Monday, April 22, 2013

Dr. Faulkner: Values – Resourceful

Our fourth core values statement is:

“We are RESOURCEFUL:  We use our skills, abilities, and technology to develop creative and innovative solutions.”

All of us are keenly aware that we have limited resources.  About 60% of our resources come from student tuition and fees, about 38% from state appropriations, and about 2% from grants and other sources.  We owe it to our students and the taxpayers to make wise use of the resources we have.

The cabinet just completed a series of meetings to determine what to put in the proposed budget for next year.  It is never an easy task because we never seem to have enough resources to do all the things we want.  We are in a period of declining enrollment which reduces our resources even more.

One answer, of course, is to get and keep more students.  We have several things in place to address that issue, but it still requires all of us to make student success job one.

The other thing all of us can do is to use our skills and abilities to find ways to be more efficient.  It is not, “do more with less” but “do more in a smarter way so we need less.”  Technology can be important, but it is not the solution to every problem.

As I mentioned at the Fall Convocation, we have to embrace change.  We have to be always looking to see if there is a better way to do things.  Surely part of that burden falls on me and the on the leadership of the college, but every employee has a wealth of experience that we need to tap into.

I remember the story of several engineers standing around a piece of manufacturing equipment trying to solve a problem that caused the machine to need repeated cleaning leading to extended down time.  As they reasoned and discussed, one of the engineers noticed the long time machine operator standing nearby.  The engineer asked the operator what he would do to fix the problem.  Without a word the operator, poured out his cup of coffee and strategically placed the Styrofoam cup on the machine to solve the problem.  The engineers were astonished at the simplicity of the solution and inquired of the operator why he hadn’t suggested this before.  His reply was, “No one ever asked me.”

So I am asking you.  What can we do in your area of responsibility to be more resourceful?
-Dr. Faulkner

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