Committee: University Budget Committee
Meeting Date: 4:05PM, 15 April 2004
Elected Committee Members: Patricia Clark, Henry Ferrell, Jeff Kovacs, Art Rodriquez, Ralph Scott
Ex-Officio Members: Joe Gaddis, Andrea Harrell, Rick Niswander, Bob Thompson, Gary Vanderpool
Others: L. Lee
Henry Ferrell called the meeting to order and noted that a quorum was present at the meeting.
Henry Ferrell next announced that he had no formal agenda for today’s meeting and that the committee would discuss such topics as were brought up by members at the meeting.
Non-Agenda Item #1. Henry Ferrell further announced that he had read in the newspapers that it was projected that Corporate Tax Revenues might go up. He noted that this perhaps would provide funding for increases in faculty salaries, and new construction on systems campuses.
Rick Niswander noted that a $225 tuition increase had been approved by the Board of Governors and that the Board had specified how the funds were to be used.
Bob Thompson stated that the university had not received any documentation yet from the Board of Governors relative to the tuition increases. ECU is using existing data to prepare for responses to issues such as class size. He feels that the Board of Governors reacted to input from students and other board members. Students had a hand this time in Board action. He noted that class size is down to its lowest level in 7 years here at ECU.
Henry Ferrell asked where we stand on salaries?
Bob Thompson noted that while we will probably not have a significant shortfall this year, he is not sure how other obligations of the state will play out relative to the university budget salary issues.
Non-Agenda Item #2. Henry Ferrell noted that in looking over university records from the 1930’s he found out that over 50% of university revenues came of state and federal agencies. Today he believes this figure is closer to 40%. During the 1930’s lots of federal funds were expended at East Carolina in a number of projects run by the WPA and other federal agencies. For example he spoke of a welding training school that was utilized by East Carolina students as well as area residents. Henry Ferrell asked the question: do we have someone looking for federal funding opportunities for the university?
Bob Thompson replied that it would be best if he broke down the question by area: With regard to Financial Aid, we pretty much have that covered. With regard to “bricks and mortar” most of the federal funding of the type given in the 1930’s has pretty much dried up. Laboratory fittings for example are particularly hard to get federal funding for (this had not been true in the recent past). He noted that Ali Delia is our liaison in Washington, D.C., and that he keeps a pretty good eye out for federal funding opportunities for East Carolina.
Non-Agenda Item #3. Henry Ferrell noted that he will draft a committee annual report and circulate it to members for comment and review.
Non-Agenda Item #4. Committee next had a free flowing discussion of a number of interrelated issues:
In response to a question about upcoming construction projects, Bob Thompson provided the following information: 2005/07 Budget request has a $250 million request for new construction: a “Education/Business” classroom building; an “office” building for the faculty; a phased renewal of the HVAC system in the Howell Science Complex; removal of the Christenbury Gym to allow for expansion of the Howell Science Complex. During the phased renewal of Howell, some labs will re-located to the Science and Technology building and some non-lab space will move to Flanagan.
Art Rodriguez asked what was going to happen to Flanagan? Bob Thompson responded that portions of ICMR would move over to Flanagan when renovations were completed. He noted that the ICMR Core Lab was currently housed in the basement of the old portion of the former cafeteria complex. He also noted that the Institute for Cultural Resources would to the remodeled Flanagan. There is the opportunity for a donor to provide additional funds for the renovation of the South wing of Flanagan. Thompson also noted that the old cafeteria complex portions that have not been upgraded would also be part of the remodeling plans.
Henry Ferrell noted that the old infirmary (Mamie Jenkins) was a historically attractive building and that he hoped plans would be made to preserve it. Thompson noted that portions of ICMR would remain in Jenkins. It was noted by committee members that this building would make an ideal reception area for visiting parents and prospective students. Thompson noted that there was a problem with parking and routing incoming visitors to the building. Committee members stated that there could be a direct route from Fifth Street, through the West end of Leo Jenkins (Art and Design) to the parking areas near the old infirmary.
Thompson also noted that at some time Erwin will have to come down and that we would have to look at Jenkins use at that time.
Henry Ferrell next asked about funding method issues for the Brody Medical School.
Gary Vanderpool noted a number of funding method concerns for our medical school:
- Grant salary retention (need to get this type of funding as does the Medical School at Chapel Hill)
- $1 million in resident pay had to be returned (this does not happen at UNC)
- We have to pay for use of building facilities (also does not happen with buildings at UNC).
- We absorb a greater portion of indigent funding than does Chapel Hill Medical School
The Committee agreed that it would be best for us if our medical school was funded in the same manner as UNC-CH. It was hoped that the legislature would not reduce Chapel Hill funding, but would instead bring our funding up to their level.
Henry Ferrell asked if these funding differences between UNC-CH and ECU medical schools had been recent changes? Gary Vanderpool responded that the funding method for graduate students had been essentially the same as it was when the ECU
medical school was established in the 1970s. With regard to faculty funding, there was a change during the 1980s of the method of funding and this has led to present problems.
There being no further business before the committee, Chair Ferrell adjourned the meeting at 4:41 p.m.