Financial Sustainability Task Force

Composed of members from across campus, the Task Force will seek to identify increased efficiencies and opportunities for revenue generation.
Students walking across quad on a sunny afternoon

Phase 2

Building on the work that was completed by the Financial Sustainability Task Force in Phase 1 and reported to the Board of Trustees in June, the charge of Phase 2 was to develop specific and actionable recommendations to realize cost savings, increase revenues and achieve greater efficiencies.

To assist in accomplishing these objectives, five working groups were organized around each of the identified themes: academic efficiencies; administrative efficiencies; entrepreneurship and revenue generation; property and infrastructure; and student services.

Each working group was composed of one Executive Committee member (the interface between the working group, the steering committee and those units capable of providing the necessary resources on campus), two co-chairs, and up to 15 faculty and/or staff members. Collectively, these working group participants represented the various divisions, departments and union affiliations. 

Work began in summer 2023 and resumed in the fall semester, with final recommendations and reports submitted to the President's Office in December.

Summary and Notes, Spring 2024

Phase 2 Working Groups and Final Reports

Academic Efficiencies

  • Franca Barricelli, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, executive sponsor
  • Aruna Krishnamurthy, Professor, English Studies, co-chair
  • Beth Swartz, Director, TRIO Student Support Services, co-chair
  • Elena Arranz Alonso, Director of Graduate and Continuing Education
  • Lindsey Babineau, Administrative Assistant II, Biology and Chemistry, Earth and Geographic Sciences
  • Christian Estrella, Associate Vice President for Finance and Administration
  • Andrew Goodwin, Director, Early College and Dual Enrollment
  • Kat McLellan, Director, Peer Services
  • Jannette McMenamy, Professor, Psychological Science
  • Jason Smith, Assistant Dean of Student Services
  • Tyler Sullivan, Administrative Assistant II, Library
  • Tony Trodella, Director, Admissions
  • Paul Weizer, Professor, Economics, History and Political Science

Academic Efficiencies Final Report

Administrative Efficiencies

  • Stefan Dodd, Chief Information Officer, executive sponsor
  • Carin Bullis, Director of Budgeting, co-chair
  • Christine Dee, Professor, Economics, History, and Political Science, co-chair
  • Denise Brindle, Director of Financial Aid
  • Rhonda Burgess, Administrative Assistant II, Engineering Technology
  • Rala Diakite, Professor, Humanities
  • Pat Jennings, Print Production, Auxiliary Services
  • Cate Kaluzny, Director of Assessment
  • Mark LeBlanc, Senior Associate Registrar
  • Kenneth R. Mackie, Visiting Assistant Professor, Economics, History, and Political Science
  • Gretchen Mayhew, Senior Associate Director, Admissions
  • Kim Page, Director of Human Resources
  • Tara Prosser, Administrative Assistant II, Student Development

Administrative Efficiencies Final Report 

Entrepreneurship and Revenue

  • Rich Toomey, Associate VP for Enrollment Management, executive sponsor
  • Peter August, Assistant Director, Admissions
  • Joey Bourgeois, Accountant V, Financial Services
  • Megan Boyd, Assistant Director, Grants Center
  • Diane Caggiano, Adjunct Faculty
  • Tanya Crowley, Director of Alumni and Family Engagement
  • Summer Fetterroll, Director of Student Accounts
  • Jean Fisher, Administrative Assistant II, Nursing
  • Shane Franzen, Associate Director, Student Development

Entrepreneurship and Revenue Final Report

Property and Infrastructure

  • Mary Beth McKenzie, Associate Vice President for Finance and Administration, executive sponsor
  • Sean Goodlett, Professor, Economics, History, and Political Science, co-chair
  • JD Head, Associate Vice President for Capital Planning and Maintenance, co-chair
  • Brad Cohrs, Director, Recreation Services
  • Mike Desmarais, Technical Support Specialist, Information Technology
  • Cheryl Johnston, Business Manager, Information Technology
  • Matthew Lechter, Executive Director, Housing and Residential Services
  • Michael Letzeisen, Staff Assistant, Capital Planning and Maintenance
  • Nirajan Mani, Associate Professor, Engineering Technology
  • Angela Marini, Administrative Assistant II, Athletics

