Campus Resources and Planning Committee

December 7, 2009

 

 

 

Present:           Brook Miller, Mark Privratsky, Sydney Sweep, Dave Swenson, Pam Gades,

                        LeAnn Dean, Sara Haugen, Sarah Mattson, Maddy Maxeiner, Carol Marxen,

                        Bart Finzel, Bryan Herrmann, Jacquie Johnson

 

Guests:                        Gwen Rudney, Cheryl Contant, Pareena Lawrence

 

 

Minutes from 11/16/09 and 11/23/09 were approved as presented.   Minutes from 11/30/09 and 12/7/09 will be distributed electronically for approval.

 

Academic Staffing Plan presented by Cheryl Contant

 

Principles: 

-       maintain integrity of close working relationship between faculty and students

-       achieve AAUP guidelines on mix between tenure-track and non-tenure track

-       do not increase current 20 credit hour workload teaching requirement for faculty

-       other principles that come up over time

 

Nagging issues:

-       faculty salaries are low and getting comparatively lower

-       SE&E budgets are not sufficient in some divisions and disciplines

-       Space issues are a challenge, particularly for humanities and education

-       Pool for sabbatical replacements

 

Variables for consideration in plan:

-       changes in tenure-track faculty

-       changes in non-tenure track faculty

-       enrollment changes

-       space needs and dollar estimates for new programs

-       SE&E needs for new programs

-       Equipment needs for new programs

-       changes in academic support staff and divisional staff resulting from new programs

-       address nagging issues

 

Scenarios for planning purposes:

 

A – Baseline:  Using Bryan’s enrollment projections with no net increase in tenure-track faculty positions on campus.  This scenario builds in expected enrollment increases due to SUFE agreement so there would likely be modest increases in non-tenure track faculty to teach courses needed for growing enrollments in Math, FL, Econ, Mgt, College Writing, Psych, ESL.

 

B – Program Growth – Modest:  When possible, add new degree programs by capitalizing on current course offerings re-combined to develop new major.  Each of these new programs would not require more than one new TT faculty member.  For modeling purposes, we propose three new modest programs occurring in years 2, 5, and 8 with addition of one new tenure track faculty each of those years. Enrollment growth of five new students expected in first year after program is introduced followed by 10 each year after that until enrollment in new program stabilizes at 40 students (new).

 

C – Program Growth – Significant:  Add a new degree program or two that would likely bring in a significant number of new students, over and above those already enrolling.  These programs would require either large investment in faculty, space, equipment, SE&E or all of the above, but would have big payoff in enrollment growth.

 

D – Efficiencies and Reallocation:  Reduce each division’s instructional costs by 10% by offering fewer sections of courses, fewer courses, altering pedagogy of delivering curricular content, reducing majors, etc.  Then reallocate 5% of the savings back to the campus to build new programs, strengthen and enrich current “starving” programs, solve some of the nagging issues above. 

 

Remaining questions to address:

-       Under significant program growth, what would be some realistic numbers to include?

-       Could parts of these scenarios be combined?

-       How will the financial situation change under each scenario?

-       How sensitive to enrollment projections are these models

-       What scenario is best?

 

Cheryl asked the division chairs at the meeting if she had left anything out.  Gwen mentioned that certain current circumstances affect divisions differently.  She pointed out that it is tough to do a lot of reallocation when you already have small numbers, e.g., the Education division.  Pareena added that they didn’t discuss efficiencies and reallocations too much.  Pete asked the amount of turnover in tenure lines.  Cheryl said with retirements and resignations, we had six this last year.  However, if there is a phased retirement, savings are only realized gradually.  Pete asked about the timeline for moving forward.  Cheryl said she hopes to get something to Robert Jones early next semester.

 

Enrollment projections presented by Bryan Herrmann

 

Bryan’s handout included several modeling scenarios for 2010 through 2014.   He added that one of the things we’ve struggled with is how to handle the increasingly large number of students that come in with a lot of college credits already earned-- their rate of progress through UMM can be difficult to predict.  The benefit of the new enrollment modeling tool is that it factors in more of the things we know about out students.  Brook asked if the committee’s job is to help sort out what we think a good baseline for incoming NHS students (for budgeting purposes)—should we anticipate 390 (Bryan’s “low” estimate) or 373 (the “very low” estimate).  Bryan said he is trying to create a conservative estimate.  Because the projections are eventually translated into revenue, Brook asked if there was a way to think about non-degree seeking students in terms of revenue and wondered if there a way for us to building this into the modeling?  

 

Bryan added that we will have good data early in the spring that will help predict continuing student numbers for next year.  .  Additionally, after the Community of Scholars event in February, we should have a pretty good idea about projected incoming student numbers.  However, he cautioned that the predictions in February are still not solid.    Pete wondered how we forecast for the future beyond 2010-111.   Bryan said it’s really tough to say what will happen in 2012 and 2013 because we don’t know what will happen with the economy and whether or not our marketing sticks.  Jacquie thought we will need to make conservative decisions based on our best guess.  Brook believes the enrollment projections group will need to make some decisions about baseline numbers before the entire groups comes together as a whole.  Jacquie said when the group comes back together, there may still be things we won’t know and may not know until the end of March.  We may come to the point where we need to say that based on the wisdom of this group:  “here’s the number we’re going to go with to do our budget planning.”  Pete cautioned that there is a downside to projecting too conservatively—it will force us into (potentially damaging) cuts that might not really be necessary.