Meet and Confer
January 31, 2008
Admin: Michael Spitzer, Steve Ludwig, Earl Potter, Nancy Jessee, Wanda Overland, Kate Steffens, Rex Veeder, Larry Chambers, Kristi Tornquist, and Mitch Rubinstein
Faculty: Judy Kilborn, Frances Kayona, Robert Johnson, Fred Hill, Bill Hudson, David Warne, JoAnn Gasparino, and Michael Tripp, Joan Wingert–Note taker
Approval of Minutes
January 17, 2008
ADM: We have no minutes yet—not even a draft. Patty has been out ill.
2. Follow ups
a. Return to Title Four (ADM) (08/30/07)
Old business on follow ups, (a) refers to Title Four. We are waiting for a
response from faculty on that.
FA: We talked the last session and the session before about the grading policy. The Senate raised some issues concerning the grading policy we sent to Academic Affairs at the end of the semester and didn’t give them sufficient time to address all of our concerns and we have asked someone from the Executive Committee to work with Academic Affairs Committee. We needed to make sure that they understand all the objections that Senate had. We got the Grading Policy separate from the Grade Appeals Policy, and we need to look at them together to be sure the S/U issue is covered consistently in both. So hopefully we will have something conclusive for you next time.
b. Diversity Plan (ADM) (11/01/07)
ADM: The draft charged to the Diversity Task Force to look at…not to work through this meeting, so it will be best just to talk about it. I will distribute that, and will give a context of what you’re looking at. I will share with you a few things. We just had a meeting with the Ad Hoc Task Force to share with them this information: At 3:30 PM today the St. Cloud Police Department will release the following information: On January 30th at 3 PM the St. Cloud Police identified an individual who admitted to drawing a swastika on Stearns Hall. The incident was first reported on January 28th; the case is being sent to the city’s attorney’s office for review of charges. The Ad Hoc Committee then reviewed a draft from St. Cloud State to the campus community which will go out shortly in advance of the police statement. The review of charges takes about a week, and if the charges are actually filed, the person’s name will become public. The Ad Hoc committee will be meeting between now and that time to talk about all the issues we will face as a community when one of the perpetrators becomes known to the community. We’re concerned about the process, the safety of the perpetrator, maintaining an educational atmosphere, and want to initiate a healing process. One person is identified; we don’t know what the investigation will uncover as to whatever links there might be. And so, whether the full scope of the investigation information will be available next week is not quite clear. But we want to avoid the situation where people express hate. We will be thinking together about that process. At the same time, there was a separate report that was filed through the Student Code of Conduct which Student Life and Development processes. There will be a separate set of procedures that report to Student Life and Development, their area of responsibility. That process is fully covered by FERPA and Minnesota Data Practices Act, and so very little will be able to be shared of that person’s consequences, etc. Anything to add to that?
FA: How can you confirm the people who have been victimized by these acts are dealt with appropriately?
ADM: And I really appreciate the Ad Hoc group that comes together to help us think about our response to that. It felt very much like a community effort. There was a letter to the editor in the newspaper that I found offensive and pushed me over the edge relating to messages we’re sending. I will check with you, just continue to recruit students of color to this campus. And I have an awful lot of good help writing a letter that in some ways addresses a broad response to those people who raised questions about (unable to understand). We went in front of the board about the Ad Hoc information last week. We had participation--1000 people in the ballroom—this was just one kind of event. We have other kinds of events. It continues to be a very significant challenge. It feels to me like we’re dealing with this as a community very positively. I’ll answer any questions.
A lot of people are having questions about how to respond to inquiries from
parents and to students’ inquiries, prospective student inquiries. I attended
Enrollment Management yesterday and a member of the Ad Hoc group responded with
some advice on how to do that. We really appreciate conversations surrounding
the daily activities that we do when something like this invades the community
and needs a response.
ADM: We are putting together some talking points/positions, a letter that will be in the paper Sunday as a background piece that we can rely on. The State Human Rights Commissioner, Velma Korbel, was interviewed in a 4-5 minute piece which I think was a very objective assessment of St. Cloud University. NPR also has a thoughtful piece on the campus. There are some balanced attempts that actually say positive things about the work we’re doing together. But you’re right, every member of our community gets asked questions. It’s a challenge to get perspective, to share perspective with people who would want one. I think the best thing we could do is make sure everyone has the information and understands how we’re working together. Then it’s your own experience, speak from your hearts. For anyone in the administration to suggest, “This is what you should tell people,” would be a mistake.
