Budget Central: Community Suggestions

Below you will find a summary of the suggestions submitted by employees. The evaluation of these proposals will require deliberate consultation with multiple parties. In the interest of determining whether the proposed suggestion is meritorious, a review is being conducted of each suggestion or group of like-minded suggestions. If a suggestion is determined to be viable, it may warrant further review to determine implementation feasibility. The review may consist of a forecasted estimate of the cost to implement, or the savings that will be generated, as well as other program elements unique to the suggestion. This review may take several weeks, or longer, to ensure all factors are appropriately deliberated. For the latest updates on the Fresno State Budget, visit Budget Central.

*Denotes that multiple suggestions have been submitted; these suggestions have been notated only one time.

Please select one of the following to jump to a specific area:

Please note: Items in red are new entries as of May.
Please note: Items in blue are new entries as of April.
Please note: Items in green are new entries as of June.

Suggestions for Savings in Academic Areas or Services to Students

  • Eliminate upper division General Education requirement entirely. Transferring students have enough units to satisfy General Education requirements, but they lack the upper division courses, therefore extending the time required to graduate. Move existing upper-division courses into the more basic GE courses.
  • Dismiss students from the University when they meet the criteria for disqualification.
  • Allow students to drop classes during the course of the semester. They would get a “W” on their transcript that would not affect GPA, however, they would not get a refund after the initial add/drop period.
  • All classes should be 3 unit courses.
  • Discontinue the doctoral programs, at least temporarily.
  • Convert select MA programs to self-funding or special session courses.
  • *Eliminate multiple graduations, offering only the main ceremony, as we previously did.
  • *Require all associate deans and department chairs to teach a minimum of 2 classes per semester and/or move all associate deans back to Academic Year contracts. Give them released time, as required, to perform duties outside of teaching.
  • *Eliminate telephones in professors’ offices. Offer the use of Skype instead. Most faculty communicate via e-mail or their cell phones.
  • Require students to purchase laptops, thereby eliminating computer labs.
  • *Eliminate all summer course offerings. This may allow some offices to close down for the summer.
  • Add a surcharge for repeating a class. Students can take the same class multiple times and drop or fail to complete.
  • Allow one or two course releases dependent upon the number of students served.
  • Require a minimum of 20 students for all undergraduate classes.
  • *Consolidate Colleges and Schools.
  • *Provide at least 10 online courses per program.
  • Scrutinize ways to streamline requirements. No more than 16 units beyond the legally mandated 24 units should be plenty to teach a discipline at the BA/BS level.
  • Have departments request a Blackboard Organization.
  • Send forms for catalog changes to curriculum committee members rather than hard copies.
  • Do not re-admit academically disqualified freshman. Re-admit after they have successfully completed lower division GE requirements at a community college.
  • Require non-freshman students who are academically disqualified to reapply for admission after a 6-month leave from the university. These students could take courses through Open University. Disqualified students could be re-admitted after achieving a satisfactory grade point average.
  • Students who do not meet basic standards in Math and English should not be admitted. They can go to Community College and come here when they are academically prepared.
  • Discontinue all efforts to develop and implement e-portfolio programs. This is a very ineffective and inefficient means of student assessment in theory and practice. Continue with existing outcomes assessment activities; do not increase or modify until the university’s financial situation gets better.
  • Eliminate release time for Assessment/Service Learning/Teaching and Learning. Giving release time while part-time faculty members are being eliminated sends the wrong message.
  • *Cluster classes on certain days (perhaps evenings) so floors or wings of buildings can be shut down for days or evenings.
  • Use all faculty consultation days for needed instructional days.
  • Convert all administrative, athletic and faculty 12-month positions to Academic Year appointments for 2011-12. Each position would be reviewed for 2012-13 for possible 12-month appointment.
  • *Do not give building access to faculty who are not required on campus for summer teaching or other work. This will keep more buildings closed, thus saving energy.
  • Too many course releases are given to faculty when they are truly not necessary; examine CSALT and TILT and other assorted appointments.
  • Drastically re-examine tenure. Far too many faculty feel secure in their positions and do not create the enthusiasm among students for learning.
  • *Cut departments that no longer attract a sustainable population of students.
  • The university has developed a middle management staff that is unsustainable, financially. Have professors do some of the work being done by middle management and cut administration down to normal size.
  • Departments should be ranked in terms of cost efficiency. This can be done by determining the amount spent on faculty salaries, the amount of time it takes for a typical student to graduate, major retention rates and faculty-to-student ratios.
  • There should be a higher quotient of students-to-faculty in the Smittcamp Honors College, as Smittcamp is competing for faculty and resources. Perhaps the Provost could take over the management of the Honors College.
  • Have departments with low FTE ratios of students-to-faculty raise the student ratios.
  • Cut back on Osher Lifelong Learning Institute programs.
  • Eliminate release time for programs and centers.
  • Merge staff from the Division of Continuing and Global Education with another academic unit to reduce cost and overhead.
  • Allow students to drop a class or withdraw without penalty. Faculty waste a lot of time doing required documentation when students need to drop a class or withdraw from the university.
  • Change the fee structure so students pay for only the units they take. Our current structure encourages students to take classes even when they do not need them. If a student is taking 7 units and that is the same cost for taking 15 units, they are encouraged to load up on classes even if they are not needed, as they are paying for them anyway.
  • Create a family-friendly, simple posthumous degree policy, whereby students enrolled more than one semester in the university automatically get their degree with a minute of silence at commencement where all their names are read.
  • Change all English courses to 3 units, and give the creative writers extra course releases.
  • Review the use and efficiency of student fee dollars for any revenue that could be redirected to academics, particularly student fees directed toward Athletics.
  • Explore texting messaging capabilities as a way to contact students for important information such as class cancellation, deadlines and emergencies.
  • Evaluate the number of general education units needed for graduation. This will allow the university to offer more essential courses.
  • Focus on core courses needed for graduation. Students would like the university to focus on availability and scheduling of core courses rather than elective options.

