College Governance

Faculty Finance Committee Minutes

January 17, 2007
8:30 – 10:00


Alan Dorsey, Chair; Elizabeth Dale, Vice Chair; Ron Akers; Ken Wald, Mary Ann Eaverly; Judy Page; David Daegling; Paul Robinson; Margaret Fields, Asst. Dean; Kimberly Browne, Budget Director, Chris Eklund, student representative

Unable to Attend:
Joe Glover, Interim Dean; David Daegling; H. Jane Brockmann


Members reviewed the attached 2006 – 2009 budget summary.  Summer administration expenses have been removed from the summer budget and are now the responsibility of the college and departments.  In previous years the cost for summer administration has been approximately $.9mil and the cost for instruction was approximately $2mil. 

Deficit reduction plans were discussed (attached). It was noted that part of the college deficit was driven by some departments treating enrollment management funds as if they were recurring.  It was also noted that the college deficit may be driving the unavailability of additional funds from other university resources.  As indicated on the budget summary the realistic projected deficit is $3.8mil for 2006/2007 and $4.3mil for 2007/2008; both projections assume attrition.

Eklund questioned the connection between funding and adding sections.  Funding from Tallahassee is based on student credit hours, but a different model is used for UF internal allocation. This is the first year that the Provost’s office funded raises for graduate students, rather than the college.  Eklund also questioned the student/faculty ratio and how the ratio contributes to the budget issue.  It was noted that stipends are not sufficient to continue attracting the highest quality graduate student as CLAS is currently doing.  The committee was in agreement that under past leadership departments responded to the mandate of increasing the number of graduate students but additional funding was not provided to the college to cover the expenses.

Further discussion of the budget summary acknowledged the 2008/2009 projected deficit is $1.2mil which fails to meet the Provost’s desire to balance the budget in three years.  The underlying assumption is that deficits this year and next will be absorbed by the Provost.  By year four CLAS will have lost faculty to attrition in order to balance the budget.  The attrition next fiscal year is expected to be higher than it has been historically.  The group discussed the assumptions as listed on the summary report.  Based on a report presented by the Dean in September 2006 the hire/loss trends are as follows:  2003 – 50 hires, 62 losses; 2004 – 57 hires, 34 losses; 2005 – 59 hires, 34 losses.  These numbers include all faculty ranks; losses are due to retirement, death, or departure.  Twenty seven faculty are in DROP ending December 31, 2007.

The group agreed to examine the impact of DROPs and all faculty losses.  It was suggested that an algorithm be used that considers historical retirement/loss data in all departments, paying close attention to the source of the data and the definition of faculty.  It was agreed that department chairs are critical to this process.  All need to use data from sources everyone considers to be reliable and have agreement of how faculty are defined.  The group plans to identify which departments have had and expect to have the greatest losses. One strategy is to stabilize the departments by triaging faculty losses and needs prior to starting detailed discussions about the department’s role and future within the college. The committee would like to separate the immediate financial problems from the vision of the college.  The committee will closely scrutinize the opportunity costs associated with not replacing faculty.

Start up costs and their role in the budget deficit were discussed. The state budget absorbs some of the nominal costs of start up such as moving expenses, travel, some equipment, etc.  Major expenses such as lab renovations, major equipment and post-docs are funded by indirect cost returns.  On average physics and chemistry faculty new-hires need approximately .5mil each.  A policy should be established on how start up costs will be covered.  Moreover, retention of faculty is necessary in order to recoup the start-up investment.  It was clarified that previously unpaid current start-up commitments have been paid with the exception of $2.6mil.  It is expected that the Provost will provide these funds to the college in January 2007. Eklund reminded the group that the concept of taxing the athletic programs has been mentioned by UF leadership in other meetings. Several possibilities of athletic program participation in funding academics were discussed.

The group discussed the funding of graduate students including Alumni Fellowships.  Eklund will email graduate student concerns to the committee chair.  It was reiterated that stipends fall short of the financial needs of graduate students.

The website for the AAU Peer Benchmark report will be emailed to all members of the committee.  Reports as previously mentioned in minutes are expected to be presented during next week’s meeting. We anticipate getting OIR data on numbers of faculty by title by department to post on the website for chairs to review and validate.

Next meeting

Wednesday, January 24, 8:30, Dean’s conference room


Respectfully submitted,
Margaret Fields
Recording Secretary

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