February 18, 2009
By Armando Vega
Last Friday, the Campus Senate's key item of discussion was the university’s budget amidst a global recession.
President Joseph B. White has ordered universities to prepare for a 10% cut in state funding as a worst-case scenario, especially if the Obama administration’s stimulus measure—with its aid to states for education—fails to go through.
State comptroller Dan Hynes has stated that the state is looking at a $9 billion budget deficit if nothing is done soon; the new governor Pat Quinn is expected to present his budget proposal March 18.
The Chair of the Executive Committee, Pat Langley, expressed concern that today’s graduates would not be able to find jobs in the marketplace in such an environment. She then asked Provost Harry Berman why it is that the university has consistently ended up over-predicting revenue, generally to the tune of $2 million.
“We are consistently too optimistic,” she said.
Berman replied that while spending can be established beforehand, it can be very difficult to gauge revenue streams prior to the school year, because of difficulties in predicting enrollments. The University would have needed to predict lower undergraduate enrollments. “We just…we weren’t going to do that,” said Berman.
The graduate council then presented a report to the Campus Senate on some of its graduate programs, particularly the Individual Option. Currently the discretion is left to the professors to decide whether to accept students pursuing the Individual Option curriculum.
Among the final orders of business, the Senate passed Resolution 3815, approving the introduction of Management Information Systems major for undergraduates, and Resolution 3816, which eliminated the labor-relations minor under the Political Studies curriculum.