COE BUDGET COMMITTEE MEETING MINUTES
April 17, 2017
8:00 – 9:30 a.m.
Attendees: Brittany Wittenberg, James Meyer, Kim Dubree, Macy Hankel, Jill Martin, Abby Burch, Jon Turner, Steve Jones, Becky Swearingen, Teresa Steele, David Hough, Linda Garrison-Kane, James Satterfield.
The meeting began at 8:00 a.m. with Dean Hough giving an overview of the history of how the percentage of budget cuts came to be decided. He indicated many ways were deliberated to handle the cuts from the state, and he pointed out that MSU did not ask for a waiver to increase student tuition above the CPI.
The dean also took a moment to let the committee know that he had received an equity request, and reminded the group that the FAC, BC, and LC had not given priority to equity requests in recent years. He noted that in his letter to faculty seeking salary equity adjustments, no increases would be made until the FAC, BC, and LC made equity a higher priority than other personnel needs. He asked the committee if they wished to change priorities, which followed with discussion. It was decided by the committee not to make any salary priority changes at this time, but the Dean noted he will ask the BC to revisit priorities this fall to see if they need to be changed for FY18.
The topic of the meeting then moved to FY18 budget cuts. The dean informed the committee that he intended to submit the new proposed budget cuts to the Provost’s Office by Wednesday. The amended COE cut is 1.2%, which is $113,989. The committee was given a duplex handout of the spreadsheet Dean Hough received from the Provost requiring a detailed list of exactly where the budget cuts would take place. Teresa also supplied the proposed cost center budget numbers for FY18 to the members as a reference.
The duplex handout had two scenarios to consider: the first was a 1.2% cut that included leaving the $55 per student Internet Incentive allotment with no reduction and a second scenario that reduces the Internet Incentive allotment to $40.00 per student. If reducing the Internet Incentive allotment to $40 per student, the cut needed by COE would only be $20,686. However, the dean told the committee that there were two searches underway, one for a department head in RFT and a CFD faculty in CEFS. In order to be able to afford these hires he will still have to cut one or two additional staff in addition to cutting two 20-hour employee positions. He indicated that the decision has been made by immediate supervisors as to which staff would be laid off, but no public announcement will be made until after the staff affected have been notified. He also stated that the elimination of the two positions would only cover the personnel searches underway, and we would still need to come up with the amount to cut listed at the top of the handouts. It was discussed how to come up with the cuts, and it was decided that they will come from the Dean’s Research Fund, the Program Support Fund and the COE Special Projects Fund.
The dean asked Becky Swearingen to give a report from the Executive Budget Committee. She reported that it was stated that most of the budget cuts were coming from non-academic units. Becky and Brittany Whittenberg stated that it was the consensus of the Academic Affairs Budget Committee to drop the Internet Incentive to $40 per student.
Discussion of the next EBC meeting took place. It was suggested that questions be raised regarding how much money the University is spending on sending upper-level administrators to foreign countries as part of the international programs initiative. Of interest is knowing how much money is being spent on international travel to send upper level administrators, i.e., deans, vice presidents, et al. to China and other countries. Some suggestions were made by BC members as to how this issue might be broached at the next EBC. After much discussion, it was generally agreed that Brittany Whittenberg would attend for Becky instead of Cathy Pearman who had also volunteered to attend. Brittany will report to the BC how the EBC discussions go after their meeting on April 27th. Dean Hough noted that letters to staff who will be laid off will go out from all deans on or about the same day. He assumes that will be immediately following the outcome of the April 27th ECB meeting.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:25 a.m.
Teresa Steele, Budget Officer