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Faculty Senate » Annual Report 2004-2005

Budgets & Fiscal Planning Committee

2004-2005 Annual Report

June 16, 2005

Committee Members:

Mike Quinn, Chair
Kim Calvery
Vreneli Farber
Linda Hoyser
C.Y. Hu
Michael Oriard
Thomas Shelhammer
Gil Brown (ex officio)
Patty McIntosh (representing space planning, by invitation)

Because relatively few proposals were submitted to Academic Programs, the Budgets & Fiscal Planning Committee had a relatively quiet year. The Committee met five times. It discussed Category I and Category II proposals related to the following academic program changes:

• Creation of the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Graduate Certificate (approved)
• Creation of the New Media Communications option within Liberal Studies major (denied, then approved after the proposal was amended)
• Reorganization of School of Education into College of Education (approved)
• Renaming the Department of Rangeland Resources to the Department of Rangeland Ecology and Management (approved)
• Merger of Department of Exercise and Sport Science and Department of Nutrition and Food Management (approved)

This year the Budgets and Fiscal Planning Committee decided to invite Patty McIntosh from Facilities Services to attend meetings when Category I proposals were being discussed. Having someone with knowledge of space planning issues on the Committee improved the quality of the discussions related to new academic programs. The Executive Committee ought to consider making a Facilities Services representative an ex officio member of the B &FP Committee.

Reacting to President Ray’s refrain that college budgets must become more transparent to individual faculty members, during fall term the Committee discussed the idea of creating a “budget transparency scorecard.” This scorecard, available on the Web, would rate each of the colleges with respect to how well it is living up to this idea. However, when Mike Quinn met with President Ray, he indicated that creating such a device would be counterproductive, at least at the present time. He said that it would be better to give the colleges more time to open their budgets to the faculty.

During spring term, the Committee discussed the potentially negative consequences of allowing undergraduate class sizes to continue to increase, even as tuition and fees continue to climb. Mike Quinn asked Institutional Research for data about undergraduate class sizes between 1996 and 2004. Institutional Research responded with an enormous spreadsheet containing the information he requested. The data are informative, but Mike discovered that extracting the typical class size numbers is a labor-intensive process. Next year’s committee should work with Institutional Research to see if it is possible to create an automatic database query that would return the typical class size, given the name of an academic unit and the particular term.