Annual Report to the Faculty Senate

Joint Faculty-Staff Budget Committee



Committee Chairs:        Margaret Raymond, Charles Eastham


Committee Members:   Pat Arkema

David Bergeon

Ella Born

John Forys

Cheryl Hoogerwerf Reardon

Jean Jew

Richard LeBlond

John Menninger

Paul Muhly

John Spitzer

Katherine Tachau

Michelle Wichman


Meeting Dates:             Sept. 24, 2004

                                    Oct. 15, 2004

                                    Nov. 19, 2004

                                    Dec. 17, 2004

                                    Jan. 21, 2005

                                    Feb. 25, 2005

                                    Mar. 25, 2005

                                    April 15, 2005 

                                    Meetings will continue through the summer:

                                    June 17, 2005

                                    July 15, 2005

                                    Aug. 19, 2005


Activities:                    The Committee sought to pursue all elements of its charge, which provides that the Committee shall

(a) Advise on budgetary priority setting and other budgetary matters which affect the University’s General Education Fund; including salary policy and other budgetary decisions affecting faculty and staff;

(b) Advise on state appropriations requests made to the Board of Regents; as may relate to University salary and other budget priorities;

(c) Advise on the internal governance procedures of the University which have major budgetary implications and impact on faculty and staff;

(d) Advise on the translation of University planning processes and unit reviews into specific budgetary allocations;

(e) Promote programmatic and resource allocation decisions that are guided by strategic plans and that will advance the University; and

(f) Consult with the UISG president and vice president on matters within the charge of this committee.


In doing so, the Committee considered and was consulted upon the following matters:


--Board of Regents budget request for FY 2006

--proposed health care plan rates for 2005

--proposed mandatory fees and tuition increases for FY 2006.             

--policies on sick leave conversions

--salary policy for FY 2006     

--issues relating to implementing annualized salary increases.


                                    It was kept apprised of the following matters:


--proposed reallocation processes

--periodic review of status of current revenues, including actual indirect cost recoveries and tuition revenue relative to budget estimates. 

--legislative developments

--status of  collective bargaining negotiations and agreements. 

--status of the Wellmark contract.

--exclusive contracts with outside providers


It raised concerns and established new procedures in the following areas:


            --The committee leadership continued and solidified the practice of meeting monthly with Vice President True and his staff in advance of the monthly committee meeting.  This facilitated the development of a timely agenda and the distribution of preparatory materials in advance of the meeting where possible.   During the second half of the year, next year's committee chairs joined these meetings, assuring a smooth transition for the committee next year.


            --The committee held a retreat in the fall to discuss goals and approaches for the committee and to provide a framework for the committee's activities over the year.  The committee's members discussed ways in which the committee could initiate more, could be more active and less reactive, and could play a more significant role in budgetary decisionmaking.  The committee reflected its desire to receive information in advance of meetings so that members' participation could be meaningful, to take votes on important issues, and to leave time at each meeting for committee discussion and reflection.   Response to the retreat was positive and future committees should consider making this an annual event. 


            --The committee facilitated orientation for new members to acquaint them with budgeting processes, which was graciously provided by the office of the Vice President for Finance.   


--The committee expressed concern about the timing of salary decisions for faculty and P&S staff .   These decisions are made late in the budget process, when little flexibility remains to accommodate the needs of these constituencies.  Committee members proposed further discussion of this issue and contemplation of ways to modify the timing of the discussion of salary increases for faculty and P&S staff. 


--The committee expressed concern about the process for reallocation decisions, and its desire to play a positive role in assuring that there is appropriate staff and faculty input on reallocation decisions. 


--The committee expressed concern that its ability to provide useful input was limited by the need to react to information received relatively late in the planning process.  In response, the committee secured a Calendar of Important Dates for budget decisions, which was distributed to the committee and used by the leadership to set agendas in advance of critical issues.


--The committee for the first time this year had as its chairs the immediate past presidents of the Staff Council and the Faculty Senate.  The committee discussed the value of this approach, and concluded that this was beneficial.  In response to the leadership's expressed concern about the one-year rotating nature of this chairmanship, it was suggested by the membership that the current Presidents (and the next year's  co-chairs under the current system) attend the chairs' monthly planning meetings with Doug True and his staff.   This suggestion was implemented during the second half of the year.


Final Conclusions:         The Committee should continue its efforts to play a meaningful role in the budgeting process and to seek ways to provide useful and valuable input on behalf of its joint constituencies.


Recommendations to the Senate:  As described above.