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Higher Ed in the News

Small cuts add up to big savings as university budgets are slashed

June 19, 2009

Across the country, colleges and universities have come up with dozens of ways for living on a budget.

While many colleges and universities slashed their spending this year with layoffs, hiring freezes, and halts in construction projects, they also were busy whittling away at costs with smaller economies, too.

Hundreds of colleges and universities are turning down their thermostats to save on heating, in programs like “Chill-Out” at Davidson College in North Carolina.

Many universities are installing low-flow shower heads and energy-saving light bulbs and holding contests to see which dorm can most reduce its electricity costs.  Colleges are also reducing their use of paper by putting admissions brochures, course catalogs and phone directories online instead of on paper.

  • At the University of Washington, the communications department faculty did away with their landlines
  • At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the traditional bus tour of the state for new faculty members was suspended this year.
  • Whittier College in California cut one day of its new-student orientation, saving $50,000.
  • Davidson College saved more than $10,000 by switching from bottled water to tap at most college events.
  • Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, Pa., is no longer serving breakfast at trustees’ meetings; instead, it will give trustees passes to the cafeteria.

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Read more in the New York Times.