Budget Committee / Faculty Advisory Council
February 7, 2020
8:00 – 9:00 am
Budget Committee Attendees: Dean Hough, Bill Agnew, Minor Baker, Abby Burch, Denise Cunningham, Kim Dubree, Joe Hulgus, Steve Jones, Jill Martin, Cathy Pearman, James Satterfield, Barri Tinkler, Rose Lee Guest: Michael Jarvis, Greenwood Intern
FAC Attendees: Dean Hough, Bill Agnew, Leslie Anderson, Jamie Atkinson, Sarah Baker, Pam Correll, Kayla Lewis, Kim Roam, Barri Tinkler, Sharon Lopinot
Dean Hough called a joint meeting of the Budget Committee and Faculty Advisory Committee due to FAC being canceled earlier this week because of the possibility of bad weather. The Dean wanted to discuss two issues.
First, the FAC/BC discussed a draft policy regarding purchasing software that has a yearly renewal fee. In the past some start-up fund requests have been submitted, but the Leadership Council has not supported same. Stephanie Huffman agreed to form a group to develop a draft document and present it to FAC. The group includes Barri Tinkler, Leslie Anderson, Kayla Lewis and Sarah Jean Baker. The purchase of Adobe Suite which has a $100-$200 yearly renewal fee was used as a case study in this matter. Renewal fees would fall under departmental budgets; however, department heads indicate they have no funds to support this. Kayla and Leslie emailed their department faculty for comments. Suggestions were to use the software for an entire program or department, provide the software if it is needed to support research, and house it on one computer to be shared. LC and FAC members were asked for comments/suggestions:
- A policy does need to be established. Needs to look at longevity, use and fairness.
- Look at individual user fees vs. onsite fees.
- Survey faculty to see who would use technology programs like this.
- Adobe Suite has a number of programs that you do not need to conduct research.
- Is it available in a computer lab?
- Does MSU have a site license?
- Could it be housed on one computer and shared?
- There should be guidelines and provide support if research related.
Barri will inform Stephanie about this and work with the group and report back later.
The second issue is the University’s plans to trim the budget. Cathy Pearman is the COE representative on the Executive Budget Committee which met this week. Our university is going to need to cut the budget for FY21 due to a drop in enrollments. While exact figures cannot be determined until nearer the end of the spring 2020 semester, academics may be required to cut positions. Enrollment is expected to be down for the next two years. The University is proposing a tuition increase that will be presented to the BOG on February 21st. Cuts will be determined, in part, based on the amount of increase in student tuition approved by the BOG. All colleges will need to develop a plan detailing how they will cut their budget. No specific date has yet been set. Dean Hough said he will work on a plan to cut approximately $200,000 from the COE FY21 budget. One-time savings and/or carry forward cannot be used. The plan needs to be ongoing/permanent. All college deans will meet later today. The Dean brought up a few things to think about and discuss:
- Does COE need to request any program fees?
- Do faculty want to continue with the internet incentive fee? COE faculty receive approximately $225,000 per year in added compensation from this fund.
- Because deans were told to cut personnel, what will be the COE “guiding principles” in this regard?
- How should COE deal with low and declining enrollment programs? Provost Einhellig is looking over time at the number of majors, enrollment and credit hour production in programs.
- How should COE handle programs that do not generate much (if any) revenue?
A general discussion then took place with FAC / BC members offering the following for consideration:
- Ask each department to come up with the same percentage cut.
- Hold off on posting openings and suspend current searches.
- Could COE reduce the number of sections being offered in some classes, thus reducing the need for some Per Course faculty?
- Consider cutting the per course and summer school budgets.
- Drop CAEP. Dean Hough mentioned dropping CAEP is not his decision, but he has supported dropping CAEP for several years.
Dean Hough agreed to provide enrollment and credit hour production data to the next meeting. When the budget is discussed with the Provost again, the group would like him to bring up if we could use some of the money in operations and to discuss that our enrollment was up this year – what about the amount of the percentage of cuts being based on enrollment at all of the colleges.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:10 a.m.
Submitted by Sharon Lopinot and Rose Lee