Indiana State University Newsroom

Three employees recognized for cost-cutting suggestions

February 18, 2010

Of more than 200 "good ideas" for saving money submitted by Indiana State University faculty and staff, three have been selected as the best.

The "Good Ideas" competition was launched in response to a reduction in state appropriations that required the university to more closely examine its expenses.

The winning recommendations were submitted by Teresa Sale, travel account specialist in the university controller's office; Michael Morris, an instructor in the corrections education program; and Ellen Knoblett, administrative assistant for the departments of history, social science education and African and African-American studies.

All three were recognized during Thursday's meeting of the university's Board of Trustees.

"The ‘good ideas' submitted by each of these ISU employees, if fully implemented, would save the university tens of thousands of dollars per year or more -money that could be better used for direct education-related expenses," university President Dan Bradley said. "I thank each of the more than 200 faculty and staff who accepted the challenge to submit cost-saving strategies and congratulate Teresa, Michael and Ellen for their excellent suggestions. We will be analyzing all of the suggestions to see if we can put them into action."

Sale received the grand prize of $1,000 for recommending a switch to mandatory direct deposit of travel reimbursement checks for faculty and staff. Sale, who processes thousands of such reimbursement checks annually, estimated replacing paper checks with direct deposit would result in an annual savings of about $70,000. There's an added bonus to employees in that direct deposit results in quicker payments and eliminates the risk of losing a paper check.

Morris received the second prize of $500 for suggesting that annual plants on the university campus be replaced with perennials and that all trees planted on campus be Indiana-grown - moves that would save an estimated $8,000 per year, according to the facilities management department.

Knoblett was awarded third prize and $300 for her recommendation that candidates for university jobs be interviewed via teleconferencing rather than bringing in all finalists to campus for in person interviews. The Office of Human Resources estimates teleconferencing would save approximately $2,500 for each job search.

Writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or