Infrastructure Savings

  • Reduce the frequency of grass-cutting in order to save money.
  • Install cigarette butt containers on campus, to reduce the time required by gardeners to pick up littered cigarettes.
  • Cut excessive watering.
  • *Turn off interior lights and shut off heating/cooling in buildings when they close for the evenings.
  • Stop all cosmetic work done on buildings, for example is it necessary to “spruce up” UBC building.
  • Stop building structures that we do not need.
  • Programmable lights are a burden. Lights stay on much longer then need be and cannot be turned off easily. Either get serious about programming the lights right or do away with it all together.
  • No annuals should be planted on campus and all current landscaping should be limited to drought tolerant perennials or nothing at all.
  • Set temperature at 68 in the winter and 72-75 in the summer to help reduce energy costs.

Program Savings

  • Do not eliminate Women’s Resource Center and the Cultural Heritage Institute. If there is restructuring, let the current staff take the lead in the design and implementation.
  • Reorganize the University Student Health Center.
  • Combine all wellness categories into one: Staff Wellness, Student Wellness and Recreation Center fitness should all be handled at the Recreation Center as one program.
  • Eliminate Central Valley Heritage Institute and Women’s Resource Center. These programs are not core to serving all our students.
  • *Eliminate CETL and TILT.
  • Consolidate small programs/departments and centers.
  • Reduce and restrict the use of external consultants.
  • Human Resources and Wellness should be able to handle morale problems in the departments. Discontinue the use of outside Human Resources consultants.
  • Eliminate programs not related to the students’ core degree programs.
  • Eliminate programs which are not self supporting.
  • Eliminate or pare down CATI; it provides duplicative services.
  • Consolidate Bulldog Card Office with student services in Accounting.
  • Outsource Workers Compensation administration to a third-party entity.
  • Reduce number of faculty working in CSALT and TILT.
  • Stop bringing in expensive presenters to CSALT and TILT.
  • Consolidate Graduate Studies and Continuing Education.
  • *Combine functions, (financial, development, travel and technical), for Schools/Colleges and division offices where feasible
  • Combine public relations administration for Art, Music andTheatre.
  • IRAP announced a large grant program to support innovative assessment. The parameters of this program go far beyond what the university seems to require doing for assessment. This grant program should be ended and the money shifted to salaries.
  • Bring University Communications together on the 4th floor of the library. Use the staging area at the west end, storage area east of 4150A. A section of Keats could be closed off; saving HVAC costs and/or provide storage space for development.
  • Stop all non-food personal reimbursements. These purchases should be put on a purchase order or a Pcard or not made at all. Putting non-food items on Pcard also increases our Pcard rebate which is generating revenue for the campus.
  • Eliminate the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Education. The duties of that department can be handled by other administrative entities.
  • University Outreach sponsors numerous “out of area” receptions. This is very costly. We are turning away students right now, so why are we spending a lot of money to recruit students when attracting students to the university does not seem to be an issue right now.

