Theme 5

Building the Financial Foundation


Judicious stewardship refers to increased efficiency of operations resulting from management strategies that enable strategic accomplishments without additional resources. That is to say, more can be accomplished with existing resources either through direct savings or reinvestment. Currently, Arts & Sciences is employing a variety of strategies to increase efficiencies and to argue for reinvestment plans from some of these savings (refer to Figure 5.1).

Act of Determination 1 -- Endowing New Professorships

Of the new faculty lines needed in the coming decade for Arts & Sciences STEM departments in general and for the health sciences in particular we propose implementing a fundraising initiative to fund 12 of these lines through endowed professorships/chairs. Additionally, we propose to raise funds for six endowed professorships in the Humanities and Social Sciences. The action steps for fundraising for endowed professorships/chairs are discussed in Theme 5 -- I. Development Initiatives -- AOD 4 and AOD 8. These steps will lead to a significant cost savings for the University operational budget.

Act of Determination 2 -- Faculty Workloads

Rigorous guidelines are needed for faculty workloads to create greater course coverage with existing faculty, to generate more scholarly research, and to provide for consistency across departmental units. In consultation with the Provost’s Office and the Office of Institutional Research and Testing, the Dean’s Office has revised workload guidelines that are currently being tested and implemented. These workloads standardize time allocation where possible, yet allow for flexibility when necessary. In addition, annual performance standards are being assessed for faculty release time designated for research.

Action Steps:
  • By Fall 2015 the Dean’s Office will complete the implementation of the faculty workload plan and will make faculty workload adjustments for the following academic year.
  • Beginning in the 2015-2016 academic year our goal is that on average each department will reduce by one course per semester the need for temporary lecturer monies. Currently Arts & Sciences allocates approximately $1.5 million per year for temporary lecturers. By achieving this goal, we can reduce the need for temporary lecturer monies by approximately $250,000 per year. The Dean will propose to the Provost that one-half of these savings be reinvested into Arts & Sciences for new staff lines.

Act of Determination 3 -- Endowing Scholarships

Endowing scholarships is crucial in order to alleviate financial constraints on our student body and to free monies from the University operational budget for other purposes by reducing the tuition discount rate. During the next five years Arts & Sciences will aspire to raise $10 million in endowed scholarship funds that will provide approximately $500,000 in savings to the University on increased interest earnings.

Action Step:
  • The Dean will seek approval, upon successful completion of the Arts & Sciences $10 million fundraising campaign, to direct one-half of the interest earnings to Arts & Sciences for hiring new staff lines.

Act of Determination 4 -- Departmental Financial Profiles

Currently, departmental profiles combining all components of departmental operational budgets into one document are near completion. In addition to operational budget information, these profiles will include data about endowed scholarship monies, graduate student monies, enrollment management criteria, development initiatives, endowed professorships, center activities, and discretionary funds. This document will allow for maximum use and sharing of resources between the Dean’s Office and the departments.

Action Step:
  • By Summer 2014 the two Financial Managers in Arts & Sciences will complete departmental financial profiles. Financial savings will be tracked beginning at this point.

Act of Determination 5 -- Dean’s Office Financial Profile

The Dean’s Office discretionary budgets must be utilized to capacity, but within the context of potential financial exigencies. Some budget lines in the Dean’s Office accounts are replenished each year, some are replenished unpredictably from one year to the next, and some are based on monies that, once expended, will never be replenished. Across Arts & Sciences, many projects that require funding on an annual basis are difficult to fund through more traditional operational means.

Action Steps:
  • By Summer 2014 the Dean’s Office will develop a model establishing baseline reserve funds needed for financial contingencies for an academic unit the size of Arts & Sciences.
  • By Summer 2014 the Dean’s Office will develop a budget model to expend excess funds each year above the reserve line for strategic projects.

Act of Determination 6 -- Endowing Existing Professorships

Currently Arts & Sciences has 22 partially endowed professorships. Interest earnings from the principal of these endowments are not sufficient to fund fully an existing faculty member for most of these professorships/chairs. However, four currently are endowed to at least $1 million.

