Campus Resources and Planning Committee
November 19, 2010
Present: Mark Privratsky, Pam Gades, Martin Seggelke, LeAnn Dean, Jacquie Johnson,
Bart Finzel, Dave Swenson, Sara Haugen, Maddy Maxeiner, Dave Aronson,
Margaret Kuchenreuther, Sydney Sweep, Josh Preston, Lowell Rasmussen,
Guests: Colleen Miller, Sarah Mattson, Cheryl Contant, Jim Hall, Pareena Lawrence
November 26 – no meeting
December 3 – Bart will ask for recommendation regarding the Green Prairie Living and Learning faculty and Colleen will give an instructional budget meeting before we begin budget discussions.
December 10 – budget meeting
Stimulus funded positions
Jacquie reported she received a message in July from the system budget office that we would receive $400,000 in stimulus funds. The expenditures were to be used to support one or more of the following goals: access to affordable education; job retention for talented faculty, staff and students; investments with high rates of return to strengthen the University’s academic quality and financial future; investments to reduce future ongoing costs of operation; investments to enhance generation/leverage other funding sources/grow revenue base. The majority of funds supported the buy-down of student tuition or “access to affordable education” as President Bruininks described in several presentations to the University community.
The July message also identified a quick turn-around time. We were required to submit a full plan and proposal for spending our allocation in early August. The process included inviting the vice chancellors, division chairs, and members of CRPC and the Administration Committee to meet and suggest possible expenditures. Subsequent to that meeting and based on ideas put forward, a summary of proposals was circulated among the same group and responses were solicited. Jacquie emphasized the importance of remembering that these are one time funds spread over two fiscal years: FY10 and FY11. Our reporting required us to indicate whether spending for these designated allocations would be discontinued at the end of the time period or, if not, the source of funds needed to continue. The vice chancellors also discussed and agreed that we would not spend this down to the penny. If we have funds not spent, the money will go to student federal work-study. We are obligated to track these expenditures carefully, providing quarterly reports for reimbursement, documenting the number of jobs created and retained, and demonstrate tangible outcomes related to our strategic goals.
Our proposed spending fell into four categories, aligned with our strategic plan:
- Partially fund the new “retention coordinator” position on our campus for two years.
- Add funds to our non work-study labor accounts to permit on-campus employment for more students throughout the academic year and in the summer.
- Retain a half-time study abroad advisor position.
- Estimated cost of these three initiatives is $180,345 in salary and fringe.
- Create a new full-time graphic design position/web development position for approximately 1.5 years.
- Partially support (50%) a new web writer position for 1.5 years.
- Estimated cost of these two initiatives is $124,125 in salary and fringe.
- Add a new 50% staff position in the Grants Development Office for 1.5 years to assign in grant development and proposal preparation and to work with faculty and staff in grant administration.
- Increase our current on-line course coordinator position by the equivalent of 30% to ensure that we identify and develop additional on-line courses and to further develop on-line course offerings related to our renewable energy demonstration platforms.
- Estimated cost of these two initiatives is $78,050 in salary and fringe.
- A key area of use of State Fiscal Stabilization Funds is to retain jobs that would have been reduced or eliminated. We seek to use stimulus funds to prevent a planned workforce reduction in our duplicating office—the result of an FY09 budget deficit in this area. We will use stimulus funds for a period of six months to retain employees at 100% while we develop a plan for creating a positive net revenue stream in our printing operations.
- Estimated cost of this initiative is $17,480 in salary and fringe.
The amount spent on new student labor has been less than planned. Some stimulus funds have instead been used to support ESL instruction and provide staff to academic assistance.
Jacquie said she is interested in hearing from committee members what they see as priorities or if there are priorities not on the list above. She hopes this group will help prioritize and then figure out where resources will come from. Bart added the committee should think about which positions are vital or seen as strategically necessary and to think about how to reallocate to fund those positions.
A discussion continued about specific positions and who is currently in those positions. Pareena asked if anything has been done to determine how much revenue on-line courses bring in. Cheryl said we are currently working on a business plan; however, with funding sources from the Twin Cities, we can support an on-line course coordinator. Margaret asked if our international students generate enough tuition to support the services necessary while they are here. Jacquie said that until we have some data in terms of retention, it’s hard to project. When we are prioritizing and identifying positions, these are all questions that will need to be addressed.
Since many of these positions may be deemed vital, Bart said there might be a fairly substantial unfunded payroll when stimulus funds are exhausted. Jacquie added that we do not know what the next round of cuts will be as we are preparing for the next biennial budget; however, it is likely we will be faced with another round of budget cuts. As we think about priorities and planning, we will be told to model cuts which add another layer which is why it is so important to have the conversation about priorities.