President’s Taskforce On Cost Savings And Efficiency Reaches Significant Milestone
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PRESIDENT’S TASKFORCE ON COST SAVINGS AND EFFICIENCY
REACHES SIGNIFICANT MILESTONE
ATHENS, W.Va. – The Concord University President’s Taskforce on Cost Savings and Efficiency reached a significant milestone on December 20, 2016, when CU President Kendra Boggess announced that the University had reached its cash targets for fiscal year 2017 through targeted non-payroll and voluntary expense reductions.
Faculty, staff, and student members of the taskforce met regularly for several weeks to consider the financial challenges faced by higher education in West Virginia and Concord University, in particular.
As the Taskforce deliberated on potential cost savings, the intensity of each member’s concern increased as the Taskforce considered involuntary reductions in salary and wages, workhours, and/or workforce. President Boggess noted, “These are not topics that anyone enjoys discussing, much less affecting.”
In a memorandum to staff, Boggess announced, “Among the dozens of suggestions for expense reductions received on behalf of the Taskforce, enough savings have now been identified to enable Concord to meet our cash goal for this fiscal year without involuntary salary or workhour reductions.”
Daniel “Dan” Fitzpatrick, Co-chair of the Taskforce said, “People in southern West Virginia, and the state, are already hurting from the decimation of the coal economy.” With Concord contributing over $55.8 million of economic impact to the local economy and over 500 direct and indirect jobs, any reductions in faculty and staff compensation would have had a ripple effect in our community.
Fitzpatrick stressed, “No one here at Concord wanted to see a reduction in compensation or workhours.” He credits the people of Concord, who worked together and found a way to adapt to the current realities without dramatic impact on university employee’s compensation.
When the students return to classes on January 9, 2017, they will be returning to a campus where faculty and staff are standing tall and walking with satisfaction and determination on their faces. As if to say, “We did it, again!”
And, although the Taskforce and Concord Campus community realize the state’s budget woes (and therefore Concord’s) are far from over there is a sense that the University community is determined to continue to find ways to be successful and to prosper in the new realities. “We will be better than okay, said Fitzpatrick. “We will continue to maintain our strong position in providing higher education opportunities in southern West Virginia by putting our students first.”
After celebrating success over the Christmas and New Year break, the Taskforce resumes its work to make the University stronger for 2017 and beyond.
President Boggess reported, “The Taskforce recognizes that it is necessary to continue to restructure the University for the future to take advantage of identified opportunities for new programs, enrollment growth in the classroom and online, recruitment and retention, and longer term savings.
“The Taskforce is one more way that Concord will lead the way as higher education reforms itself in West Virginia,” she added.
Concord University is a state-assisted, career-focused, liberal arts institution continuing to meet ever changing student and public needs for over 140 years in Athens and over 40 years in Beckley.
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