USC Faculty Meeting
January 1993


SPECIAL FACULTY MEETING
January 15, 1993 Belk Auditorium

The special called faculty meeting was called to order at 10:07 AM by
President Palms.

Charles Tucker (SOCY) moved to suspend the order of business to allow immediate discussion of the Futures Committee, followed by the presentations of the president and provost. The motion was passed by the required two-thirds vote.

David Willer (SOCY) proposed the following resolution:

It is the responsibility of President Palms and Provost Moeser to (1) formulate their vision for the future of the University of South Carolina and (2) bring plans for it before properly constituted committees of the university senate for evaluation and action. To these ends I propose the following resolution: Resolved that the faculty calls for the President and the Provost to dissolve the University Future Committee. In the event that it is not dissolved the faculty calls upon its members to resign.
Professor Willer further stated:
We hope that the discussion will consider at least a questionable economic justification of the Future Committee The South Carolina Board of Economic Advisors report of 1-8-93 shows a 9.4% growth of general fund revenue for the first half and FY 1992-93. Only the first half of FY 1991-92. Current projections see a 6% personal income growth over the next two years. Why is Provost Moeser's absolute best case scenario sharply at variance with recent growth and current projections.
The motion was seconded. Professors Safko (PHYS), Becker (HIST), and Host (GSO) spoke against the motion. The question was called by a vote of 305 to 71. The motion was defeated

President Palms made the following statement.

