Budget information

Budget ideas from across campus

WE MUST ACT as a community to reduce costs, increase enrollment and find new sources of revenue. President Proenza put out a call for ideas, and many responded. Below is a sampling of the suggestions to our mailbox.

Submit a budget idea

Pharmacy on campus

Hello Mr. Proenza,

My name is Bill Rinehart. I am the supervisor in the plumbing shop at PFOC on campus. I have an idea that I wanted to present.

I thought that we could open a pharmacy on campus. I think this would bring in more income to the university as well as provide those on campus who require medication a more convenient place to pick them up. I did some of my own research and found that a few universities have opted to bring a pharmacy on campus. Either through a joint partnership with Walmart or on their own. I know that we have faculty members with the required license to handle medications within a pharmacy. I know this would require more research but I think that once it is up and running it will get a lot of business and provide the campus with some needed income.

One employee in my shop also mentioned that a hair salon may not be a bad thing to bring on campus. He has had several students over the last few months ask him where in the city they can get a good haircut. I assume that thought he would know being an employee of the university.

Both ideas fall under the category of bringing more functional businesses on campus. Several students are new to the area and some even to the country and these places might make them feel more comfortable on campus. Instead of having to venture off for basic needs. 

Bill Rinehart
Plumbing Supervisor

Many thanks, Bill . . .

For your fine ideas. I will forward them to the team working on revenue opportunities right away so that they may consider them along with some others we have been getting.

Again, many thanks!

All good wishes,
Luis Proenza

Targeting UA advertising

Advertising with local businesses: I was a former supervisor at Kelly Temporary Services. During the course of an interview, I went over a packet of information for the new employee. Maybe a UA brochure of some sort could be included in these packets?

The people I interviewed were displaced workers, those new to the area, or people who were trying to get their foot in the door at some of the businesses we serviced. I found many of the people had some education past high school—some did have degrees already too! This population is obviously looking for better opportunities for themselves.

Perhaps UA could get into a partnership with some of the temporary & staffing services in the area . . .and there are many! Of course, something would need to be offered as an incentive --maybe use of lab space at UA for trainings on Saturday, for example, to make the temporary employee as marketable as possible.

Jeanne M. Semilia
Supervisor, Developmental Programs

Thank you Jeanne for your idea. We will explore it, and I’ll follow up with you to learn more about how this might work.

Wayne Hill
Associate Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer

Incentives for graduate study

Offer more graduate degree offerings. Then create a discount for UA undergraduates to stay at UA for a master's degree upon graduation. That will help retain students for an additional two years.

Brad Rice
Web Graphics Designer

Thank you for submitting your idea. A priority is to identify market opportunities for professional master's degrees. Several are under development as components of the goals and objectives by the deans.
Whether a discount or via some other approach, incentivizing our undergraduates to remain at UA for a master's degree is an approach that will be explored.

Thanks again for your suggestion,

Mike Sherman
Senior Vice President, Provost and Chief Operating Officer

Online courses for local companies

I have a contact at Timken who let me know there are many at his company who have started coursework toward a degree. Unfortunately, for whatever reason (time, funding, etc.) they did not finish their program.

He and I talked about pathways to help these people complete their degrees and came up with a few ideas:

  • Company allows time (perhaps an hour per week or more, including lunch hour) to work online to complete remaining requirements
  • Fee remission (by the company) if the student earns good grades
  • Some work experiences count towards college credit.

I’ve talked with Lauri Thorpe about this and have given her the name of my contact at Timken. 

Jeanne M. Semilia
Supervisor, Developmental Programs

Thank you for your suggestion and forwarding the contact information to Lauri Thorpe. A priority is to determine the educational needs of local business and industries, as many of them provide tuition assistance. The method for delivery of instruction will of course, be a function of the program and certainly could involve online, hybrid, or direct instruction.

Thank you very much,

Mike Sherman
Senior Vice President, Provost and Chief Operating Officer

Consolidate advertising

Departments can submit ideas and work with other departments to coordinate their advertising efforts. The best or most strategic advertising gets funded first. There is so much duplication of advertising!

Theresa A Morrison
Off-Campus Student Services

Thanks so much for taking the time to send in your thoughtful suggestion related to the budget in general and ways to make the university’s marketing and advertising expenditures more cost-effective.

One of the Effectiveness Initiatives that Dr. Proenza mentioned during the budget forums is reviewing all of the marketing and communication functions and expenditures throughout the university. Specifically, one of the areas we’re examining is how best to use the limited advertising resources we have to help us compete in an increasingly competitive arena…especially since other universities are spending significantly more than we are.

We do appreciate your suggestion and will be factoring it into our analysis and recommendations.

Please don’t hesitate to stay in contact – we welcome your ideas and suggestions (as well as those from other colleagues)!

