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Conflation Continued

As I was saying, there are too many "budget" exercises ongoing for reasonable people to track. The latest government efficiency campaign is called LEAN.  LEAN For Dummies says LEAN is "a customer-centric methodology used to continuously improve any process through the elimination of waste in everything you do; it is based on the ideas of “Continuous Incremental Improvement” and “Respect for People.”

Rather than implementing an efficiency and measuring reduction in costs, this approach sets a budget cut and instructs agencies to absorb it through efficiencies.

Last year CWU had to explain how efficiencies produced cuts of $60,000 and $120,000. Our cut for next year will be $230,000--a big increase over last year because our friends at the state budget office, OFM, forgot to include tuition revenue in their calculations (which based reductions on a proportion of total funding).

CWU's budget changes and speculation are related to those at the state level. From now through next June, we have $6.5 million less than we need to maintain operations as they are. We filled that hole with tuition reserves and reserves generated by the overhead fee many departments pay for general services.

Now for the speculation part. In the long run, we hope to fill that $6.5 million gap--which inflates to $9 million in a year--with money from the state general fund and from an increase in tuition. However, it is reasonable to assume that we won't have enough of either to fill the gap. As mentioned in a previous post, the state economy, which relies on sales tax revenue, is sluggish. People aren't in the mood to spend yet.

CWU divisions are drafting proposals for meeting cuts of 5%, 10%, and 15%, should that become necessary. Those discussions are happening in the next two weeks, as we approach another meeting of the trustees, in which they will be looking for some recommendations.  

What about RCM? All of this budget work is coming on top of the shift to a new way of managing the university....and I"ll tackle that in my next post.




Monday, June 23, 2014 - 10:45

Questions? Comments? Email Linda Schactler

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