Athletic Savings

  • Suspend Athletics programs indefinitely.
  • Require the Athletics department to be entirely self supported.
  • Move women’s basketball and women’s volleyball games to the North Gym. Save Mart Center is too costly for the small number of fans that attend these sports.
  • Centralize Athletic travel – one position to coordinate all team travel. Use all reward points to save on future athletic travel.
  • Streamline Athletics administrative positions.
  • Hire experienced development staff with local connections.
  • Secure facility sponsorships for deferred and capital improvements.
  • Grow don’t cut the program.
  • Increase tuition.

Advancement Savings

  • Capital Campaign was supposed to be self supporting. Have only enough Development staff that can be self supporting and use the 6% administrative costs to support all staff.

Overall Campus Savings

  • Utilize a department or program on campus that would refill printer ink cartridges instead of purchasing new ones.
  • Retro fit drinking fountains with a facet designed to fill bottles. This would reduce plastic containers discarded on campus and encourage the use of reusable containers.
  • Submit rideshare requests electronically, similar to attendance. In addition, add our rideshare bucks to our Bulldog Cards.
  • Encourage retirement to those who are close to making that decision. Then rehire as temporary, part time employees, this will save benefit costs.
  • Terminate staff that have retired and have come back to work part-time.
  • Eliminate the Staff Recognition Program.
  • Eliminate space heaters.
  • Implement a permanent reduction in base salaries and wages.
  • Employees in the same position for a minimum of 5 years, should have evaluations every 3 years.
  • Eliminate the “exempt” status for staff.
  • Spring Break should always fall on the same week as Cesar Chavez Day. Class schedules would not be disrupted and this would also allow for a long weekend for staff, if they want to take vacation time.
  • Invest in a better sound system at the Save Mart Center. We would no longer have to rent “upgraded” equipment for events such as graduation and we could rent this system for use at non-university events.
  • Implement four 10-hour work days.
  • Voluntary furloughs.
  • 7-hour work day for all staff on Fridays (8-4).
  • Total shutdown of campus the week after graduation.
  • Close campus for the month of July.
  • Eliminate car allowances.
  • All campus birthday and holiday cards and calendars should be electronic.
  • *Outsource campus copying/printing to a single source. A commercial vendor could pay to have a store on campus. This would eliminate having to purchase paper, ink and maintenance by individual departments.
  • *No longer provide printed memos or flyers. All memos and flyers should be electronic. Also eliminate all printing of brochures, postcards, etc. on high glossy color, high quality paper for internal communications.
  • *Eliminate free lunches/refreshments at lectures and workshops.
  • Eliminate all salary increases, including equity increases for MPP. We have already had several this year. We have a hiring freeze; part of that should incorporate equity increases.
  • Freeze all travel.
  • Limit the serving on outside boards that require significant travel – even if reimbursed- as this still requires large amount of paperwork on our end and productivity levels are reduced.
  • Have the university prepare and distribute electronic letterhead made available to all departments.
  • *Suspend giveaways of supplies and attractive folders, brochures, and PowerPoint reprints.
  • Send telephone bills via e-mail.
  • Record training sessions and informational meetings (i.e. Peoplesoft), to improve access to existing and new staff.
  • *Eliminate all bottled water.
  • *Eliminate all cell phone and Internet reimbursements.
  • Eliminate all faculty and administrative retreats.
  • Discontinue new initiatives like Red Balloon. Stick to the basic services we will be able to provide. The university should discontinue goals and plans of doing the same thing under new “terminology” every year.
  • Utilize the skills of the HR Analyst/Generalist and a single subject matter expert from the department when conducting screening for recruitments for staff and middle management. Have the HR analyst provide all the screening and identify the best qualified candidates and rank them. There is a potential to eliminate a search committee all together in some cases. This will save up to 12 hours of search committee members’ time.
  • We spend over 1 million dollars a year in travel, even after a “reduction.” We should encourage more use of telecommunication with video and/or audio feeds.
  • Publicize campus funding for events on campus.
  • Conference room use in the Library is free; however, the library uses 80% of 3 staff employees’ time for support of conference room use. Develop a charge-back system and hire non-Library employees for these events.
  • Mandate that all staff work 8-5 schedule. The extra energy required for a few who arrive before 8:00 a.m. is a waste of money.
  • Eliminate phone extensions not in use.
  • Re-evaluate Zimbra – very unstable system. Campus productivity has been impacted.
  • Defer redesign of all university web pages. Provide templates to help departments and faculty update their pages to a current standard.
  • If furloughs are implemented, then choose one day the entire campus is closed down, do not let professors choose their own days. Therefore, all buildings can be closed down, which would yield more savings.
  • Newly hired employees working less than a full fiscal year (i.e. 10/12 or 11/12) should only be eligible for a pro rata share of vacation and sick time.

