UNH Faculty Senate

Summary Minutes from 8 November 1999



             	     UNIVERSITY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
                           FACULTY SENATE

NOVEMBER 8, 1999                          	      MINUTES SUMMARY
                                                                                                          
                                                     
I.  Roll - The following Faculty Senate members were absent:  Afolayan, de la Torre,
Draper, Macieski and VonDamm.  Absent as work to rule were Barretto, Carr,
Christie, Echt, Garland, Planalp, Reardon, Roh, Stine and Turner.  Excused were
Bornstein, Givan, Keim and Williams.
                   
II.  Minutes - The minutes of October 18 and October 25 were both approved
unanimously.
                            
III. Responsibility-Centered Management - Suggestions on RCM from the senate's
Finance and Administration Committee were distributed on email to the senators and
in hard copy at this meeting.  Today the vice president for finance and administration
will speak with the senate on RCM; and on Nov. 15 she and the provost will discuss
the matter further at a joint meeting of the senate's Academic Affairs, Finance and
Administration, and Agenda Committees.  Finally the president, VPFA and provost
will discuss RCM with the senate at its November 22 meeting; and the president will
make a decision on the RCM proposal in December, even though a few details will
not yet be firm.

The VPFA sent to the senators in advance of today's meeting a packet including her
recent Campus Journal article on RCM, materials from the RCM website, a summary
showing what the E&G budgets of the academic units would have been in FY98
under the current RCM model, and a graph on the proposed distribution of the state
appropriation.  The VPFA is interested in dealing with the USNH policy changes
which are part of the RCM proposal.  Two essential parts of that proposal are that
units would be able to carry funds over from one year to the next and also that units
would be able to transfer salary dollars to and from other categories, without asking
for permission.
                                                 
    
On the page showing what the E&G budgets would have been in FY 98,
undergraduate tuition was calculated from the undergraduate tuition average share
of credit hours for the two previous calendar years.  Graduate tuition was not
averaged and is on a per-student basis.  Summer session tuition would be distributed
as it currently is, and fees would continue to be collected by the units.  The PAU
allocation from the state appropriation would include areas such as the agricultural
experiment stations and UNH-Manchester, which receive specific appropriations
from the state.  The library would get 1% of indirect cost recovery, 16% of state
appropriations, and 1% of undergraduate net tuition.  Also from the state
appropriation, the university fund would receive 27%, as would the PAUs; and the
academic units would receive 28% and the research units 2%.

The university fund is a centrally maintained fund that would be used to satisfy
certain needs of the units and also to fulfill the "hold-harmless" pledge for the first
year.  The university fund would be subject to review at intervals.  Credit-hour
calculations would have weighting factors, with CEPS having a 1.5 weighting, LA
a 0.8 weighting, and the other units none.  This weighting-factor mechanism has
been introduced because there are very different cost structures between fields.  The
VPFA said that we need more data on this matter and will begin this year to
participate in the Delaware Study.  She added that, at the end of the third year of
RCM and based on more objective data, we would be prepared to change those credit
hour weightings.  Weightings were given to CEPS and LA only, because those
colleges were clearly the outliers in terms of cost.  A professor protested that, when
you look at what dollars were spent in the past for each college, you see only what
funds were available for spending and not what should have been spent.  The deans
would decide how resources would be passed on to each department in the college.

A faculty member asked if there is any specific plan in RCM to deal with recisions. 
The VPFA said that we plan to decentralize 45% of the current campus reserves and
give that to the colleges.  The remainder, somewhat over 1.5 million dollars, would
be kept in institutional reserves.  If there were a recision which occurred early in the
year and was not large, the recision might be shared by the units on a pro-rata basis
according to how each unit receives state funds.  Another professor asked if
differential tuition proposals have been considered.  The VPFA answered that CEPS
and WSBE now have differential tuition in small amounts.  Dealing with larger plans
for differential tuition cannot be done now, since there are so many other changes
being considered at this time.  If differential tuition were considered in the future, the
university should at the same time reduce its reliance on course fees.

