Faculty approves budget motion


By Jackie Nevarez

Faculty Senate approved a motion to send a statement of budget priorities to the University Council Wednesday.

Interim financial officer Nancy Suttenfield and Lisa Freeman, interim executive vice president and provost, presented a PowerPoint concerning the guiding principles to budget development. The presentation highlighted four primary themes for working together: transparency, clarity, alignment and sustainability.

These guiding principles will be applied to the process of budget decision-making. After the presentation Faculty Senate members addressed concerns over the budget guidelines’ lack of detail. Freeman said the guiding principles are a work in progress and they are not withholding information.

“We will continue to communicate using media to revisit the University Council and Faculty Senate to present data and go forward,” Freeman said. “We look at the guideline principles as a shared platform and understand that they pertain to faculty, students and administration. We want to hear reactions.”

This is not the first time the presentation has been given by Freeman and Suttenfield. Freeman hopes to continue to provide more information in the future.

“This is our fourth presentation together,” Freeman said, “And like Nancy said, this is an 18- to 24-month journey. Things will be fine-tuned.”

Deborah Haliczer, chair of the university benefits committee, addressed pensions changes and the effects they have for faculty who are close to retirement.

Those with concerns and questions about their pension or retirement are urged to contact the Division of Human Resource Services and set up an appointment in order to discuss their specific case.

Jim Wilson, assistant professor in geography and spokesperson for the resources, space and budgets committee, presented the committee’s statement of budget priorities.

The Faculty Senate took a vote to approve the motion to send the statement to the University Council. The motion was approved with 33 yeas, two nays and one abstained vote.

Paul Carpenter, department chair of kinesiology and physical education and chair of the resources, space and budgets committee, stressed the importance of moving the statement along.

“It is important for us to get this done and through the process because if we don’t get it done on time, it won’t make it to the president in time to be used as part of developing the budget for next year,” Carpenter said.

Carpenter explained the path of the statement of budget priorities will take after it leaves the Faculty Senate.

“The way the government system works is you’ve got Faculty Senate then you have University Council. It has to go through both parties and be approved by both parties before we can send it to the president. The president then … is to take that statement and with his cabinet form the budget which he then presents to the Board of Trustees,” Carpenter said.

Nominations for the executive secretary of University Council/Faculty Senate president were also taken at the meeting. Four faculty members were nominated and must turn in a letter of acceptance, if they choose to do so, by March 14. The election for the position, currently occupied by Alan Rosenbaum, will be held on April 23.