[Musicfaculty-l] [Allstaff-l] Report on the College Budget
reynolds at geneseo.edu
Thu Sep 8 14:39:00 EDT 2011
I am concerned that when we have dire needs in theory/composition, musical theater, and voice we did not warrant so much as a single one-year appointment this past year when eight other departments apparently did. Do you realize that we have not had a new hire in music in the past ten years? Instead, with an ageing faculty, we've sustained cut after cut, including tenure-track lines. I would urge both you and the President to prioritize music in the hiring process and to act swiftly before it's too late.
On Sep 7, 2011, at 8:27 PM, Carol Long wrote:
> Dear Anne-Marie,
> It is indeed better news than we have had the past several years!
> We will be working this year to look at all of our vacancies and determining which and in what order to fill; it will indeed be good to be able to do some gradual hiring over the next few years.
> I hope your sabbatical is going well!
> On 9/7/11 1:50 PM, Anne-Marie Reynolds wrote:
>> Dear Chris and Carol,
>> This sounds like relatively good news. Does this mean we will get to launch a national search this year to fill the tenure track theory/composition position recently vacated by Anneliese Weibel?
>> Anne-Marie Reynolds
>> Begin forwarded message:
>>> From: Becky Glass <glass at geneseo.edu>
>>> Date: September 7, 2011 12:14:34 PM EDT
>>> To: allstaff-l at geneseo.edu
>>> Subject: [Allstaff-l] Report on the College Budget
>>> To the College Community:
>>> Again, welcome back to a new academic year. As I promised in my remarks at Opening Convocation, I write now to provide more detailed information regarding the 2011-12 New York State budget for Geneseo.
>>> As you know, the budget process for SUNY continued on into July, even though there was an on-time State Budget for only the second time in 30 years. This year, it really wasn’t over until it’s over—and, even after the state budget was approved, it still wasn’t over! This was good news, however. The State Legislature came back in May to consider tuition reform and several other important issues left over from the budget deliberations. After an extended roller-coaster ride, with competing versions of a rational tuition bill emerging almost daily, the Legislature passed, and the Governor signed into law, a five-year rational tuition bill called NY SUNY 2020. I am profoundly grateful to all the members of our College community who advocated for rational tuition and kept on doing so after the passage of the budget. Thanks to your efforts, along with the strong leadership of the Governor and advocacy across the System, the State University and higher education in New York have taken an historic step forward.
>>> The NY SUNY 2020 legislation provides for annual increases of up to $300 in in-state undergraduate tuition for five successive years, with other increases for graduate and out-of-state tuition. Along with some additional capital funding, the University centers are also permitted to charge an additional $75 in student fees in each of the next five years. In addition, the bill requires the State to appropriate operating support for SUNY in an amount no less than that provided in the preceding fiscal year, unless the Governor officially declares a state of financial exigency. In negotiations with the Legislature, Governor Cuomo also agreed not to “sweep” tuition revenues in the middle of the year. Taken together, the legislation and the Governor’s promise constitute a practical guarantee of “maintenance of effort” on SUNY funding. To ensure access for students of limited means, the bill requires the campuses to pick up the costs of incremental TAP aid from the increased tuition revenue. As I said at Convocation, NY SUNY 2020 is not a perfect solution to the problems in tuition policy in New York, but it will ensure much greater stability in SUNY and Geneseo’s budget.
>>> Where do these legislative developments leave us for the year ahead? As you may recall, in his executive budget the Governor proposed a $131.4 million (or 10 percent) reduction for the SUNY state-operated campuses, a $33.2 million reduction in base aid for the community colleges, and the total elimination of the state subsidy for the SUNY hospitals (representing a further reduction of $179 million). When state aid for the statutory colleges and funding for the Long Island Veteran's Home are added in, SUNY's state support was slashed a grand total of $366.9 million in the Executive Budget.
>>> The Legislature restored a few of the Governor’s cuts, but they made no restorations whatsoever to state-operated campuses like Geneseo. In fact, the state budget as enacted contained a reduction of $150 million (or 13.5 percent) in support for the state-operated campuses and statutory colleges, bringing the total reductions to SUNY over the past four years to $768 million, or about 40 percent of our state tax-dollar support.
>>> Unfortunately, the pattern of reductions across the various sectors of SUNY left the hospitals and some of the campuses that are highly dependent on state support in very difficult positions. To smooth out the impact of the cuts—or, if you will, to share the pain—the SUNY System Administration decided over the summer to spread the cuts, using a “blended budget scenario” that calculated the reductions in proportion to State tax-dollar support and total financial allocation including campus-generated revenue (that is, tuition). This led to reductions of $32.8 million (15.2 percent) in state support for the University Colleges from last year to this. Under the System’s plan, Geneseo’s state support for the current year goes from $14.13 million to $11.92 million—a reduction of $2.2 million or 15.7 percent. This figure is within the range we estimated when the state budget was passed (see my budget memo of March 31).
>>> How has the subsequent passage of the Rational Tuition Bill (NY SUNY 2020) changed the budget picture? Charging an additional $300 in tuition will yield Geneseo approximately $1.6 million. When one takes into account the fact that the campuses have been assessed for the average amount of TAP aid needed to cover the new tuition across the System (about 25 percent of the added revenue) and additional overhead costs for System Administration, the net increase in revenue from tuition this year is only $1.2 million. Even with the added tuition dollars, our total state operations budget for 2011-12 is still $1.02 million (or 2.4 percent) less than last year. To put these numbers in historical perspective, we have suffered $5,676,200 in cuts to state support over the past four years, along with three year’s worth of contractual salary increases that were not covered by the state. This year’s total state operations budget for Geneseo including tuition is actually $1,211,900 less than it was in 2007-08. This reduced level of funding is the so-called “new normal” under which we must operate. It is the direct result of New York State’s 40 percent reduction in funding to SUNY.
>>> Fortunately, we have planned for a permanently lower level of state funding. The painful budgetary actions taken last year were intended to eliminate the $7.2 million structural deficit in the College’s budget over a period of three years. Because the new tuition revenues this year will offset only $1.2 million of the $2.2 million in additional budget cuts mentioned above, we must continue to control expenses and hiring. We shall make use of $4.37 million in reserve funds—an all-time high—to maintain the College’s operations. But because we are reasonably assured of continued state support and additional tuition revenue in each of the next four years, we are now in a position to plan for the future. We cannot continue to spend limited reserve funds indefinitely, but we have worked out a five-year budget plan that will wean us from reserves, and permit us to restore some of the faculty lines that were frozen in the past several years. We will not need to make further, painful program cuts. Already, on the recommendation of Provost Long we have hired eight full-time faculty on one-year visiting appointments to address the most crucial needs of departments with high enrollments and vacant lines. Under the five-year plan, we can expect to hire new full-time faculty in the next several years to fill some of the currently vacant lines and meet the strategic needs of the College. This reassuring level of predictability in the budget also means that, if we plan and manage carefully, we can fund pressing equipment needs and make the expenditures required to maintain the excellence of a Geneseo education and continue our tradition of innovation.
>>> As we look to the future, the Strategic Planning Group and the College Budget Priorities Committee will be responsible for planning for College initiatives, guided by our mission statement and strategic goals. In the coming year, they will engage the campus community and keep them informed of their deliberations. Although we have suffered difficult losses because of the New York state budget, I believe that we can now look forward with somewhat greater confidence to achieving many of our most cherished goals as a public liberal arts college.
>>> Christopher C. Dahl
>>> Allstaff-l mailing list
>>> Allstaff-l at geneseo.edu
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