Current & Past Initiatives
Strengthening Organizational Structures & Resource Stewardship
In addition to dollar savings, the initiatives in this category are intended to strengthen departmental management by consolidating or eliminating redundant work, employing another management unit, or finding new ways to use technology to deliver services. Many of these changes have helped departments continue to provide excellent service with reduced personnel or budget capacity. A number of initiatives in this category have been completed successfully and have resulted in savings of at least $10.8 million (including energy savings) within individual departmental budgets. Examples include:
- Princeton's new High-Performance Computing Research Center is designed to accommodate the University's research computing as well as all departmental servers. By locating servers at the new data center, departments regain floor space for academic and other uses and free departmental computing staff to focus their efforts on other important IT services. Due to special power and cooling systems, the cost of operating servers at the new data center is lower than the cost of operating them on the main campus. Departments with eligible servers received a memo from the Provost in the spring of 2012 detailing the strategy for virtualizing and consolidating all remaining departmental servers by summer 2013. The virtualization work completed through FY12 resulted in more than $500,000 in recurring hardware and electricity savings. As of March 2013, approximately 87% of all known servers have been virtualized. This initiative was a FY12 Priority Initiative.
- In October 2012, completed the installation of a 5.3 megawatt solar collector field on University land in West Windsor comprising 16,500 photovoltaic panels to reduce the University's carbon footprint and trimming approximately 8 percent per year from its electric costs. The collector field should generate 8 million kilowatt-hours per year, enough to meet 5.5 percent of the total annual campus electrical needs.
- The Office of Information Technology lengthened departmental hardware replacement cycles and provided lower-cost and more energy-efficient hardware kits to departments and computing clusters. The result was a savings of at least $480,000 and a reduction in the University’s electricity consumption.
- Since 2006, water usage in the residence halls alone has declined by 24 percent (12 million gallons, or the equivalent of 20 Olympic-size swimming pools), due to the installation of low-flow fixtures and efficient clothes washing machines, among other water-saving measures. Overall campus water usage has declined by 11 percent since 2007.
- Engaged a contractor to perform a special grinding process that converts all the University's fallen and cut tree limbs into mulch for campus use. This effort results in annual savings of approximately $35,000, and reduces the number of landscape vendor vehicles coming to campus.
- Moved and consolidated departmental postage meters into University Print & Mail Services, resulting in a combined annual savings of $75,000.
- Reduced paper and costs by asking departments to use the Web and e-mail to distribute invitations, announcements, and general publications. The Communications Office alone anticipates $150,000 in savings from reduced printing.
- Moving the formerly decentralized human resources functions in the Office of Development and the University Library into the central Office of Human Resources, and transferring the management of the Firestone Library Security staff to the Department of Public Safety, have both yielded improved coordination and delivery of services.
- The establishment of third-party contracts for equipment maintenance, the increased use of corporate direct deposit, and Purchasing’s continuous analysis of buying patterns across departments to take advantage more fully of Princeton’s purchasing power are expected to result in at least $1 million in savings across departments.
- Many departments canceled or scaled back celebrations such as end of year parties, and after encouragement from many employees the Office of Human Resources canceled the annual retirement dinner and staff picnic, which saved the University approximately $100,000.
- After negotiating a new vendor contract, the University has updated its campus-wide copier services program by providing higher quality equipment, enhanced security, cost savings, and improved support servicers. For example, software now automatically erases data from copier hard drives at scheduled intervals, the cost per copy has been reduced from 6 to 5.5 cents, and the entire copier fleet has been upgraded to enable print, copy, e-mail, and scanning.