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D 8631-8632

DOCUMENTS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY

RESOLUTIONS ON THE FACULTY’S ROLE IN THE UT AUSTIN BUDGET PROCESS

On behalf of the Faculty Council Executive Committee, Professor Alan Friedman (English and Faculty Council chair elect) will present the following resolutions concerning the faculty’s role in the UT Austin budget process to the Faculty Council at its meeting on April 11, 2011.
SAG signature
Sue Alexander Greninger, Secretary
The Faculty Council and General Faculty

 

RESOLUTIONS ON THE FACULTY’S ROLE IN THE UT AUSTIN BUDGET PROCESS

Presented on Behalf of the Faculty Council Executive Committee

Background:
  • At the joint meeting of the Texas A&M Faculty Senate and the UT Austin Faculty Council on March 7, 2011, there was considerable discussion of the faculty role in the budget process. The group endorsed presenting resolutions affirming shared governance in budget development and implementation to their respective faculty governance organizations.
  • On October 25, 2010, the UT Austin Faculty Council passed a resolution affirming that faculty play a significant role in institutional budget decisions.
  • In January 2011, the UT Austin Faculty Council conducted a faculty survey on faculty involvement in budget planning and prioritization. That survey indicated the majority of respondents were not consulted in the budgetary process.
  • The Faculty Advisory Committee on Budgets is charged with reviewing and advising the president and the provost on the University Budget.
  • According to HOP (Chapter 3, Sec. 3.17. “Recommendations Regarding Faculty Compensation, Faculty Promotion, Tenure, Renewal of Appointment, or Non-renewal of Appointment”), Budget Councils (or equivalent governance units) share responsibility for recommending faculty salaries. Administrators at each level are to give full consideration to recommendations from the level below. When a recommendation is modified or disapproved, that action should normally be taken only after consultation with the level below. Budget recommendations are then forwarded to the president for final consideration and decision.
  • The University budget is a public document.

Statement of the Problem:

Wide variation exists across campus in the level of participation by Budget Councils and Executive Committees in developing salary recommendations. There is also wide variation in what information is shared, and how it is shared, regarding the salary recommendations made by department chairs to deans, by deans to the president, and by the president who makes final decisions regarding salaries. Consequently, even when Budget Councils provide input, they often do not know whether their recommendations were followed and/or how chairs, deans, or the president modified them.

In addition, faculty members have considerable difficulty accessing information about salaries and other aspects of the University’s budget. For example, the operating budget on the Budget Office website presents only summary data by budget category (e.g., total salaries in a department, but not individual faculty salaries).

A review of the annual reports of the Faculty Advisory Committee on Budgets, which reports to the Faculty Council, suggests that its members have had a very limited role in reviewing budgets and in developing budget priorities or recommendations, the primary charge of the committee.

Resolutions:1

  • The Faculty Council strongly reaffirms the principle that faculty should play a significant role in institutional budget planning and decisions at departmental, school/college, and University levels.
  • In particular, faculty shall be immediately involved in a meaningful way at departmental, school/college, and University levels in planning for the budget cuts that will result from the current legislative session.
  • The administration shall provide the Faculty Budget Advisory Committee with the specific budget information it needs to fulfill its charge to review and make appropriate recommendations regarding the University budget.
    • The Faculty Budget Advisory Committee shall develop a process for carrying out its charge;
    • [Two members of the Faculty Budget Advisory Committee shall serve on the President’s Budget Advisory Committee;]
    • The administration shall not appoint an ad hoc budget advisory committee to usurp the FBAC's responsibilities.
    • [One non-administrative member of the Faculty, appointed by the President in consultation with the Chair of the Faculty Council, shall serve on the President’s Budget Advisory Committee.] The chair or another designated member of the Faculty Advisory Committee on Budgets shall serve on the President's Budget Advisory Committee.2
  • The President shall require all administrators to comply with HOP Chapter 3, Section 3.17.
  • As provided for in HOP Chapter 3, Sec. 3.17, school and department Budget Councils or Executive Committees shall be responsible for making faculty salary recommendations. Further, the chair shall present his/her budget recommendations to the Budget Council for review before submitting them to the dean.
  • Faculty shall have transparent and easy access to detailed University budgets, including the budgets of departments and colleges/schools.

 

Distributed through the Faculty Council website April 5, 2011.


1Amended on May 4, 2011.
2Amended by the Faculty Council on May 9, 2011.