Let me say first of all what we are really engaged in is the university is strategic planning. This has been ongoing in this university in one way or another with different groups taking part in this over the years. During the self-evaluation and re- accreditation process,we have been strongly urged by the Southern Association to continue this process. I quote one sentence in the report "These operations suggest that the planning and evaluation process must focus more strongly on directing on resources to a limited number of areas where they can be most effective in achieving the university's goals." What's taken place,I believe,in the last several years on this campus is a close up examination and an assessment of how this institution has evolved over the last 15 to 20 years, particularly what programs have been initiated and what programs have been funded; what have been the driving forces that resulted in the creation of these programs; what have been the supporting resources that have been used to involve these programs, and what is now the status quo and whether that status quo really serves the future needs of this university.
My own tradition in higher education is to work on these kinds of problems in a close collaborative sense with those principally who affect the evolution of institutions. And those are partnerships. They involve the people who have given the responsibilities to administer the institutions. They involve those who have the responsibilities for policy formulation of the mission of the institutions - those are boards of trustees and those involved with implementing the mission objectives of institutions principally, the faculty, for the academic program, and staff to support that, and the infrastructure required to bring to fruition those objectives. I have seen this done in a collaborative way very amiably. It is not done just at a time when we are in a growth situation. And I must tell you that we all know the driving force in higher education for the last 20 years has been growth. We have expanded because we have had growth. Growth in our enrollment, growth in the financial resources, growth in the mission, opportunities for the institution. And that has been healthy for higher education in general.
We have solved many of our problems in higher education because we have had growth. As some programs lost their vitality , as some programs became obsolete ,we preferred to solve those problems by creating new programs, by hiring younger faculty, by bringing in post doctoral students, by bringing in graduate students because we were growing and we could satisfy our needs and we could satisfy creativity and innovation by growth.
Now everywhere I know that I know of in this country rapid growth has slowed if not come to a standstill ,and in some cases certainly it has been the recession forces that have driven higher education's operations in the last several years. We are grateful that an economic upturn would return us to a situation of growth. I don't think that any of the wizards of economic forecasting will assume that higher education will have that same kind of growth. We're seeing in this state a facingof the realities of this state's economic recession. ven before I came, Art Smith called and said we have been cut and this is what we are going to do across the board, how do you feel about that. I said, 'Fine ,you know the institution, I am sure you have had your input from your deans and your faculty and that is the way to respond to this. I hope it is temporary. Let's do it. ' The following year, my first year here, again we had expectations of growth with economic forecasters assuming that we were going to have increases. But we made one change that second year, at the end of that first year we really didn't want to formulate a budget that just had across the board increases. And you know this last year we had budget hearings and we tried to make some choices as to what programs needed to have priority budgeting. I think we began a process of more openness. We invited the Faculty Budget Committee to be present at all those budget presentations. After we arrived at a list of definite priorities and evaluated any new money that was to come to the university, we shared those decisions with the faculty. Unfortunately, the economic forecasters were not correct and regretfully in the middle of the year we had to make major cuts that were made across the board. They were made after priority allocations in a budget system. In the meantime it became evident that our economic situation in this country was in pretty much dire straits. At least for the foreseeable future in this state, ,and probably nationally, we were going to be sitting with a pretty level funding situation ,even below probably a general inflationary percentage in the gross national product in this country.
We are obligated to do strategic planning. The faculty continues to create and innovate and request funds for new things. One response to that is if we are not going to get new funding how do we reallocate funding within the institution? Let's look at our programs, let's look at the status, the quality of what we are doing, the opportunities that we have, the needs that we have as a comprehensive university to see if we can understand yourselves. Let's look at our changing resources.
I remind you, this year 38% of our university's budget comes from the state. We are state assisted but not totally state supported. We now receive substantial financial input, our tuition is a driving force, from our faculty initiatives; by your getting research grants we are almost at the $60 million mark and without these resources, without the overhead from those resources, we wouldn't be engaging in many of our most creative programs.
But there has been a price to be paid from outside influences. The individual research grant has affected the mission of this institution. It has created marvelous entrepreneurs, successful grant getters. It has shifted the resources within the university without our really assessing how they are affecting the major mission of this institution. There are centrifugal forces pulling the sense of community a part of a university. The challenge we have is can we collectively redefine a cohesive, coherent principle mission statement that we all can be committed to.that can address budgetary decisions, administrative decisions, the allocation of our resources, and also address some of the imbalances and inequities that have arisen from all these outside forces such as the enormous discrepancies in program support, supplements given to various colleges, a wide distribution of faculty salaries across this university. And maybe even lask if we have lost a sense of what the basic mission and the principles the university should be, and have they been taken care of properly, have they been well supported.
The rationale for engaging in this process with you is that to look at the future as best we can and see where our those influences are so important to us we need to revise the admission of this institution and what drives we make decisions about our programs and personnel every day. I have confidence that this is best done in a collaborative way - administrators working with faculty and not just faculty of individual colleges. I know it is easy to consider the university as a federation of colleges - to have every college a tub on its own bottom, to create empowerment within a college to let them decide what resources might be available to them, to let them manage their affairs, to create the incentives and to allow for creativity to blossom and to support those and to do that with the number of colleges you have and let that be called a university. That is very difficult to do,. even some of our largest most successful universities I met with a faculty member of Harvard just this week, and I said, 'How are things at Harvard?' They said it's tough, the arts and science college is running a deficit of $6 1/2 million. I said, "what are you going to do about it.?"
