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Recreational Sports Committee

The committee was comprised of the following members.
Faculty members: John R. Allison, Ronald B. Anderson, David P. Birdsong, James Deitrick (chair), Michael H. Granof, Mary Steinhardt, Nikita Storojev, Margaret A. Syverson
Staff members: Alice B. Andrews, Philip M. Gavenda, Christopher Solis
Student members: Alina Daszkowski, Ashley A. Nelson, Benjamin E. Suma, Gregory S. Weil
Ex officio member: Thomas W. Dison

September 9, 2009 – Election of vice chair
Introductions were made and the election for vice chair took place. Michael Granof nominated Ron Anderson who was unanimously elected.

Committee Overview
Tom Dison provided an overview of the Division of Recreational Sports (RecsSports) and the role of the Recreational Sports Committee along with a sampling of divisional highlights from 2008-09. The committee watched a PowerPoint presentation, which provided an overview of the programs, services and facilities that RecsSports offers, as well as a list of its divisional objectives for 2009-10. Packets of divisional publications and related materials were distributed, including a 2008-09 RecsSports annual report.

October 19, 2009 – Recreational Sports Updates
Dison provided the committee with the results of the RecSports Faculty/Staff Music Survey, which was conducted in the summer of 2009 at the request of last year’s committee. The committee also discussed Gregory Gym theft prevention strategies, a topic spurred by articles in the Daily Texan over the summer of 2009. The thefts occurred primarily on the basketball courts when items were left unattended. Given the high volume of traffic inside Gregory Gym compared with traffic inside other campus facilities, the theft statistics for Gregory Gym are relatively low. Nonetheless, representatives from the Division of Recreational Sports have met with University Police officials and Student Government representatives in an effort to identify ways of further reducing theft in Gregory Gym. Current theft deterrent measures will remain in place while RecSports explores other possible solutions.

November 20, 2009 – Membership and Facility Usage Fees
The committee reviewed and supported the RecSports 2010-11 membership and facility use fee schedules. RecSports did not request an increase in faculty/staff membership fees, but did recommend aligning semester membership dates to coincide with the general understanding of fall, spring, and summer semester beginning and ending dates in an effort to eliminate confusion. A flat 2.15 percent increase in the facility use fee was also proposed. The increase is intended to compensate for escalating maintenance and utility costs and is based on the average Consumer Price Index (CPI) over the past three years.

January 29, 2010 – Recreational Sports’ 2010-11 Budget Proposal
The committee was given an overview of the concepts and philosophy upon which RecSports approaches the use and expenditure of funds, along with an overview of how the budget process works relative to the Student Services Budget Committee (SSBC). Different from the past, this year’s request to the SSBC did not include any new growth items, but rather focused on how the division would meet its obligation to reduce expenditures or generate additional income in order to fulfill its cost savings requirements. The current economic climate has necessitated this new approach, as requirements to provide funds in support of new student affairs’ initiatives and requirements to redirect money to help in the University’s overall budget shortfall, were both required. Additionally, RecSports was asked to self-fund a 2 percent merit-based salary pool. (There is also a directive to find an additional 2 percent for a 2011-12 merit pool.) The committee discussed the information provided, including RecSports’ specific recommendations on how to reduce expenditures and generate additional revenue to meet these obligations for 2010-11 and voted unanimously in support of the division’s approach.

The committee also discussed RecSports’ ranking on President Bill Powers’ Ideas of Texas web site. The idea of free RecSports memberships for full-time University employees has consistently been among the top rated items on the site. However, RecSports membership fees are commensurate with the mandatory fees paid by students, which precludes lowering membership fees below what students pay. Past RecSports committees have supported more affordable memberships for faculty and staff, recommending that matching funds come from the administration or other sources.

March 31, 2010 – Proposed Budget Reduction Update
After receiving budget instructions from the state, the university directed administrative units to prepare a 5 percent budget reduction plan, with an additional 3 percent contingency plan in the event further reductions become necessary. The committee discussed the university’s budgetary cuts and their effects on RecSports, and reviewed RecSports’ plans for fulfilling its requested cuts. The committee suggested that expecting such a cut from RecSports seemed excessive considering that RecSports receives approximately 75 percent of its funding from student funds and less than .5 percent from the state. After a spirited discussion, focused primarily on students’ representation in budget related decisions and the implied redistribution of dedicated student funds, the committee unanimously supported RecSports’ proposed plan for managing its anticipated budget reduction plan.

April 30, 2010 – Chair Election
An election was held for chair of the 2010-11 Recreational Sports Committee. Jim Deitrick nominated Ronald Anderson who was unanimously elected.

Committee Activities/Meeting Topics for the 2010-2011
  • Introductions and committee overview
  • Election of vice chair
  • Review of divisional accomplishments form 2009-10 and goals for upcoming year
  • RecSports’ budget updates for 2011-12
  • Membership and facility usage fees for 2011-12
  • Updates and announcements
  • Special topics as needed
James Deitrick, chair