Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 3:40 PM by Chancellor Keating.
Prof James made a motion to convene into a Committee of the Whole to discuss the campus budget situation. The motion was APPROVED viva voce. Prof James assumed the chair.
Chancellor Keating made the following comments:
We know nothing more about the budget. We are still waiting to hear about a tuition offset in order to reduce the debt to $100 million rather than $250 million debt. Students are against the tuition rise, but out of 35 comprehensive schools, Parkside ranks 34th for lowest tuition rates. If we have the raises that they are indicating, UW-Parkside would still rank at the lower end (31 out of 35) of the tuition rates. If the tuition increase is not approved, access for students would be limited and the ability to complete an academic program in a timely manner would be limited, so you would be talking about lost opportunity.
The other alternative scenario would be that the Republican House or Senate could reduce the $250 million cut; but that unlikely to happen. The opposite is more likely to happen with deeper cuts because they are convinced that the Governor's balancing of the budget was based on expected revenues that were in some doubtful assumptions.
Provost Rebecca Martin said that budget managers were asked to prepare a budget proposal that included a 5% cut in their budget for next year. A commitment was made early on that an across the board 5% cut was not a desired outcome and that differential cuts, in recognition of priorities, was expected. The University Planning Council's Budget Subcommittee went page by page through the blue book and looked at areas where they could move funds from general state-funded budget into the fee-based part of the budget and came up with a plan that would help hit the target of $884,000 base budget cut for this year. This base budget cut was based on the Governor's budget and on the assumption that we would get all of the tuition increase that the Governor has proposed.
Provost Martin indicated that she would like to protect the academic programs as much as possible. She is proposing to cut the administrative budget associated with the Provost's office 3.2%. Reductions on the administrative or non-academic side will be in the range of 7%. Within Academic Affairs, the administrative budgets will be cut 9.7%. This includes the provost’s office and senior administrators, faculty recruitment and the grants office.
More generally, she said that the College of Arts and Sciences
would be expected to produce a 2.5% cut and the School of Business and Technology
a 1% cut.
In the short term, cuts within the college and the school would involve reductions in the djunct budget, supplies and expense, LTE support, classroom support, and some salaries from vacant faculty positions. The positions have not been given up; but where there are senior faculty member retiring at a relatively high salary, authorized replacements would be hired at probationary levels and lower salaries, in general.
If this budget holds, with the expected revenue and tuition increase, then the university will be able to maintain the current searches there are currently ongoing for faculty positions. There are five such positions that are ongoing for fall 2003 hires. She urged that these searches be completed expeditiously.
Concerning the 9.7% cut in Provost's area, Provost Martin continued, the S & E budget has been cut pretty hard as well as the faculty recruitment and retention budget. There will be some reorganization in the senior staff by the elimination of the position of the Senior Special Assistant to the Provost, and there are some other planned changes in the senior administrative level of the Provost office that she could not currently discuss.
In order to keep the academic programs at current levels, other units of the campus must cut back significantly. Faculty will, however, be expected to assume a fair share of budget cuts by assuming extra duties.
Chancellor Keating noted that the contingency funds are dangerously low and that budget balances may have to be taken to ensure that the fund is maintained at some level. He also noted that, other than emergencies, all building projects are put on hold unless they are already in progress.
The Chancellor noted that admissions remain capped at 95%, but we are still expecting to get permission to go to 100%. We cannot afford to lose enrollment and the associated tuition revenues, he said.
He mentioned the SBT-DaimlerChrysler MBA project as an example of a good money-making project for the campus since such arrangments allow the campus to keep all revenues.
Both the Chancellor and the Provost voiced concern that if the cuts are any deeper than the current projections, academic programs will have to be cut since there isn't much else to trim back without having significant consequences.
It was noted that the project to enlarge the Parkside Union was on hold since it would result in significant increases in student fees on top of likely tuition increases.
In response to a question, the Chancellor stated that there is no current plan to change the "tuition plateau" that is currently in place for students taking 12-18 credits.
The meeting adjourned at 4:45 PM.
Walter T. Feldt
Secretary of the Faculty
based on notes taken by
Lesa Lieck, Program Assistant, Political Science/History/Economics
Lester McCann, Associate Professor, Computer Science