He said, 'well, we've got to solve our own problems.
You know at Harvard it is on its own bottom, you got to solve your own problems At Harvard is tough on your own bottom we have a 5 year plan to rid ourselves of $6 1/2 million deficit. Well,I said do you get any help from the central administration?'. The business school is building their own gym for its faculty and students - they are building a $10 million gym.
Do we still have a sense of real community and a sense of community at this institution? Deans do have responsibilities to create vitality to create vitality, in their colleges, but there is also an obligation to the sense of the university's community. Therefore when Provost Moeser came and talked about these issues, we said let's put together a committee and he had a good experience at Penn State,doing this and I said, I have had good experiences with faculty committees.'.
You pick faculty you can rely on to be states persons for the university, set aside their individual needs of their departments and their disciplines, to their national professional allegiances and come together and see the university's issues in a holistic way for the university. Let's gather information, let's look at the quality of our programs and let's listen to deans about their aspirations. Let's see where they stand and take it from there.
Hopefully this committee will help us make some recommendations. At least it will identify opportunities, identify problems for us. I think what I have witnessed in my years in higher education is that this is the best process. It is even a good process when you are growing. We received a $100 million gift at Emory and the first thing we did was create a committee to decide who was going to get the new resources.
It is just as difficult when you are in rapid growth as when you are in decline. The process doesn't really change. So I think that is the purpose of this committee . I really am gratified by how many of you have participated in the process. I know that the colleges are undergoing strategic planning themselves. I know that it is very difficult to reach consensus. I know that it is difficult to reach consensus within the departments. We have grown so much there are these sub-disciplines within the departments. I have been caught in those battles - who gets that next position, what particular subspecialty in the department. So I understand those difficulties. We have no choice but to make these decisions. They are painful. It is difficult to look a colleague in the eye and say your area to which you have devoted so many years is not going to have the priority it has had before. These are painful decisions that have to be made. I think people on the outside expect us to do it. Every major corporation in the country, every institution, has an obligation to look at the nation's resources and decide how best to use it. And if we do not do this it is going to be done for us on the outside; we hear every day initiatives that are trying to get into this- whether it is a mission statement for the university, whether it is program support-somehow we must get these processes into the university ourselves to help us make these strategic and tactile decisions. We have had compliments from the general assembly that this process is welcomed. It is not that they aren't going to give us any more money because we are doing this ourselves ,but I think it is healthy for the institution, and I hope that other institutions will do the same.
We do have a conglomeration of institutions which have their own boards of trustees and their own mission statements. There is .no centralized entity in this state that is setting the mission statement for institutions. That is still the responsibility of the board of trustees. You know the Commission on Higher Education has the responsibility of coordinating things, ,but they don't have the responsibility for setting the mission statement.
We had a two-day retreat with the board of trustees last week. They also welcomed this initiative to come to grips with this institution's principle mission elements that are absolutely necessary to define our mission. And they hope,obviously that we take into consideration.the meaningfulness of this institution as the comprehensive public institution in the State of South Carolina, that we have an obligation to this state. I know all of us have national ambitions to be recognized in our professions, to have a national status, to be recognized as a flagship institution of first class, that we have a couple dozenreally nationally ranked programs and we don't want those to be affected. They are important for this institution, important for this state and at the same time this state is special. When I was interviewed on television last week I said - they asked me what was I most impressed with being here and I said how this institution really responded to the needs of this state,.while at the same time trying to create excellence but responding to the needs of the state - educating students who graduated from high school maybe not as well prepared as in other states, but we have taken them in and it is the product that we produce that matters. I am confident that we will continue in our strategic planning to make that an important part of what we emphasize in this institution. At the same time realizing that the best thing we can do for the State of South Carolina is make this the best public comprehensive institution in the state. These are the rationale for the establishment of the committee.
This was followed by Provost Moeser's report.
I am fully aware of the dimension of this discussion, the implications of the resolution that you just defeated. I hope that what you are saying in the vote is that you trust the integrity of the process; that you will judge us on its outcome. We are willing to be judged on the outcome but that you are holding your judgment until the process has had its opportunity to work. That is really all that I can think we can ask for. and I thank you for giving us that trust.
As I was quoted in the newspaper over the weekend from my comments to the board as a new member of the administration I have been deeply and keenly impressed by the lack of trust historically the faculty has in the administration at the University of South Carolina as a result of the recent history of this institution. The requirement and the sense of responsibility that places on the president and the provost and all who serve in an administrative capacities therefore, in my opinion, I am acutely aware that we have to win your confidence and trust and that we are being watched very closely and I think that we should expect that and we deserve that kind of close attention. I think I can speak for the committee as well in expressing first of all our gratitude for you for your statement of trust in this process. This report will be very brief because I want to leave time for discussion and question. There is not a single question that we will not entertain. Just as there is no issue that is not on the table - there is not a question that we will refuse to answer if we have the answer to that question.
