Dr. Jim Schmidt has been serving as Chancellor at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 2013. Chancellor Jim, as he likes to be called, has slightly over 30 years of experience in academia and has seen what a lot of leaders did wrong, and right, when it came to those dreaded budget cuts. On today’s show, Chancellor Jim discusses how he was able to make some tough decisions within his university and how he ended up making his campus much more efficient with less money.
[1:25] Who is Chancellor Jim Schmidt and how did he get started in his career?
[2:05] Of the 30 years Chancellor Jim has worked in academia, he had to cut the budget 26 times.
[3:05] Across-the-board cuts are for lazy administrators. It’s viewed as ‘fair,’ but it really isn’t.
[4:35] When it comes to budget cuts, how does Chancellor Jim approach this?
[10:45] Remember, you’re only as effective as your people and if your people are worried about their job security, things aren’t going to get done as quickly.
[11:50] How can you be transparent with your team when facing budget cuts?
[14:25] Once your team is aware of the budget cuts, then you need to rally them towards a common goal and the university’s values.
[20:35] When you’ve established what key areas are vital for your students/customers, then it’s time to get your team together to start brainstorming on the best course of action.
[25:20] As a Chancellor, it’s Jim’s responsibility to give the students the best experience possible. If you make across-the-board budget cuts, their experience will suffer.
[27:55] Chancellor Jim told his team to reject the notion that you gotta ‘do more with less.’ You can’t do that to your customers because then your quality will suffer.
[34:00] Many of Chancellor Jim’s staff were willing to do more with less because they were used to that status quo. He had to tell them to stop because it will only lead to them being burned out.
[35:30] The university has had four years’ worth of increased student enrollment despite making these budget cuts.
[37:45] As a leader, you have to be open to having those tough conversations and you need to be available for your people.
[39:05] Chancellor Jim does a quick recap.
[41:40] What mistakes did Chancellor Jim make along the way that he wishes he did a bit differently?
Mentioned in This Episode:
Call Jim: 715-836-2327
Email Jim: JSchmidt@uwec.edu