UNH Faculty Senate

Motion on RCM

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UNH FACULTY SENATE
COMMITTEE MOTION # IV-M2


1. Faculty Senate Committee: Financial and also Academic Affairs.
2. Committee Chairpersons: Kenneth Appel and Deborah Winslow.
3. Date of Faculty Senate Discussion: 12-06-99.
4. Committee/Administrator Responsible for Implementation: VPFA Candace Corvey and Provost David Hiley.
5. Motion: In its consideration of the proposed budgeting system change to the more decentralized budgeting system, known as RCM, the University of New Hampshire Faculty Senate requests reassurance on the following basic principles.

Principle 1: Academic quality must be maintained.

We seek reassurance that, if the new budgeting system harms academic quality, this will be discovered and changes will be made to ameliorate immediate problems and prevent them from recurring. We recognize that oversight mechanisms are in place: the University Curriculum and Academic Policy Committee and the Vice President for Academic Affairs/Provost will act to support the academic integrity and quality. But we need to know on an ongoing basis that the oversight is effective.

Principle 2: The Faculty's role must be preserved.

Decentralized budgeting is intended to be a "daylight process," with all concerned having full access to "user friendly" and meaningful budget information. Deans have been given the power to determine how they will implement the new budget system within their colleges. Because it is ultimately the faculty who are responsible for academic policy, we ask that deans include faculty in these planning and priority-setting activities. Furthermore, if the pressure is going to be on faculty to act in ways that increase college revenues, faculty should also benefit directly from those increases in their own teaching, programs, departments, and scholarship; unless they have agreed to forego those benefits so that common goals, on which they have agreed, can be achieved.

Principle 3: Administrative commitment.

Most faculty do not want to become accountants nor should they have to; they have neither the time nor the interest. But the new system requires timely and accurate information about and awareness of budgets on a regular basis. We seek assurance that the support structures will be in place and that, if the current Business Service Centers are not able to provide the information and record keeping needed for this system to work as intended, the VPFA office will fill in while upgrading the BSCs as required. Ideally, the system should be transparent, at work without our awareness.

Consequently, in response to the administration's request for consultation with the Faculty Senate on the proposed Responsibility-Center Management plan, the Faculty Senate strongly advises that RCM should not be implemented unless and until:

(1) the President reaches agreement with the Chancellor and the Trustees, as required, to permit units to carry forward funds, maintain Educational and General fund balances, and transfer funds between salary and non-salary categories.

(2) The Provost requests and receives from the Deans their plans for implementing Responsibility-Center Management in their units, and these plans are communicated to the faculty for comment and college-wide approval.

(3) The Provost ensures that in the future the following concerns continue to be addressed:

(a) the compatibility of RCM with the overall mission of the university,
(b) the involvement of the departments in RCM decisions and implementation,
(c) the comprehensive evaluation of administrators including their handling of RCM issues in their units.


6. Rationale:

7. Senate Action: Passed on December 6, 1999, with 3 nays and 8 abstentions.
Chair's verification: Pedro de Alba on December 13, 1999.
Forwarded to: President Leitzel on December 14, 1999.
Forwarded to: VPAA Hiley on December 14, 1999.
Forwarded to: VPFA Corvey on December 14, 1999.

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