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Forsee memo tells UM campuses to cut back 'significantly'

Wednesday, January 14, 2009 | 7:52 p.m. CST; updated 10:55 p.m. CST, Wednesday, January 14, 2009

COLUMBIA — From travel to training, University of Missouri System administrators are being told to “significantly” cut back.

Chancellors at the four UM System campuses were sent a memo from UM President Gary Forsee Wednesday that listed 14 specific areas where expenditures should be reduced.

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Jennifer Hollingshead, a spokeswoman for the UM System, said there is no expectation for the amount of spending reductions at each campus. Additionally, she said there is no timetable for plans from each chancellor on how spending will be limited in each of the 14 areas listed in the memo.

But the memo states: “The expectation is that the university will significantly (italics and underlining present in the memo) reduce expenditure in each of the categories listed below.”

Forsee directed chancellors to distribute the memo widely across their campus departments by Friday.

“In order to reduce expenditures without putting the university at risk, management will need to exercise judgment in deciding what to eliminate and what to allow," Forsee said in the memo.

MU Chancellor Brady Deaton sent a memo out to MU department heads reiterating Forsee's points and outlining how budget reductions will specifically affect MU.

 "It is important that we continue to appreciate the gravity of the financial crisis that we face in Missouri, nationally, and internationally. However, we must not become paralyzed or compromise our primary mission of teaching, research, service and economic development," Deaton said in the memo. He also listed the categories that Forsee highlighted and gave examples of how each applied to MU: "It is CRITICAL that every effort is made to reduce expenses in the categories below, in many cases as much as 50 percent, commencing immediately."

Click here for Forsee's 14 points, along with Deaton's explanations specific to MU.

Forsee's memo is the latest measure by the UM System to account for potential cuts in state funding which included a systemwide hiring freeze on Nov. 14.

The Missouri General Assembly asked state-funded universities and colleges to file reports in early December on how cuts of 15 percent, 20 percent and 25 percent in state funding would impact their operations. The UM System responded by submitting a report to the Missouri Department of Higher Education that listed layoffs and tuition increases as possible impacts of funding cuts.

Deaton said in a press conference on Dec. 19: "The University of Missouri was founded in 1839. I have no doubt it’s going to be here in 2039 and 2139."


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Comments

Ayn Rand January 14, 2009 | 8:42 p.m.

I'll believe that MU is serious about saving money when I see the lights in the Reactor Field parking lot turned off at night. Same for all of the buildings on campus blazing away in the middle of the night.

(Report Comment)
Rachael Keck January 14, 2009 | 9:19 p.m.

The lights at Reactor must be left on for safety. I have to park there each day and ride a bus onto and off of campus. Sometimes I do not reach my car until nearly midnight. If they began turning off those lights at night myself and many other students would have no safe place to park. Safety should always come before savings.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand January 15, 2009 | 6:30 a.m.

So turn them off at midnight. Let's stop with the excuses, folks.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr January 15, 2009 | 10:00 a.m.

All of those lights on M.U. are obviously on for security reasons. Anybody can figure that out plain as day.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand January 15, 2009 | 10:12 a.m.

Chuck, lights on in a building at 2 a.m. do little to enhance security. For example, do really believe that a citizen or cop driving by the Dalton building is going to scan the windows for suspicious person? What a ridiculous idea. Plus, most -- if not all -- campus buildings have security systems.

Besides, considering how you got owned at http://new.columbiatribune.com/weblogs/p..., you clearly know nothing about security.

(Report Comment)
Jennifer Gerling January 15, 2009 | 10:29 a.m.

I am curious to know if any of you actually attend college? I do, and college students like myself don't have set times we leave campus. We have projects we work on sometimes all night. If you knew how many times we get an email from campus police about a robbery or beating in a campus parking lot you would have no doubts that keeping the lights on is the right choice for MU. Also, don't forget about graduate student researchers who are allowed to stay in certain classroom buildings all night working on things. Mizzou has been around for a while. I'm sure administrators are more aware of safety concerns and reasons for leaving lights on than anyone who posts on here. Finally, I think it is worth noting Mizzou is making efforts to go green which should conserve some energy and ultimately save money.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand January 15, 2009 | 10:34 a.m.

