Faculty Senate

 

March 3, 2005                                                                                                 3:35 p.m.

Vol. 39, No. 11                                                                                                325 Graff Main Hall

 

I.  Roll Call.

Present:  Beck, Clow, Cravins, Dixon, Gendreau, Gongaware, Grunwald, Heim, Hench, Johnston-Rodriguez, Kernozek, Kraemer, S. Krajewski, Majak, C. Miller, Poulton, Ragan, B. Riley, Senger, Shanks, Shillinger, D. Sullivan.

Excused:  Galbraith, Maher.

 

II.  Minutes.

There were no minutes to approve.

 

III.  Reports.

Chair Riley explained today’s hastily organized meeting.  At last week’s Senate meeting, two items (an issue regarding the EESHR Dean Search and additional instructional positions becoming available in the future) were introduced during reports that needed further consideration.

 

A.  For background the Chair reminded the Senate that two years ago the state was faced with an enormous budget deficit.  All state agencies including UWL were required to identify and implement budget cuts.  At UW-L most of the approximately $2.5M budget reduction was accomplished through position reductions - 47 positions (32 instructional and 15 non-instructional positions).  These position reductions were accomplished by not filling vacant positions, not replacing retiring faculty and faculty resigning their positions, and not reissuing contracts to academic staff whose contracts were ending.

 

These position reductions were greater than what was needed to meet state imposed budget reductions.  Some position were not filled to meet internal budget woes; in particular, tuition shortfalls due to not meeting non-resident student targets – approximately $800K in 2002-03.  Last year, the non-resident enrollment shortfall continued and spring enrollment was short – the $800K associated with previous unfilled positions plus a $400K UWS forgiveness were used to meet the associated tuition shortfall.

 

This year, the non-resident enrollment shortfall persisted and we had under enrollment in 2004 Summer School (actually, summer school enrollment has been under target for a few years, but last summer’s shortfall was the largest), and fall enrollment was below target.  Total tuition shortfall was $2.1M to be met by the $800K associated with previous unfilled positions, the $400K UWS forgiveness, and the additional $900K in budget reallocations described by Vice Chancellor Lostetter in January.

 

These budget woes due to under-enrollment are management issues.  During this time we have not heard of problems with academic programs – there has been no discussion about weak programs contributing to budget woes.  Because of the faculty reductions two years ago, the university has used significant amounts of money for “section relief” reducing funds for new initiatives on campus.

 

The next two years look a bit better for instruction.  The student enrollment cap associated with EM21 has been removed and the university is increasing the size of the student body: 125 FTE more in Fall 2005 than in Fall 2004; another 125 FTE increase for Fall 2006.  As a consequence, Provost Hitch recently announced that $550K (including $500K in extra tuition from the fall enrollment increase of 125 FTE) would be available for section relief next year – it seems reasonable to use section relief now but to restore faculty positions when enrollment is assured.

 

In addition, the Governor’s proposed budget includes funding to restore 125 faculty positions (system wide) that were lost to budget cuts in recent years – targeted for 2nd year of the biennium.  Is it safe to expect that faculty positions will be restored in a couple of years? 

 

Chancellor:  the honest answer is that it is not safe to assume anything at this time.  However if Governor’s budget goes thru then there is a great deal of certainty.  As dollars become available that is precisely what we want to happen on this campus.

 

Section relief money has been distributed to colleges for fall semester.  The deans and provost have looked at methodology – 8 year average of portion of general education.  Next year we should have almost twice as much for section relief.

 

Senger: But with a two section limit for pool search personnel we may not get enough candidates.  We will need to take a look at this issue – it becomes a practical problem if we can actually find people, and more import is it wise?

 

The academic deans reviewed how their individual colleges have addressed section relief.    Out of college funds, Deans piece together what is needed for additional course relief using good pools.

 

B.  With respect to the EESHR Dean search, during meetings with the Provost (and Chancellor?) candidates were told that funding for the position is tenuous and that the position might not be filled.  This was a surprise to the search committee and members of college because there was no discussion about the issue.  What happened has support in Main Hall for the Dean’s position and EESHR changed? 

 

Chancellor Hastad responded that when we started the search back in the fall there was support for this position. And there still is support for this position and many others.  Now, with that said – we are faced with budget woes.  We cannot control the biennial budget.  Less than a month ago the Governor came out with his budget – one piece of good news is Governor will ask for GPR to fund positions.  Another piece is the fact there will be an investment in financial aid for students.  Then there are givebacks predicated on a number of things – bottom line is we will have a severe budget cut on campus which didn’t occur last fall or even one month ago.  The challenges we had with making a $4.2M budget cut.  This time we don’t have a luxury of time or from where to make the cuts – must come from administrative positions – specifically non-academic part of campus.  Our share is $1.2 to $1.7M – there is a protected class of faculty and instructional academic staff – nor can dollars be paid back by anything other than GPR dollars. 

 

Last go around we made decisions regarding the cuts based on long-term campus perspective.  This year we have added two more principles – what positions are convenient and what is humane for campus. 

 

Much discussion followed.

 

  • The EESHR dean position is administrative – about $105K
  • Enrollment management position is about $105K
  • Reality is if we take all those positions it won’t be enough – unless we take colleagues currently sitting in jobs.
  • Targeted cut from outside. 
  • Cutting the EESHR position is changing structure of institution. 
  • Gotta fight – did anyone make a public statement
  • Is our cut proportionate to other institutions?  Yes
  • Half of budget is GPR, but only about a quarter is eligible for reduction.
  • Ron Lostetter is chairing a system committee looking at the allocation of budget cuts.
  • People who support academic side – defined as administration.
  • Legislative audit report.  Includes anyone not in direct instruction.
  • System needs to be persuaded they are not helping our situation holding cloaked meeting to address salary scales – president’s new assistant
  • We need to change the message we are presenting to legislature – they must be persuaded.
  • What is our plan if EESHR dean is not replaced by national search?  This is not a back door attempt to restructure.  Since 1998 we have tried to hire a dean for that college.
  • Will there be internal movement of faculty?
  • There’s going to be a great deal of anxiety on campus
  • Search committee does have viable candidates – search committee should proceed with their charge.
  • Since 1992, the School of Education has had only two consecutive years of someone in director’s position. 
  • We will look at big chunks of positions that are currently vacant, then try to guess retirements and get creative funding.
  • Administratively must reduce 200 positions system-wide.  Give up and probably never get back.  If give up for good we get fringe at 38% if not for good then fringe at 22% - to our advantage to retain position authority.
  • What will happen in EESHR?  Will look internally.
  • Conceivable it could lead to a different structure – it might not lead to a different structure.
  • Chancellor Hastad reiterated that he welcomes suggestions – don’t want to lack for creative ways to solve this problem.
  • What is the time frame?  Red book must be submitted by April 15th
  • So what is the likelihood of filling the EESHR Dean position?  Bottom line is if cuts are $1.2M then we will not fill any position.
  • What is the rationale for reduction process beyond vacant positions?  Will begin to discuss tomorrow morning to see how far we can go with convenient vacancies.
  • We also need to look at how we can retool/rethink this side of budget.

 

IV.  Adjournment.

The meeting adjourned at 4:50 p.m.