OREGON INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
Faculty-Administrator Meeting Minutes
July 7, 2009
ANNOUNCEMENTS AND COMMUNICATIONS
Budget Update - President Maples
President Maples reported that there is little information available regarding the higher education budget. When the legislative session adjourned, there was a giant deficit that needed to be filled. The legislature decided to share the deficit proportionally among the state agencies. The Oregon University System was considered a state agency for the purpose of the legislative exercise; the Oregon community colleges and K-12 were not. The Oregon University System will see a 13% decrease in funding, which translates to a deficit of approximately $11.3 million. Oregon Tech has gone through several budget exercises modeling decreases between 15-20%. During the budget exercises, Oregon Tech was able to work with tuition increases and salary pool reductions. President Maples reported that 80% of the day-to-day operating budget consists of salary pool. Travel restrictions and hiring freezes have already been implemented, but a salary pool reduction will be necessary to deal with large decreases.
The legislature implemented caps on tuition increases, which will have an effect on the flexibility in the budget. The small institutions were capped at a 6.5% maximum tuition increase for residents, with an average of 5%. The large institutions were capped at a 9% maximum tuition increase for residents, with an average of 8%. If the tuition cap is mandated, Oregon Tech will need to pull money from other locations. Oregon Tech is prepared to implement a 4.6% salary pool reduction, which would include furloughs and pay reductions. If Oregon Tech is unable to balance the budget on the tuition side of the house, larger scale furloughs and layoffs may be implemented. President Maples would like to avoid layoffs if possible. Additional information should become available at the conclusion of the State Board of Higher Education meeting.
The Oregon Legislature will meet in September and February; additional adjustments may be made at that time. Oregon Tech is preparing internally to weather a 25% reduction; it would be inappropriate to avoid the possibility of such a cut.
Question: How do you anticipate implementing furloughs?
Answer: That is part of the legal response we are desperately trying to receive. I hope that we will be able to spread out the furloughs in terms of payment and clump time in terms of when it can be used. We are planning to cut back Convocation significantly.
Q. Nevada is already in the furlough process and they are taking 1 day per month. How would such a scenario work for faculty?
A. It does not work for faculty. We are looking at other ways to spread out the time such as closing for Christmas and New Year's Day.
Q. Has there been any discussion regarding voluntary leaves of absence?
A. We will give everyone the opportunity to volunteer for anything. Again, we are waiting for the legality of how to implement this.
Q. Has there been any discussion regarding faculty giving up overload pay in addition to the potential furlough?
A. We have not reached that level of how we balance all of this. We will certainly attempt to make it as equitable as possible, but I am unable to guarantee that it will be completely fair across the board. Please bear in mind that this is a single pot of money for the entire salary pool. What we do not recover in furloughs and voluntary leave, we will have to recover through unfilled positions and layoffs.
Q. What is the percentage that you are considering for faculty salary reductions?
A. We are looking at an average of an 8-9% salary pool reduction, which translates to approximately 2 days per month on average across the board.
Q. The faculty workload consists of more than just teaching. One possibility would be to allow faculty to do less work in other areas and make sure that performance evaluations for those years reflect the reductions.
A. I agree, but this is not just a faculty problem. There is a larger number of students applying here, which means Admissions and Registrar's offices are working harder, there is very little that they will be able to give up in terms of time. We will all work harder or we will have to start turning students away. I suspect that the additional cuts that are coming during the year will in part be driven by the inability to pass the tax packages. It could be that it is going to take a serious message about someone's son or daughter not getting into a college because there is no room, no time to process paper work and it is not being paid for.
Q. I've heard that U of O is encouraging faculty to take leaves of absence and that time would be accrued directly to the department where the faculty served. It is somewhat of an incentive because the faculty could help out their department. Is this something that has been talked about?
A. We are going to encourage leaves of absence; I would guess that we would not distribute the time the same way. U of O is large enough that they can distribute a leave of absence in that way. They are operating on about 13% state support; Oregon Tech is operating at approximately 50% state support.
Comment: A leave of absence works nice for me, but the downside is there are courses that will not be taught if I am not here.
Response: Exactly; unless we find someone on the adjunct side that we pay a fraction of your salary and they won't do it nearly as well. That is a problem: if we consider a leave of absence it is going to be with the students in mind. We can only do more with less for so long; after a while you do less with less and we are to that point.
Q. Do you have a timeline for when we will know more?
A. I have been so good at predicting it so far. I hope that we will know more at the conclusion of the Board of Higher Education this Friday. I will continue to send out email updates; please check your emails.
State Board of Higher Education- President Maples
The Oregon State Board of Higher Education will be here on October 1-2. Part of the meeting traditionally includes an early morning coffee with faculty and members of the board; faculty are encouraged to participate. The presidents and board members will tour campus. This is the last opportunity for this style of meeting on our campus; future board meetings will be held in Portland.
OUS Policy - President Maples
The Oregon University System follows a policy that opposes carrying concealed weapons on various campuses; they continue to hold to that. There was a letter signed by several Republicans in the legislature that said the policy was illegal and inappropriate. There was a response from one of the Republican legislators that says "the State Legislature has reserved for itself the sole authority to regulate the possession and use of firearms. OUS cannot under law, regulate the possession and use of firearms." The system office is pushing back and the Department of Justice said they will defend the system position. President Maples shared that he is absolutely opposed to weapons on campus. There is not a single study that says this is a good idea; several studies prove it is a terrible idea.
Introduction of Amy Brown - President Maples
President Maples introduced Amy Brown as a new consultant for development. He reported that he is trying to rebuild the development side of the house. The revenue side is something that needs work, and development is one of those areas where Oregon Tech has not been successful. Oregon Tech has one of the worst alumni giving rates in the Pacific Northwest. Amy Brown was hired to assist with strengthening the development relationships in the Portland area. It is a great time to move forward in the development area.
Q & A WITH PRESIDENT MAPLES
Question: When will the increase in tuition rates get published?
Answer: We will publish the rates as soon as everything is finalized.
Q. Are you looking for faculty participation for grants and contracts?
A. We are looking for participation wherever possible. It is how I made my living over the years; I can help facilitate development of additional partnerships. We need to broker additional partnerships in order to complete additional grants and contracts. There may be items that faculty are interested in and may want to make time to participate.
Q. Have they looked at more consolidation of campuses?
A. As it turns out a member of the legislature managed to get the part of the Bend campus that was up for consideration for consolidation removed from the consolidation bill. There will be a study to look at consolidating services but not campuses and an additional study to look at moving to a semester system as opposed to the quarter system that we are on now. Southern Oregon and Rogue Community College may move into a semester system. I have not seen any proof that there is a cost savings to move into a semester system.
Thank you for taking the time to participate in today's meeting. Please remember that my door is open if you have any questions or concerns.
Meeting adjourned: 2:39 p.m.