Final Minutes of the University Budget Committee


Meeting Date:  November 18, 2010


Regular Members Present: Scott MacGilvray, John Given, Alexandra Shlapentokh, Don Palumbo


Ex-officio Members Present:  Gary Vanderpool, Patricia Anderson, Jinling Huang, Dillon Godley


Excused: Maureen Ellis


Guests:  Julie Poorman, Patricia Fazzone


Meeting was called to order by Chairman Scott MacGilvray.


Minutes of the October 21, 2010 meeting were approved as written.


Agenda Items: Presentations were made to the committee by Julie Poorman, director of financial aid, and Patricia Fazzone, Dean of the Honors College.  A written report was provided by John Fletcher, Associate Provost for Enrollment services, as he had a prior commitment to attend the BOT meeting.


1.      Summary comments from the report provided by John Fletcher: 

Currently the budget cuts that have occurred in the past several years have not had any negative impact on the process of recruiting students to ECU.  However, if budget restrictions become severe enough, several high value strategies that are currently used to recruit new students to ECU could be curtailed or eliminated.  These strategies include purchasing lists of prospective students from testing companies and contacting them through direct mailings, face to face recruitment efforts through visits to high schools and community colleges, and special event receptions conducted both on and off campus for prospective students.  Finally, the published materials and brochures used to recruit students could be impacted by severe budget cuts.  The use of electronic media, web presence and on line chats are unlikely to be affected by budget issues as they are very inexpensive.  The final observations are that severe budget cuts may adversely affect enrollment retention and graduation in that there may be reduced class offerings, and reduced financial aid that could impede a student’s ability to remain in school and graduate in a timely fashion.


2.      Summary of Julie Poorman’s presentation on Financial aid: 

The presentation began with an outline of sources of financial aid available to students including: Federal grants, loans, and work study programs, State support mainly in the form of taxpayer support of tuition for all in state students, but also grants, scholarships, and loans for service (loans that can be forgiven), and institutional grants and scholarships.  Currently in state tuition only covers 1/3 the cost of educating the student, the remainder is made up in the state appropriation from taxpayer funds. There has been a significant drop off in the funds available for federal work study programs; consequently there has not been much work study here on the campus this past year.   

In order to have campus based funds for financial aid, ECU sets aside 25% of tuition to provide financial aid.  In addition, a percentage of campus based tuition increases and new funds from enrollment growth money are also set aside to provide campus based financial aid.

The Financial Aid office determines the cost of attendance, but does not determine the tuition or the room and board costs.  The cost of attendance includes not only tuition, room and board, but also all other living expenses including clothing cell phones, entertainment, and travel to and from home.  There is also a lengthy federal calculation that is made to determine what the family contribution should be, and the difference between the cost of attendance and the expected family contribution is the students need.  This need is then filled in with sources of financial aid listed above.  We have not been able to completely fill this need with financial aid.  Over the past three years there has been a steady and significant increase in the overall need for financial aid.  Despite significant increases in the amount of financial aid awarded, there has also been an increase in the overall unmet need of our students in the past three years.  For the current academic year, despite awarding $152 million in financial aid from all sources, only 60% of resident undergraduate, 33% of non-resident undergraduate, 65% of resident graduate, and 65% of non-resident graduate need has been filled by financial aid.  This means the students have had to come up with other sources to finance the difference, including working while in school.  Most of the students with unmet need are the nontraditional students with complicated lives and complex situations.  Overall about 70% of our students receive some form of financial aid to help meet the cost of their education.  This financial hardship for the students can have significant negative impact on their ability to maintain adequate grades and make progress toward graduation in a timely manner.  This obviously plays a role on impacting retention and graduation rates.


3.      Summary of Dean Fazzone’s comments: 

The Honors College has a very limited budget that primarily covers the operations of the College.  The College administers and houses the EC scholars program, but because of budget issues and the economy the past few years is currently only able to offer 10-11 EC Scholar awards each year.  In addition, each of these merit awards is not a “full ride” unlike many of the merit scholar awards at other institutions in North Carolina. 

The honors college also does not have their own faculty, and are completely reliant on faculty in other departments and units to teach courses.  Currently faculty who teach courses in the Honors College have their time “purchased” from other departments if they are able to be freed up from their home department to teach the course. As the budgets in the other departments get tighter, it could make it very difficult to run the Honors College as the faculty may not be able to be freed up from obligations in their parent department to teach the classes in the Honors College. 

The BOT and University are committed to the success of the Honors College, as it is seen as a very big recruiting tool to the University.  However, the students that we are trying to recruit to this program are highly sought after by other institutions as well.  Many of the programs at other Schools come with full-ride scholarships or at the least, substantial partial scholarships.  Because we cannot offer these students the same degree of financial merit scholarship, they chose not to attend ECU.  The Financial Aid office is working to set up some ways to set aside money to help increase the pool of money available for merit scholarships to help bring in merit scholars.  A further goal is to be able to move away from one year non-recurring awards, as we currently lose a large number of students, including those in the honors college to other schools after 1-2 years at ECU when their initial awards expire. 


New Business:

1.      Agenda for December 16 meeting:  Discussion was held and two items were agreed on for the agenda for the next meeting.

a.       Members will think of items and qualities that should be looked for among candidates for the Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance position.  We will discuss these items at the next meeting so that John Given will have this guidance to share with other members of the search committee.

b.      Invitation for Provost Sheerer to meet with the committee and discuss the likely impact the various budget reduction scenarios may have on the campus, and the academic core.

2.      Discussion on a charge from Chair of the Faculty and Provost: 

The UBC has been tasked with reviewing the ECU administrations report to GA on the Universities approach to the various budget reduction scenarios.  We have been asked to review the proposed responses, and provide faculty feedback to the Chancellor, and the Faculty Senate regarding these proposals.  The Chairman will request a copy of the report be distributed to the committee as soon as possible so that it can be reviewed and feedback provided in time for the December 7 meeting of the Faculty Senate.


Meeting adjourned at 5:10pm


Next Meeting December 16, 2010 at 4:00pm.