(At this point the Diversity discussion was interrupted. It was resumed during the Administrative Searches discussion.)
c. Article 22 Task Force (FA) (02/01/07)
ADM: I just want to note that a request that has gone out to the members of the task force to identify the times when they could meet so they will be scheduled as soon as possible. We look forward to it.
FA: Provost Spitzer, that would be very helpful because as we move forward in Academic Advisement, our committee—especially the research subcommittee and academic advisement—we are kind of waiting to see…We want to tie our efforts into this work and also the work to be done on the department level and working out procedures. We want to tie our work into the work of this committee.
I do hope that something will be done in a timely enough way and keeping to a
schedule. So tell me, what’s holding us up from moving forward?
ADM: Getting time when the various members of that group to get together and getting things actually scheduled.
ADM: How many members in that group?
FA: There should be 6.
ADM: I’ve been away from my office, and I haven’t checked for the last few days, haven’t had the chance to do that. Two weeks ago we sent a request for when we could meet.
FA: You wouldn’t know that the other day—trying to think what day it was—several days ago, two members of that committee asked when it would take place, if I’d heard anything and so were concerned obviously, given where we are in the cycle of Article 22, had just made recommendations about promotions. I’ve had tons and tons of questions about processes and what the contract says. Of course, as you know, that why we asked for this task force because the contract is complicated. I’m hopeful that we’ll have the work done by the end of semester so we can move forward.
ADM: And I want to schedule that meeting as soon as possible. As soon as I get back to the office I’ll talk to the secretary. I’ll find out.
FA: If you can’t get it scheduled, I think we need to talk about what the barriers to scheduling are, or a new configuring of the committee, re-populating it so that people can get together. My concern is that we agreed to this Nov. 1st, and I believe the Task Force had one meeting, so….
ADM: We’ll get it going as soon as we can.
FA: We hope to hear something soon.
3. Update on Administrative Searches (FA) (01/17/08) moved from New Business to Unfinished Business
ADM: The update on Administrative Searches has been moved from New Business to Unfinished Business, and so I did want to update you. Interestingly, the assistant vice president for Academic Affairs Faculty Positions searches including Rex being appointed to that position. The search for the special advisor to the President is in place, the Associate V.P. for International Studies committee is meeting tomorrow morning again. The search for the COSE’s Associate Dean is moving forward, applications are coming in. The Associate Dean for the College of Education search is on schedule.
FA: How many do we have in the process now?
(At this point, because President Potter received the draft document from his secretary, the discussion returned to the topic of the Diversity Plan.)
ADM: I guess what I’m asking is that we review this and that we have an opportunity to discuss it at our next meeting. I just want to give you context for the review. If you look at the timeline, I’m looking for the completion of this work at the end of the 2008-2009 academic year. There is work to be done this Spring; there is the layout of work, particularly an interest in putting together an approach to data collection that the staff can accomplish over the summer to support the task force’s work next year. There is an awful lot of information to be put together, and we think that staff work would be accomplished so that the task force can focus on philosophy, decision-making, direction setting and goal setting, and, really, the more value-added intellectual work going into it and not spending all of our time gathering stuff. So to assemble together to get a shared understanding of what the work is. And then the task force will meet with us next year. I’ll answer immediate questions. I just ask you to take a look at it, and we can talk about it over the next couple of weeks.
FA: I’m serious—if now would be a good time to talk about this, we could certainly do that. But if you’d like to just make a few statements about the membership that you’re suggesting…?
ADM: It has to be broad. It should include people who are knowledgeable and experienced and have worked in this territory. There are specific advocacy groups or associations, people whose identity, communities that are often addressed as pursuing specifically diversity goals. These are bargaining units and people with specific actual responsibilities and students. I would expect a work plan to include a broad engagement. One of the things I’m…. The elements of the implementation strategy is the action strategy. I would expect the work plan be developed by the task force, that the consultation and opportunities for input and listening would be broad. The 4 students who are there are just to get the student perspective and how the work might be ordered to bring students into the conversation. This is not a group that goes away into the closet and talks and develops a plan of wishes and due cares. It is this group that will be the broad process to develop the plan that represents the will of our community, and sets measurable objectives with a process for tracking, refreshing the campaign, will start with refocusing on the __?__.
