Report of the Activities
Since the submission of last yearís Annual Report to the Senate (on April 15, 2002), the administration consulted the Faculty Senateís Budget Planning Committee on the following items.
1. The salary policy for FY2003. The State had provided enough new money for approximately a 2% raise. The University allocated an additional 1.5% from tuition and other revenue to bring the average raise to 3.5%.
2. Requests to the Regents and legislature for FY2004. This was a very difficult process since the legislature funded the FY2003 salary increase with non-recurring funds. As a result, our first priority was to make the non-recurring allocation permanent. Second, we asked for resources to replenish the faculty, whose numbers have diminished by over 100 in the last three years, due to decreases in State appropriations.
3. The level of general fund support of intercollegiate athletics. This was an issue that members of the Committee wished to discuss because of concern over the nearly $2.5 mil from the general fund that is spent on athletics.
4. Federally mandated fringe rate increases, and health insurance costs. These items are linked. The FRIC provided the Committee with data indicating the decrease in level of support that the University provides the faculty and staff for health coverage. In consultation with the Senate Budget Planning Committee and FRIC, the administration arrived at a funding proposal for FY2004 that would ensure that the difference between what a single employee must pay for health coverage and what the University contributes to this coverage will not increase. The administration indicated a commitment to reduce the difference to zero over time.
5. Preparation of the FY2004 budget in response to allocations from the legislature. This is still in progress, and awaits final appropriations from the State. However, the Committee has considered a variety of scenarios and has been consulted, in particular, on how to use new tuition revenues to supplement state appropriations. The final FY2004 budget is not expected before the end of the month.
In addition to these items, the Committee was heavily involved in discussions over joining with the Staff Council Budget Committee to form a combined Faculty Senate/Staff Council Budget Committee. In response to the report of the Budget Planning Advisory Committee, Past President Coleman, with the help of Past Senate President Bhattacharjee, drew up a proposal for such a combined committee, which she asked the Faculty Senate and Staff Council to consider for their approval and adoption. The proposal was refined and eventually approved by the Senate in January 2003. (The Staff Council approved the proposal earlier.) The charge to the new Committee is fundamentally the same as that to the Senate Budget Planning Committee. There are differences in detail, however. In particular, the membership of the new Committee will be different. It is anticipated that there will be a one or two year transition from the current configuration to the approved new configuration.
Additional matters to be considered by the Committee during the remainder of the academic year and, possibly, during the summer include: Consulting with central administration on implementing other proposals from the report of the Budget Planning Advisory Committee. In particular, it will discuss the recommendation of an activity-based budget accounting system, wherein the costs and revenues of various activities are clearly expressed. It will also seek to rationalize its relationship to the Presidentís Committee on Strategic Implementation (PCSI), particularly in the area of unit reviews, and it will explore ways to become more fully involved in budget planning. In this connection, it will seek greater participation in the preparation of the FY 2005 and 2006 budget requests to the Regents and State.
Paul S. Muhly, Chair