April 26, 2004
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS
Committee on the Budget
2003-2004 Annual Report
The Senate Committee on the Budget studies the University and campus budgets, the criteria used to determine allocation of resources at our campus, and the educational policy implications of budgetary decision-making. The Committee makes recommendations on proposed budgetary increases, as well as other matters that fall within its purview.
As the State of Illinois continues to experience the effects of a national down turn in the economy, this has had a serious and substantial impact on the fiscal well-fare of the University of Illinois. We commend the Chancellor and the Provost for keeping the campus community apprised of the University’s financial outlook and for being a positive presence in light of the current situation.
The negative economic trend impacts into planning for FY06. Thus, our Committee has focussed its discussions on how the campus could make best use of its resources, as well as ways in which additional revenue might be generated. The Committee met on a monthly basis during the 2003-04 academic year. Our deliberations included input from several guest participants: Professors Susan Cole and Ron Peters, from the Senate Faculty Benefits Committee; Provost Richard Herman; and Dr. Douglas Vinzant, Associate Vice-President for Planning and Budgeting.
At the time of this writing, the Committee is developing its recommendations to the Provost on the FY05/FY06 campus budgeting process, which include the following:
In addition to a proposed 3% salary increase for faculty and staff, we endorse the recommendations of the Senate Faculty Benefits Committee that the administration develop a plan for attaining a benefits program that compares with the top third of those offered by peer institutions (FB.03.02). The University’s ability to offer competitive salaries and benefits has become increasingly critical for both retention and attracting new faculty.
We discussed the importance of faculty governance in determining salary allocations. Last year, decisions concerning salary increases were delayed due to the State’s late approval of the budget and, as a result, input from appropriate advisory bodies was not received. As a Committee, we agree that normal processes for determining budgetary allocations within campus units should occur despite delays at the State level.
During our deliberations, the Senate Budget Committee also considered issues related to tuition policy. We believe it is important for the campus to take a proactive, rather than reactive, position on tuition policy, with a view to offset shortfalls in state revenue. Tuition revenue might be further enhanced if a policy of differential tuition were determined according to the academic programs offered by each unit.
Our representatives on the Campus Budget Oversight Committee have provided general information during confidential sessions related to the process of unit reporting and requests for funding. We believe an objective assessment of the quality of academic units is essential to qualify such reports and budget requests and, therefore, we lend our support to the recommendations of the Senate General University Policy Committee (GUP), which refers to the findings of the Program Quality Review Committee on “Proposed Guidelines for Review of Units Organized as Academic Departments” (1999) and recommends the establishment of a campus program for unit evaluation (GP.04.02).In closing, we would like to express our appreciation for the continued open communication between our Committee and the Provost’s Office. Associate Provost Bill Adams has been especially instrumental in this regard and we are grateful for the contributions he has made to our deliberations.
COMMITTEE ON THE BUDGETBarclay Jones, Chair
Bill Adams, ex officio