Charging Forward

Elissa Sanci

Charging Forward is the University of New Haven’s new initiative meant to prioritize academic and administrative programs and reallocate resources to better the campus community.

charging forward

“Charging Forward is not a cost-cutting effort; it is strategic resource allocation,” said University President Steven H. Kaplan, who revealed the task force recommendations to staff and faculty during campus-wide meetings on Sept 10.

“This important initiative will allow us to reinvest and support those programs that further our vision and reputation, and help us take advantage of opportunities, and manage future challenges without increasing the overall budget,” reads the description on UNH’s website.

“We’re not announcing any immediate layoffs. We’re not proposing any radical changes, because they are not needed,” Kaplan added. “In fact, our financial health has never been stronger, and we are poised to achieve many great things. But we know that we cannot continue to count on increased revenues going forward. Thus, to strengthen our core academic programs, to invest in additional faculty and staff, to improve our facilities, and to remain competitive and secure a bright future, we must be strategic, meaning we must prioritize our programs and wisely use our resources.”

This initiative, which is still in draft form, was launched in 2012 with a goal to reallocate support and resources to the university’s highest priorities while simultaneously reducing and eliminating funding for programs and departments that no longer meet the university’s goals.

Charging Forward will change up to 80 percent of things on campus over the next three to four years, according to Provost Daniel J. May. Although some of the larger changes will take years to implement, Kaplan explained that there are many changes that can and will be made during the current academic year, such as phasing out some academic programs that have not been active for years, and have no faculty or students.

“Charging Forward is not a budget cutting exercise,” said Chief Financial Officer George Synodi. It’s not about saving money, but making the university a more efficient establishment, he expressed during a question and answer session on Mon Sept 15.

“These recommendations are a starting point,” Kaplan said. “Now, we will collect feedback from faculty, staff and students before finalizing the plan and implementing the recommendations.”
Students, faculty and staff will have the opportunity to voice their opinions and concerns with the initiative through Oct 7 by sending an email to [email protected] More information concerning the initiative can be found at newhaven.edu/chargingforward.

“We want to establish a culture of continuous improvement, and so I don’t see us declaring victory in a year or two and forgetting about it. We will remain focused on using our resources strategically in the future,” Kaplan said. “Our ultimate goal is to provide our students with the very best educational experience and to be recognized nationally as one of the top comprehensive universities in the Northeast. Only through prioritization can we achieve this goal and fulfill our mission – now and in the future.”