FA: Thank you. We can think and talk about this and come back to it at some point.
(The discussion returned to Administrative Searches.)
ADM Thank you very much. And I have some things to say about the current administrative searches, a little history, sharing my perspective and the way I see it moving forward with respect to LRTS searches for associate deans. In the Fall we had a Step two grievance here in and around consultation processes associated with the decision to restructure two associate deans’ roles—LRTS and provost roles. After that hearing, we agreed that more information was needed in order for me to be able to make a decision. I asked Dean Tornquist to give me a timeline for the processes she had undertaken to consult. And I asked IFO for the same thing. Kristi gave me her perspective on what had happened. And we engaged in a confusing exchange of emails from several different sources over the next month, finally ending in, I think, an understanding that IFO had already put in its perspectives targeting all that they wanted to put on the table…and then we hit the holidays. I spent the holidays by updating all the grievance processes and looking at things. At that point it was my understanding that the IFO had spoken. I had all I wanted from Dean Tornquist and I could move ahead with the decision. I directed Dean Tornquist to continue, to go back to searches that had been put on hold, to move ahead with the searches. It was about the issue decision. The next day I met with Judy, and she said that she had been ready to meet with the department, that they had requested it. And so we had a conversation about that and agreed to meet. And then subsequently we changed that commitment to I would be meeting with the department. In my own mind we need to run the processes in parallel. For the grievance process to continue, we need to allow the search to go forward. If no decision to hire occurs until the grievance is done, if we don’t start the process to review and screen and move things, if we do decide to go ahead, we won’t be able to successfully. So to go ahead with the search is not, in my mind, to bypass the grievance process but just to run these things parallel to a point. I meet with the LRTS faculty on February 11th. After hearing from them, I can decide the Step 2 results. If we agree with the IFO position at that point, the search can be suspended. If I disagree, it goes on to Step 3, and we continue the process. If that Step 3 finding agrees with my decision at Step 2, then it goes to arbitration. At that point we’ll have to review legally where we are, but I don’t think we should take a hiring process and halt it. We’ll have to make sure, but if it goes down that track to hire, that we do that successfully this year. I’ll wait until all this gets done for the process to start. That’s my thinking. I made a mistake. I recognized the conflict between what I intended to do, and what Judy has said that she wanted to do as a next step, and I made the mistake of not sharing my decisions about how to resolve this meeting, I didn’t know that I was going to do it—if I had backed up to think about it, that it would be a mistake. I was distracted by other stuff and didn’t close the loop with Judy, and that was my mistake. That’s as clear as I can be.
FA: So what I’m hearing you say is that, in terms of timeliness for these searches, you decided to do parallel processes. But if you should hear reasons and be convinced by faculty that those positions should not be filled, you absolutely would stop searches. if you weren’t convinced, you would obviously make another choice, but you are saying there’s a gap in our communication. My understanding is that you intend to meet with the faculty, the FA president and John Palmer, is that right?
You had suggested that it might be better for me just to meet with them
FA: I’m willing to do that, too.
ADM: I think that’s what I’ll do.
FA: OK. You folks want to caucus? We’re caucusing.
FA: We think that, with an active grievance in place, that the grievance process should be honored. What we would ask is that the search be halted until such time that the grievance is resolved or addressed as part of addressing the grievance. I understand that you will be meeting with the faculty and that in that meeting you would be there and the faculty be there and that other administrators will not be there. And secondly, that if the faculty requests adequate IFO representation that we are required contractually to provide them with that.
FA: It is our perspective that this could happen fairly quickly and be settled for the 11th. We’re talking about, really, a decision that could be reached in 12 days. So, to keep the processes straight, to focus on either resolving or moving activities forward as separate from the other process.
ADM: Are you suggesting that if I would deny the grievance or lean toward the second (unable to understand word), that you would be ok with having the search be along the parallel process?
FA: I don’t think so. If you would deny the grievance, then the grievance is about the search, yes?
ADM: The grievance is about the consultation process, resulting in the reorganization.
FA: Exactly. I think it’s important for you to be able to hear the faculty and question them about their concerns. We have concerns that if candidates come here on campus, that that’s really unfair to the candidates. It’s also unfair to the faculty involved in those searches. I think you need to speak to them and be able to ask questions and you make your decision one way or another at that point. And then what happens with the searches is effective. We’re objecting to the two processes running simultaneously now and later. After that meeting transpires, then make the decision.