I think that was is at the route of this process is the quality and the concern for quality. The president has already addressed that. This is an institution with an acute financial need. In almost every dimension of its activity whether it be - whether we are talking about faculty salaries, staff salaries; whether we are talking about graduate student stipends and our ability to be competitive nationally; whether we are talking about the operating expenses that support long distance telephones, travel, networking computers or having a computer at one's desk or whether we are talking about the ability of this institution to respond to new academic initiatives as those opportunities will undoubtedly present themselves in this fast changing environment - in every one of those categories we are critically underfunded and under prepared.
And so to answer the question that was posed in the resolution - what if we are wrong and what if the economic forecasters are right and what if the very positive economic forecast turns into not diminishing state funding but rather increases state funding. My argument would be to you that the same process will guide us into the future with new funds in fact that is what the process ultimately is designed to do not only to reallocate existing resources which in my opinion we must do and I think the answer to that question furthermore notwithstanding those economic forecasts and as Chairman Becker said those are the same people that got us right now - those forecasters not withstanding that we know next year that we face $2.5 million in unavoidable cost increases as a result faculty and staff health benefits, annualization of this year's salary increases - the 2% increase that became effective on October 1 must be annualized next year. That very quickly we get to $2.7 million. There are other variables on the horizon that could change the funding posture of this institution. There is a $2 1/2 million swing in legislative appropriation. If we aren't funded for Epscor, if we are not funded for a new minority science and math program that is funded by the National Science Foundation and requires statewide - a million dollar state match or if we are not funded for SMTC - the Southeastern Manufacturing Technology Center which is a half million dollar state commitment to the university matching federal funds.
Some of those are statewide programs. Easily, in addition to the $2 1/2 million we know we have to face at the Columbia campus, there is another $2 1/2 million potentially out there that could hit us and beyond that there are problems in the funding formula at the Commission on Higher Education which could vary from 0 to $5 million - negative dollars for next year. so the best we can say about the financial situation is that it is very uncertain or unstable. It is not favorable toward them in any sense toward growth.
The second thing that we have learned from our retreat with the Board of Trustees over the weekend is that the board is very reluctant to go to the tuition well any further. There will be strong resistance if any indication at all to consider tuition increases which will make it very difficult for us to raise that. So on the state side of tuition we are faced with at best stable resources but most likely diminishing resources. That's the context in which we work. So the process is one that we have will carry us through hard times which we see for the next 2 to 3 years and in the good times when we will be in a capital fund drive we will know what the institutional priorities for new outside funds as well as new state funds may be and ought to be through the rational process involves faculty and staff and students as well as administration in terms of the setting of the priorities of this institution.
Very briefly what has the committee done, what is it doing, what will it be doing and how will you be involved as faculty and staff. As you know and this I will do very quickly. We were appointed by the president at the beginning of the semester. The first thing the committee did was the formulation criteria for evaluation. We had an open hearing on that process and as a result of the hearing changes in the criteria were made, changes in the membership of the committee were affected - another classified staff person was added to add that degree of representation to the committee. Following that stage of the process panels of the committee, 9 of them, went into the colleges, school and nonacademic units to allow faculty and staff to speak directly to the committee. Bear in mind you still have that open channel to the committee now and in the future in written form as well.
We have just this week concluded our meetings - our informal meetings. First meetings with deans and the vice presidents of the nonacademic units. We met with the deans before the semester break and we met with the vice presidents this week. AT this point the committee will be dormant for the next period while the real action is in the colleges and in the budgetary units where you are making your own strategic plans and preparing submissions through the deans of the colleges and the vice presidents of the nonacademic units to the committee which will be due on February 15th. Following which time all those plans will be open and you will have a two week period to send your written comments on the submissions of the several colleges directly to me and/or the committee.
On March 1 we will begin a series of rather formal hearings with deans and vice presidents on their budgetary submissions. The important thing to stress here is that the University Future Committee is an advisory committee on strategic planning and the budget, an advisory committee to the president and the provost. One of the questions that we asked is who makes the final decisions. We make our recommendations to the president. The president makes his own decisions based on the recommendations of this committee and where necessary of course we will take these issues to the board of trustees. We've also pledged to follow fully the provisions of the Faculty Manual if there were to be recommendations for the discontinuation of programs or for the elimination of faculty positions that result in the elimination of programs. We would refer these recommendations to the appropriate committee of the Faculty Senate.
In my meeting with the FS Advisory Committee will make itself or the full senate whatever might be the most appropriate faculty senate committee to review such recommendations.
I want to stress that the nonacademic side of the university is being looked at just as closely as is the academic side. We are looking at the entire perspective - the entire budgetary landscape . We had a meeting with the president of the university who presented his own 12% budget plan for his office pointing out that the office of the president had already taken a 30% reduction in central administration in the office of the president prior to this consideration but he is also preparing his 12% plan. The office of the provost likewise has prepared a 12% reduction in our office. We are eliminating one associate provost position as our contribution to this effort. So we are not exempting ourselves and I assure you that the administrative infrastructure of the university will be very closely examined as we look at the entire problem.

