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Academic Senate: Minutes 2/16/2010
Call to order and announcements at 4:05 pm
II. Roll call
III. Invocation: Kathleen McManus
IV. Approval of minutes from meeting from 19 January 2010
V. Two motions to allow Denis Ransmeier to speak and to allow comments from non-senators
a. passed: Denis Ransmeier will speak first
b. passed: allow speaking of non-senators
VI. Denis Ransmeier, Financial VP, report
a. Fr. Beauchamp introductory statement
At the officer’s retreat in January, Denis Ransmeier presented the preliminary budget. Only tuition and room and board were approved at that meeting and then other topics are brought up for discussion. Also discussed were potential changes in payroll (benefits and salary). Administrators would like feedback on whether employees prefer an increase in salary and a reduction in retirement contribution or to keep the same salary with no reduction in retirement contribution. (Benefits packages for faculty and staff must by law be the same.) No decision has been made yet.
b. Denis Ransmeier described the budgeting process for next year, explaining the difference between an operating budget, from which faculty and staff are paid, and a capital budget, from which maintenance and up-keep are paid. Ransmeier outlined the following issues related to budgeting:
1. UP is required by law to balance our budget because of bond requirements.
2. Based on a database of peer institutions, UP is spending less on maintenance, which leads to deferred maintenance. It is important to focus on improving the capital budget.
3. The operating budget projected for this year (2009-10) was $900,000, about half of what was expected from last year, but it allowed for a small salary increase for those at the lower end of the salary scale.
4. The preliminary budget (as presented to the officers in January) for next year is fairly well set based on tuition and room and board increases. Enrollment is expected to remain level.
5. There will be an increase of about 5.14% in revenues based on increases in tuition and room and board, and increases in fund-raising are projected. Contributions from endowments last year were less than the original investment, but expenses usually covered by endowments had to be covered (e.g. salary for endowed chairs) out of operations. Next year we should be able to cover these losses out of revenues rather than out of the operating budget.
6. It is projected that on the bottom line about 1 million dollars will be available, to cover the following costs (but total requests are about $9 or $10 million for, e.g. new positions):
a) salary increase at 2% and monies for promotions and tuition remission programs (Budgeting is based on the assumption that all positions will be filled.)
b) “push costs”: utilities for example, which continue to go up and cannot really be controlled or brought down
c) retirement: with the option to reallocate retirement to other benefits like healthcare or to salary
7. Budgeting also includes planning ahead for the next several years: Tuition and fundraising will continue to go up, but there will be concurrent increases in costs such as healthcare and utilities and maintenance, which can lead to a deficit. Adjustments to the budget will need to be made accordingly.
a) Gift-giving remains flat, but we don’t have more products (tuition) to sell because of limited infrastructure). We cannot however sustain the increases in tuition as has been the case in the last few years. A 4% increase is on the high end for most institution, even taking into consideration discount rate. It is not feasible to simply increase tuition and lower the discount rate because we will not able to maintaining student diversity,
b) Additionally, budgeting must consider to what extent tuition increases are in line with family disposable income. This is a smaller increase than cost of living. How do we maintain the university’s mission as a Catholic institution, i.e. not become a school only the rich can afford?
a) Q: How are priorities set for the budget? Where do faculty salaries fall within this list?
A: Amongst deans, faculty salaries are the first priority; some cost increases are not under our control.
b) Q: Is the proposal to decrease retirement contribution still on the table?
A: As a possibility. 10% seemed to be the standard among peer institutions. The intention was to raise salaries. The goal is to remain competitive on salary and benefits, and the majority of faculty seem to be not in favor of moving retirement into salary
c) Q: about the capital budget
A: Maintenance issues can no longer be deferred. Many are beyond the fifty years that facilities usually hold out; it will take at least ten years to get this part of the budget back to a good level. We do not want to have to do fundraising for deferred maintenance.
d) We may need to face difficult choices because we cannot do everything, e.g. can we eliminate programs or reduce departmental budgets?
e) Q about human capital: How do we evaluate this? What are other institutions doing?
