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Faculty Advisory Committee on Budgets

The Faculty Advisory Committee on Budgets (FACB) met eight times over the course of the 2010-11 academic year, including three meetings during the summer. The committee met once with the president (on June 23) and five times with the provost (on September 29, March 21, April 11, June 23, and June 30).

There were three main items of business:

  1. The committee took significant steps in ensuring a more meaningful role for the FACB in deliberations about University budget policies and priorities. This has been a longstanding concern of the committee, which has found it difficult to obtain the necessary information within a time frame that allows it to fulfill its advisory role. The committee has always benefitted from meeting regularly with the provost; in the future the committee will meet with the president as well. Additionally, the president has agreed to appoint a member of the faculty to the University Budget Council, where critical strategic decisions are made. The president has elected not to appoint the FACB chair to that position, and it remains to be determined how the FACB will coordinate its role with the appointed faculty member. Such coordination is critical to the advisory role of the FACB.
  2. At the president’s request, the FACB advised the president on proposed faculty merit raises. The committee elected to address the proposed merit salary raises from the standpoint of existing Faculty Council legislation and advised the president that it was the consensus of the committee that no staff or faculty should be terminated in order to free up money to pay for faculty raises; that equity remains a concern and should be taken into account along with merit in any raise policy; and that decisions about a merit raise pool should be made at the college or school levels, in consultation with that unit’s faculty budget advisory committee (which should be constituted immediately if they do not already exist).
  3. The committee continued to monitor the implementation of the gender equity report and the recommendations on gender equity, salary compression, and salary inversion in the FACB resolution of May 2009. Due to the tight budget, this primarily took the form of raising equity as a concern in discussions of the proposed faculty merit raises.

Additionally, the chair of the committee served as liaison between the faculty and the Tuition Policy Advisory Committee (TPAC), a committee primarily formed of students. Next year, when TPAC issues a recommendation, this role will be more significant. 

Other items of discussion included: ensuring participation of faculty in budgetary decisions at the departmental and college levels; and the University’s strategies for revenue generation and efficiency (enhancing federal funding of research; increasing the use of technology in classrooms). These are likely to be of concern to the committee in 2011-12. 

The incoming chair of the committee is Dr. Hillary Hart, who was elected after President Powers approved a Faculty Council proposal changing the chair of the Faculty Advisory Committee on Budgets from an appointed position to an elected position.

Pauline Turner Strong, chair