February 28th, 1994

  • Location: Sayles Hill 251
  • Time: 4:15 pm
  • Present: President Stephen Lewis; Deans Robert Bonner, Elizabeth McKinsey, Clement Shearer; Staff person Ann Ness; Professors Deborah Appleman, Clara Hardy, Richard Keiser, Stephen Strand, Cathy Yandell; Trustee Observer Jack Eugster; Alumni Observer Duane Schrader; Students Ruby Hou, Jason Hannan, Ben Johnson, Megan Spears, Sundar Srinivasan
  • Absent: Staff person Martha Meier
  • Guests: Ronald DeHarpporte, Andres Springborn, Chris Youngquist, Jeremy Harrell, Alex DeArmond, Beverlee DeCoux
  • Secretary: Amii DeHarpporte
  • Keywords: physical education,

President Lewis called the meeting to order at 4:25 p.m. The minutes of the February 15, 1994, meeting were approved with the following changes: The second sentence of the second paragraph of the Budget Committee Report should read:

"He then passed out Professor Goldfeather's an analysis..."

The second sentence of the second full paragraph of page three should read:

"...he felt some members of the last year's AFAC were disappointed that they the Committee had not been more included."

1. President's Report

In reference to last week's Carletonian editorial, President Lewis stated that position consolidations in the Physical Education, Athletics, and Recreation Department resulting in the elimination of the Intramural Coordinator position were predicated on an understanding with the Department reached two years ago that all the functions of the position would be fully carried out by other staff members because of the importance of intramurals to the quality of student life. He then reported that he had asked Dean Bonner to take the proposed changes in the Student Judicial Code back to the Student Judicial Code Subcommittee because their recommendations contained no specifications for what would constitute grounds for an appeal and thus no guidance for the Judicial Appeals Board for reasons to grant venue changes, and, further, the language had not yet been cleared with legal counsel.

In response to a question from Ben Johnson, President Lewis expressed his hope that the proposal would be fully discussed at the March 8th meeting and in subsequent meetings, if necessary, before a vote is taken. Jason Hannan noted his concern that if the proposal were remanded back to the Subcommittee, the substance of the issues already decided upon by the Subcommittee would become open for revision. President Lewis responded that it is the Subcommittee's responsibility to determine how to proceed once the proposal returns to Subcommittee. Discussion was deferred until a more fully developed proposal could be brought to the Council for complete discussion.

2. Committee Reports

Budget Committee:

Dean Shearer stated that he would attempt to address the three issues the Council discussed at the last meeting--the necessity of computing requests, the trade-offs being made in the operating budget, and the opinion of the Admissions and Financial Aid Committee (AFAC) regarding the amount of money budgeted for student financial aid. Shearer reported that he informed AFAC of the status of the financial aid budget, and in their meeting last week AFAC did not offer any objections to either the amount budget ed for financial aid or the process that was used to determine it.

Shearer stated that the budget requests for computing services were based on a reasonable rate of replacement for old equipment, some new equipment, software, and a schedule for the installation of a high-speed data network. He noted that computing services are becoming basic requirements for efficient administration and exchange of scholarly information. Although the proposed budget will not keep pace with the demand for administrative and academic computing needs, Shearer stated he felt the demand was being met as well as possible within the operating budget.

In addressing the budgetary trade-offs the College has made, Shearer passed out a summary of the components of education and general expenditures, excluding student aid, from 1985-86 through the present minimal budget for 1994-95. He stated that it was clear to him that the instructional budget has not been cut. It grew throughout the 1980s and 1990s, although because some areas of the budget have grown faster than the instructional budget, those other areas account for a greater percentage of the E&G bu dget. He noted that the shift reflects a change in College priorities, such as attention to fund-raising, as well as the increased complexity of the administration of the College. He stated he also felt that the budgetary growth patterns have improved academics by matriculating better students, funding new academic support, reflecting faculty priorities, and maintaining curricular flexibility.

Shearer identified the most critical areas for the College as pricing, financial aid, development, construction, changing technologies, and streamlining, also noting that Carleton's distribution of E&G is similar to other comparable schools. In its last meeting, Shearer reported, the Budget Committee decided that the financial aid, compensation, library, and computing budgets properly address needs within available resources, that the use of restricted reserves to close the deficit to within $100,000 seem s to be a reasonable approach, and that administrative areas should be cut by the remaining $100,000 before reducing any academic areas further.

Professor Stephen Strand opened the questions to Shearer by inquiring about the College's definition of the instructional budget. Comptroller Beverlee DeCoux clarified that the College's instructional budget, less compensation and the operation of off-campus study programs, has remained flat in recent years. Strand stated he found that the instructional budget inclusive of compensation yet exclusive of off-campus studies programs has also remained relatively flat recently. Shearer concurred, but said he had not heard from faculty that such restrictions limited instruction, and said he looked to the Dean of the College to help inform him of the impact of such budgetary trade-offs. Dean Elizabeth McKinsey stated she felt that the Budget Committee, which consists of faculty, staff, and students, has been very responsive to the concerns and requests of faculty, and noted that the new construction has already and will continue to enhance the faculty's teaching capabilities.

A lengthy discussion then took place concerning the College's priorities in an era of stagnant growth and the pressures such a lack of financial resources places on the College. Professor Clara Hardy noted that if the College continues to raise comprehensive fees faster than family incomes grow, she sees the financial aid budget continuing to be a bigger percentage of the budget. In response, Shearer agreed and then pointed out that the AFAC guidelines attempt to bring the financial aid budget more in li ne with the College's resources. Johnson expressed his concern that since the College has placed a hiring freeze on FTEs and is thus not adding new positions for faculty, any changes made in the curriculum, such as the inclusion of more multicultural classes, will represent a zero-sum-gain. He noted that in a zero growth climate, the College is engaged in determining a number of trade-offs, and it is being short-sighted in not planning to expand the total number of professors to make the curriculum more b road. McKinsey responded that expanding the total numbers of professors is not a top priority because the curriculum is already very rich compared to other colleges and is also dynamic due to new faculty replacing those who retire or go on leave. Johnson also stated he suspects that faculty recognize that College budgeting reflects the context of a zero-growth climate and thus restrict their requests accordingly. Professor Deborah Appleman said she felt many faculty share Johnson's view that the finite n umber of professors shapes the direction that curricular reform will take and necessarily limits curricular flexibility. McKinsey stated that she will support adding new positions as soon as resources become available. Shearer stated there is room for faculty growth if the College decides that it is a priority.

Trustee Observer Jack Eugster raised the question of increasing the number of students at a controlled rate to induce growth. President Lewis noted that in the late 1970s and early 1980s the College added a few students every year, but that was not an effective long-term solution because it does not address the underlying differential growth rates between expenses per student and income per student. He also said that the money the College is raising is largely being used just to continue to operate the C ollege, especially due to pressures from the growing financial aid budget. He said one way to induce growth is to engage in fund-raising to support the budget. Because the College is constrained by the national economy, he stated that the College needs to raise more money and be intelligent in the way it allocates those funds.

The meeting was adjourned at 5:30 p.m.