Regular Members in
Attendance: Cal Christian, Henry Ferrell, Nancy House, Carol Lust, Art
Rodriquez, Ralph Scott
Ex-officio Members in
Attendance: Joe Gaddis,Glen Gilbert, Andrea Harrell, Kevin
Seitz, Bob Thompson.
Others in Attendance:
Person Presiding: Professor
Professor Ferrell called the meeting to order at 4:03 P.M.
Professor Ferrell noted that this is a Special Called
Meeting of the University Budget Committee, at the request of Chancellor
Ballard to discuss a projected 4% permanent cut in the total budget for the
years 2005-2007. Professor Ferrell noted that the Committee had in 2001 come up
with a list of suggestions for “what not to cut” rather than what to cut. This
way the administration get some flexibility in what it can do, but the
Committee also gets to give some priorities.
Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance Kevin Seitz
noted that we were very early in the budget process and in effect at the “first
step in a multiple step dance.” Seitz
provided a copy of a summary of the Governor’s budget. There was some
discussion as to the potential effect of a state lottery on the availability of
funds for educational purposes in the state. The lottery bill passed yesterday
by a one vote margin in the Assembly, next goes to the
Senate. Seitz noted that UNC Chief Financial Officers had been instructed to
respond to a request from the Fiscal Research office of the General Assembly to
the Office of the President for specific options in dealing with a possible 4%
budget cut. The CFO’s and OP agreed to provide a general response at the 1,2,3
and 4% levels since campuses would need a significant amount of time to provide
more specific information. The ECU response indicated the need to take
significant reductions in filled positions in order to implement a 4%
reduction. The Chancellor and Vice Chancellors are participating in a process
to consider options for dealing with both a 4% and 2% reduction. Options for
dealing with a significant reduction would be reviewed in a collaborative
process with the Faculty. While we don’t expect a 4% reduction, we need to be
ready to deal with the possibility.
Ferrell asked what a 4% cut would result in. Seitz responded
that 4% equals approximately $8 million and thus 2% would equal approximately
$4 million reduction. Attempts will be
made to influence the legislature not to take a large
4% cut. Chancellor Ballard would like the university to look at how we are
currently doing business and how can we do it more efficiently and effectively.
Thompson noted that we are in line for major enrollment
increases this time, but we need to identify the 4% cut areas before these
enrollment increase funds come.
Professor Ferrell asked if there were any questions from
Professor Ferrell asked if the retirement of President Broad
would have any effect on these issues?
Thompson responded that he did not know, but that we need to
request what we want done down to the item level. He noted that this was a “new
Professor Ferrell asked the status of tuition increases?
VC Seitz responded that a $300 campus based tuition increase
for all non-resident students and resident graduate students, was approved by
the Board of Governors and must be approved by the General Assembly.
Professor Ferrell asked about effects of enrollment ceilings
as a solution to funding issues?
Thompson responded that there would be a negative impact
with an enrollment cap.
VC Seitz noted that some individuals were suggesting the
need for enrollment caps. This is not a position OP or ECU is taking. He
reiterated that the budget process was just beginning and we need to plan for
the end game.
Professor Ferrell again asked for comments from other
Committee members? He asked that members refer to the 6/27/01 UBC report to the
Chancellor which Lori Lee had provided to members.
Professor Ferrell asked if specific fees, such as the
Computer Use Fee can be changed.
Thompson responded that they can be, but only through the
SGA and the Board of Trustees.
Professor Ferrell next led a discussion by members of the
first four items on the 6//27/01 UBC report to the Chancellor.
Professor Ferrell noted that next we would have to cut
faculty positions, not just positions but also people.
Thompson stated that he thought the 6/27/01 priorities were
reasonable, continuing cuts to make. He noted that the administrative side took
most of the cuts over the past four years.
Professor House asked what specific cuts were made in the administration?
Thompson responded that there had been cuts in the
enrollment management positions and in other areas in administration over the
past four years.
VC Seitz noted that past reductions had eliminated several
vacant SPA and EPA non-teaching positions. An additional 4% cut would have a
greater effect on positions. Our focus will be in finding more efficient ways
of doing business in order to minimize the impact on academic programs.
Professor Scott asked about new initiatives such as the
taking over of the management of the Country
Could these be areas that could be looked at for possible savings?
VC Seitz noted that we need to ask many tough questions.
Gilbert noted that most of the budget dollars were in
Professor Ferrell noted that with reductions you begin to
lose your faculty. He cited several faculty in the
History Department that had been hired away to other institutions. He noted
that we need to maintain the quality of academic programs on campus.
Professor Christian noted the reality of the political
situation, but that the General Assembly had in the past had a strong
commitment to education.
VC Seitz noted that the priority was to minimize the impact
on academic programs. He next gave the example of how the printing operation at
the “University at Buffalo”
(SUNY-B) had been reviewed. Over time the printing operations was downsized and
made supporting. The reduction in the size of the operating budget was applied
to campus reductions.
