Campus Resources and Planning Committee

May 3, 2010

 

 

Present:           Pete Wyckoff, Kathy Julik-Heine, Mark Privratsky, Brook Miller, Pam Gades,

                        Sara Haugen, Dave Swenson, Sydney Sweep, Bryan Herrmann, LeAnn Dean,

                        Jacquie Johnson, Lowell Rasmussen, Zak Forde, Maddy Maxeiner,

Cheryl Contant

 

Guests:                        Peh Ng, Michael Korth, Gwen Rudney, Colleen Miller, Janet Ericksen,

                        Pareena Lawrence

 

 

Minutes from 4/26/10 approved with one opposition.   Motion to table minutes from 4/12/10 and 4/19/10 moved and seconded.  The minutes will be approved electronically.

 

This is the last meeting of CRPC for the academic year and PeteŐs last meeting.   In the last three years, he and the committee come to better understand the financial situation of UMM and appreciates all those who have been involved.

 

Update on enrollment

 

Bryan distributed Fall 2010 enrollment projections and noted that May 1 is the national decision deadline.   We are still taking applications and still have people who are deciding.  Dave noted that application numbers and offers are significantly up.  Mark asked if there is a specific area we have captured.  Bryan responded that the upper Midwest area has been targeted; however, we have had inquiries from all over the country.  He added that a lot will happen over the summer including registration sessions and students will sign up for housing, all part of the process to get them enrolled.  He also expects to see more competition from schools that are less expensive than we are.

 

Bryan continues to see good signs in the numbers.  Transfer students traditionally register late and are very savvy consumers.  We are also marketing sophomores and juniors and this year our yield rate is about 13%.  Our admitted students days in January, March and April have all been larger than the previous year. 

 

Jacquie, Cheryl and Bryan have met with Ridgewater and Fergus Falls Community Colleges regarding articulation agreements.  As a result of those conversations, we have put together a two-page FAQ sheet with course information and course equivalencies.  We have made transfer guides for a couple of disciplines and will start contacting other disciplines to expand the number of transfer guides available..   The two community colleges really seemed to like the FAQ sheet and found it to be very helpful and there has been a lot of positive feedback.

 

Update on budget

 

Pete reminded the committee that at a previous meeting on April 12 where Colleen and Lowell presented a budget update, we were told of the need for $330K cuts in SE&E and we were asked how to make that cut.  CRPC supported the equal division of SE&E cuts among the various units.   Since Colleen began assigning to different units their share of the $330K cut, there have been questions about some of the items included in the baselines used to assign cuts. (Morse Awards, etc.).

 

Colleen said it was originally proposed at the April 12th meeting that we look at travel because we hadnŐt spent half of the travel money for FY2010.  In the course of the discussion at the meeting, CRPC decided to apply an across the board percentage that included supplies, services and travel budget.  Pete wondered why Morse Awards and grant matching funds were included when each unit was assigned their share of the cuts.   Colleen said it was decided that dept idŐs needed to take a portion of the cut, and that we did not use a finer scale process.   Peh Ng said she was told that her disciplines would need to make a cut because of her Morse Award, and this frustrated her.  Cheryl stated that the Morse Awards were not triggering discipline-level cuts in the other divisions because of the way those divisions had chosen to allocate the cuts.  Michael Korth stated the process he used in the Science and Math division was based on the information and instructions communicated to him. 

 

Today, we will discuss the broader question of contingency funds and how to set up funds that we will get us through the anticipated state budget cuts for the next biennium.

In spite the angst weŐre going through with our budgets, Lowell said that this committee had agreed that a contingency fund needs to be established-- we already know that we will need to use contingency funds to balance the budget for FY12 and FY13.  Additionally, we are obligated by commitments we have made to central administration to establish a $2M contingency fund.  We will know sometime in mid-July if we will have excess revenue dollars that can be used to establish the funds. It is highly likely that we will need to ŇscoopÓ  carry forward balances to reach the $2 M goal..  We will try to do this equitably and hopefully our revenue streams will look better than we anticipate.  He cautioned that this will need to be done during the time period this summer when the committee is not here for budget consultation.

 

Bryan asked why $2M is the contingency fund amount.  Lowell said that amount gives us the cushion so we donŐt have to react drastically if something doesnŐt go as planned.   Jacquie added that we settled on $2M because thatŐs what we think the surplus should be.  This is a very modest amount and based on information we have received from Linc earlier in the year, we should have a contingency fund of $4-7M.  She also asked committee members to keep in mind that the numbers they are looking at are simply a model, not the actual numbers.  Pete wondered about the oversight of the contingency funds, particularly the $400,000 earmarked for ŇinvestmentÓ,  and if there is a plan for how the non-emergency parts of the set aside money would be distributed..

 

Jacquie said they will look to this group for advice on whether any carry forward fund scooping should be a percentage or a specific portion and what the process would be.  She does not have a process to recommend at this point.  Lowell suggested perhaps a 60/40 or 70/30 split.  He anticipates CRPC will address the topic of how to handle carry forwards next year.  Jacquie said there are other ways to establish a reserve that includes a reduction in the work force but we have reinforced and affirmed that we would not want to do that.

 

Pete said he would make the argument for not scooping all reserves equally but to look where extra money is sitting.  Gwen wondered about the decision to scoop and if there would be consultation with those who manage dept idŐs.   Lowell said we will have two weeks to do this.   Jacquie added that we are not going to cut our way into a weak position and wondered if we should have a formula.  We want time for consultation but we are part of a system that gives us a short window of time to make those decisions.  Zak suggested that if members of the committee are around this summer, they could be consulted.  Perhaps Lowell, Colleen and Jacquie could report back to the committee in the fall on what worked and what didnŐt.  Brook said because we donŐt have good data, we canŐt identify soft targets in the budget very effectively.   Jacquie believes we have good data but the data we have isnŐt necessarily a predictor of the future.  Brook believes we are not doing a good job of looking at old data in terms of trends.  As a trend tool, we havenŐt done a good job of looking where we historically donŐt spend money.   Pete thinks the committee and campus should be involved in relooking at how budget lines are budgeted.  Regarding the two-week period in July, he believes committee members who are around this summer could offer oversight with consultation from division chairs.  Jacquie repeated what she has heard from this committee that there is a goal of the campus to recreate a $2M contingency reserve.  There are several things that will guide us:  1) the principle that we donŐt scoop all reserves/carry forwards equally; 2) we will go first to carry forwards that are not included in the annual budget; 3) consultation with those who manage dept idŐs; and 4) we will draw on members of CRPC and division chairs as an informal consulting group along with the vice chancellorŐs.

 

Motion was moved and seconded proposing that when the decisions regarding scooping of carry- forwards were made during the two-week period in July, members of CRPC and division chairs be consulted. The motion passed unanimously.

 

Jacquie thanked Pete for his leadership the past three years and the committee has a whole who has worked very effectively together.