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BUDGET, GOALS & PLANS COMMITTEE

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Report to Faculty & Professional Staff ē May 4, 2001


SUNY New Paltz implemented a new Campus Budget Process in the 1999-2000 academic year, following a unanimous vote of support by faculty and professional staff in October 1998 and joint approval by the university administration and the Budget, Goals & Plans Committee (BGPC) in April 1999. The process was singled out as "a model for making other administrative processes more transparent and inclusive" in the SUNY New Paltz Strategic Plan 1999.

Monitoring the on-going implementation of the budget process and modifying it as needed has been a top priority for Budget, Goals & Plans. In 2000-01, BGPC formed a budget sub-committee to work with campus administrators to revise deadlines and to clarify the type of financial information to be provided in the administrationís semi-annual reports to faculty and professional staff. These efforts culminated in a second revision of the calendar-year version of the process. The Committee as a whole discussed the importance of departmental budget meetings with the deans, who agreed to require that minutes of these meetings accompany annual budget requests, as stipulated in the Campus Budget Process.

The process also stipulates that BGPC submit a report at the May Faculty Meeting which considers feedback from the campus community on "the appropriateness of allocations and the effectiveness of the campus budget process." To solicit that feedback, we administered our second annual Budget Information Survey in late March/early April.

Survey Results

The most notable differences from last yearís survey were in the number of respondents and their level of awareness of the Campus Budget Process. We were pleased to hear back from a greater number of our colleagues this year and can see that

SURVEY YEAR

RESPONSES

RESPONSE RATE

AWARE OF PROCESS

NOT AWARE OF PROCESS

2001

149

19.6%

67.8%

32.2%

2000

44

5.8%

84%

16%

 continued communication is needed to build awareness of the process.

Other than in these areas, this yearís responses are very similar to last yearís. The percentage of faculty and professional staff who were involved in budget discussions in their departments is approaching 50%. Yet about 40% of our co-workers still have not been given an opportunity to participate.

Forty-eight percent of faculty and staff reported "no change" in financial information-sharing in their departments, similar to the number from last year. At first blush, this may appear disconcerting. However, "no change" could also be a positive statement, particularly in light of comments such as "Our department works well to review the budget together," and "Itís a pleasure to work in this department!"

Written comments on the survey fell into a number of categories, which form the basis for most of our recommendations below. Complete survey results are attached to this report.

BGPC Observations & Recommendations

BGPCís interpretation of budgetary consultation:

Consulting differs from informing in that consultation offers participants the opportunity to contribute to a discussion. It involves input from faculty and staff and therefore must occur before decisions are made. Since consultation entails an exchange of views, we believe it must take place in a meeting, a face-to-face forum where ideas and opinions can be stated and reacted to in real time. Electronic information-sharing (via e-mail, listserv, Web Board, etc.) is a prelude to, not a substitute for, such a meeting. Budget meetings should address all components of the budget: full-time (PSR) and part-time (PST) staff, and supplies/travel/equipment (OTPS).

 

Respectfully submitted,

BUDGET, GOALS & PLANS COMMITTEE

Barbara W. Petruzzelli (chair), Library
Peter D.G. Brown, Foreign Languages
Christine DeLape, Fine & Performing Arts
Paul J. Donadio, Business
Devon C. Duhaney, Secondary Education
Mark Dziuba, Music
Baback A. Izadi, Engineering
Julieta M. Majak, Administrative Services
S. Craig Mourton, College Activities
Michael L. Muffs, Educational Administration
Louis H. Roper, History
Aileen Schulte, Sociology


BUDGET INFORMATION SURVEY RESULTS - 2001
With Percentage Comparison to 2000 Results

 

YEAR

TOTAL RESPONSES

RESPONSE RATE

2001

149

19.6%

2000

44

5.8%

 

  1. Are you aware that the campus implemented a new budget process beginning with the 1999-2000 academic year?
  2.             Yes 101             No 48

     

    YEAR

    YES %

    NO %

    2001

    67.8

    32.2

    2000

    84

    16

     

  3. The purpose of the budget process is to make financial decision-making more inclusive, transparent and consultative. Were you given an opportunity to participate this year in a departmental meeting regarding budgeting for:
  4. -- Full-time faculty/staff (PSR) for 2001-02?

                Yes 75         No 51         Not Applicable 15         No response 8

     

    YEAR

    YES %

    NO %

    2001

    50.3

    34.2

    2000

    48

    39

     

    -- Full-time faculty (PSR) for 2002-03?

                Yes 43         No 48         Not Applicable 26         No response 32

     

    YEAR

    YES %

    NO %

    2001

    28.9

    32.2

    2000

    39

    45

     

    -- Part-time faculty/staff (PST) for 2001-02?

                Yes 48         No 42         Not Applicable 28         No response 31

     

    YEAR

    YES %

    NO %

    2001

    32.2

    28.1

    2000

    30

    43

    -- Supplies, travel & equipment (OTPS) for 2001-02?

                Yes 70         No 46         Not Applicable 7         No response 26

     

    YEAR

    YES %

    NO %

    2001

    47

    30.9

    2000

    50

    39

     

  5. In general, what changes do you see in budget discussions and information-sharing in your department/unit/division?
  6.             More consultative 66         No change 72         No response 11

     

    YEAR

    MORE %

    NO CHANGE %

    2001

    44.3

    48.3

    2000

    39

    50

     

  7. What suggestions do you have for further improvements in communicating about and involving faculty and staff in the budget process?

Selected suggestions:

   5.   Other comments:

Main topics:

 

    6.   Your status:

                95 Faculty
  
             44 Professional Staff

 

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