Community initiative to help CU save
Assistant Managing Editor
This spring, Cameron is turning to the university community to help save money.
The CU Saves initiative, first introduced in the 2009-2010 academic year, calls for suggestions from the Cameron public on ways to reduce expenditures and improve efficiency. Submissions are due April 24, and those who submit the top suggestions will receive $250.
Vice President of Business and Finance Glen Pinkston said that this approach is a new way to look at saving.
“The whole idea is to reach out to everybody to give us ideas on what we can be doing differently to reduce our costs,” he said. “Instead of a top-down, it’s a bottom-up approach.”
According to him, the use of this bottom-up approach will help incorporate ideas from across the spectrum.
“That’s the whole purpose – to bring the collective thinking and power of that thinking from all employees and all students to help Cameron University be more efficient,” Pinkston said.
While students and faculty are encouraged to submit, they are not the only people who can give ideas. According to Pinkston, ideas from all sources are welcome.
“Anybody can submit,” he said, “absolutely anybody. It can be a student, a faculty, an employee or a visitor. We don’t care. A good idea is a good idea, we don’t care where it comes from.”
Members of the Cameron community, like graduate student Rebecca Selstad, think this program is a great way for everyonein the university community to get involved.
“Feeling like you are a part of something bigger than yourself is always inspiring, and I’m excited to see what new innovations can be implemented here in the near future,” Selstad said. “I think everyone will benefit from this campaign.”
Cameron alumna Shawna Horn agreed, adding that this all-encompassing method would do well as a way to help the university be more efficient.
“This is a higher learning institution with intelligent people that are excelling in their fields of study,” Horn said. “The students of Cameron University are diverse and each offer unique ways to solve problems.”
The problem to be solved this year is the hole in the state budget for Fiscal Year 2016 (FY16). Pinkston said that one of the solutions to help solve the deficit is to cut from state institutions such as Cameron.
“We will be lucky if we don’t get a cut in our state appropriation,” he said. “The reason we’re doing it is because we know FY16 is going to be a difficult budget year.”
Because of the potential for a difficult year, Pinkston said they brought back this initiative for cost-reducing ideas. He said that he welcomes any idea to the table.
“It can be related to infrastructure, it can be related to buying, it can be related to copy – it can be anything as long as somebody thinks that there’s a possibility that the idea will save money,” Pinkston said.
He added that the administration look to implement as many ideas as they can that would work to benefit Cameron University. However, the timeline for making these ideas happen depends on the suggestions themselves.
“Some of these ideas can be slam-dunks done quickly,” Pinkston said. “Others require research or bidding from the public. Some of them might fall under the purview of a particular Cameron committee.”
Regardless of how long the ideas would take, Pinkston said that anything is on the table, provided that it helps make Cameron a more efficient campus that reduces cost. Because of this focus, he advised those wishing to submit to become more aware of what goes on around them on campus.
“Think,” he said. “Think about conservation. Think about waste reduction. Observe. Look around you in the settings you’re familiar with. Ask the questions.”
For more information on CU Saves, visit www.cameron.edu/cusaves. Turn in any suggestions at the Cashier’s Desk in the Administration Building or at the One Stop in the McMahon Centennial Complex.