Ideas" Lead to Money-Saving Measures for the College
Late last fall, in the early days of a new
Smith presidency and amid a faltering national economy, President Carol
T. Christ issued a collegewide call: every member of the Smith community
was invited to submit ideas for ways to help the college save money.
The response to the program,
dubbed "Bright Ideas," has been surprising; the
program has garnered some 60 suggestions from every sector
of the college. The suggestions have been varied and creative:
decreasing energy-use campuswide by installing automatic light
switches with motion detectors, for example, and ways of conserving
on air conditioning and heating. Others urged scaling back
on paper usage by moving publications to the Web.
director of budget and financial planning, coordinates the
Bright Ideas program. He is charged with reviewing all the
submissions, then forwarding
the viable ones to appropriate offices.
"I think Bright Ideas is a wonderful program," says Myers. "Involving
the college community in a process that's going to have such an impact
on the college community is very important," he notes.
vice president of finance and administration, explains: "We
wanted to engage the entire community and get everybody's input on ways
the college can save money," she says. "Everybody has a unique perspective.
It's interesting what ideas come about when people put their antennas up
and try to think of ways to be helpful."
Some of those helpful ideas have
already been introduced. In keeping with the large number of suggestions involving
reduced paper usage, the controller's
office will electronically distribute monthly financial reports to managers through
its new E-Print program beginning this fall. Previously, paper versions were
mailed to each manager monthly.
"Many of these early ideas,
such as energy conservation, were already underway at the college," explains
Myers. The Physical Plant had come up with several ways to
conserve energy across campus, and several departments had
paper by relying more on electronic communication. -- ESW