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2009-2010 Proposed Budget and Vital Questions Answered

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2009-2010 Proposed Budget and Vital Questions Answered



The BOT will meet on June 10th to discuss the upcoming budget.  Below is a general QA listing regadring the most vital topics as related directly to the budget itself.  The proposed plan is avaliable in PDF format Here


Q. How much has the University’s 2009-10 budget been cut by the Florida Legislature?

A. FAU’s budget for the 2009-10 fiscal year, which begins on July 1, was cut by $16.7 million during this year’s legislative session. This came as somewhat good news, since there was a possibility it could have been cut by as much as $38 million. However, when added to the nearly $20 million in cuts that the University has absorbed over the last 18 months, the additional reduction is still deeply damaging, necessitating major cutbacks in expenses.


Q. What actions will be taken to cut expenses?

A. Through a collaborative process that has been under way for months, a proposed plan has been developed that will be presented to the Board of Trustees on June 10, 2009. This plan is designed to accomplish three objectives: to identify ways in which costs can be reduced, create an overall framework for the 2009-10 budget and lay a foundation for future budgets. Unfortunately, to achieve the level of cost reductions necessary to cope with the cuts effectively, some personnel must be laid off, some unfilled positions eliminated and some majors and degree tracks discontinued.


Q.  Will any FAU campuses or sites be closed?

A. No. FAU will continue to operate at its seven current campuses and sites. With that in mind, delivery of services and the availability of some academic programs may change.


Q. How many people will be laid off and how many unfilled positions will be eliminated?

A. According to the proposed plan, approximately 30 current FAU employees, primarily administrators and staff, occupy positions that will be eliminated as of July 1. This is a very sad necessity that impacts these employees personally, their families and the entire FAU community. All of the affected employees have been contacted individually, and the University has committed to provide them with support services and counseling to help them through this difficult period of transition.

The majority of these employees work in administrative and staff capacities. Only five faculty positions are affected, and they are in the College of Engineering and Computer Science, which recently underwent a complete reorganization that led to their elimination. The fact that our faculty will remain essentially intact will enable us to continue to offer our students a comprehensive array of courses to facilitate their progress to graduation.

University-wide more than 140 unfilled positions have been identified for elimination.



Q. How many majors will be discontinued?

A. The deans and other college leaders have been working diligently for the past six months to evaluate the viability of every academic program the University offers. That process has led to the identification of approximately 45 majors that do not meet minimum standards of productivity and have been recommended to be discontinued. Of course, students currently enrolled in these majors will be allowed to continue through graduation, but no additional students will be accepted. The deans are working with faculty members in the affected programs to make the phase-out process go as smoothly as possible.


Q. What other money-saving steps are being taken?

A. Over the years, FAU’s distributed campus structure has given rise to duplication of services in areas such as admissions, registration, financial aid, human resources, purchasing and other support functions. Planning is now under way to consolidate many of these services through reassignment of personnel and utilization of online technology. Restructuring of this type is essential to ensure the future viability of the University. We are also adopting a multi-year budget planning process that will help us improve our ability to predict the University’s overall funding status beyond the current one-year horizon. 


Q. How much will tuition and fees increase?

A. All of Florida’s state universities have been given permission to raise tuition by as much as 15 percent, beginning in the 2009 fall semester. The legislature increased the base tuition rate system-wide by 8 percent, leaving it to the individual universities to decide how much higher it should go, to the 15 percent ceiling. The additional increase, above 8 percent, is called differential tuition. FAU originally intended to seek an additional 5 percent in differential tuition, for a total increase of 13 percent. However, when the legislature declined to maintain full state funding of the Bright Futures scholarship program, which is important to so many of our students, we decided to seek the full 15 percent tuition increase pending BOT approval. The additional 2 percent will go entirely toward need-based student financial aid. In terms of dollars, we expect differential tuition to generate about $900,000 next year; of this amount, nearly $500,000 will go toward need-based financial aid.

Additionally, we are taking a new approach to our fee structure that will permit us to realize more income from this source while reducing the annual impact on students. Instead of electing to increase one fee significantly during a given academic year and leaving the others alone until a future year, we are seeking small increases in all them, including the Activities & Services fee, the athletics fee, the health fee, the technology fee and the transportation access fee. Small, incremental increases in all the fees should be easier for students to deal with than large single-fee increases. As always, students have played a central role in the decision-making process about fees, and they will participate in determining how this income should be spent. Committees made up of a majority of students, plus faculty and staff, have been working on this matter for some time.

The Board of Trustees will consider these proposals on June 10 and is expected to vote on June 24, 2009. If the tuition and fee increases are approved, a typical full-time FAU student can expect to pay about $500 more next year. At the same time, there will be more need-based financial aid available, including Pell Grants, which are scheduled to go up by $600 in 2009-10.



Q. How much will FAU receive in federal stimulus money and how will that money be used?

A. The University expects to receive about $12 million annually in federal stimulus money each of the next two years. It is important to realize that this money is non-recurring and not an appropriate source of funding for recurring expenses, such as salaries and ongoing program costs.


Q. How is the University’s future course being planned?

A. A true sea change is taking place statewide and nationally in the funding of public universities. Under the guidance of the Board of Trustees, FAU is taking a proactive stance in redefining itself as a 21st century institution by introducing Project Vision, an initiative that will seek the participation of students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends in the community. A Project Vision website will soon be launched, giving all interested parties the opportunity to contribute their ideas about how FAU should be redesigned to function most effectively and efficiently in the years ahead, with the goal always being to maintain and develop the University’s ability to deliver a top-quality educational experience to its students.



Source:  FAU Media Relations

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Re: 2009-2010 Proposed Budget and Vital Questions Answered

Does anyone know of a listing for the 45 majors that are on the potential chopping block?
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Re: 2009-2010 Proposed Budget and Vital Questions Answered

Rick said

FAU is taking a proactive stance in redefining itself as a 21st century institution by introducing Project Vision, an initiative that will seek the participation of students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends in the community. A Project Vision website will soon be launched, giving all interested parties the opportunity to contribute their ideas about how FAU should be redesigned to function most effectively and efficiently in the years ahead, with the goal always being to maintain and develop the University’s ability to deliver a top-quality educational experience to its students.

I bet it will use the word "streamline" about a thousand times.

Oh well. I'll give them some input.

P.S. I don't respond to guest posts. All guests are encouraged to register with the site.
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