Here's an example of some of the research that shows how lighting -- in this case outdoors, such as in parking lots -- has little or no effect in terms of preventing crime:

www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2003/nov/21/ukcrim...

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand January 15, 2009 | 10:43 a.m.

"If you knew how many times we get an email from campus police about a robbery or beating in a campus parking lot you would have no doubts that keeping the lights on is the right choice for MU."

It can't be too many, according to the stats on pp. 21-23 at www.mupolice.com/Clery_Report/clery2008/.... In 2007, for example, MU cops dealt with only 25 burglaries, five aggravated assaults and three sex offenses.

(Report Comment)
Jennifer Gerling January 15, 2009 | 10:45 a.m.

If you think that not having lights in an open area like Reactor where people drive by frequently and can see what is going on doesn't make a difference you are naive. This story has some vague sources and was written six years ago.

(Report Comment)
Jennifer Gerling January 15, 2009 | 10:47 a.m.

I'm glad you were doing your research from 2007. Now do 2008 and tell me how many were in parking lots. And no offense, but that sounds like more than you think. So that sort of backfired on you.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr January 15, 2009 | 10:59 a.m.

As Rachael Keck it is obviously for security. How do you know Ayn that people are not in some of those offices in the middle of the night. How do you know there are not people moving around on campus 24/7. The truth is you don't.

Did you know it takes more power to turn a light on that to turn it off? So you suggest that they turn them on and off then possibly on again in the early morning hours only to be turned off again?

Your argument is quite moot in nature Ayn Rand. You want everything to be made to work twice as much and ten times as long thus costing money and time by somebody.

That is very poor time management and very poor security practices.

Maybe you want City Council to shut down all unneeded street lights to in alot of neighborhoods due to people are asleep so why have them on.

(Report Comment)
Martin Wills January 15, 2009 | 11:38 a.m.

I think to avoid firing anyone we should move to a 35 hour week and have a more equitable distribution of pay btween top and bottom to alleviate reduced take home pay for those in the lower pay scales (The recent publication of MU pay by the St. Louis PostD makes interesting reading showing many examples of staggering disparities between heads of various campus "centers" and their underlings). A shorter week chould be made permananet and could be an seen as a benefit to attract employees in future, better times, and possibly create more jobs to share the load. I see bacon in the air though......

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith January 15, 2009 | 12:03 p.m.

Without taking part in a debate about parking lot lights, I find it interesting that it takes a severe financial crunch and a directive from the UM System President to get folks to do what they should have been doing all along. Maybe we should change initials, from MU to PU. PU? Profligate University.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand January 15, 2009 | 12:12 p.m.

"I'm glad you were doing your research from 2007. Now do 2008 and tell me how many were in parking lots. And no offense, but that sounds like more than you think. So that sort of backfired on you."

Ha ha. Exactly the kind of response one expects from someone who just got schooled. Look, if you want the 2008 stats, go ask the MU Police. I don't see those stats on the department site, and it could be because they haven't released them yet.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand January 15, 2009 | 12:22 p.m.

"How do you know Ayn that people are not in some of those offices in the middle of the night. How do you know there are not people moving around on campus 24/7. The truth is you don't."

Chuck, the campus is a relative ghost town between midnight and 6 a.m., except for cleaning crews and the occasional drunk student r grad student. If these people are frequent victims of crime, it's not reflected in the MU Police stats.

"Did you know it takes more power to turn a light on that to turn it off? So you suggest that they turn them on and off then possibly on again in the early morning hours only to be turned off again?"

Huh? You make no sense. For one, MU has increased the number of rooms with motion sensors to turn lights on an off based on whether someone is in the room. Why would they do that if it's a waste of power?

For another, there are plenty of products that enable all lights, thermostats and even motorized window shades to be remotely controlled from a remote location. Yes, these systems cost money, but the payback is fast and savings significant, which is why so many companies install them. MU might even have these installed in some of its new buildings.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand January 15, 2009 | 12:39 p.m.

