Approved by PBAC, 16 April 1996
The meeting was called to order by Don Farish at 3:15 p.m. who asked for a motion to approve the minutes of March 12 which were approved unanimously. Farish informed the Committee that Carol Cinquini, was not present at today's meeting since her position has been reclassified into the Management Personnel Plan. He informed the PBAC that the Staff Council was in the process of selecting a new PBAC representative who would likely be present at the next meeting.
Farish then turned to Larry Furukawa-Schlereth who presented the first agenda item: the University's audited financial statements for fiscal year 1994-1995. Schlereth informed the PBAC that a copy of the audit was included in the agenda packet and encouraged members to review the information and bring questions to the April 16 PBAC meeting.
Schlereth then presented the second agenda item related to potential questions about a variety of information items previously sent to the members and included with the agenda packet. The items related to a variety of budget transactions, outside the purview of the PBAC, and approved by the President for fiscal 1996-1997. These included the Financial Services Reengineering model, the repair of the Parking Lots, the Pub Renovation, the Housing Deferred Maintenance Program, and additional support for custodial supervision. There were no questions from the members regarding these items.
Farish then presented the third agenda item--a further discussion of the proposed differential state university fee (DSUF). He distributed an outline on the topic which is attached.
Don highlighted the key points of the outline indicating that he hoped the members would see the document as a staring point and that from continued discussion and revision, a written statement on the DSUF would emerge.
Discussion ensued. Steve Wilson asked if it was likely that the Trustees would act on the revision to the student fee policy in May. Farish indicated that he could not say for certain but both he and Schlereth anticipated that this would be the case. Dennis Harris noted that perhaps something should be added to the outline that would indicate what would happen to SSU if the proposed DSUF was not enacted. He also noted that the outline did not reflect a variety of items that had been discussed by the Vice President for Academic Affairs Budget Advisory Committee (VPBAC).
Farish responded by indicating that the outline had been shared with the VPBAC and asked Melinda Barnard and Les Adler, both members of the VPBAC, to comment on the VPBAC discussion. Barnard indicated that the VPBAC felt that if the DSUF were to be successful with the students, it would be necessary for the proposal to have broad enough appeal so that students and faculty could personalize the proposal and recognize its importance.
Adler indicated that discussion in the VPBAC also included a sense that certain items were missing from the outline including the need for more interaction between faculty and students both inside and outside the classroom. He cited examples such as using the financial aid portion of the proposed DSUF to finance student employment in various research projects with faculty acting as mentors. Adler also mentioned the definition of instructional equipment needed to be broadened to include items like training materials, software, etc. Adler concluded by stating he felt that direct one-on-one or small-group dialogue was important to help shape the parameters of the proposed DSUF.
Rand Link supported Adler's comments regarding student employment indicating national studies document that students who work on campus have higher retention rates.
Barnard indicated that she also found the idea of enhanced student employment opportunities as being very attractive and agreed with Adler's comments related to equipment.
Harris raised the issue of how far the PBAC wished to go in expanding the list of what the DSUF would be used for. He pointed out that a real budget constraint existed. Barnard suggested that a tradeoff would likely be necessary. Jim Meyer commented that the DSUF was similar to fund raising. People, he said generally support visions and dreams. He cautioned that it was important not to paint a picture of doom and gloom.
Schlereth compared the DSUF to the recent Proposition 203 campaign. He stated that he believed the measure was successful, in part, because it had the support of a variety of respected groups such as the PTA ,even though the effort for passage was coordinated by the Californians for Higher Education. He suggested with respect to the DSUF, that some local campus body should fulfill the coordinating role with endorsements from a variety of campus groups including the Associated Students, the Staff Council, and the Academic Senate prior to the issue being placed before the students in referendum. To obtain those endorsements, he commented that members of the coordinating body, who he believed should be the PBAC, should join Farish and him as they presented the DSUF proposal to the various campus groups for discussion and feedback.
Harris agreed that the PBAC should be the coordinating body but raised concern that the PBAC not endorse the DSUF until more specifics were clarified. Barnard agreed indicating that the various campus groups needed to have more time to provide input with respect to what would be funded by the fee should it be imposed.
