College Governance

Faculty Finance Committee Minutes

December 12, 2006
10:00 – 11:00


Ron Akers, Mary Ann Eaverly, Judy Page, H. Jane Brockmann, Alan Dorsey,   
Elizabeth Dale, Ken Wald, Joe Glover, Associate Provost, Margaret Fields, Asst. Dean, Kimberly Browne, Budget Director

Absent:  David Daegling, Paul Robinson, Neil Sullivan


The minutes from the December 5th meeting were approved.

The chair presented the following topics for discussion:

Student Representation

Student member representation on the committee was not in the original motion that created the committee, but it is in the revised college constitution being developed by Jed Keesling's group. Lindsey Collins advised Alan Dorsey via email that the Graduate Student Council's election of a student to the Finance Committee is to be voted on in the next CLAS assembly meeting. The Faculty Finance Committee agreed student participation is vital to the group. For the present the committee would welcome a student liaison as a non-voting member until we receive further clarification from the College Assembly.

Publicizing Committee Activities

It was agreed a general statement needs to be announced UF-wide, preferably by the Dean. A recommended statement – “The Faculty Finance Committee of 6 elected faculty and 3 Dean-appointed faculty was formed as an advisory group to the Dean to work on the college financial situation and to help develop alternative financial plans. For more information see the posted minutes at the CLAS website under college governance.”  Publicizing the committee will raise awareness that there will be forthcoming alternatives to the current plan later. Alan Dorsey agreed to write a possible statement and circulate to the committee members for input.

Budget Education for Committee Members

Kimberly Browne reviewed the Auditor’s report from Spring 2006 (PDF). She covered four main areas:  magnitude of the deficit, factors contributing to the deficit, magnitude of transfers to inappropriate sources, and procedures to monitor budgetary expenses. Although some transfers were inappropriate the transfers were not acts of malfeasance. The audit report is attached to these minutes. At the end of FY 2003/2004 the budget deficit was $1.6mil; the 2004/2005 deficit was $722k; the 2005/ 2006 the deficit was $4.7mil. She noted that the 03/04 deficit was paid from the 04/05 budget; the 04/05 deficit was paid from the 05/06 budget. CLAS has been hiring more people than the budget allows. Extended discussion took place concerning Tables V.3 and V.5 from the OIR website and how changes in 2001 may have affected the current financial situation.

Kimberly also reviewed the Deficit Reduction Plan which was an attachment (Budget Summary) of the November 28 meeting. The obligations listed on this sheet further increase the expected deficit for June 30, 2007. Assuming we do nothing between now and the end of the fiscal year except for actions already realized, the deficit is anticipated to be $3.7mil. Counteroffers are real commitments already made. Efforts to mitigate the negative balance included faculty reorganization (derived from a list of faculty who were in the budget but have already left UF) and OPS & OE which were allocated to the departments based on formulaic data as opposed to no data at all as done in the past. The committee discussed SCHs reported to OIPR by the Registrar’s office. It is unclear how SCH information will be used to assess the budget allocation but it may be considered as either supporting data or as an additional variable when looking at an allocation system. Much discussion surrounded whether to use formulaic standards to view financial situations or create new ways to make financial decisions. For example the committee may need to look at counteroffers. Two alternatives were discussed:  make no future counteroffers, or, establish standards by which counteroffers will be considered if certain conditions are met. Additional discussion followed concerning allocation of OPS funds in the future. Previously allocations were based on history, the current plan was based on a formula, but we need to look at the appropriateness of the formulas in addition to how allocations from UF to the college are based. The committee agreed that we must incorporate discussion with department chairs in the allocation system. Benchmarks that determine base budgets may be obsolete and perhaps a formula could create a rational base allocation. It was agreed the revised allocation system must be more transparent and defensible.

Summer Administration

Committee members asked Kimberly to explain why the summer budget is yet to be decided. She explained in the past approximately $3mil was allocated to the college for summer; $2mil for classroom instruction, $1mil for administration support. When the $3mil summer budget was removed from the college budget (as was true for all colleges) the college did not receive a sufficient explanation concerning payment of summer administration expenses.

Group 3 was asked to consider exploring how the college would function with reductions as shown on the 5-year plan. They will explore the effect of reducing student size of the college and the implication for funding. It was agreed this was an option not yet examined thoroughly, but it was also agreed it may have serious implications for funding. Joe Glover explained that UF presents enrollment goals to the Legislature; if enrollments vary 2% for 2 years we are obligated to return funding to the state. The committee thought it would be useful to know the dollar amount tied to each SCH. Another approach to reducing student size would be to move students to other UF colleges. For example if Business revived the BA/BA degree it might be expected that CLAS would lose students. However the final effect is not known, only speculated. One consequence could be that CLAS has the same number of classes taught with fewer students; another might be that CLAS teaches fewer classes; or, some combination of the two. Joe Glover also cautioned that CLAS must prove its case for more money, cannot just say we need more. He also clarified that the college is falling short on graduate SCHs, not undergraduate SCHs. He reiterated that SCHs are counted as Summer A, B, C, Fall & Spring which does not parallel the fiscal year.

Alan Dorsey distributed a spreadsheet on IDC for the committee to review for possible discussion at the next meeting. He also announced he would be addressing the Chairs and Directors in their meeting Dec 13 to bring them up to date on committee progress.

Next meeting



Audit Report

Respectfully submitted,
Margaret Fields
Recording Secretary

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