Purdue realizes cost savings of $45.5 million to meet governor's challenge

March 30, 2010

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University officials on Tuesday (March 30) announced they have used deferred hiring, budget cuts to operations and facility maintenance, and energy conservation initiatives to return $45.47 million to state government as called for by Gov. Mitch Daniels.

With state revenues coming in far below projections, Daniels called for Indiana's public universities to return $150 million to the state last December. Purdue was asked to cut $45.47 million system-wide through fiscal year 2011, with $35.8 million coming from the West Lafayette campus and the remainder from regional campuses and engagement programs.

"It has not been easy, but it was necessary," Purdue President France A. Córdova said. "By calling on all segments of the university to sacrifice, we have been able to meet the governor's demand without affecting student education or our research enterprise. We have held job losses to a minimum and have not cut salaries to meet this challenge."

Purdue's West Lafayette campus will save $7.5 million by delaying hiring on 294 positions, $4 million in energy conservation efforts, and deferring facility repairs and rehabilitation projects to save $19.3 million.

The final piece will be known Wednesday (March 31), when a comprehensive information technology review led by Gerry McCartney, Purdue's chief information officer and the Olga Oesterle England Professor of Information Technology, will be presented to Córdova. The plan will document savings of $5 million for FY 2011.

Delayed hiring means the president or one of the executive vice presidents must approve before a vacancy can be filled. Salary savings of $7.5 million from unfilled positions are being captured centrally and applied to the cut.

Energy conservation efforts are saving $4 million by reducing temperatures and hours of heating across campus and cutting the cost of energy production. Voluntary employee conservation efforts under programs like "Lights Out!" will save $500,000 through FY 2011.

Federal stimulus money provided by the state had been assigned to one-time costs such as facility repair and rehabilitation. In addition, Purdue will forgo $19.3 million from the state for facility repair and rehabilitation.

The Purdue regional campuses and programs funded on state budget line items will contribute the remaining $9.7 million of the total rescission.

Purdue University Calumet has reduced support for faculty and staff travel, research projects, and information systems and library resources and deferred maintenance projects on facilities to save $3.5 million.

Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne is saving $2.7 million by reviewing open positions at the highest administrative levels, cutting operating costs, and delaying facility improvement and rehabilitation and repair projects.

Purdue University North Central is responding to the governor's requirement by deferring $100,000 of non-critical rehabilitation and repair projects.

The remaining $3.4 million is coming from programs in agricultural research, Purdue Cooperative Extension program, Statewide Technology and other programs that receive some funds directly from the state.

Purdue has been involved in a broader effort to cut costs and improve efficiencies at the university since November. Committees are conducting administrative and academic program reviews and assessing salaries and benefits, overall purchasing, energy conservation, and information technology to identify cost savings.
 
The university has held more than two dozen open forums for faculty and staff at four campuses and hosted a Sustaining New Synergies Web site that includes draft plans from committees, news releases and videos of forum presentations.

"I appreciate all the hard work and participation by faculty, staff and students to contain costs and become more efficient in everything we do," Córdova said. "Together, we've met the governor's challenge."

Implementation plans will be shared with the Board of Trustees over the next four months, starting with its April 8 meeting.

Writer: Chris Sigurdson, 765-494-2096, sig@purdue.edu

Sources:   France A. Córdova, president@purdue.edu
                    Al Diaz, Purdue executive vice president for business and finance, treasurer, 765-494-9705, aldiaz@purdue.edu