Charles Tucker (SOCY) expressed concern about following the procedures in the Faculty Manual. Of particular concern would be elimination of courses and faculty. Provost Moeser stated that attrition rather than elimination would be used and that all procedures in the Faculty Manual would be followed.

Stan Dubinsky (ENGL) expressed the belief that there are too many campuses and too many admissions offices for this state. President Palms said that we are trying to influence this on a number of fronts: the Council of Presidents, the Commission of Higher Education and the state legislature.

Charles Mack (ARTH) asked why, in a period of shrinking funds, the College of Engineering can hire the Director of the Highway Department for $10,000 while most adjuncts and part time faculty are paid much less?

President Palms responded.

I will be glad to answer my position on this issue and I have learned a great deal how sensitive this issue is. I received a call in my office that said that someone was interested in knowing whether we would be willing to employ the highway director as an adjunct professor in the university. I remember that I was standing at the time and I said that is an issue for the academic college so go contact the academic college dean and let them work it out. I heard later on they did. They worked it out. I am assuming that the same process used in every college was adhered to. We have over 100 adjunct professors all over the university. We have physicians teaching in the medical school, we have 30 lawyers that teach in the law school - they are adjunct and they are from some of the biggest law firms in town. We supply personnel to state agencies. We try to have those programs as realistic as possible. We hire state employees to come and teach with us, to consult with us. Some do it free and some require a fee. The fee structure is dependent upon market force, dependent upon salaries in the various colleges. I realize that there are people teaching courses for $1500. There are people teaching courses for $3,000. Our retired faculty come back for $5,000. There are arrangements made for early retirement and encourage people to do that if they can come back and teach so the salaries are quite varied across the university. But I rely on deans to make decisions on adjunct appointments and part time appointments. They are not made in the president's office. I have stated and I assume that the dean has the procedure, has consulted with faculty, and they have problematic needs and they can justify it they have not extra money - their money is coming from whatever income they assume then can generate. I will tell you that a number of budgetary decisions that are being made. It may sound very unreasonable at this time of financial constraint. We made counter offers to faculty who have been made very lucrative offers that in considering the whole of the needs that we have - people with $30 a year telephone bills would seem outrageous. But the absence of these faculty form this university would penalize us in a great way and those are judgment calls that are made by departments, by deans, and they are made by the provost and by the president. I can assure you that I was never called by any trustee or any agency head. I treated this like any other academic appointment. I rely on the process and the integrity that the college has in place and that ought to be accountable. If this person can generate that income and the enrollments there and he has the credentials. I did make sure that the credentials were there - a person with 30 years experience and a master's degree and had taught before I was assured that this person had the credentials to justify the appointment. Any of these processes are subject to faculty review. There are committees and processes that you can challenge anything you like. This is certain to be an open process. There is certainly nothing hidden about this.
Both President Palms and Provost Moeser assured the faculty that no funds from the Highway Department nor from any part of the University except Engineering was involved to directed for this appointment.
Later in the meeting David Waugh (ENGR) assured the faculty that the engineering faculty would pass judgment on Mr. Fanning's ability to teach any course that might be proposed for him and to approve that course

Robert Chubon (EDUC), from the Rehab Counseling Program asked about the redefinition of the College of Education that would excise his program from the college. Provost Moeser responded.