ADM: Not having other administrators there (unable to understand words) and then I have no difficulty acknowledging that the faculty asks that IFO be there. With respect to the process, we’re going to continue with our parallel process and I’ll render a decision very shortly after the meeting on the 11th, and the decision is the final action. Hiring associate deans is not final until they’re hired.
FA: I’d like to make two remarks: one regards the nature of the grievance. I don’t think it’s appropriate for us to discuss the details, but one of the key elements of that grievance is what is Chair’s and what is Dean’s work. And certainly part of what we were arguing in discussions was that there is a confusion. The second thing I need to say is, obviously, this would happen over our objection, and I need to say that for the record because we feel this undermines our grievance process.
ADM: I understand that. I’m sure you understand as well that the grievance process does not include the right to stop action. This action needs to move forward in such a way that the Administration has the right to hire, has the ability to hire, and I understand your objections.
3. The Processes for Appointing FA Representation to College and University-level Committees under the IFO/MnSCU Master Agreement (FA) (10/18/07)
FA: I believe that last time we were expecting some information about the website that’s going up. (unable to understand next statement) in town. I think that’s really worth…(sentence not finished)
ADM: Yes. I recognize that, and the information that we had is making progress in my opinion over…. I’d say the last time we managed the information first and shared with the President’s Council. They would have to do some tweaks and changes based on their review, and it’s going out to the broader campus. There’s a certain percentage…. It had cleared the University Council meeting at which Judy was present and at which I reminded Larry (not that Larry needs reminding) but to make it clear that I gave direction for timely notice.
FA: Yes, that statement was in there.
FA: So, a couple of questions for clarification. When you say you’re talking about the documents on the website…
FA: …and I’m assuming that at some point we’ll be able to review those and give feedback on…
ADM: That’s what I’m trying to do, yes. After the President’s Council moves on it, they’ll have chance to give feedback and tweak it some more and at that point in time it’s going out to the general community as a draft.
ADM: It’s really intended to incorporate all the expectations and agreements with the units and Affirmative Action’s all together in one place.
FA: Do you have any time frame for this?
FA: There’s a general time frame. I can’t give you a specific time frame now. All I can say is several weeks. We thought we’d be ready by now. I don’t want to be locked in right now. As soon as it’s ready, it will be up.
FA: I just think the point is that end of semester will be coming soon….
FA: Oh, it will certainly be May.
FA: And then faculty who are not teaching will go away to do research and other elements….
FA: That should be ready before they leave.
4. Early Notification System (FA) (10/18/07)
FA: The Senate made the motion to accept the interim report and await a final report re: questions that we raised.
ADM: We look forward to providing that.
FA: And one was asking about the ongoing pilot.
ADM: The pilot will continue.
FA: Well, if the pilot continues, then at least it follows the original sense of the motion in certain courses, not the broader or larger scope of the second generation of that survey. We said in the original recommendation that it would be limited to certain courses, but then it came out that it would be beyond the scope of the original motion, the original mandate on that. So if the pilot continues, the scope should be as originally accepted by Faculty Association.
(The next two interchanges between ADM and FA cannot be heard clearly)
ADM: I saw an email about all that,…I believe so.
FA: You will be able to ….It would be valuable if we could talk with him about what …I do know that part of the difficulty is knowing what is happening in terms of all the changes. When we are not aware of those changes, it makes it more difficult to encourage participation, so perhaps we could keep this on and could talk with Avelino next time?
ADM: I will get back to you on that.
5. Orientation Fee (ADM) (12/13/07)
FA: We have been directed by the Senate to share with you a motion that was passed in that body and that would be that “the cost of new student orientation should be covered by the uncommitted fiscal year ‘07 carry forward funds.” It was the feeling of the body, as we understand it, the cost of that program would be about $120,000. We want to be sure that is accurate, but it’s for 2,400 people, about $50 in (classes?) from what we were told. And if the unencumbered funds were $1.2 -1.9 million for the foreseeable ’08 orientation, there should be funding available. That’s what I bring to you this afternoon.
ADM: I would like a copy of that motion in writing, please.
FA: I believe I emailed you one, but I’ll double-check. If I didn’t, I will re-email.