Suggestions for Revenue Generation

  • Replace the Bulldog screensaver on our Avaya phones, with paid advertising from community vendors, or others interesting in marketing their product at Fresno State.
  • Tier tuition increases. Tuition should remain the same as your Freshman/1st year rate.
  • Revenue does not equal cost, so our business model needs to be changed.
  • Volunteering to help raise $10,000,000.
  • Raise out-of-state tuition for both athletic and academic scholarships and those who wish to attend the university, regardless of their justification or qualification.
  • We should come up with ways to raise revenues, not only look at cost reductions.
  • Close the university restaurant, if it is losing money or only makes a modest amount of revenue.

Suggestions to Improve Office Efficiencies or Improve Services

  • Implement budget process planning tool/program that could be used to test various budget scenarios.
  • Establish a procedure and policy that all incoming students produce evidence of their legal status in the U.S., admitting only legal citizens and foreign students with the appropriate documentation.
  • Priority for academic scholarships should be for in-state students.
  • Promote from within; eliminate handshake deals; reward performance instead of seniority.
  • Visit community stakeholders and share the message of what is happening at the university in our community.
  • Massive cuts at Long Beach, Chancellor’s Office. Keep only the Chancellor and lawyers for the inevitable lawsuits.
  • Hire new faculty who earn less than experienced tenured faculty; they can provide a new focus to the field of education.
  • Admit only students that are academically qualified. Stick to the printed admissions and guidelines for the CSU system and stop making exceptions.
  • Quit shuffling bad performers all over campus and bumping productive employees.
  • Early retirement incentives.
  • Target staff who have sub-par performance and help them hone their skills to become better workers through on-the-job training or replace them.
  • Combine administration from smaller campuses and put them under a few larger campuses. For example: Fresno State could be central for Chico, Sacramento State, Bakersfield and Stanislaus.
  • Build new and improved dorms. Redoing the dorms could accommodate more students and bring in much needed money for the university.
  • Eliminate the reserved parking stalls in lot V under the solar panels. change them to green parking.
  • Set a standard of no more than 4 hours for a set reply time period for all e-mails. This would make a much more efficient use of our e-mail time and communication skills.
  • Outsource benefits management and payroll to a private company like ADP or Emergent.
  • Create a system of categories for university bulletin e-mails indicated by subject line so that everyone will know if it pertains to them.
  • Streamline forms by putting them online so they can be signed and tracked easily.