OREGON INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
Faculty-Administrator Meeting Minutes
April 21, 2009
The Faculty Senate election process is underway; the nomination forms will be sent out soon. Please return the completed forms promptly.
Administrative Council - Greg Stewart
Greg Stewart reported that Administrative Council will begin the election process at the end of April.
Administrative Council is also continuing work on policy revisions and recommendations.
Academic Council - Brad Burda
Brad Burda, acting provost, reported that the Master of Science in Civil Engineering was approved at the last Oregon University System State Board of Higher Education meeting.
The federal earmarks for Health Informatics and the generator for the geothermal well in the amount of $285,000 and $1.5 million respectively were recently awarded.
Due to the overall budget reductions, the OUS State Board of Higher Education is considering elimination of classes with fewer than 10 students. The exception will apply to lectures only; laboratories, dual enrolled classes, senior projects and seminars will be excluded from the count. Brad asked the department chairs to review the classes and scheduling for next fall to prepare for the reduction. The provosts will provide justifications to the state board yearly. Provost's Council established a sub-committee which will develop a set of footnotes regarding the exceptions.
The OUS State Board of Higher Educations is also recommending that any program with fewer than 5 graduates over a 5-year period average will require justification at the state board level. The exception will apply to newly established programs. Provost's Council will review all programs on a 5-year cycle.
Question: Will this include Distance Education?
Answer: It does include Distance Education; it will not be separated.
Q. What about Distance Education and class size?
A. It is excluded.
Student Affairs - Erin Foley
Erin Foley, vice president and dean of students, reported that she received several comments from students regarding the passing of Eli Blackwell. Students feel that his death is not being recognized appropriately as faculty members are carrying on as usual. Erin understands that class time is valuable but asked the faculty members to be sensitive to the fact the Eli had several friends that were affected by his death. The announcement did not include the manner of death, which was suicide. Erin asked the faculty members to talk openly about suicide and respond to students by referring them to the appropriate resources. It is very unfortunate that this occurred; Oregon Tech is averaging 1 suicide a year within the last 6 years and Erin does not foresee the trend improving. It is a serious topic that is difficult to talk about. If you need additional information regarding suicide prevention, please contact Erin Foley or the Student Health Center.
A recommendation was made that faculty attend the Gatekeepers Training on May 5.
Question: Is it true that Financial Aid and Admissions will be moved over to Snell Hall?
Answer: Several discussions have occurred regarding developing a one stop shop which will likely be mandated by the State. We are currently looking at moving the Registrar's Office to the College Union.
ANNOUNCEMENTS AND COMMUNICATIONS
Budget Update - President Maples
President Maples reported that administrative staff filled a $2.4 million deficit for this biennium through a variety of ways including voluntary furloughs. The 12.1% statewide unemployment rate caught a number of people off guard. There are rumors in Salem that additional cuts may be requested for this biennium. Oregon Universities are mandated by the State Board of Higher Education to maintain a 5% operating fund balance. The operating fund balance will carry forward at 6%. Administrative staff was required to complete a 30% budget cut exercise for the next biennium. President Maples estimated that the target is more like 20% for the next biennium. Oregon Legislature is already planning for the February session; they will make adjustments at that time.
Part of the budget planning includes a 4.6% reduction in the salary budget. The legal department is holding discussions regarding how to address the 4.6% reduction which may include furloughs, pay reductions, and contract non renewals. According to a representative from the governor's office the impact will be shared by everybody. Specifics are not yet clear.
The projected revenue for the State of Oregon will be available on Friday, May 15. The Oregon University System and the individual institutions are unable to set budgets until the figures are available.
President Maples stated that Oregon Tech will wait until July to set tuition. Oregon Tech is modeling an 8.5% increase in tuition; the system wide average is approximately 12%. President Maples is receiving a push from the system office to increase tuition by 15%.
The Fiscal Operations Advisory Committee (FOAC) Forum is scheduled on April 28. FOAC is dealing with budget issues and developing solutions. The forum is an opportunity for the campus community to provide input regarding the budget for the next biennium. The FOAC budget presentations will be held in June to allow time to review the projected revenue.
Q &A WITH PRESIDENT MAPLES
Question: In a previous Maples Report you were seeking input on how to improve the donations from the alumni; is this avenue one that we could capitalize on?
Answer: We can, although bear in mind that everyone is going through the same that we are. There is not a huge amount of money out there. It is going to run behind a little behind as the economy comes up. Between the emails and personal visits I received approximately 50 responses and comments. I completed a gross summary in the last edition of the Maples Report, and I am going to follow up individually. The key is that is not going to be fixed soon; we have lost track of our alumni. I have heard on many occasions that individuals have not heard from Oregon Tech until suddenly there was a campaign. We are going to spend some time fixing the relationships with the alumni, which will take some time.
President Maples thanked the staff members of the Registrar's, Financial Aid and Admissions Offices for assisting with implementation of the Spring Free for Recently Unemployed Oregonians. He reported that 16 students participated in the program, one of which moved into the Residence Hall.
Oregon Tech Alert System
Andy Abbott, chief information officer, reported that a test of the Oregon Tech Alert System will be conducted at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, April 28.
Bob Nettles, vice president of Finance and Administration, reported that Oregon Tech received a $7 million stimulus package. Oregon Tech received a mandate from the state to begin the construction projects by May 1; if the projects have not started the funds will be returned. Several projects, which include electrical, roofing, and seismic retrofitting, are already underway. The workers will do their best to be respectful of the class schedule by staying far from classes until they are over. Bob is hopeful that the trenches will be closed in time for commencement. If you are concerned about a noise problem or hazardous area, please contact Bob Nettles or David Ebsen.
Meeting adjourned at 2:42 p.m.