Regarding expenditures under the RCM plan, undergraduate financial aid would be
averaged; but graduate student financial aid would follow each student and not be
averaged.  The "other financial aid" category would include prizes and the
agricultural experiment stations.  The amount charged each unit for facilities would
be based on the square footage controlled by the unit.  Each unit would be charged
an academic affairs assessment based on the total revenue and total payroll.  The
same would be true of a general overhead assessment.  A professor asked how we
could check administrative growth such as funds for golden parachutes.  The VPFA
answered that the central budget committee would be able to review such items at
any time for the central budget units.  Also, tax rates used to develop these
assessments would not be subject to annual change.  If one of these central units
wanted to get more funds, it would have to go to the central budget committee.  In
addition, the service unit advisory board would look at the matter from time to time. 
The central budget committee would be composed of four vice presidents, four
deans, two RCM unit directors who are not deans, and five faculty including the
chairs of the Faculty Senate and the senate's Finance  and Administration
Committee.

A professor said that, if a department is in an old and inefficient building, the
expenses would be greater through no fault of the department.  A committee is now
working to develop a service agreement to set down in writing what the service
levels are to be for the square footage rate.  It would be too complicated to charge
higher fees for the more modern buildings, and some buildings are not separately
metered.  The square footage fee also would pay for the cost of renovation and
repair, which would be decided on by the Space Allocation Repair and Renovation
Committee (SARRC).  The VPFA said that under RCM we will need to review the
membership of that committee, so that the faculty member or members would have
a vote.  The square footage fee would be $11.11 per square foot, except for the farm
buildings in COLSA which would be at $2 per square foot.  The square footage fee
includes snow removal.  Furniture in a new building is always part of the capital
budget.  A unit could decide to give up space in order to reduce costs, but this would
have to be done in such a way that another unit could use the space.  

The major revenues for parking and roads come from money collected through
parking permits and fines.  Square footage fees for classrooms which are under the
control of the registrar are charged to the academic affairs unit and paid for by the
academic affairs assessment; but each college must pay for classroom space which
the college controls.  The steering committee is not seeking to impose requirements
below the level of the units, except for the indirect costs which go to the principal
investigators.  The provost wants to see from each dean a concrete plan for how the
principles will be applied within each school.  A proposed new course which would
incur expenses but bring in greater revenues would be more likely to be accepted
under RCM than now, when the additional revenues do not go back to the unit.  A
faculty member expressed concern that a new course would often just cause a
corresponding reduction of enrollment in other courses in the unit.  Another
professor asked if there will be checks and balances on possible efforts by one
college to create courses and rules that would prevent their students from taking
electives from another college.  The VPFA said that there must be a curricular
mechanism which will decide on such issues and that the senate's Academic Affairs
Committee is setting up a University Curriculum and Academic Policies Committee
which will be advisory to the provost.  A professor said that, if we increase
enrollments, we will strain already overworked facilities and faculty.  Also, there is
no mechanism to increase funding for the writing center if its work increases.

The senate's Finance and Administration Committee observed that inadequate
funding at UNH is a problem under both RCM and the current system.  It is not
useful for the senate to discuss the specific dollar allocations to units.  Comparisons
with other institutions regarding RCM are generally flawed, because the other
institutions have better funding.  Under RCM, the decision and power structure
would remain basically unchanged at the university and at the department level.  The
provost would still retain funds for program adjustments, and he and the curriculum
committee would have control over the quality and type of courses offered.  There
may be enhanced entrepreneurial spirit, more flexibility of funds, and a more
transparent budget and accounting system under RCM.  There may be less protection
for non-profit-making courses, and programs may try to create curriculum changes
to prevent students from taking standard courses outside the program.  The
curriculum committee needs a clearly explained plan of operation.  The Finance and
Administration Committee added that focus on RCM may divert faculty from dealing
with other important administrative and curricular matters.

Faculty expressed concern about how the deans will deal with individual
departments, about the additional power the deans would have, and about
instructional quality and student quality under RCM.  If a committee has a check on
the deans' new power, would the committee members be elected or appointed? 
Many faculty want to see a specific plan from each dean on how RCM will be
carried down to the departmental level, so that this will be institutionalized even if
there were a change of dean.  Other professors are concerned that under RCM the
potential competition among colleges and departments will do more harm than good. 
Will the University Curriculum and Academic Policies Committee approve all
curricular changes before they are implemented, or will it only deal with changes
which are challenged?  Reviewing every change would be too time consuming. 
Perhaps each curricular change could be circulated to the people who would be
affected, and then the committee could review only when requested to do so.  The
Faculty Senate will prepare for the president a recommendation on RCM by the end
of this month.
              
IV.  Adjournment - The meeting was adjourned.


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