Farish concurred but indicated that at some point, he would like to see approval of the DSUF by the PBAC at least at the conceptual level. Otherwise, the proposal would continue to be seen only as an administrative concept. Wilson concurred stating that he believed the PBAC role was one of strategic financial planning and the DSUF represented a strategic decision related to the campus's overall financial health. Larry Clark also agreed the PBAC should support the DSUF concept reminding the PBAC it had already endorsed the concept of mortgaging the campus's future through the interfund loan strategy for finance the upcoming fiscal year.
Meyer indicated that the most important group to consider was the students. He questioned where they were on the issue. Andrea Todd indicated that it would be difficult to sell the concept of a DSUF unless the students see something tangible and of real benefit to them. She supported Adler and Barnard's concept regarding the definition of instructional equipment. Neil Markley said he believed there was some support among the students for the DSUF. He said that he had heard some students report that the proposed new fee was not a lot of money for all the things the students would receive. He did comment, however, the some concern existed among the student body regarding whether other student fees (Health Center, Associated Students, IRA, Student Union, Technology Fee etc) would be increased. Meyer suggested that as part of the DSUF discussion, the University should consider a policy that would guarantee stability in campus-based fees for periods of four years.
Harris asked if analysis was being done by Admissions and Records with respect to the impact of the DSUF on student enrollment. Farish indicated that the Director of Admissions and Records was currently out of the country but that he try to obtain this data.
Harris then moved that the PBAC endorse the concept of the Differential State University Fee as a first reading. A second was obtained from Marty Ruddell. Acceptance of the DSUF for first reading was approved by consensus
Barnard raised concern about moving too fast. She cautioned that some faculty saw the DSUF as mechanism to fund the pet projects of the administration.
Don clarified that the motion did not specify what would be financed with the DSUF. Rather it only endorsed the DSUF as a concept.
Letitia Coate indicated her support for the motion as did Rand Link who suggested that the PBAC develop a timeline for what needed to be done working backwards from the date of the referendum.
Tracy Terrill indicated that he could not be certain what the Associated Students would do with the DSUF proposal. Current thinking, he indicated was to make no comment on the DSUF other than to argue that it should be placed before the students for a referendum vote. He commented that he was somewhat concerned that a referendum on the DSUF might not take place. Farish assured Terrill that the President was committed to a referendum on this issue. Farish also indicated that he hoped, at some point prior to the referendum, the Associated Students would formally endorse the DSUF concept along with the Academic Senate and the Staff Council. He acknowledged that such endorsements might not be possible know since many details needed to be resolved. By Fall, however, a detailed proposal would be complete and ready for debate and endorsement.
Ruddell suggested that the discussion at today's meeting suggested a need to further refine the DSUF outline incorporating the suggestions of the VPBAC and the PBAC. She asked if it might be possible for a sub-committee of the PBAC to complete this task prior to the next meeting. Farish indicated that he actually had planned on doing this and would bring a revised document to the April 16 meeting.
Discussion then turned to how the PBAC might solicit more feedback to develop and refine the DSUF proposal. Charles Merrill raised the possibility of a convocation. Barnard indicated that she favored small informal sessions. Ruddell commented that whatever strategies were ultimately employed, it was important to get rather specific quickly. Vague notions, she argued, were easy to attack.
Harris suggested that perhaps the VPBAC should be charged with formulating the list of items to be financed via the DSUF. Farish indicated that he saw no major problem with this idea but argued that he believed the PBAC was the group to take primary overall leadership for the DSUF initiative. He expressed concern that some campus members might withhold support for the initiative unless their particular item was funded. He reminded the committee of the hole in the campus budget and the need to rise above special interests and look at what is best for the University as a whole. He indicated that he would prepare a first draft of a document more fully describing the DSUF and incorporating comments received to date. The Committee agreed to review this draft as part of its second reading of the differential state university fee proposal.
Farish then adjourned the meeting at 5:05 PM.
Minutes prepared by L. Furukawa-Schlereth
PBAC minutes 1995-1996