Action Steps:
  • By Spring 2015 the Dean, in consultation with department chairs, will appoint four faculty to existing professorships/chairs, each endowed to at least $1 million but not assigned to any current faculty members. This will provide discretionary monies for faculty and help relieve pressures from departmental operational budgets.
  • By Fall 2015 the Dean’s Office will determine whether to remove, combine, or enhance the remaining partially endowed professorships/chairs in accordance with donor agreements.

Act of Determination 7 -- Endowing Research Centers

Research centers are now being assessed for operational and strategic effectiveness. This assessment includes whether the current centers are needed, how efficiently they are being operated, and whether new centers are needed. Any operational savings from dismantling an existing center will be reinvested into other programs. The operational savings resulting from the endowment of any existing or new centers in the coming decade will be reinvested into other non-endowed centers or related programs.

Action Step:
  • By Fall 2014 for each endowed center, the Dean will secure an agreement from the Provost to allow reinvestment of these operational monies back into other centers or toward new staff lines.

Act of Determination 8 -- Endowing Masters Programs

Existing and future masters programs should, if at all possible, be endowed for covering operational expenses. The four areas with the greatest likelihood of receiving endowed monies are Theatre Arts, Film and Digital Media, Geology, and Communication Sciences and Disorders. If successful, this endowment will render savings to the University that can be reinvested into other areas.

Action Step:
  • By Fall 2014 the Dean’s Office, in consultation with the Board of Advocates, Directors of Development in Arts & Sciences, and University Development, will develop a fundraising initiative for these four graduate program areas. For each program, endowed savings should be reinvested into other graduate studies areas of Arts & Sciences.

Act of Determination 9 -- Strengthening Staffing Efficiencies

The Arts & Sciences Dean’s Office, in coordination with Human Resources, will conduct a comprehensive assessment of clerical and technical staffing to evaluate performance efficiencies and technical expertise of existing staff and to determine what additional staff will be needed in the coming decade. This is an important issue, particularly in the sciences.

Action Steps:
  • By Summer 2015 the Dean’s Office, in consultation with department chairs from the sciences, will determine future technical staffing needs for research enhancement through core facilities and within departments and will develop a plan for securing resources from a combination of fundraising reinvestment activities or from the University.
  • By Fall 2015 the Dean’s Office will determine, in consultation with Human Resources and the Provost’s Office, current staffing levels and expertise and compare these to best practices of comparable universities.
  • By Fall 2015 the Dean’s Office will determine the number of new clerical staff needed and will develop a plan of action for securing resources from a combination of fundraising reinvestment strategies or from the University.

Act of Determination 10 -- Facilities and Administrative Revenue Sharing

As indirect costs from successful grant awards continue to increase, additional revenues will need to be generated to offset operational expenses and to support new and existing programs. Currently, the University receives 75 percent of Facilities and Administrative (F&A) revenues, and the home department receives 25 percent. Adjustments in these allocations will be needed in the future to empower the Dean to make strategic reinvestment decisions within Arts & Sciences. If within 10 years Arts & Sciences begins generating $10 million annually in grant expenditures, approximately $1.14 million per year in discretionary funds would be yielded, for example.

Action Step:
  • By Summer 2015 the Dean’s Office will develop a proposal to adjust F&A revenue sharing among the departments, Dean’s office, and Provost’s Office beginning with the 2015-2016 academic year. The dean's Office share, based on some percentage increase in future granting expenditures, would be reinvested into escalating start-up costs and various other initiatives related to scholarly endeavors.

Act of Determination 11 -- Enrollment Management

The 10-Year Enrollment Management Plan for Arts & Sciences aspires to a freshman retention rate of 90 percent. Two years into implementation of the plan, retention has already increased by two percentage points to 88 percent. Each percentage point increase reduces the necessity of drawing from the University operational budget. These savings will be tracked.