FA: I just want to provide a little follow-up to that. The first time I looked at this orientation fee—a good will thing the university can provide, an example tantamount to these receptions we have at graduation, almost like charging $5 a head to come in and have cookies on the way out. It makes a good-will gesture to provide orientation to students.
FA: I think another part of the thinking was that we’re doing a new thing with this orientation and, until we know what it’s going to cost long term, it’s maybe not good to make a decision about our new policy for charging a student. We’re not sure. And so that was another important piece. So essentially we’re asking that we use what we have to cover this and make more long-term plans.
ADM: We think the fee would be a sensible cost based on what it cost last year as a fairly similar model for cost to be applied for the coming year. So, that part, I think, is understood fairly well. It’s not as if the recommendation was that we would cover the entire cost, but if there was a shortfall, we would generate ... it would come out of university budget. There was a component of it that wasn’t covered. I do want to mention that most universities have such a fee, and in many, many cases in significantly larger amounts than mentioned. So we’ll take your recommendation under advisement.
FA: Thank you.
FA: Those elements of the conversation were also part of our discussion as well, so we recognize that there are some other views.
6. Request for Faculty Co-Chair for Enrollment Management (FA) (12/13/07)
ADM: I’d like to postpone until next Meet and Confer.
FA: We’ll keep it on then.
7. Senate Motion Concerning Email Monitoring (FA) (12/13/07)
FA: Last time, we brought forward the motion passed in Senate on November 13th:
Motion to negotiate an agreement that when faculty email is monitored, that the faculty member receives written notification.
ADM: I think we would like to provide a formal statement and to prepare that to have available at a subsequent meeting about this whole issue of monitoring/not monitoring of email. Generally speaking, the University does not monitor any individual’s email unless there are circumstances. When it does happen, it has to do with a request from a law enforcement agency. But I want to be more precise about that: The real point—and that’s why I said we would provide a statement—I do want us to be clear about the idea that people must learn or should understand that the email system is not a private communication. I’m not sure that people fully recognize that it is subject to exposure based upon request and people shouldn’t operate under the assumption that email that they send in the University system is private information. It often might not be. I think that’s important to have that on record, that people understand that that’s the case. With regard to specific requests, I think the information that was provided about an individual, this female who was supposedly being monitored, that perception came about because of unfortunate loose usage of a term by somebody in Public Safety who said that an email message was being tracked, by which that person meant that a record was made of a request that came to Public Safety from that individual was recorded. That person’s email was not monitored, it was simply the way the word “tracked” was used that led people to conclude there was a monitoring of that person’s email. It didn’t happen. So that the two examples that have been provided with regard to the idea that the person’s email has been monitored—in one case the individual was notified and in the other didn’t happen at all.
FA: So the “tracking” term was that an email was recorded as having…
ADM: …as having been received by Public Safety from this individual. And the Public Safety officer who responded was indicating that that would have been the situation. We did not in fact monitor any other messages from that person or to that person.
FA: OK, so it was a miscommunication …
ADM: A misunderstanding of the terms used.
FA: When I mentioned the word “tracking” to my colleagues, they didn’t understand either, and so thank you for clarifying that. But I think, as you certainly pointed out, the importance of being clear in our communication, and I did appreciate people tracking down, finding out what had happened, so we could clarify this. We have talked with Senate a little bit about the fact that information is not protected. We certainly will communicate what you said. I believe that email can be requested through the Freedom of Information Act, is that correct?
That is correct.
FA: So I will communicate that also. But I think it would be good to have fairly simple statements with no technical terms like “tracking” that have different definitions…Do we leave this on or take it off?
ADM: I think we can leave it on until we draft that statement.
ADM: I like to wait until John Burgeson can be here for discussion.
FA: He can bring a response to the next Meet and Confer rather than this one?
ADM: This has to do with the Math Department request. We did get a copy of the information from the department requesting that those positions in that department…
FA: Yes, what we have is a record of their actions through the department meeting minutes. We did get a copy from the department chair of Math and Executive Committee has had a chance to review this and we asked Robert to make a comment on this.
FA: We agreed to these reappointments for one year, and we ask that permanent need of the department be reviewed so the appropriate hiring can take place.
ADM: Does that include the definition of a role from that considered in negotiations for a different kind of faculty role, a faculty associate role?
FA: That is not explicit in the recommendation, it’s not implicit, it’s not explicit. Our recommendation was limited to the request for the re-appointment of these people in the Math Department from this year to next year. From this year to re-appointment next year. In answer to your question, no, the scope of our response does not go beyond our response.
