Minutes of the University Budget Committee


Meeting Date:  Thursday, December 16, 2010, at 4:00 p.m.


Regular Members Present: Scott MacGilvray, Todd Fraley, Don Palumbo, John Given, Maureen Ellis


Ex-officio Members Present:  Joe Gaddis, Gary Vanderpool, Wanda Wynne, Anne Jenkins, Jinling Huang, Patricia Anderson, Scott Gordon, and Dillon Godley


Faculty Senate: Marianna Walker


Guests: Provost Marilyn Sheerer and Interim Rick Niswander

First order of business: Minutes from November meeting – minutes accepted

Two items on agenda:

1. Characteristics of search team for the Vice Chancellor of Administration for Finance;

2. Guest speakers: Dr. Sheerer and Dr. Niswander – impact of budget on main campus. Focus of discussion -- shortfall at state level (15% cut).


Marilyn Sheerer: Met with GA/Erskine Bowels. When they originally looked at the budget, they were thinking 5%, 10% and 15%. What does a 20% budget cut mean? Look at efficiencies, programs, centers. We need to integrate faculty into the decisions.

If we are looking at laying off tenured faculty, there must be consistency across the board. It is not as simple as implementing simple, efficient business practices.

Considerations: combining colleges, relocating/realigning programs. If it’s worst case scenario, then it could be 8-10% directly to affect the units. How do we educate people in a “real” transparent manner. When will we know how bad it is?” June? July? Maybe even as late as August.

Irony – money to spend: lapsed salaries, one-time monies. When it comes to positions – do we hold them or put them out there?

Rick Niswander – over-arching ideas – whatever happens, is going to happen. This is bigger than the University, fiscal constraints placed on us, which is our reality. What is our reaction? How do we react to what is imposed on us? The focus is – “how can they do this to us?” That’s not realistic. How do we get to the next place so we don’t mortgage our future. How can our University be in as good of a position as it can be. We are clearly in this “thing” together. The numbers are serious enough that absolutely no unit on campus will be exempt. Not a salami approach – not everybody is going to “die” at one time. There are different priorities across campus. There won’t be a clear answer in the next 3, 4, 5 months. We probably won’t know till July/August the full impact of the budget deficit. Currently, there is a huge political fight for the budget in the public press. Tenured/tenure-track cuts is the far end of the cuts, but we must face the issues and get in our mind’s what we want to do as an institution. We need to work together to make sure that the rhetoric level is damped and the response level is elevated.

Marriana Walker: How do we communicate as a faculty? Who is going to talk to the Faculty Senate? How does the Budget Committee have a voice? We need to coordinate this so that the other committees understand.

Rick Niswander: We have to cast a wide net so that people can come and talk about the issues, web page so that people can discuss how to raise revenue, cut costs. What can we do as an institution to be very deliberative to reach out and make sure that people can tell us their ideas? We are going to have to think of ideas we haven’t thought of before. Where does the idea fall on the continuum? Discuss things that cross divisional lines.  Example: IT – we must list areas of importance and prioritize. When we look at it from a University basis, we might look at it from a different perspective. What would be our priorities, would they look the same. Even though the conversation might be painful, we still have to look at the situation. We don’t know what all the questions are yet, so it is difficult to start the conversation.

Rick Niswander will start attending Senate meetings for the rest of year. Cut down on rhetoric and get to the true discussion. Whatever the University number; that doesn’t mean that the Units will be at that number, but they must prepare for the different scenarios. Even though we’re in it together, some of it comes from various areas (share the costs).

Key things from a political perspective: can we as institutions collect supplemental tuition, not campus-based tuition, whether we can collect and whether we can keep it. If yes, we can get through this with pain, but we can get through it. This is probably one of the key political components for the University.

Handouts: North Carolina’s FY 2011-12 Budget Gap

$3.7 billion gap – assumes that current law and spending are unchanged and that the potential spending items on the (left side) are unchanged. On the preliminary revenue, there is the temporarily state tax. It is remote that it won’t be extended. The political agenda tends to be tax cuts than increases. It is theoretically possible that the deficit is so bad that they will spread it over 2 years. Let the state taxes continue on.

The numbers are pretty straight forward and accurate, not conservative.

Expenditures 1.6 and 1. One of the big issues – the stimulus bill is expiring (ARRA). If we don’t raise taxes, then the only thing you can do is cut spending.

How to mitigate the deficit -- Spread it over multiple years? We won’t know how things will end up for a couple of years. 20% = $61 million. (Permanent).

Between now and June 30, we have some money.

Unallocated reserves – save some for the future.

We have to keep student credit hour production up. Larger class sizes.

Marilyn  Sheerer: What is our base responsibility – to teach the students. Are we expected to do research, service and scholarship. Is this the time to hire top-level researchers, with a 3-year start up to get their research agenda going. We have to continue to think of 2015 – where will we be? You have to look at the start-up package.

Are we looking at other institutions that have been through this? What have others done that we can learn from and what are others facing? Other states are looking at numbers far worse than us. Missouri 60%. Louisiana State 30-40%. We are gathering data to learn from what they have done, although there are some things that are unique to us.

Marilyn Sheerer: Would it be a challenge for this group to think of ways to educate faculty and create a dialogue?

Marianna Walker suggested that Scott as Chair, speak to the faculty senate. This is what we are going to have to face, let’s deal with it and move on.

Rick Niswander: Encourage meaningful participation. It could be less ugly than our fears, but you have to face it.

(send documents to Marianna with minutes).

Scott MacGalvray: continue the discussion – significant issues to discuss. We are probably going to have to increase the frequency of our meetings. Scott will come up with a schedule and send out a note when we can meet. Next meeting scheduled for January 20th. We should try to meet the first week back to get information together for the first Faculty Senate meeting. Scott will coordinate with Lori Lee for a room.

Characteristics of search team for the Vice Chancellor of Administration for Finance will be handled via email.

Meeting adjourned: 5:15 p.m.

Submitted by: Dr. Maureen Ellis