2012 CLAS Budget

Members of CLAS are encouraged to use this forum to post their comments, feedback, and suggestions regarding the College's budget cutting plan as announced on April 30. Comments will be posted with the author's e-mail address and will receive due consideration by the CLAS administration.

The deadline the university administration has given colleges for submission of their vetted budget plans means that comments received by May 7 will receive fullest consideration. 

Share Your Thoughts

Comments

  • The following is the CLAS Finance Committee's response to the proposed College budget.

    The budget proposal was responsive to faculty input expressed through Faculty Council and Finance Committee. In a large college, faculty members have expressed a range of opinions, but the majority opinion appeared to us to support protecting faculty lines to the extent possible, which this budget does. The Dean and the Budget Director have consulted the Finance Committee regularly throughout the year, which is evident in the proposal.

    However, the budget proposal is spare in the level of detail, which raises a number of questions.

    The budget proposal is based on the fiscal reality that the College has been given by the Administration, but also appears to accept a "business paradigm" that, in effect, values SCHs qua RCM and devalues some of the core functions of parts of the College. Both the Task Force that is being appointed by the Faculty Council and the Dean will hopefully begin to address the mission of the College under our new fiscal levels, but it should be recognized that this budget is being proposed before that discussion has occurred.

    The largest item in the budget is a residual category (item 5) to be ironed out later in consultation with our committee, Faculty Council, and chairs and directors. We understand that the College office is still working through a laundry list of proposals from Departments and Centers, but the lack of specificity in the largest category makes it difficult for us to form a response, and also may give the appearance of delaying the most difficult choices until a time when most faculty are unavailable to respond. As such, it appears to mask the seriousness of the crisis faced by the College.

    How will the College select which PhD programs will have reduced admissions (another manifestation of the horizontal vs. vertical question)?

    Does item 4 really refer to admissions or funded admissions? Some humanities and social science PhD programs accept self- or third-party funded students, and many programs throughout the college have students funded by grants, all of whom provide revenue to the College through graduate SCHs. Are the savings in item 4 achieved only by reductions in OPS budgets to affected Departments, and if so, are they still allowed to accept self- and third-party funded students?

    The second largest category is faculty attrition, but that affects Departments unevenly. Are Departments that have been most affected by attrition (but still expected to provide the same SCHs) compensated in some other way, such as lower OPS or OE cuts? If so, what's the baseline for determining compensation faculty attrition?

    Our central message is that the budget proposal reflects the majority (though not universal) sentiment that the College protect existing faculty positions as much as possible, but that there are many remaining questions that lie in the unspecified details of the proposal.

    Posted by martinez@ufl.edu / May 7, 2012, 10:21am
  • I think Paul D'Anieri should focus on making all efforts to get Machen to use reserve funds.  This is absolutely critical because we're only talking of 3 million in order to not seriously affect programs.  There is no reason to simply accept the narrative of scarcity.

    If we have to cut, we should first think about changing all phone systems to magic jack.  It's a one time $25 cost per phone (faculty can even be asked to buy these on their own), it works through the computer and there are no costs for local or long distance calls. 
    Second, we should get rid of all summer grants, travel grants given by CLAS.  It's absurd to hold out promises of "extra" money and cut graduate programs instead. 
    Third, all cuts should be across the board.  We should take a lesson from the COllege of Engineering.  Selective cuts encourage cronyism, subservience, and a top down, undemocratic functioning that is unhealthy in a university but alas encouraged all too often at UF.  
    Finally, I don't appreciate seeing the threat of faculty layoffs being mentioned.  As we all know, a minimum layoff unit is a department.  If there is financial exigency in the university (to even think about faculty layoffs) why is there hiring going on right now?
    Posted by malini@ufl.edu / May 4, 2012, 11:27am
  • Provost Glover was quoted in the Sun that tapping into the vast reserves held by the administration would "draw the ire of Deans and Chairs".  Could we hear from Dean D'Anieri or any of the Chairs as to why covering the shortfall of the college (or your department) through the use of unrestricted funds would make you angry?
    Posted by jmeert@ufl.edu / May 3, 2012, 6:05pm
  • Offering staff partime for summer would safe much money and we could still keep our jobs and benifits. I would work part time i would just have to plan ahead for it in during fall and spring. Something to think about!
    Posted by dtillman@ufl.edu / May 2, 2012, 4:03pm
  • Funding for different departments should be based on the number of students in that major or (at least) the number of students currently taking classes in that major. 

    It is absolutely ridiculous that the psychology department, which has significantly more students and brings in much more grant money than other departments, is affected by budget cuts in the same way as departments who have as few as 4 or 5 students enrolling in their classes.  In order to remain a top-tier department, it must have adequate funding.  Cutting 10% when the department is already forced to, for instance, stop graduate students from designing and teaching new and interesting courses due to financial reasons is completely unreasonable.
    Posted by msaczawa@ufl.edu / April 30, 2012, 10:09pm

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