University Planning Council
Minutes for May 19, 2009
Present: Becky Doyle, Jane Fernandes, Archer Gravely, Bill Haggard, Jeff Konz, Jim Kuhlman, Amy Lanou, Keya Maitra, Bill Massey, Kevin Moorhead, Linda Nelms, Adrienne Oliver, Dan Pierce, John Pierce, Anne Ponder, Christine Riley
Absent: Buffy Bagwell, Bill Haas, Cortland Mercer, Patrice Mitchell, Louise Thompson, Vic Foster
UPC met from 12:30 to 1:45 on May 19 in HU 221.
1. Chancellor Ponder welcomed Dr. Moorhead as a new member replacing Dr. Wilson.
2. UPC members were asked to provide feedback on ideas for using the Rhoades property. Suggestions included the following: gardens, urban agriculture, retreat/meeting facility, lease for income, undergraduate research, create center for sustainability in collaboration with City of Asheville, Admissions Office, Alumni facility, and student/faculty housing.
2. In a budget update, Mr. Pierce reported that the budget cut this year has grown from $230K last August to $2.38M, not counting the furlough, with more possible on the horizon. We are now $200K ahead of the current cut requirement. This includes making the first payment on the Zeis building equipment, but we must have approval from the Office of State Management and Budget to do this. Mr. Pierce reported that the NC April tax collections were down 40% compared to the previous year. In two previous recessions, tax revenues declined by no more than 20%. The state budget shortfall is now $4.6 B. We are anticipating a budget cut ranging from 7 to 15% for 2009-10, as the NC House, Senate, and Governor all have different proposals with a lot of wild cards such as federal stimulus funding, additional furloughs, etc. Mr. Pierce stressed that we don’t want to wait until a budget is passed to take action, as we may then be in a position to have to make 12 months of budget cuts with 8 months remaining in the year. Chancellor Ponder stated that we are relatively well prepared based on the conversations that we have had so far. Additionally, she noted that the Board of Governor’s has recognized that UNC campuses may not all have the same percentage budget cut due to economies of scale. UPC will need to meet in June when more budget information is available to help make more specific decisions. Mr. Pierce noted that the NC Senate and Governor each have a line item in the proposed budget that would provide a special $1M appropriation to both UNC Asheville and UNC-SA, but Chancellor Ponder was not optimistic that this special appropriation would pass.
3. Chancellor Ponder distributed a revised University Strategy for 2009-11 Resource Allocation for UPC discussion (see attached). Based on UPC discussion, “residential experience” was added to the document as a strategic investment. UPC approved the document as revised.
4. Mr. Pierce offered the following examples of budget planning ideas for consideration and discussion:
- Centralization of staffing for functions that are currently decentralized, such as information technology, budget, and housekeeping
- Centralized calendar for increased efficiencies in campus events and operations
- Limit the number of building used for evening classes to save utility costs
- Increased parking fees
- Increase summer school revenue, Graduate Center income, and grants
- Voluntary reduction in staff hours of employment
UPC provided feedback, advice and caution on these ideas and others.
for 2009-11 Resource Allocation
UNC Asheville -- May 2009
The continuation of the current economic downturn requires us to plan even more strategically for additional losses in State funding over the next two years. Our approach moving forward will reinforce our role in meeting the urgent educational needs of North Carolina students in a way that will prepare them for the 21st Century. With our Strategic Plan as our guide, we must be clear about what we will do more of and what we will do less of. This strategy will provide a framework for the kind of University we will be over the long term.
1. Strengthening the academic core: Our mission and our strategic theme of undergraduate public liberal arts will not be compromised. Wherever possible, we will invest in maintaining and expanding the quality of the classroom experience, our faculty and our students [faculty positions and salaries, student recruitment, diversity, financial aid, class size appropriate to our curriculum].
2. Affirming the student educational experience: Those aspects of University life that directly affect quality student learning, wherever it happens, will warrant sustained University support. Those functions that most successfully support the student educational experience will take priority [e.g., diversity, campus safety, the residential experience, retention efforts, educational resources].
3. Reaffirming our Accreditation: The future viability of our University as a degree-granting institution relies on a successful reaccreditation process. Strategic investments will be required as we prepare for this important campus-wide process.
4. Fulfilling our public responsibility: We will invest in our strategic plan’s ‘North Carolina’ goal by making a UNC Asheville education affordable and accessible to a diverse student body. We serve North Carolina best by recruiting, enrolling and graduating students who are prepared to address our State’s most pressing concerns. We will only pursue community engagement opportunities that address our existing priorities and benefit the University’s financial sustainability.
5. Generating additional revenue: Those functions that currently generate revenue for the University, or those which have the potential to do so, will experience additional University focus and attention. Vice Chancellors will pursue revenue-generating options within their areas with a focus on return-on-investment in making reasonable choices for the University.
In order to preserve what we know to be the heart of our educational enterprise, we will need to be prepared for even more financial restrictions in the year ahead. Vice Chancellors will be consulting with individuals and groups in their areas to determine the best way to plan for these restrictions. The strategies below, listed in priority order, will guide those discussions and decisions.
- Strong Stewardship of Existing Resources
- Review of Organizational Infrastructure and Elimination of Non-Core Functions
- Stringent Management of Vacant Positions
- Administrative Reorganizations and Expenditure Reductions
- Review of Academic Majors and Programs for possible closure