Campus Resources and Planning Committee
April 12, 2010
Present: Mark Privratsky, Maddy Maxeiner, Kathy Julik-Heine, Sydney Sweep,
Pete Wyckoff, Brook Miller, LeAnn Dean, Carol Marxen, Lowell Rasmussen,
Bart Finzel, Sarah Mattson, Dave Swenson, Bryan Herrmann, Zak Forde,
Guests: Colleen Miller, Michael Korth, Gwen Rudney, Sandy Olson-Loy, Janet Ericksen,
Minutes of 3/22/10 and 4/5/20 were approved as presented.
Issues related to budget
Lowell reminded the committee that they have already received and reviewed the high-level budget modeling indicating that we will use contingencies to cover FY11, 12 and 13. We should have talked about reductions we have programmed into this on the SE&E side. Pete asked us to look at the repair and maintenance budgets to determine if we had any leeway with those budgets. Colleen asked the committee to keep in mind that this is a model and not the exact numbers down the dollar. She met this past week with department budget mangers and conveyed to them about the necessary reduction in O&M funds to meet the $891K reduction. Many of the budget managers were surprised by this news.
Pete noted that we have budgeted a specific amount for repair and maintenance but when you look at the actuals, the number is lower. Additionally, the reason we will be spending less this year in that area is because of HEAPR dollars. Colleen said that when people were told they needed to factor in a 5% cut to SE&E, areas dutifully did so while but also increased in other areas, e.g., repairs, because this is not as predictable as some of the other lines. Lowell added that as soon the HEAPR funds go away, the Plant Services budgets will be in trouble.
Dave said he believes we are dangerously close to micro-managing everyone’s budgets. He believes it would be better to say that a specific percentage cut is required. We need to cut dollars and need to figure out how to do it. He hopes this committee does not start reviewing contingency fund requests for small dollar amounts. Janet added that this committee will need to determine how to handle those requests.
The committee discussed whether targeting a specific expense, e.g., travel or repair and maintenance, or whether an across the board cut should be required. Colleen noted that departments can budget any way they want with the pot of money they’re given. Bryan said if we target a targeted expense (travel) that hurts budgets where people are required to travel. Pete thought an across the board cut seems unsettled and nuanced. Michael believes that departments will rearrange and put the money where they need it. Pareena believes we need to be more strategic and nuanced. How does a department reallocate if there is nothing to reallocate? Bryan added that some departments would take the cut disproportionately.
Pete asked the committee they prefer an across the board SE&E cut or a more targeted travel based cut. By a show of hands, 8 committee members preferred an across the board cut and 3 members preferred a targeted cut.
Dave suggested that at the conclusion of 2010, the committee spend time looking at budgeted vs. actuals by dept id to look for ways to structure the budget for FY12. Gwen believes that those conversations should include budget managers and that there is danger in one group making decisions about department budgets. Dave believes we need to look at areas we are underfunding and determine if we could redistribute funds.
Lowell complimented this committee for the progress they have made in the course of year in understanding the budgets and the process.