Leaders of the University Finance and Revenue and Operations and Technology subcommittees outlined six task forces and received a presentation from Huron Educational Consultants at a joint kickoff meeting Wednesday morning in the Lod Cook Alumni Center.
“The purpose of [Wednesday’s] meeting was to have an overview of what the subcommittees’ goals are and to get to know everyone,” said Finance and Revenue subcommittee co-chair G. Lee Griffin. “There was no particular outcome of today.”
The meeting’s primary initiative before hearing from Huron Education was outlining six task forces that will tackle specific subjects that the committees’ broad responsibilities encompass.
“We’re not here to deviate from the University’s core goals and values,” said SSA Consultant Christel Slaughter. “Our purpose here is to deal with the changing landscape and how the University can evolve.”
Griffin said he hopes to contribute ideas alongside subcommittee members to develop a vision to bring to the Transition Advisory Team.
“I’m just like you. I don’t know what we’re dealing with,” Griffin said. “That’s why we’re going to have to gather to get some sort of an idea.”
The task forces are named Commercialization and Technology Transfer; Streamlining Procedures, Rules and Regulations; Technology; Administrative Services; Revenue Generation; and External Affairs.
Each task force will be comprised of members of the Finance and Revenue and Operations and Technology subcommittees, who were asked to choose which task force they wanted to contribute to after an initial email was sent to the group.
“A lot of the two subcommittees’ tasks overlap,” Griffin said.
The subcommittees also received a presentation from Huron Education, a consulting group that specializes in strategic planning and has worked with comparable universities in the past.
Huron consultants spoke about what the University’s focus and goals should be as the reorganization process presses on, and they emphasized the importance of generating revenue while improving efficiency and service.
“Take your goals, but hone in on three to five priorities that your university has,” said Huron consultant Shandy Husmann. “Pick those things that are most important to the campus to focus on.”
Husmann said University leaders should generate resources for those areas of priority, keeping in mind that decreasing costs is another way to increase efficiency.
Allocating increasingly scarce resources to focus areas is the primary goal because raising tuition can’t make up for decreasing appropriations, Husmann said.
Wednesday’s meeting was one of two meetings required of each subcommittee, but because the subcommittee will be further divided into six task forces, there will be many meetings in the future.
The first task force meeting — about commercialization and technology transfer — will be held Feb. 27 in Shreveport and will be streamed online.
Wednesday’s meeting, although not streamed online, was filmed and is available to the public.