Here's an example of the motion detector that MU has been deploying: http://archive.columbiatribune.com/2008/....

So much for the argument that it takes more power to turn a light on that to turn it off.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr January 15, 2009 | 1:47 p.m.

You do not understand how electricity works obviously. To leave a light running once it is already charged up takes little to no extra power while continuously restarting and charging that light does take more power. It is real simple electronics you learn in grade school during science class.

As you propose for the Reactor Field parking they would use more power initially starting and restarting those lights in the early evening and early morning when they would be needed instead of just running them all night long.

The energy and money saved out of what you propose is so moot it is not even worth going into the control panel to reprogram or they would have done it already. Besides there is the matter of security.

This subject has been studied by alot of corporations around the world looking to save money and energy and they all came to the same results.

The only thing that can be done is to install the most energy efficient lights that you can.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand January 15, 2009 | 2:52 p.m.

So Chuck, if it takes so much power to turn lights on, why is MU increasing the number of motion detectors to turn lights on (see link above) when someone enters an empty classroom?

As for your theory, it's simply wrong: www.content4reprint.com/finance/personal....

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking January 15, 2009 | 3:15 p.m.

Chuck sez:

"You do not understand how electricity works obviously. To leave a light running once it is already charged up takes little to no extra power while continuously restarting and charging that light does take more power."

Lights with ballasts (vapor lights of all sorts, including CFL's) do have a high surge current, much more than they draw during regular operation, however, they still draw substantial current during operation. Turning off lights that will not be used for a few minutes or more makes up for the surge in turning them on again.

Mercury vapor, halide, and sodium lights (used for outdoor lighting) can have thermal stress from being cycled rapidly, but turning them off for the better part of the night will not reduce their lives too much. The tradeoff is whether the increased cost of replacement justifies the reduced use of electricity. Here, it does.

Cutting out every third (or every other) light in a parking lot will still leave enough light for safety, and will save a substantial amount of electricity.

DK

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr January 15, 2009 | 4:09 p.m.

If they thought they would be better turned off long ago or even recently then how come it has not been done already?

Because the cost is just not worth the time of worry. Security in all sectors of campus out weights the costs of replacing lights or worrying about turning them off and on.

Sure you can change those fixtures in rooms to motion activated sensors but what is the cost for all of that plus the cost of all of those lights being on and then off repeatedly as well as the cost of replacement when the motion detector eventually dies. No electronics device of that type runs forever I assure you.

I would think that the M.U. Electrical Maintenance Engineers and M.U. Security Personnel know alot more of how it all works that either of you above.

There are more than likely other huge pork barrel spending expenditures to be cut at M.U. than worrying about security lighting that helps keep all students and teachers some what and decently safe. Besides having those security lights on might even effect their liability insurance in some way or form.

Like why don't they restrict internet access to known teachers computer systems so instead of browsing and posting on internet forum boards during the day they are actually working the entire time they are at work.

Millions of dollars of wasted wages paid yearly by huge corporations have been traced back to employees surfing the internet when they could have been more productive in their jobs. I am quite positive M.U. is no different.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand January 15, 2009 | 4:27 p.m.

"If they thought they would be better turned off long ago or even recently then how come it has not been done already?"

Why did the CHA wait years to put energy-efficient windows in your building? Answer: Because energy costs rose to the point that reducing them became a priority. Same at MU.

"Sure you can change those fixtures in rooms to motion activated sensors but what is the cost for all of that plus the cost of all of those lights being on and then off repeatedly as well as the cost of replacement when the motion detector eventually dies."

Again, the costs are recouped in the form of savings. (It's up to 46 percent in a classroom, according to www.crestron.com/downloads/pdf/product_b....) If they didn't have a strong ROI, MU and thousands of other schools, as well as companies, wouldn't have been installing motion detectors and other systems for years.

(Report Comment)
Matt Y January 15, 2009 | 8:43 p.m.

All of this in spite of two consecutive years of the largest freshmen classes ever. Makes me wonder how the quality of education is going to be affected.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr January 16, 2009 | 3:05 a.m.

Great question Matt Y.

(Report Comment)

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