If we hope to maintain the quality of our education and the quality of student life the University of Michigan is going to have to make cuts in its budget. As students, we are keenly aware of the effects of the current economic situation on our personal lives. Many of us are aware of our expenses, some of us are struggling to find jobs or internships and others are being forced to make some difficult financial decisions with our families right now. Our college experience and the University are also not immune to the economic downturn and its ramifications.

In response to the economic situation, Provost Teresa Sullivan formed a small ad hoc group, called the Prudence Panel. The purpose of this group is to identify cost-cutting opportunities in the academic operations of the University. With the state budget outlook appearing grim for the next few years, the Provost wants to identify meaningful ways to cut costs without affecting the highest priorities of the University. The goal is to maintain the quality of the University while being financially prudent.

As the student representatives on the panel, we want to bring your ideas, thoughts and experiences to this group for consideration. Students experience the day-to-day operations of this University and know the ins and outs of campus better than anyone. Students also have the ingenuity and the knowledge to craft creative and innovative solutions to this problem. What things should the University stop doing? What things can we do less of? What things can we do more efficiently or cheaply? Your input and suggestions will be vital to this process. Please send ideas, questions, and concerns to the email addresses listed below. Our first meeting is Monday, and we will be able to present ideas that are sent by the night of Sunday, March 22. We genuinely hope to hear from you.

We can be reached at lzaikis@umich.edu or mikabren@umich.edu.

Leslie Zaikis is the president of LSA-SG and Brendon Mika is a Law student.

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