Professor Scott asked if ways could be found on campus to
reduce the use of paper, perhaps switching to CDs. He noted that many classes
pass out dozens of paper printed at 8-10 cents a page, while a CD with all of
the class handouts might costs actually save cost.
VC Seitz noted that the university had implemented service
contracts with companies such as Staples to purchase supplies. Reducing energy
costs is also a potential source of savings.
Professor Ferrell next related several ideas regarding the
use of energy on the part of the very efficient Greenville Utilities Commission
that might have applications to budget savings for ECU: jet engines for peak
load generation, co-generation, use of aquifers to store river water during
flood periods for use in the summer, freezing of natural gas, and the use of
GUC as a contract service to provide on campus utility work.
Professor Ferrell asked if the Committee had anything else
they wished to talk about? He next moved on with the
review of the first four items of the 6/27/01 recommendations. Hearing no
objection he ruled that the first four items were “ok” with the group pending
minor editorial changes.
Professor Ferrell moved on to the next section which gave
specific recommendations regarding the continued funding of East Carolina
Library operations. He talked about the effect that cut backs in library
funding had on the quality of the research collections here at East Carolina. Material goes quickly out of print and if
it is not purchased in a timely manner often it is lost.
Professor Scott noted that Joyner Library had cut out three
months of the book Approval Plan in 2004 and that this had a negative impact on
our collections. We did not initially for example a number of national book
award items for our collection. These were ordered a number of months later,
depriving library patrons the use of these items over the summer and early fall
Professor Rodriquez noted that the university could look for
other areas to save funds. He noted that in the Chemistry department they rent
gas cylinders for a number of years at fixed price that often exceeds the
actual purchase cost of these cylinders. He noted that we need to look at local
budget items such as this for savings.
Professor Ferrell mentioned the use of a central warehouse
for audio-visual equipment.
Thompson responded that we have looked at that before, and
costs savings were eaten up by labor costs.
Professor Rodriquez asked that each department evaluate
individual items in their budget to see if financial savings could be made. Can
we do the same things, but make it “better.”
Professor Ferrell asked if the group wanted to add the
statement “Review budget lines to see if saving can be made.” There was general
agreement on this idea.
Thompson suggested that we look for patterned ways to save.
He suggested asking units to review patterns of expenditures to see if savings
can be realized.
VC Seitz stated that there might be a need for the Committee
to be involved in the budget discussions over the summer. He suggested that the
Committee think about how the Chancellor can work collaboratively with the
Professor Ferrell stated that we would take what has been
suggested today to the Chancellor. Members should send additional comments and
suggested items to Vice Chancellor Seitz. He noted that the Senate and
Committees had met in the past in the summer and that this would be the pattern
for this year also.
Professor Ferrell adjourned the meeting at 5:07 p.m.
The next meeting of the University Budget Committee will be
April 21st at 4PM in Rawl 142.
Changes made to 4/27/01 recommendations:
statement on priorities
1. Academics should be the
primary budgetary priority. Budget cuts should not be made that will adversely
affect student learning or the safety of students and University personnel.
priorities must firmly support the research intensive doctoral I mission of the
University and the continuing and increasing requirements for faculty research
3. Budget cuts
should not damage the University in ways that are not easily reversed upon the
return of an improved economy.
4. Budgetary cuts
to be avoided are those that adversely affect areas of revenue generation
including but not limited to student credit hours, grants and contracts, and
committee recommendations consistent with the above general priorities.
1. Make no further
budgetary cuts in the operating budget of the libraries. New funds or a
reduction in the budgetary shortfall should be used to restore previous
reductions and/or to fund inflationary adjustments no longer supported by the
2. Maintain and appropriately staff currently planned courses and sections.
3. Maintain current teaching, research, and service capabilities.
4. Maintain current levels of contract and grant support.
5. Maintain revenue-generating clinical operations on the health sciences
campus. To the extent possible, provide funding for programs or activities that
will generate sufficient revenue to realize a quick return on the investment.
6. Review unit budgets for the benefit of efficiency and savings.
Recommended budget reductions and alterations in order of
1. Increase the
administrative charge to ancillary operations and use of resources to offset
2. Reduce the number of faculty/staff replacements for one year.
3.Reduce the amount spent on travel. Permit units to
determine how reductions should be implemented.
4. Postpone purchase of machinery, tools, and other assets where feasible.
Adjust the number and cost of vehicles owned or leased by the University.
5. Reduce energy consumption.
6. Cut vacant non-teaching EPA and SPA positions. Cutting occupied positions
should be a very low option. When implementing this point consider: a review of
the number and job responsibilities of administrative positions and consolidate
or eliminate positions when appropriate; adjust maintenance and housekeeping
schedules for cost savings; reduce landscaping intensity.
Secretary, University Budget Committee