Faculty Senate debates budget
The Preliminary Budget Plan for the 2011 fiscal year was on the top of the agenda for the Faculty Senate at Wednesday’s meeting.
“In the presentation to the board, we will show them the base funding and the new funding. Today, what we’re focusing on is the dollars that will be shifted around this year,” Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance Carl Carlucci said.
One of the first items on the plan is to meet the state 5 percent reduction requirement.
“We’re funding that out of our reductions and reallocation,” Carlucci said. “There may be additional reductions next year.”
Carlucci assured the senate that certain positions would not be affected.
“No instructional faculty are eliminated as a result of these reductions,” Carlucci said.
Faculty and staff targeted consist of adjunct professors, primarily those who only teach one class, visitors and summer professors.
At the meeting CLASS Senator Jeffery Sposato complained that the faculty and staff at UH learned about the furloughs through the Houston Chronicle.
“We knew the furloughs were coming and that it was a possibility, but we learned about it from the Houston Chronicle rather than the administration, which I thought was really inexcusable,” Sposato said. “We didn’t get an e-mail until five days after the fact.”
Carlucci apologized to the senate and said there was miscommunication between himself and the reporter.
“The reporter went out and read the Web site, and she wrote the story from (that),” Carlucci said. “When she talked to us, I asked her to wait because I told her we were going to announce the details of the furlough, and if you read the story, she didn’t have the details.”
Sposato said an immediate response from the administration was necessary.
Carlucci said the suggestion of furloughs came out of a cost reduction management survey taken by the faculty senate.
“We’re going forth on the furloughs. They will save us about a million dollars, (but) we don’t know exactly what the voluntary portion will produce,” Carlucci said.
The senate also considered the reallocation of resources to prioritize instructional initiatives and promote enrollment growth, national competitiveness and faculty and senate recruiting and retention programs at each campus as options in the reduction plan.
“Enrollment revenue is targeted at instruction and financial aid. That we believe is the direction that we got both from the state and the board,” Carlucci said. “We want them to see that the amount we’re spending on enrollment/financial aid related item is equivalent to what we raised from both student tuition and fees.”
The official budget plan will presented to the UH System Board of Regents on May 11.
Chancellor and UH President Renu Khator spoke about student enrollment and the changes that will be made to admissions criteria.
“An important part of student success is who enters the University, because we need to make sure those students are coming in academically prepared to succeed,” Khator said. “To this point, the proposal put in front of them will be that we will raise it to top 20 or 15 percent (for automatic admission) in the year of 2012 and bringing it down to top 10 by 2014.”