Campus Resources and Planning Committee
March 25, 2009
Present: Pete Wyckoff, Bryan Herrmann, Sarah Mattson, LeAnn Dean, Ray Schultz,
Sara Haugen, Heather Peters, Jacquie Johnson, Zak Forde, Karen Cusey,
Madeline Maxeiner, Dave Swenson
Guests: Judy Kuechle, Sandy Olson-Loy, Patrick Chester
Request from Faculty Development Committee
Pete reported that he received a request from the FDC seeking topics for the fall faculty retreat. If committee members have ideas, they should funnel the suggestions to FDC through Pete.
Updates from Lowell Rasmussen
Senior Legacy Project
Lowell Rasmussen reported that the Senior Legacy Project is a tradition where the senior class designates something they would like to do for the campus when they graduate and they pledge to support it. This year the students are proposing a wind break along Prairie Lane. Lowell believes this is an insightful, well thought out project that fits into our Master Plan and he highly recommends the project. Motion to endorse the project was made by Kathy Julik-Heine, seconded by Ray Schultz. So moved.
Printing software management project
The printing software management project discussion will be deferred to a later meeting.
Background on State budget and stimulus money
Jacquie Johnson reported that she plans to present her budget reduction plan to the Consultative Committee and this committee next week. The week after that, Linc Kallsen from the Twin Cities budget office will be on campus to meet with several groups on campus including the CRPC. He also plans to attend the community meeting on April 7. She believes it is important for everyone in the campus community to have as much information as she can offer. She has talked to Pete, Colleen and Lowell about the roll of this committee both in this room and outside. She believes it helps to have all employee groups represented and that committee members have a particular role in understanding and taking that understanding back to constituent groups.
She also reported that two weeks ago she attended a meeting on the Twin Cities campus that included President Bruininks and Channing Riggs. At that time, President Bruininks was anticipating what the Governor will say about the State of Minnesota receiving stimulus funds to restore some of the cuts that he had recommended. The stimulus funds are problematic because they are a one time only fund. The guidelines and caveats are that education budgets canÕt be reduced lower than they were in the 2006-07 budget year. What this means is that the Governor can reduce the UniversityÕs budget even more than he had recommended just a little while ago because when we get through this biennium, we will be at an even lower level of a base budget than where we were when we started the budget a few months ago. While the logic of the stimulus funds makes sense, what we donÕt know at this point is how we can use the funds. She also worries that the funds can be easily misunderstood because it seems like a really thing when it fact it hurts the University more. The funds do not change our need to reduce spending for the next two years. We will not be able to use the stimulus funds for operating expenses and therefore we will probably not be able to avoid lay offs.
Lowell added that without knowing all of the details about the funds, at our Compact meeting, we suggested that we were ready to move on several projects if they felt we met the intent of the funding. Instead of CREB loans to finance the wind turbines, we could replace with stimulus funds which would eliminate the debt associated with the turbines. We also suggested that our green dorm could potentially fit into the project because it fits into energy conversation and would create jobs. Jacquie added that both ideas seemed to be well received. We do not believe any decisions will be made until the end of May or early June but we have two viable, compatible projects and weÕre ready to move if necessary. Jacquie also mentioned that the ChancellorÕs office has a copy of the entire stimulus bill if anyone is interested in reading it.
Lowell distributed a handout created by Linc Kallsen that shows the visual representation of the structural imbalance that we have. The handout was shared at the Compact meeting with the purpose of letting the system officers know that we are different from other campuses within the University system. All of the information will help us as we move into our discussion next week of what we need to do. Jacquie also mentioned that it was clear at the Compact meeting that we are encouraged and required to stay on course with the budget reduction plan.