FA: I will simply acknowledge that one of our Executive Committee members is down at Mediation and certainly involved in determining whether or not that becomes contractual, so…you can take that one off.
FA: Re: the Director of International Admissions, Director of Study Abroad, and Director of International Student and Scholar Services: We certainly agree to requesting volunteers and having the Senate appoint one faculty member for each of these new staff searches. We’ll put the call out so we can act at the next Senate on that.
Progress Reports on Long-term Concerns
1. COE Climate Task Force (separated from Task Force on Diversity at the 8/30/07 Meet and Confer) (FA) (9/22/05)
FA: We have had a recommendation from the College of Education Climate Task Force concerning the external co-facilitator of that Task Force and we brought that recommendation forward to Senate and the Senate approved the recommendation of the Task Force, which is to appoint Mark Jaede as the external co-coordinator…co-facilitator. We hope you’ll approve that appointment and that you make sure that Mark is compensated for that work.
FA: I’ll notify the Task Force members that that has been approved. We’re assuming that we can have Mark work with you and his supervisor to address the compensation. Thank you.
ADM: They will. Thank you, too. It’s good to have to have two people co-coordinating that.
2. Intellectual property and releases from PR (FA) (08/30/07)
FA: As you know we’ve received a draft of the revision of the form used by University Communications and another form directly applicable to intellectual property, and Senate asked that we float both of those forms to Pat Arsenault for her opinion. She shared some of the same concerns with me that Senate had shared. They’re fairly simple. It was difficult for her to determine, to discern the difference between the two forms in terms of what their goals and uses might be. In terms of the first form which is used by University Communications, she thought it would be more appropriate to have a separate form for students and for other people so that our people wouldn’t be asked to fill out their year in school, etc., etc. And so we are asking for more clarity about the difference in the goals of these forms. I’m expecting to get a written response from Pat, and I would be glad to share that when I get that. I believe we, at a previous Meet and Confer, indicated some editorial concerns with the form used by University Communications. I think that was pretty straightforward, I don’t know if it’s necessary to reach agreement about what those changes should be, but it was interesting to me to have somebody who has not been involved in the conversation not be able to tell the difference between these forms.
ADM: Do you have a sense when we would have this…is there a timeline?
ADM: I had hoped to have it today. I could hope to have it next meeting. And I can encourage the completion of a written response.
ADM: Please do so.
FA: OK. I think the issue of intellectual property is particularly important to us and extremely important that we get right. I thank you for your patience with us.
ADM: I didn’t think we’d be making this much progress at the beginning of this session!
FA: I didn’t either!
3. Academic Plan (ADM) (10/18/07)
ADM: Work on that continues with work groups. I think for the most part they are meeting, departments’ activities are moving forward. There will be consultation. For those of you who may not be aware that a lot of the information is available on the Web and can be commented on by anyone in the community. Strategically, you will have the opportunity to look at that work and make some comments on that as well as we move forward towards developments on the action plan as semester goes along. We seem to be making fairly good progress. Thanks for the participation of all those involved in this.
FA: I know there’s a lot of activity going on. I’ve been hearing from a lot of faculty about work going on within the departments and we’re trying to get committees together and groups together to participate in this process.
ADM: Another point to make, I guess, is that in several areas there is certain overlap. It would be very helpful if committees that do overlap share their information with each other so that ideally we will end up with a single kind of set of conclusions about where this overlap is, at least some kind of mutual consideration of the same issues that might benefit each other.
FA: We’re trying to encourage people to bring deliberations from our committees forward to the work groups as much as possible. I did share with Senate the last time the globalization response and encouraged people to read it and respond to it. I did forward that also to our International Studies Committee who had been involved in the production of one of the previous reports on the globalization and encouraged them to filter their reactions into the work group. I guess one thing I could ask for at this point if you could provide…actually two things: 1) meeting space. I was involved in a meeting and we were looking for a space because conference rooms weren’t available and also 2) it’d be nice to have additional time space to have this happen as well. Obviously we got our timeline and will work as hard as we can to move through to these results that are useful.
ADM: We understand that not every question will be answered. The work is to identify areas where change is to take place and final conclusions to be drawn about that issue.
