A&S Planning and Budget Commmittee Minutes Nov 12 1997
Planning and Budget Committee
College of Arts and Sciences
November 12, 1997
Attending: J. Steffen, G. Brown (Staff Representative), J. Garcia-Varela, J. McCabe (Dean's Office), R. Miller, N. Schwartz, L. S. Weissbach, W. Williams. Meeting with the Committee was Dean Randy Moore.
The meeting was called to order at noon by Professor Steffen.
Dean Moore then spoke with the Committee on his view of the curent budget situation. He noted that virtually all of the College's problems could be addressed with greater funding. He pointed to the University's budget process which centralizes revenues in central administration while decentralizing expenses to the colleges. In the case of the College of Arts and Sciences, the more students and classes we teach, the more it costs the College for teaching materials and faculty, while that additional teaching does not lead to the return of any additional revenue to the College. So we are financially penalized for teaching; our teaching produces revenue from the tuition paid by students, but we do not have any call on the revenue stream produced by our teaching.
Dean Moore then shared with the Commitee data that he had generated on the relative efficiency of the College of Arts and Sciences relative to other units of the University. Drawing on data from the University's budget, Dean Moore's analysis showed that A&S produced far more student credit hours per full-time faculty member than any other unit at the University. The number of staff relative to the size of the A&S full-time faculty is much smaller than in any other unit. The only measure on which A&S was not the most efficient unit was the number of student credit hours produced by both full and part-time faculty in which we ranked behind the Law School and the Business School. But on the amount of funding that the university provided each unit, A&S is far and away the most efficient unit, producing each student credit hour for only $120, barely more than what students actually pay in tuition. By comparision, the next most efficient unit is Education, which receives $191 for each student credit hour, while Business receives $210 per student credit hour, and Law receives $351 dollar per credit hour.
The Dean noted that in the past, one way we maintained this efficiency was through the heavy use of part-time faculty, an option that is no longer available due to accreditation concerns. While reducing our reliance on part-time faculty may also increase the quality of our teaching, there is no way we can generate the revenue to pay for that change--university budgeting practise does not reward us for generating massive amounts of tuition revenue and we cannot add to the college revenue base simply by teaching more.
The Dean argued that many of our problems, like keeping up with technology, are the result of these budgeting practises which deprive the College and the Departments of the ability to increase their budgets through additional teaching. The Dean noted that the increases in the College budget for research funding and travel were not in response to changing conditions, but rather were part of his conditions for accepting the deanship.
Dean Moore observed that the actual strategic plan is the budget. Current budget policy makes it very difficult for us to offer quality instruction to a large number of students. Given current budgeting, the easiest way for us to increase the quality of instruction would be to cut enrollments in the College, although that would represent a major loss to university enrollments (a three percent drop in college enrollments would represent a million dollar drop in tuition income to the University).
The Dean agreed to meet further with the Committee to discuss the definition of the Committee's role in College planning and budgeting.
The Committee approved the minutes of the October 15 meeting. The next meeting of the Committee was set for December 5 at noon.
Minutes submitted by