A: We are attempting to remain at the mean, paying attention to this. Deans are looking at comparative data on faculty salaries several times a year.
VII. Standing Committee Reports:
a. Executive Committee, Dr. Larry Larsen (represented by Dr. Brian Adams)
1. Executive Committee met 2 February to prepare for today’s Academic Senate meeting.
2. Deans have been emailed about elections for new senators. Half are up for election. We would like to urge dean to consider finding a good balance of senior and junior faculty members to serve on the Academic Senate.
3. If there are items to be discussed at the Executive Committee meeting on 2 March, Larry Larsen will accept them by email.
b. Committee on Committees, Dr. Elise Moentmann (represented by Jacquie VanHoomissen)
1. no report
c. Committee on Rank & Tenure, Dr. Jill Hoddick
1. no report
d. Committee on Teaching & Scholarship, Dr. Nick McRee
1. no report
e. Committee on Faculty Welfare, Dr. Susan Baillet
1. The committee met with Jim Kuffner. Kaiser expenses will increase, but Kuffner is trying to negotiate a 12% increase.
2. The increase will probably not have to be covered by employees in total. UP will absorb some, but a 10% increase can be expected.
f. Committee on Curriculum & Academic Regulations, Dr. Brian Adams
1. The committee is meeting next week.
2. Five items are on their agenda, and new business will be discussed at next meeting
VIII. Presidential Advisory Committees:
a. Committee on Student Media, Dr. Jackie Waggoner
1. interviews for new positions next year
b. Committee on Athletics, Dr. Jacquie van Hoomissen
1. met 27 January, no report
c. Committee on Health and Safety, Dr. Hans Nordstrom
1. Jeff Rook, chair and OCIA expert, working toward asbestos abatement
2. A DEQ investigator on campus to investigate the source of odor in the air but couldn’t find the source. The DEQ has thus been alerted. The campus community is encouraged to contact Hans or Jeff, who will a running log of complaints.
d. Committee on Information Technology, Dr. Karen Ward
1. met 2 February
2. continuing to work on reports, more on faculty development day
e. Committee on Sustainability, Stephanie Michel
1. met in January
2. implementation of no selling of bottled water on campus
3. upcoming conference
4. climate subcommittee: climate action plan
IX. Other Reports:
a. Fr. William Beauchamp
1. The board adopted revised mission statement for UP, which was completed in anticipation of the 10-year reaccreditation visit.
2. reviewing files for new director of Human Resources
b. Dean’s Meeting (Br. Donald Stabrowski)
1. discussion of delivering tenure decision all within an hour
2. discussion of intellectual property + practices in the library
3. freshmen orientation: Craig Swineyard will replace Alex Sanatana
4. John Orr organizing Founders Day, wanting to increase participation of freshmen
5. weekly admissions report, will be about same size class for next year (about 800)
6. retirement parties: One event for all those retiring, including a formal presentation in BC auditorium, reception in the new board room (Doyle, Mulcrone, Ackley, Snow this year)
7. new accreditation standards adopted, one of the first schools to do five standards (reduced from nine), looking for nominations to serve on the self-study committee
8. celebrating 10th anniversary of Swindells Hall
9. meeting tomorrow to pick valedictorian
10. 19 applicants for Fulbright, 11 have been recommended on
11. rank and tenure: tenure and promotion will not be judged separately
12. 1 June deadline for all submitting materials for tenure and promotion, but those being considered for promotion to professor will be evaluated in the spring
1. resolution passed two weeks ago: senators will do a service day each semester
2. working with John Orr on Founders Day
3. considering a capital improvement project
4. elections coming up
5. working on a resolution about the Bell Tower: some feels it rings too often: reduce to ring every half hour or every hour, would like feedback from professors
X. New Business: Denis Ransmeier, Financial VP: report on next year’s budget (see above)
XII. Adjournment: 5:35 pm
Note: All members of the University community are welcome to attend any meeting of the Academic Senate. The meetings begin promptly at 4:00 pm.