This is when we deal in an absolutely open process as we are attempting to do where nothing - we are not doing things under the table and things are on the table and therefore subject to not only knowledge but publicity. This is obviously the down side of this process. I think it is important (1) that you and your constituencies understand that what has been proposed is nothing more than that at the present time. It is a proposal. It is a recommendation and it will be a recommendation if it leads the Futures Committee in that form. And just as I was explaining that if this is an actual discontinuation of a program that this would require a fairly elaborate approval process within the university before in fact it can be effectuated. In the elimination or discontinuation of a program that we must give do consideration to how people are affected by that people being the students that are in that program - graduate and undergraduate students. and the possible reassignment of faculty to other positions or other points of service either in the college or elsewhere in the university - faculty and staff where that can be appropriate and as you suggest in addition the possible realignment. It is possible for example that the department might not be discontinued ultimately or totally but in fact could be realigned or consolidated with some other activity. That is why ultimately this we have a layered process that involves recommendations from a college that go to an all university committee. As you know one of our major concerns as a committee one of the concerns that was expressed to us in the hearing that we had with department chairs, center and institute directors was the concern for interdisciplinary programs that could very well get lost in the between the seams of departments and colleges and we are very concerned about preserving those kinds of programs. That is one of the reasons we have a University Future Committee and not just as Dr. Palms was describing every college operating as a independent entity where these decisions are final at the college level. We want to take a look at the institutional responsibility that we have, the needs of the state, and other possible ways of solving the problems. We will look very hard at that and I think that is what you can tell your constituency in the meantime that (1) it is a recommendation only and (2) we will look for other alternatives as possible outcomes. That also gives you - and you as an affected person have an opportunity to give us alternative proposals.
Prof. Chubon further asked the Provost how other units could take on added programs while they a seeking to preserve themselves.

Provost Moeser replied

The answer to your question is I think that possibility does exist and I foresee the Future Committee not just passively receiving recommendations from colleges and deans but responding with counter proposals or suggestions for consideration that would result from the recommendations we perceived just as the one that you described. So I think there is a mechanism for dealing with that.
Bruce Meglino (BADM) asked what response individual faculty would receive from the Futures Committee if they contacted the committee with views in variance with the unit's recommendation. In particular he expressed concern that an administrator may simply ignore the opinions of the faculty. Provost Moeser assured the faculty that the committee would serious consider and respond to any communication it receives from individual faculty. The means of response will be determined by the committee.

Trevor Howard-Hill( ENGL) stated:

