The Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) has created a new Web site to provide faculty, staff, and students with up-to-date information on cost-saving measures.
The site, planning.fas.harvard.edu, will provide detailed information about specific changes in services and programs, as well as broad administrative changes. The site will be enhanced with additional features and information over the coming months, and will be updated as new measures are implemented.
The new site launched on Monday (May 11) with details on services that will change before the start of the fall term. These changes are part of $77 million in savings identified by departments, centers, and administrative units in a process that began last fall to identify a range of possible cost savings needed to bring short-term and long-term budgets in line with FAS’s new economic reality.
“These measures represent the completion of the first phase of a two-phase process,” says FAS Dean Michael D. Smith, the John H. Finley Jr. Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences. “In this first phase, administrators, faculty, and others expended enormous time, effort, and energy in finding innovative ways to resize their activities, to reduce costs through better use of resources, and to increase efficiencies. I am extremely grateful to everyone who worked so hard in this difficult but critical resizing effort.”
At an FAS-wide “town hall meeting” on April 14, Smith announced the creation of six working groups to identify a further $143 million in savings to be implemented by academic year 2010-11. These working groups — one in each of FAS’s three academic divisions (sciences, social sciences, and arts and humanities), two in Harvard College, and one in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences — will include faculty, staff, and students, and each will present proposals for further savings in the spring semester of 2010.
Smith has also encouraged members of the FAS community to submit their thoughts and suggestions on other cost-reduction strategies to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“New ideas and visions of the future have always been a strength of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences,” Smith says. “With help from across the FAS, I remain convinced that we can use this financial crisis to build a stronger, healthier, and more vibrant institution.”
Separately, the Voluntary Early Retirement Incentive Program (VERIP), which was offered to eligible Harvard staff University-wide over a three-month period, resulted in a 33 percent acceptance rate, with 534 out of 1,628 staff members accepting the program’s benefits.