GW community members gathered in the Marvin Center Tuesday afternoon to weigh in on the latest round of top-ranked proposals generated by the university’s Innovation Task Force.
Six innovative cost-saving ideas were presented at the university-wide forum, chaired by David Lawlor, senior associate vice president for finance and chair of the ITF Steering Committee. A similar Showcase of Ideas will be held Thursday on the Virginia Science and Technology Campus.
The round eight ideas include:
Enhance Marketing Efficiency Across the University: Examine ways of centralizing marketing across the university with the goal of creating a dynamic, collaborative, focused marketing strategy that leverages the university’s scale to reduce expenses.
Implement a Furniture Reuse Program: Reduce spending on office furniture and enhance sustainability by creating a university-wide system for locating usable spare office furniture for reuse across GW.
Launch Student E-Book Program: Implement an e-book program that would allow students to download certain class text material in electronic format instead of having to purchase textbooks.
Self-Service Parking Garage System: Add self-service payment kiosks to university parking garages to eliminate cash handling.
Reduce Cost of Travel for Training and Conferences: Reduce travel costs related to training and conferences by increasing the percentage of events attended locally.
Reduce Food Costs: Reduce the cost of food purchased for GW meetings and events by negotiating special pricing with preferred vendors, eliminating waste from over-purchasing, and implementing menu and pricing controls.
Mr. Lawlor announced at the gathering that the ITF will again award a full scholarship in the upcoming academic year to a GW student who develops an implementable plan to net the university $1 million, either through savings or new revenue opportunities core to GW’s mission.
Updating the group on the task force’s progress to date, Mr. Lawlor reported that $22 million of ITF-generated funds are currently part of the university’s fiscal year 2015 budget, “supporting GW’s core mission of faculty, new research, academic programs and academic support.”
“Our hard work is paying off,” he said. “We are changing university culture and look forward to seeing our investments continue to grow.”