ADM: I would echo thanks—you’re doing good work. I would say we asked the Strategic Planning Committee to talk about criteria that we will use to evaluate the proposals that will come out of the process. The President’s Council will make investment decisions in order of priorities after all the consultation. We want to do that with a set of criterias proposed by the Strategic Planning Committee.
ADM: Any other comments on this topic? On to budget.
4. Report on Budget (ADM) (10/18/07)
ADM: I’ll distribute this. President Potter’s comments work nicely into this as we look toward planning for fiscal year 2009. In the Fall we shared some scenarios across campus with the budget advisory group, and then as we gain more information about allocation, about settlements, about enrollment, about tuition, we’ve sharpened those projections or those expectations for the fiscal year that we’re currently in—2008, and into fiscal year ’09 that we’re projecting. So I’ll run through that briefly here. And so, these figures do represent the technology funds, other certain student funds and such that we have for 2008. It includes keeping our reserve at the MCSCU specified minimum of 5% of our revenues, 5% of our expenses and includes our designated carry forward from FY ‘07 into FY ’08 of a $1.8 million that we referenced earlier. It does not include the MNSCU allocation and cost reallocation. That’s about $4.1 million, and it’s money that comes into the campus on June 30th and goes back to MNSCU on June 30th. They're our fees, if you will, for campus services, so it’s not ours to allocate or to budget, but it’s recognized as an expense of our campus at the end of the year. So at the end of the year, you see that number as an expense and a parallel revenue. We adjusted the revenue in January for about 100 FYE additional as we looked at the retention and the enrollment for Fall and what we expected for Spring of FY ’08. And we adjusted expenses during the year for what we were seeing for admission scholarships, work study, what we are seeing for PSEO, utilities, and of course debt service that is dictated by our capital activities on campus and prior year expense, things that we recognized. For fiscal year ’09, this includes the technology, underserved students and performance initiatives that we have been given figures for this from MNSCU. The figures appear very precise, down to the dollar amount in hundreds of thousands, but they are in fact an estimate.
A note about those technology funds, we know that we should expect to get $776,000. We didn’t know about the FY2008 money till September, and we had a very abbreviated process to identify initiatives and to spend those funds that was managed generally out of Kristi Tornquist’s office and went through the Budget Advisory Group and this group for review. They’ve wanted to start that in a few days, a similar process with criteria with hopefully those decisions this Spring, contingent upon the final allocations, but then be able to move forward more quickly in the next fiscal year rather than have delay and then be in a rush, in some cases, to spend funds. We will recognize there were some tails, if you will, about our allocation from last year that had some carry forward. But that will come out in the document, and we will start planning to spend those funds even though we don’t know for certain the exact amount. But it should be in this ballpark of $776,000.
We’re looking at the tuition revenue at a 4% increase which includes 1% tuition buydown and referred to by the System Office for next year, so the students will see 3%, we will see more or less a 4% increase in tuition, what we’re identifying as tuition revenue. We increased enrollment somewhat, we made some assumptions about the faculty settlement, the MNSCU settlements…excuse me, MSUAASF settlements and we have some information about the proposed administrative settlement, so that helps us sharpen our pencil a little bit on those numbers. It still maintains the reserve at board policy minimum.
(The tape ended here. My apologies—I didn’t realize the machine wouldn’t audibly click off. What follows are my typed notes as I could best keep up. Again, my apologies.:)
…This is the same representation as used in the recent past. It includes estimated balance for carry forward from fiscal year 2008 into 2009. Expenses were adjusted for debt service, with an increase in debt service. The second page is the spread sheet, based on those assumptions. It reflects a change in enrollment and tuition revenue. The expenditures reflect our best estimate, including the amount set aside for salary and fringe benefits…and what we expect to maintain the reserve. We’re showing the representation of carry forward a little differently. For each year revenue less the expense at the bottom nets as the carry forward. We think that’s a more rational way instead of listing the carry forward independently. It shows that in any given year the effect on the balance.
