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Faculty & Staff November 16, 2010 //  by  // 8 Comments

Budget cuts take center stage at Faculty Senate meeting

The state is facing a budget shortfall of up to $30 billion, and the repercussions for the University will be dire.

Carl Carlucci, vice president of administration and finance, told Faculty Senate members of upcoming measures UH would take to counter cuts in state funding. | Jack Wehman/The Daily Cougar

The Faculty Senate has already been told to expect a 10 percent cut in state funding, but the cut could be as deep as 20 percent.

Because the budget deficit won’t be officially announced until next year, the Senate is focused on making sure it isn’t caught off guard.

“Unfortunately, it does appear that on the larger end of the cuts we’re looking at cutting operations that impact faculty directly,” Senate president Mark Clarke said. “It’s making everybody a little nervous.”

Vice President of Administration and Finance Carl Carlucci spoke about the deficit, giving specific examples on what may or may not happen come next year. More faculty furloughs were among the topics discussed.

“As a result of conversations with the staff council, they said let’s lock in dates now. They said they’d rather know when the dates for possible furloughs would be,” Carlucci said. “There were a number of suggestions made as to possible dates.”

However, more furloughs are not being considered lightly; the last thing the Senate wants to do is impact the education of the students, Carlucci said.

“We can’t cripple the instructional program,” he said. “Tuition revenue is our main support. We cannot do anything to reduce that.

“On the other hand, there are periods like spring break where we as a staff won’t get any official days off, but if we took days off it wouldn’t negatively impact the instructional program.”

One of the biggest problems with the budget deficit is the Texas Legislature itself.

Because this is a huge session for the Legislature — it not only has to cut billions of dollars from the state budget but redistrict the entire state as well — the cuts may not be announced until late spring or even the summer.

“The budget is likely to drag on; it’ll probably get done by August 1, because that’s when the school districts need their money,” Carlucci said. “It’s very likely to drag on through May into the summer.

“How do we know what the target’s going to be if there’s uncertainty? And the answer is, we don’t know.”

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  • Robert

    "The state is facing a budget shortfall of up to $30 billion, and the repercussions for the University will be dire."

    So how does UH approach this bad news? It tries to buy a SECOND radio station. What a waste of money and mis-guided priorities. UH should not buy the KTRU radio tower and frequency from Rice University.

  • CuttheAdmin

    How about ADMINISTRATORS cutting their lavish salaries and packages before any cut affecting faculty, staff, and students.

    Examples:

    The president received 18% 75K raise with a salary of $500K!! In addition to perks like mansion, maids, personal driver, etc… College presidents with leadership and moral values did take voluntary pay cuts; significant pay cuts, before going asking sacrifices from others. She is living like an aristocrat at a time she is asking low-paid employees to take furloughs.

    More examples. Top 8 paid people at UH (with the exception of the president, the rest are last year's salaries- we do not know yet the raises these administrators received):

    Renu Khator Chancellor/President Chancellor/President $500,000
    Salvador J Loria Scholarships & Financial Aid Executive Director, Student Fin Aid $395,200
    Michael Rierson VC/VP, University Advancement VC/VP, University Advancement $382,416
    Mack B Rhoades IV Athletics Athletic Director $350,000
    Carl P Carlucci VC/VP, Admin & Finance Executive VC/VP, Admin & Finance $324,456
    Raymond T Nimmer Dean, Law Dean $301,000
    Joseph W Tedesco Dean, Engineering Dean $301,000
    John J Antel Sr VC/VP, Acad Affairs/Provost Sr VC/VP, Acad Affairs/Provost $300,000

    Why do we need an exec director for student financial aid paid at $395K?
    Why do we have to pay these administrators such high salaries?

    If we need talent, why don't we invest in FACULTY and STAFF talent rather than these ineffective incompetent administrators?

    ACTIONS TO TAKE:

    Reduce all administrator (department chair and up) salaries to 9 months, same as all "regular faculty".

    Limit all administrative stipends to 5K.

    Remove unnecessary high-level administrator positions (the case in point: previous president of UH Victoria, after being fired, is given a cushy unnecessary and expensive administrator position on campus).

  • Stfu

    @Robert
    Why is everything going on at UH about KTRU now? Just shut up!! UH didnt buy the tower. The university just approved its purchase.
    The budget cuts UH will soon face are a product of Rick perry, whos only concerned with Texas a&m and Texas university… He doesn’t care about the third largest public university in Texas. That’s what this article is really about, not KTRU.
    Go complain to the people who care at saveKTRU andthe thresher. UH has bigger concerns.

  • timjo62

    Way to go CuttheAdmin. Thanks for putting the bloated salaries of the administrators out there! Maybe the student body will wake up and speak up!