Wayne Hill
Associate Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer

Promoting UA on a personal level

I have three children who are involved in sports, school plays, dance, etc. At these events, a program is usually made available. Before the event begins, or during intermission, people do take time to look through the pages of these publications.

I’ve seen different ads for local businesses and schools in these programs. In fact, anyone can submit an ad. These low cost ads sometimes run as little as $25 (depending on page size--full page, half page, quarter page).

This type of advertising helps organizations with printing costs, and it could also promote UA on a more personal level. One of my daughters is a senior in high school this year, and just recently, parents and businesses could reserve space in the yearbook for a $25 donation.

Jeanne M. Semilia
Supervisor, Developmental Programs

Hi…and thanks for offering your suggestion regarding some additional ways to advertise The University of Akron. We’re always looking for the most effective and cost-efficient ways to connect with potential students and their families so that we can raise our enrollment. We’ll consider your idea as we move forward with our planning. Thank you again for taking the time to make us aware of your idea.

Wayne Hill
Associate Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer

Partner with Tri-C and review printing costs

Partner with Tri-C to upgrade our virtual student service support.

  • Lower cost for UA.
  • Enable easy transition of students who start at Tri-C to finish at UA.
  • Benefit from Tri-C’s analytics that have led to better student outcomes.

Review internal printing costs

  • Many of the Press’s marketing pieces, including flyers and postcards, have been moved to an online, outside service (Vistaprint) to improve efficiency and reduce costs by over 50%. A similar move by other departments would reduce costs greatly across the university. The Press has relationships with several organizations that handle all aspects of printing from postcard printing to book printing allowing the Press to negotiate for the best price and services. It would be better for the university to investigate merging some stand-alone printing service functions under the auspices of a combined service structure, possibly overseen by the Press.

Create an Office of Scholarly Communication to collect and curate faculty research and other work.

  • increases institutional prestige and visibility to attract high-quality students, faculty, and staff;
  • centralizes long-term curation of institutional research and publication;
  • supports learning, teaching and research for internal and external audiences ;
  • tracks and analyzes research and other educational output;
  • backs up institutional output to alleviate the necessity to rely on publishers;
  • increases the dissemination and impact of scholarship especially for grey literature and working papers;
  • boosts the multi-disciplinary and large scale collaborative opportunities due to the increased flow of information; and
  • allows for licensing of content to organizations that serve other markets than our primary one.

Design Blended (distance + F2F) lunchtime and after-work MBA and certificate programs (UA comes to you)

  • Takes UA experts to companies once a week for F2F interactions.
  • Provides specifically designed curricula for various industries.
  • Provides just-in-time-education for companies and industries.
  • Adds new revenue stream for university

Thomas Bacher
The University of Akron Press

First reply:
Hi Tom,
Thank you for your ideas. We are working on a University-wide process to collect such ideas and then vet them for viability and sustainability. We will get back to you shortly.

Once again thank you for your interest and engagement.

Dr. Ajay Mahajan
Associate Dean for Research
College of Engineering

Second reply:
Printing and Copying Services (PACS) is a self-funded department on campus that works with the entire campus community to:

    • Create printed material at a competitive price. 
    • Work with Institutional Marketing to make sure that all printed pieces adhere to The University of Akron’s brand standards and provide costs savings across the board.. 
    • Continue to be committed to the University of Akron’s success and long term goals and objectives, employing student workers on campus and paying additional  fees to support the general fund. 
    • Insure efficiency through shared resources between all Material Handling departments to create a one-stop shop for all print materials from order to delivery.
    • Create cost savings to the campus as all of the printing presses are fully paid for by Materials Handling and new contracts have been negotiated on a per click charge vs. a long-term maintenance contract.

When someone asks for a job to be done, it goes through Institutional Marketing to ensure color and print standards are met. Institutional Marketing will obtain various quotes for printing and let us know what they have received. If we can do it the same or less, then the job comes to PACS. If a job comes straight to PACS because it is for internal use only, and the standards are already approved, then we look at the job based on size and timing to see whether we can do it or whether we need to outsource it. If we need to outsource it, we get a price quote, and if it is more expensive, then we ask the requestor if they want to pay more or wait for us to do it in house. Each project has different criteria that we have to manage individually.

Laurie E. Madden
Associate Vice President for Auxiliary Enterprises
Division of Finance and Administration

Use technology to cut travel costs

Can we PLEASE replace the travel expense of off campus conferences and meetings by utilizing technologies such as skype, webinar and teleconferencing?

Cynthia Hale
Assistant Departmental Systems Administrator

We received your suggestion about how to save on travel expenses. The technology available today does provide alternatives to physical travel.

The Effectiveness Initiative group reviewing Procurement is developing recommendations on how to better manage travel expenses. I will share your suggestion with them.

David J. Cummins
Vice President for Finance & Administration/CFO