Meeting Minutes: December 12, 2008 Fall Semester Special General Faculty Meeting

Attendance

The Fall Semester Special General Faculty Meeting was called to order at 3:30 p.m. by Faculty Council Chair Tom Phillips in the Jesse Wrench Auditorium of the Memorial Union. Approximately 350 people were in attendance.

Opening Remarks Faculty Council Chair Tom Phillips

Phillips welcomed the attendees of this meeting. He made some brief introductory remarks.

  1. He discussed the fact that there were national financial problems that were not unique to this campus.
  2. Planning was just starting with a worst case scenario.
  3. He suggested that we talk about the process, timelines, and how the faculty could provide input to deal with projected financial shortages.
  4. He discussed the retirement program with Nicki Krawitz, Vice President for Finance and Administration, and was told that the retirement fund was secure although it had dropped from 2.7 billion to 2.1 billion. That our investing criteria was conservative and at this point the faculty should be reassured that there were no expectations that retirement benefits would change.

Campus Report - Chancellor Brady J. Deaton

The following points were made by the Chancellor.

  1. These are difficult times and our institution is not unique in having financial difficulties.
  2. Deaton thanked Tom Phillips and other faculty for their concern and input.
  3. Deaton asked Tim Rooney to discuss the present budget and projected reductions and after that presentation would provide feedback, actions taken and future plans for communication with the faculty.
  4. He specifically addressed the budget of the athletic department as he had received many inquiries regarding salary excesses. The Athletic Department has a total budget of 48 million, 2.3 million comes from GO (General Operating) dollars. This is made up of a mandated debt service of 1.5 million, Olympic sports tuition fee of .5 million and cash supplies of .23 million. He noted that the athletic department provides 8 million dollars for 500 athletes. He felt that coach salaries were necessary to compete in the market place.
  5. He has put out a request for suggestions on how to deal with decreasing monies and has received over 400 ideas, which he and his staff are critically reviewing. These ideas are to be reviewed by the following: Academic Affairs (Provost); Faculty Council; SPRAC (Strategic Planning and Resource Advisory Council); and, Chancellor Staff.
  6. He noted that the FAWCM (For All We Call Mizzou) fund which has reached one billion dollars is mostly committed by specific requests of the donors. We receive approximately 30 million dollars per year from our endowment fund.

Budget Report - Tim Rooney, Director, MU Budget Office

Rooney provided a budgetary synopsis with the following points.

  1. Rooney presented a graphic budget scorecard by which he could add or change various parameters to project gains and losses based on projected financial losses at 15, 20, and 25 percent. Our budget is comprised of state GO dollars, tuition and money from grants and contracts.
  2. When it was projected that we would get a 4.2 percent increase and a tuition increase there could have been a 24 million dollar surplus.
  3. If we had to deal with a 15 percent decrease there would be a projected deficit of 37.1 million dollars, which could reach over 50 million, if there was a 20 percent reduction.
  4. This spread sheet is going to be on a web page so the faculty can review the options.
  5. He discussed the possibility of CPT (tuition limits or caps) could be changed by an oversight committee of higher education.

Comments from the Faculty

  1. In general, the comments were supportive and not accusatory. The faculty was clearly interested in actively taking part in any budget cuts or reallocation of funds.
  2. Deaton stated that at this time cutting faculty and staff or decreasing salaries was not on the table but that could change. He felt confident that those making less than $40,000 should not sorry about job cuts or salary decreases.
  3. Deaton commented that a web site would be fully developed and there would be transparency in the budget process.
  4. Victoria Johnson noted that the faculty at this university has been in a fiscal recession for the last decade and there were great concerns.
  5. The question was raised regarding the additional time that the faculty was required to spend in teaching with increased enrollment and that research would suffer. Further this could impact on those on the tenure track who needed time to complete research activities.
  6. President Forsee was planning a presentation regarding options and needs of the university. This will be made available to the faculty when completed.

Other Business and Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 5:00 p.m. There was a spontaneous round of applause for Deaton and the administrative response to the projected financial shortfalls.

Respectfully Recorded,
Eddie Adelstein, Acting Recorder for the Faculty