    Queen Khator would never sacrifice a dime of her lavish salary or that fat mansion she lives in. Let them eat cake!

    The food service workers and janitors get paid poverty wages and the staff will get furloughs while Khator laughs all the way to the bank!

    Just another day at Fourth Tier U.

  • CougarAlum

    Some of these comments are embarrassing.

    It is so easy to use limited (or no) knowledge of leadership and running organizations to critique the people who make the most money. Do you have any idea what a competitive salary is for a CFO of a billion dollar operation? Have you ever run one? Do you really want to hire someone who isn't qualified for that role? Do you know what skills the people you are talking about have?

    Picking on Loria because it is a big number without knowing anything about the skills he brings to the table is just ignorant. Do you have idea what financial aid was like before he showed up? How much better it is now? What is it worth to the vast majority of students who get financial aid not to have to wait months to receive their award letters or disbursements?

    I'm not a big fan of everything Dr. Khator has done but she did turn down several raises in a row. Have you looked to see what her peers make before just assuming that a big number is too much?

    I don't disagree that enduring some pain at the top when everyone else is in pain is good leadership. But I hate the ignorance of just pointing at the biggest numbers and assuming that is where you should start cutting or that because there is a financial crisis we have to yell "off with their heads." Most of those people could easily make more elsewhere if they leave. And lower salaries aren't going to get us better leadership at a time when UH is in crisis.

    • Dave

      The line is shorter than the past. I give them some credit. But service is the same for last 5-20 year. lol

  • CuttheAdmin

    CougarAlum:

    Why do you assume that the writers of the comments are ignorant and have limited or no knowledge?
    Unfortunately, your arguments conflate salary with qualifications and performance.

    Salaries of all public university presidents are published regularly in the Chronicle of Higher Education. These comments were based on those salaries, particularly by taking into account the qualifications and the performance of current UH administrators.

    The financial situation at UH is in dire shape because of many ill-planned decisions made by the current administration. Look at the construction costs on campus and compare them to other universities around the State. Look at investments such as "Energy Park". This is a run-down facility where renovation of buildings is costing more than putting up new buildings. The central administration has not done its job and many researchers are without laboratories because there is no money to renovate these facilities.

    Offices under the central administration have been running big deficits (e.g., Office of Research). Where was the CFO?

    I hope you will reconsider your view "high salary -> good leadership", especially as applied to a public institution of higher education. Unlike a company, this is not a for profit organization and most people who choose this profession do so for service to society in advancing and disseminating knowledge and not for the money.

  • RealityCheck

    Dr. Renu Khator started at UH in Jan. 2008 at a salary $425K.
    Dr. France Cordova started at Purdue also at a salary of $425K.

    Now let's compare Dr. Cordova and Dr. Khator to see if Dr. Khator deserves her salary:

    Positions held by Dr. Cordova before assuming the presidency at Purdue:
    # Chancellor, University of California, Riverside, 2002 – 07
    # Distinguished Professor of Physics & Astronomy, UCR 2002 – 07
    # Vice Chancellor for Research, University of California at Santa Barbara, 1996 – 2002
    # Professor of Physics, University of California at Santa Barbara, 1996 – 2002
    # Chief Scientist, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 1993 – 96
    # Department Head, Astronomy & Astrophysics, Pennsylvania State University, 1989 – 93
    # Professor of Astronomy & Astrophysics, Pennsylvania State University, 1989 – 96
    # Deputy Group Leader, Space Astronomy & Astrophysics Group, Los Alamos National Lab, 1989
    # Staff Scientist, Earth and Space Science Division, Los Alamos National Lab., 1979 – 89

    Academic achievements of Dr. Cordova are too long to list here; pls see http://www.purdue.edu/president/about/Curriculum_

    In contrast to this stellar president, Dr. Khator had only administrative positions at Univ. of South Florida (a university which is clearly not tier-one and does not even come close to the universities where Dr Cordova has served).

    Here are the positions held by Dr. Khator prior to being appointed to the presidency of UH:
    #Provost and Senior Vice President, University of South Florida (July 2003 – November 2007)
    #Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, University of South Florida (July, 2000—June, 2003)
    #Director/Chair, Environmental Science and Policy (ESP) Department University of South Florida (August 1997-June 2000)
    #Faculty Assistant to President, University of South Florida (May 1995-August 1997)
    #Director of Graduate Programs, Department of Government & International Affairs University of South Florida (1990-1993)

    Dr. Khator has minimal academic achievements. Going through the list would be too embarassing.
    She does not have any knowledge nor experience in Tier-One level academics, scholarship, leadership…

    Same comparisons can be carried out for administrators below Dr. Khator.

    CougarAlum: Please do your own homework before accusing others of ignorance!

    There is clearly no comparison here. Given their credentials, current UH administrators are OVERPAID.

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