Property and Infrastructure Final Report

Student Services

  • Pam McCafferty, Associate Vice President for Institutional Research, executive sponsor
  • Matt Burke, Director of Athletics, co-chair
  • Kate Jewell, Associate Professor, Economics, History, and Political Science, co-chair
  • Jennifer Abbott, Assistant Director, Peer Services
  • Jescah Apamo-Gannon, Assistant Professor, Education
  • Lindsay Carpenter Connors, Director, Career Counseling & Advising Center
  • Joe Flanagan, Staff Assistant / Case Manager
  • Carolyn Hughes, Administrative Assistant II, Education
  • Junior Pena, Director, Center for Diversity and Inclusiveness
  • Bettiann Peura, Assistant Director, Athletics
  • Eric Soucy, Assistant Director/Area Coordinator, Housing and Residential Services

Student Services Final Report

Phase 2 Interim Reports (August 2023)

Phase 1 Archive

Propose and develop a series of recommendations focusing on strategies to create intentional efficiencies across all areas of the university, in addition to opportunities for revenue enhancement, which can be achieved over the next three fiscal years and provide relief to the FY 2024/2025/2026 Fitchburg State University comprehensive annual budget.

This task force will work on phase one of a multi-phased process to propose and develop recommended strategies focused on efficient and effective allocation of resources and new/increased net revenue opportunities. The results of this work will help inform the development of the university operating budgets in FY 2024, 2025, 2026 and beyond. The task force recommendations are expected to be broad-based and will be developed through a process of open, free-flowing discussion amongst task force members, with input from the campus community and informed by the current Strategic Plan.

Upon the recommendations’ approval by the Board of Trustees, phase two will commence with a new task force, whose work will further develop the recommendations by identifying action steps, potential impact on resources and projected outcomes. Input of stakeholders, data and other resources as necessary will be provided to facilitate this work.

The Task Force will be exploring five areas for increased efficiencies and opportunities for revenue generation.

  • Student Services - The university's non-academic relationship with its students, including athletics, student programming, and co-curricular activities, and should include student-facing services across campus. 
  • Administrative Efficiencies - How the university conducts its business on a day-to-day basis. The goal of these recommendations is to determine if generating efficiencies might be realized through automation or consolidation of resources, establishing whether some functions remain necessary as the university positions itself for the future, and assessing if some critical functions might be more effectively maintained through third-party outsourced relationships. 
  • Academic Efficiencies - How the university develops, maintains, and delivers its academic curriculum to its students.  Variables examined in this category include, but are not limited to, when courses are offered; course enrollments; costs and returns for specific program offerings; and allocation of faculty labor for classroom and alternative institutional responsibilities. 
  • Property & Infrastructure - The core physical and technological resources necessary for the University to deliver its curriculum and student programming. Such items include the university's buildings and grounds, along with its technology hardware, software, connectivity, security, and data storage resources.
  • Entrepreneurship & Revenue - Addresses existing revenue generation aspects of the university, along with initiatives designed to increase existing revenue sources and identify new revenue streams. Additionally, this category explores new ways of conceptualizing university operations and resources. Subsections will include net revenue, grants, and university enrollment. 
  • Eric Boughton, Chief Information Security Officer, Technology
  • Matthew Burke, Senior Director of Athletics
  • Rala Diakite, Professor, Humanities
  • Sean Goodlett, Professor, Economics, History and Political Science
  • Meg Hoey, Professor, Biology/Chemistry
  • Carolyn Hughes, Administrative Assistant II, Education
  • Katherine Jewell, Associate Professor, Economics, History and Political Science
  • Gretchen Mayhew, Senior Associate Director of Admissions
  • Bonnie McCullough, Graphic Arts Technician, Technology
  • Kat McLellan, Director of Academic Coaching and Tutoring
  • Mary Nankya, Graduate Student Representative
  • Karen Valeri, Administrative Assistant II, Communications Media
  • Nelly Wadsworth, Director of International Education
  • Amy Wehe, Professor, Mathematics

Ex Officio

  • Jackie Kremer, Dean of Library
  • Kim Page, Director of Human Resources

The Task Force held open forums at 10:15 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 25 in the main lounge at Hammond Hall.

Find the FSTF Open Forum slides here (PDF).

The Task Force accepted and reviewed anonymous suggestions as part of its work. The Phase 1 ex officio co-chairs also monitored a dedicated email account (that is no longer being monitored).