to vitally important projects or programs that they had not been funding, or were not funding adequately. Because no new central funds would be coming to them this year (or next), they needed to think critically about all that they do, and shift funding to new and pressing areas.

(My office, as well as the vice provost of Academic and Student Affairs, and Finance and Administration, took permanent budget cuts of more than 2 percent, but did not retain the funding. Those funds were redeployed to units across the University.)

Redeployment is not about doing more with less. It’s about doing something different with what we already have. Below are few examples of the ways our central units are using redeployed funding to better serve UW students.

 

Graduate School

The Center for Teaching and Learning, which is housed within the Graduate School, began using CVENT, the centrally-funded event registration software program, for its yearly conference for 750 teaching assistants and research assistants. This meant participants had an improved registration experience – and the center no longer needed in-house tech support, saving significant staff time and cost.

 

Undergraduate Academic Affairs

In response to last year’s Transforming Administration Program customer satisfaction survey results, UAA boosted its investment to improve online course evaluations. In addition, UAA directed funding to several existing initiatives that benefit students, including the Resilience Lab, Husky Leadership Initiative, Dream Project, and Office of Youth Programs Development & Support.

 

Student Life

The Counseling Center is presenting two series of mental health workshops – one tailored for Native American students, in collaboration with Intellectual House and Hall Health; and another specifically for undocumented students, in partnership with Leadership Without Borders and Hall Health.

Additionally, the Office for Disability Resources for Students enhanced disability services to students by sharing processes and procedures across all three campuses.

 

Enrollment Management Services

Enrollment Management Services merged several units and functions to eliminate duplication and better serve students. Now, web development, data reporting, learning and communications (such as MyPlan, the Student Data Base), data services and technical services are part of Enrollment Information Services (EIS). The new unit’s director reports to the registrar and chief officer of enrollment information services, within Enrollment Management. With the savings, Enrollment Management was able to hire additional admissions recruiters, and staff members who work on data and reporting.

 

Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity

OMA&D created a transfer admissions counselor position in Multicultural Outreach & Recruitment to assist students of color who are transferring to the UW, as suggested in the president and provost’s Community College Engagement Initiative. OMA&D also increased support for students of color who want to pursue degrees and careers in the health sciences.

Has your academic or administrative unit found creative, innovative ways to support our mission using existing funds? Tell me about it. Email provost@uw.edu.