Resolution: Budgeting a minimum of 55% of State Support Budget in Academic Units

Resolved, the Academic Senate recommends to PBAC and the President that, beginning in 2010-11, a minimum of fifty five percent (55%) of the state support budget each year be allocated to the five academic schools and the library for instruction and academic support in keeping with the university’s academic mission.

Background information: As of the most recent expenditure plan (2008-09), the university budgets 48.35% of its state support budget in the academic schools and the library. Nine years ago (1999-2000) the university budgeted 55.1% of state support budget in the schools and libraries.

These figures are based on school and library personnel budget of $31.15M, which is 33.7% of the state support budget. Nine years ago, academic school and library personnel figure was $24.2M, which was 41% of the state support budget. See Senate Budget Website for a study on this matter). To reflect accurately the cost of the personnel, benefits must be added in. An analysis of the situation in 2008-2009 is on the second page of this resolution. The original resolution passed unanimously at the Senate Budget Committee December 8, 2009. On Februrary 23, 2010, the SBC voted to offer this substitute motion to include personnel costs in the library in this resolution.

Rationale

  • Now, more than ever, SSU needs to align its primary source of revenue, its stateside budget, with its primary educational mission. This recommendation is a first step. Student learning must come first.
  • We owe it to donors, the taxpayers who support us through the state revenue we receive, and the students who are paying an increasing share of their own educational expenses, to use our limited resources in an efficient and mission-centered fashion. Student learning must come first
  • In 1993-1994 SSU had 236 non FERPed, full-time T/T faculty for 5,197 FTES. In 2006-2007 we had 238 such faculty for 7,312 FTES. The move away from the Orange Book formulas in the mid-1990s has led to a decline in the support for academic programming at SSU, a decline recognized as the “Academic Gap” in campus planning. This affects not just instruction, but also academic support, including support for scholarly research, professional development, and creative activities.
  • This recommendation is not meant to be the only cure to the problem. The campus needs guidelines to preserve the ratio of Tenure Track professors to FTES and the appropriate distribution of marginal growth dollars in the future, guidelines that have been sorely lacking since the move away from the Orange Book formulas of the past.
  • SSU is a non-profit organization. Professional guidelines and watch dog agencies for non-profit organizations vary in their recommendation on the ratio of overhead to services, but the range is from 50% to 80% depending on the source consulted. Unlike many of these non-profits, SSU does not need to pay rent.
  • Community Colleges are required by state law to spend 50% of their state support revenues on ‘instructional time” (See SBC website for references). While a law like that may not be desirable for CSU system, we should aspire to spend at least 50% of our funds on our academic schools, inclusive of the Deans and support staff.
  • According to well-accepted agency theory in business and economics, it is best to restrict financial resources available as the discretionary spending of managers (see Michael Santos position paper, ).
Expense 1999-2000 2008-2009 Notes
Personnel $24.2M $31.15M  
Benefits $6.53M $11.83M .27 in 99-00; .38 in 08-09
OE $1.75M $1.65M  
TOTAL $32.48M $44.63M  
State Budget $59M $92.3M Total State support and revenues
Personnel/Budget 41% $33.7%  
Total/Budget 55.1% 48.35% down 6.75%

Approved by the Senate 2/25/10

Supporting materials on Senate Budget Subcommittee website