The School of Education’s state-appropriated funds are commensurate with its mission and comparable to other schools in the University. The School of Education is one of five Academic Schools within Sonoma State University that receives state-appropriated funds annually based on the Full Time Equivalent Students (FTES) projected for the year, using an SFR (Student/Faculty Ratio) based on the previous year. These funds are specifically designated for instructional faculty. Funds for direct instruction for the School of Education showed a decrease of 8.36% from 2008-09 to 2010-11, commensurate with a 14.36% decrease in our Full-Time Equivalent Students (FTES). The University has undergone deep budget cuts in the past three years and the Schools have experienced both reductions in funds for part-time faculty resulting in increased SFR and larger classes, and reductions in operating funds. Even in these challenging budget times, the President and Provost have acknowledged the importance of the School of Education’s clinical fieldwork, work with PreK-12 schools, and accreditation and assessment work, including state-mandated teacher performance assessment faculty work, by allowing us to maintain funds to support these activities.
Based on our last completed academic year, 2010-11, a comparison of the general fund budget for the School of Education and other academic schools at Sonoma State University shows an equitable allocation from school to school in relation to budget and FTES (Division of Academic Affairs – General Fund Budget for 2010-11). The School of Education has 7% of the University’s FTES and receives 10% of all funds to academic schools on campus. In comparison, the School of Arts & Humanities holds 27% of the academic school’s budget while supporting 25% of the FTES.
Currently, the School of Education’s University state-appropriated funds totaling $2,880,314 are allocated as follows: $1,951,395 (68%) for instructional salaries; $708,945 (25%) for Dean’s Office, staff, department chairs, and student services salaries; $123,746 (4%) for accreditation and assessment faculty compensation and operating expenses (AA Budget); and $96,228 (3%) to cover operating expenses and travel (School of Education 2010-11 Budget). Staff salaries, student services expenditures, accreditation and assessment costs, School level operating expenditures and part-time faculty allocations are maintained at the School of Education level. Department budgets consist primarily of full-time tenured track faculty salaries, Department Chair support salaries and Department operating expenses. Department operating expense budgets are allocated annually based on pre-determined formulas (Department Operating Expenses (OE) Allocation 2010-11) for the following areas: faculty professional development, travel; hospitality; supplies; copying; discretionary funds.
For the past several years, funding allocation decisions were made by and within the individual Academic Schools based on a permanent base budget allocation and the retention of operating and salary savings, i.e., retirements and FERPs (Faculty Early Retirement Program participants). Beginning with AY 2010-11, Academic Affairs maintains a centralized pool that funds all part-time faculty positions based on SRF (Student Faculty Ratio - FTES/FTEF), new full-time tenure-track faculty positions, sabbaticals, and approved school/program needs. Allocations of these pooled funds are approved by the Dean’s Council, a body consisting of the Provost and the Academic Deans, with advisement from the Academic Affairs Budget Director.
The Provost also distributes a one-time annual University allocation to each Academic School for Faculty Professional Development based on percent of total budget. In turn, the School of Education allocates these funds to departments based on their number of tenured and tenured track faculty. In addition to protecting Faculty Professional Development funds, the University has reinstated its Faculty Computer Refresh program which, this year, replaced the computers for all tenured and tenure-track faculty, with subsequent upgrades to FERPs and part-time faculty scheduled in the coming year. The refresh program runs on a 4-year replacement cycle.