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Comprehensive and Doctoral Institutions Roundtable Discussions

January 14, 2010 - The NACUBO Comprehensive and Doctoral Institutions Council hosted a roundtable discussion for chief business officers from similar institutions. Bill Streeter, vice chancellor for administration and fiscal affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, facilitated the conversation. H1N1 Influenza on campus was the topic of discussion. Points of the discussion included:

  • Using SharePoint software to capture the nature of absenteeism across campus and track cases of H1N1 influenza and other Influenza Like Illnesses (ILI). Reporting confirmed H1N1 cases to the county and state. Coordination with local health organizations and county offices.
  • Providing an isolation area for students until they are no longer symptomatic, such as a section of a dormitory, a dorm that was scheduled for inactivity, or vacant faculty apartments. An isolation period of two days is common.
  • Using student nurses to administer the flu vaccine.
  • Raising awareness of H1N1 on campus via the student newspaper, daily electronic newsletter, campus web page, athletic marquis signage, posted fliers, and letters to parents. Posters provide reminders about hand washing, coughing and sneezing. Use of hand sanitizer, paper towels and other supplies had spiked and has now trailed off. Relative silence of the national media recently has increased apathy on campus.
  • Gathering top leaders early to strategize, having an emergency preparedness plan, and establishing an Incident Command System (ICS).
  • The University of Alberta has generously shared its Business Continuity Workbook, Integrated Emergency Plan-Integrated Health Response, and Planning Assumptions for the First Wave of Pandemic Influenza.
  • The threat of an epidemic has provided the opportunity to motivate faculty to prepare their courses for delivery online. Online learning could be the key to continuation of classes/continuity of operations if the campus must close.
  • Ordering supplies well in advance of needing them to ensure availability of hand sanitizer, paper towels, etc.
  • Ensuring that campus service provider contracts have business continuity plans in case the flu strikes their workforce.

May 21, 2009- Cindy Villa, vice president for business affairs at the University of Texas at El Paso, facilitated the conversation. The following topics were discussed:

  • Addressing the economic crisis - state institutions are cutting back on travel, hiring, air conditioning, and also planning for additional future cuts. Other reductions are via furloughs, decrease in salaries, and voluntary buyouts.
  • UPMIFA - UMIFA comparison
  • American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 - watching for grant proposal opportunities at www.ed.gov and www.nih.gov  Also watching changes to Build America Bonds.
  • FTC Red Flags Rule - training staff, obtaining statements of compliance from campus vendors
  • H1N1 Flu Response - the threat seems to be winding down, but the episode provided a good opportunity to review contingency plans.
  • Deferred maintenance and capital purchases - some are delayed depending on state or local funding availability.
  • Athletics - challenges to balance the departmental budget; whether to impose a student athletics fee to offset expenses.
  • Tuition - increases for AY2009-10 are ranging from 4-6.5%. A fixed tuition rate for 4 years, or fixed room and board rate, can be difficult to administer. Pace University and others have tried.