Budget Alternatives Committee this afternoon presented its recommendations
for reducing the university's general fund budget by nearly $12.8
million over two years. The bulk of that total - $9.6 million -
would apply to fiscal year 2004, which begins July 1. The remaining
$3.2 million would apply to fiscal year 2005. BAC co-chairs Fred
Joyal (Academic Affairs) and Mike Roy (Finance and Administration,
pictured at left) explained the specifics to a capacity crowd of
employees, students and community members who attended a university
forum in Jamrich 102.
BAC recommendations are significant and hit virtually every office
or department on campus, but they do not completely offset the university's
$10.2 million shortfall for fiscal year 2004," Roy said.
proposal would impact 95 full-time equivalent positions. This includes
58 employee layoffs, 19 vacant positions that would not be filled
and seven positions notched down from their current 12-month status
to a reduced appointment. Some open faculty positions would be filled
at a lower rank and/or salary. Others would be covered by adjuncts
or by 13 senior staff who will see either portions or all of their
assignments shifted from administrative to teaching responsibilities.
Some graduate assistant appointments would not be renewed.
BAC estimates that the university would save about $2.1 million
in salary costs by instituting no pay increases for faculty, administrative
professionals and non-represented staff for 2004 and "lower
than projected" increases for these same groups in 2005. The
AAUP and AP contracts are slated for negotiation later this year.
Of the positions identified for layoffs, the breakdown by employee
groups is as follows: 13 clerical/technical, 14 non-represented
and 28 administrative professionals.
of the AP total can be attributed to recommendations to reduce and
eventually suspend operations at both Public Radio 90 and Public
TV-13. This would result in a total savings of $1.1 million over
two years - in large part through the elimination of five non-represented,
21 AP and four CT positions. The U.S. Olympic Education Center would
also be phased out, saving $591,000 over two years and resulting
in the loss of 8.5 positions.
these programs are valued by the community, which makes these proposed
cuts very difficult," Roy said. "But the cuts cannot be
avoided unless permanent funds are secured to keep the stations
and USOEC operating."
identified for elimination include health promotions and labor education.
In the academic area, no undergraduate majors would be impacted,
but two graduate programs would be cut: communication disorders
and psychology. The university will place a hold on bringing in
a new cohort for the graduate-level nursing program, based in part
on increased demand at the undergraduate level.
is never comfortable or easy and a number of positions held by very
good people are affected by these recommendations," Joyal said.
"The BAC worked hard to come up with suggestions that reduced
costs while at the same time preserving the quality of an NMU education
for the sake of current and future students. These were difficult
choices to make, but the committee did its best to fulfill its charge
of evaluating every recommendation in terms of the university's
mission, vision statement and impact on student enrollment."
The BAC recommendations
also call for the merging or restructuring of departments and offices.
Biology and chemistry would be combined, as would the duo of mathematics/computer
science and physics. There would also be a merger involving economics,
geography and political science. Counseling and consultation services
would be restructured. The director and one counselor would work
with the health center to continue to provide services. The remaining
two counselors would be transferred to education and psychology
as full-time teaching faculty.
The Glenn T.
Seaborg Center would be restructured and consolidated with the education
department, with the director and assistant director assigned to
faculty positions. Joyal said NMU will maintain the K-12 outreach
portion of the Seaborg Center's mission.
The duties currently
carried out by graduate studies and research would be divided between
the registrar's office and the respective departments or colleges.
There is a recommendation to merge administrative responsibilities
of the LPN and nursing programs and another to combine office operations
of alumni relations and the development fund.
athletics would be reorganized, resulting in a reduction of one
associate vice president, one senior administrator, one coaching
position, one AP and one CT. There would also be reduced-time appointments
for six AFSCME staff and one clerical/technical employee. Women's
tennis and Alpine skiing would be dropped, but women's track would
be added. The latter move fulfills NCAA regulations for a spring
impact to students would be the loss of on-campus employment. Student
labor will be reduced by nearly $113,000, which represents about
3 percent of total student labor costs earmarked for the current
academic year. The figure equates to about 40 jobs, based on 15-hour
work weeks during the academic year. The BAC did not recommend changing
the university's commitment to financial aid, including scholarships.
to the impact on student services and academic programs described
above, the Wildcat Shuttle would no longer be offered and students
would see an increase in optional fees for parking (from $50 to
$60 per year) and recreation memberships (from $30 to $50 per semester).
will be tuition increases in this climate," Roy added.
impact estimate provided by Jim Scheiner (Business) indicates
that the ripple effect of the BAC recommendations in the Marquette
community could exceed $20 million.
recommendations represent the loss of great programs and great people
who do their jobs extremely well, which is what makes this situation
even harder to face," said NMU President Judi Bailey.
"The bottom line is that we need to maintain a
balanced budget. Please keep in mind that this is not just a Northern
problem - all state universities are facing similar fiscal crises.
Also, the material presented here is strictly in the form of recommendations,
not final decisions. We will accept constructive feedback from students,
employees, alumni and community members before we bring final recommendations
to the Board of Trustees."
positions are impacted by the recommendations should contact Lynne
Sundblad or Sue Menhennick in human resources to explore
To submit input
via an online form, or to review the complete overview of BAC recommendations,
visit www.nmu.edu/bac. Those
unable to attend Thursday's forum can hear what transpired via streaming
audio from a link at the same Web address.