March 24, 2003

Faculty Council hears FY04 budget news

By Michael Terrazas

Chair William Branch opened the March 18 Faculty Council meeting by reminding members of the council’s special open meeting on March 20 with President Jimmy Carter (see story).

Interim Provost Woody Hunter then presented the latest projections from the Ways and Means Committee for endowment revenue and expenditures in the next several years. The national economic recession has lasted longer than budget officers previously anticipated, Hunter said, and this necessitated some recalculations of endowment payout.

The news was sobering. Assuming a 13 percent reduction in total endowment market value for the rest of fiscal year 2003 (which was the drop current on Feb. 28), then 6 percent increases in market value each year through FY07, total declines in endowment payouts—including both restricted and unrestricted funds—will total some $7.3 million in FY04, $21.5 million in FY05, $32 million in FY06 and $26 million in FY07.

These hits will be counterbalanced somewhat by internal cost-containment strategies, reallocation of unrestricted endowment income and modest revenue increases from tuition and indirect cost recovery, but Hunter said the University still has some distance to travel in weathering the current economic storm.

“We will navigate these waters just fine,” President Bill Chace assured the council. “In fact, when this troublesome weather is over, the facilities we’ve been able to achieve over the past 10 years will give us some measure of security which other institutions won’t have.”

Bruce Knauft announced that a date and time had been finalized for the “Classroom on the Quad” event: Wednesday, March 26, from 1–3:30 p.m. Knauft passed out flyers that listed no fewer than 20 speakers scheduled to make brief remarks during the event, which has been formally endorsed by Chace, Hunter and all the University deans (see letter).

Chace expressed his sincere appreciation and admiration for the work done by council members Knauft and Jim Grimsley, and by Campus Life’s Donna Wong, in planning Classroom on the Quad. “It’s been incredibly gratifying, almost unprecedented in my experience,” Knauft said.

Next, by a 9–0 vote, council members passed a set of bylaw changes proposed by Frank Vandall. The changes mostly clarified the bylaws’ language, but one signficant change was, in the event the University president declines to pass along the council’s recommendation to the Board of Trustees, successfully appealing the president’s decision now will require a simple majority instead of a two-thirds majority. Since the council and University Senate are formally advisory bodies, such an appeal would simply inform the board of a viewpoint that differs from the president’s.

Branch then updated the council on the status of the creation of several committees approved at previous meetings. Branch said he submitted a list of 10 names to Board of Trustees Chair Ben Johnson for consideration for a faculty advisory body to the presidential search committee. Johnson indicated he will pick five of those names, Branch said, and another six representatives from other faculty groups.

Last fall Johnson indicated he was open to including faculty members on each of the board’s seven major committees, and to that end Branch said he has submitted a list of 28 names, with the hope that each committee will get two faculty representatives.

Finally, Branch proposed that the ad hoc “Future of the University” committee, designed to bring various advisory duties under a single umbrella group, be drawn initially from that list of 28 names. The group would function mostly through subcommittees, Branch said, meeting in full only a few times per year.

Reporting for an ad hoc committee on communications, Sharon Strocchia said faculty moderators will be added to the various faculty e-mail listservs beginning Aug. 1.
The final Faculty Council meeting of 2003–04 will be held April 15 at 3:15 in 400 Administration.

If you have a question or concern for Faculty Council, e-mail chair William Branch at