As a former chairman I agree with everything the president has said about the necessity for strategic planning. I am very easily persuaded. I agree with everything that Provost Moeser has said about the necessity to prepare for almost inevitable budget cuts. But I have some difficulty in understanding is how these two processes are going on together and how we in endeavoring to find a mandated 4% and mandated by the administration 4% annual reduction totally 12% over the three years or persuading ourselves or being asked to believe that this is furthering strategic planning. Now what has happened in our department if I can use that as an example is that along with many other units we are taking the first money that becomes available that is we are intending to raise our 4% by attrition. Now why should any of us believe that the people who just fortuitously come die here or choose to retire in the next 3 years are going to be exactly those kinds of people that we want to get rid of because it doesn't happen. I think, if the administration doesn't already, know it will find out that the Department of English is the largest teaching unit in the college. It is larger at the moment than all but about 4 colleges. We teach practically very student in the university. Over the next 4 years as result of this mandate by elimination or attrition our faculty will diminish by at least 10% and none of this will have anything to do with strategic planning. None of it. What I simply cannot understand is why we cannot work on the basis of finding the money without pretending that we are doing strategic planning. It is that connection that really bothers me because there is nothing strategic about our planning and just taking adventitious retirements and using them to find money.
Provost Moeser responded:
I would like to respond to that, and if I may combine a response to this with Randy Mack's observation just a minute ago about the process about the Dept. of Art. I am aware that in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and I think at least one other college because of the sizes of these colleges that the University Future Committee is essentially being replicated at the college level with each department being asked to make a 12 and 6 plan. and by the way don't quarrel with that because if given the scope of the college that may be the best mechanism to use and they will be the only mechanism that is really usable. The unfortunate by product of using that at the college level is that it sends down to the department level the picture that you just painted that everybody in the college is going to take a 12% hit and the best that you can hope for is a minus six. that is believe me if that is ultimately the plan set up from the college of Humanities and Social Sciences I believe the Future Committee will send it back. The purpose of this process is not across the board cuts certainly not across the board cuts by departments within colleges. The purpose of the plan is not across the board cuts by colleges. The purpose of the plan is reallocation of existing resources. We realize that in the Department of ART or the Department of English - two departments that are radically different size within the same college that you are forced into minus 12 mold you are going to have to take the money from where ever it comes - retirements, resignations and deaths that occur on a random basis and you are right that is not a basis for planning. The planning occurs that you begin to shuffle that deck of cards and then the planning occurs when at the college level first of all the college itself makes some critical decisions about where in fact resources ought to be moved from and to in order to strengthen key programs. And then that happens again at the university level when we begin to look at the colleges as units and the nonacademic units. The question has been asked several times and let me just ask it for the moment because it is an important byproduct of this discussion. If you know that there is great inequity of the distribution of resources internally in this university right now then why didn't you make differential cuts up front - okay? That question has been asked. It is built on a premise that we do know that there is widespread inequity in the distribution of resources.
I will acknowledge the premise that an unfair distribution undoubtedly exists. It is there. It is painted in graphic terms in many places of the university. Why therefore didn't we make differential assignments in terms of budgetary reductions. To do that would have required someone or some group of people to make a-priori decisions. One of the things that we have insisted from the very beginning is that (1) that we did not have an a- priori agenda (2) that we did not have a secret list, (3) that this process is not a cover for a set of decisions that had already been made. That is the case. I have told the committee that if members of the Future Committee - if any one member believe that to be the case they would be wasting an incredible amount of time with this process. So we refused to make that up front kind of decision without the discussion realizing that it is placing enormous hardship in certain sectors of the university that are already critically underfunded but only by working the process can we arrive at a fair and fairly based discussion of the issues. Therefore there are departments that are going to be making minus 12% budgets that will see no change in their budget or they can see their budgets enhanced as a result of this process and I realize that requires departments to actually put things out and the unfortunate thing about this it requires to put things on the plate that you won't ever do. There are very negative side effects to this in terms of identifying aspects of program that might be set aside or shut down that in fact won't happen because ultimately we are going to make a decision to enhance that program and none of those bad things will happen. But frankly I don't know any alternative to doing that way to be fair to everyone across the board and there is so much at stake in this process that fairness in the process itself is a key component to its ultimately being accepted. If this process is viewed as rigged or even unfairly considered I think we will have great difficulty selling the outcome no matter wise we may be in the recommendations that we may make. So that is my answer to the strategic planning issue. I grant you the point. I can see the point that at the departmental level where you are simply taking resources where they occur and with 96% of the budget being personnel in many cases with 12% cuts I know what that means that at the departmental level that is hard to describe as strategic planning but I believe at the college level it can be strategic planning and certainly at the university level. it can be strategic planning. We will look at that very very closely. That is an issue for us. We will look at it as we look at everything else. It is a major concern. In fact the committee will have a great deal of data with regard to productivity - college by college, costs per credit hour - college by college, research productivity. All those indices of productivity that I think are key to understanding the way the university works and believe me the issue of appropriate distribution of funding is probably the key issue for the committee. What I said was we simply did not want to close that gate before the discussion. That will be the subject of the discussion.
President Palms closed the meeting by stating:
I want to welcome you back to the campus - those of you who took the opportunity to during the break to refresh yourself. I hope you were successful. Those of you who are involved in professional enhancement I hope you engage in that also. We have 26,000 students on the campus again this semester. I want to compliment you for the continually outstanding job you are doing and I know you have that some dedication this semester. That is our first task to educate our students.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:05 AM.