For FY09, before we make any changes to bring it into balance we show a negative balance of about $1.6 million at the end of the year. There will likely be additional funds carried forward each year as a result of such things as delayed searches or overestimation of some costs. Given that, we don’t think that’s an unreasonable sum at first blush. However, recognizing this, each of the vice presidential units reviewed their budgets fro reallocations and savings. We now have that information to present next week first at the Budget Advisory Group followed by Meet and Confer with bargaining units and town hall meetings to look at reallocation,…some additional reductions in vice presidential units…and a plan to ear mark $500,000 for academic plan initiatives. We have to wait for Academic Planning to be completed in order to make these allocations. While $500,000 may not be a huge sum of money, it is important to begin to advance that academic plan identified reductions will be in the neighborhood of $1.5 million and the additional expense of this $500,000 for the academic plan will leave us about $600,000 out of balance, which I would argue is not an unreasonable amount given how prudent and conservative with expenditures as Minnesotans we always are. It’s in line with budgeting in the past and I think, at least a reasonable estimate, realistically looking at our behavior. Questions we have about settlements, allocation and tuition will unfold at the completion of negotiations and setting of tuition and fees by the board. We will get to a budget by the end of April and get it entered in the system and start work on a new budget.
FA: Could you explain again?
ADM: The Vice President’s and President’s office initially considered reductions of 1,2, even 4% and proposals for new initiatives or expected cost changes. For example, in Administrative Affairs, we stopped using our own sources for collection of student loans and that service was taken over by Office of the Chancellor personnel. A net savings of about $170,000. With the addition of square footage as we complete Centennial we will require additional General Maintenance Services at a cost of about $120,000. In other areas where there may be savings or reductions in cost and some increases in revenues from some sources.
FA: So there’s no likelihood of percentage reductions.
ADM: If you’re talking in the academic area.
ADM: Some of that will take place. Meeting that deficit on one hand while identifying funds for…invest in new initiatives…there will be some reductions…lesser number than that, and where that falls is contingent on the discussions in the various operating units or departments and our campus conversation.
FA: Is that currently being worked on…my department, for example, has a request to look at 1% reduction …is that accurate?
ADM: It’s fairly close.
ADM: Begin next week, about that scale.
FA: Do you mean those decisions?
ADM: Those plans. I spoke to all the units in Administrative Affairs. Wanda spoke to the directors in her unit with M&E funds budgeted and Michael in Academic Affairs worked through the Deans, Jill in her unit worked with her directors and, the President’s office also had discussions.
ADM: Those plans …various areas
ADM: Yes. The VP’s were asked to work with in the various areas they are responsible for and look for savings and identify critical needs. It is our best analysis with the information we had.
ADM: Thank you.
ADM That’s important.
FA: For our purposes those plans will be taken back to our constituency for their observations.
ADM: They’re expected…We’ll start with them, right or wrong…go back to operating units…needs a full vetting…go to student government, we go back to students two weeks from today …we will have to settle on town hall meetings. We would like a broad conversation.
FA: No decision or actions will be implemented…
ADM: Yes. The only exception will be the changes, such as those in business services, or to debt service where we have no latitude …The others are for consideration on campus.
FA: Our department should expect to receive a notice before this process.
ADM: Right, and the department should have participated in the process.
FA: I want to make sure everyone understands the impact and desirability of producing a draft that is balanced. That goes back to the various groups.
ADM: Is there any notion when it will come to Strategic Planning?
ADM: When does it meet?
ADM: Next Thursday.
ADM: The plans will be shared and they are specific to these areas on campus.
FA: I understand that their supervisor told them they will be getting a cut. (This referenced across-the-board cuts.)
ADM If you are told that, it is in error.
FA: If we’re finished with that, I’ll read the statement from the FA Budget Committee: In the spirit of productive planning, as per our prior mutual agreement in Spring 2007, the FA Budget Committee requests the following information from the Vice President of Administrative Affairs: 1) A consistent carry forward analysis which includes account numbers, account names, beginning balance, current balance and explanation of adjustments. 2) An overall financial summary in the format electronically provided to the Vice President of Administrative Affairs by the FA Budget Committee. 3) All budget data supplied to the committee be in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet format.
FA: John and Diana trying to set up time to meet…John is a MAC person and others are PC people. The previous document was sent as a file that could be read on any platform but could not be manipulated.…
FA: At any rate, we have carried it forward as requested.
FA: I have sat on that committee. I won’t make any claims to being conversant, but as a person who goes from MACs to PCs, I’m fairly comfortable in either platform. I’m glad, if there’s a question, to work on platform issues with anyone wanting it.
ADM: That’s the way it’s organized…budgets are a moving target.
ADM: Any other comments? I appreciate the comments.
ADM: Thank you folks. We are adjourned
Meeting Adjourned at 4:45 p.m.
Submitted by Joan Wingert