A periodic update for faculty from President Robert H. "Doc" Foglesong
April 12, 2007
This is the first in a series of monthly communiques intended to help keep MSU faculty members apprised of developments that affect them and the operation of the university. we'll try to be timely, but keep in mind that many of the topics we'll address are moving targets and the information may become outdated quickly. I hope you find this additional channel for communication useful and will let me know what you think.
BUDGETING FOR 2007-08
With the Legislative session just completed, we've taken a big step toward determining the resources we'll have to work with in the coming year. Here's how our budget priorities for the coming year sort out at present:
- Merit pay raises averaging 5% for faculty and staff.
- New faculty positions, phase I. (We want to add at least 20 new positions in areas of critical need.)
- Start up packages for faculty research
- Library resources
- Recruiting and retention
- Faculty development
- New faculty positions, phase 2
- Start up packages for research, phase 2
- Repair and renovation. (We need to emphasize renovation and facility upgrades over the next several years, with limited new construction.)
- Art on campus
How are we going to pay for all that? The good news is that the state appropriation includes funding sufficient for merit pay raises averaging 5 percent, subject to IHL approval. We want to take care of that top priority first. Then, it gets more complicated. While you've probably read that IHL will receive an overall funding increase of 11 percent, or about $88 million, remember that huge chunks of that amount are designated for separately budgeted units such as MAFES and the University Medical Center and other line items.
The amount left for IHL to distribute among the eight universities for campus operations, after we've funded salary increases, may be around $10 million. The MSU share of that amount remains to be determined. The rest of the money we will need to make progress toward our priorities, beyond salary increases, will have to come from other sources, including increased tuition.
The total price tag for the items in Tier 2 and Tier 3 above comes to an estimated $6.8 million. After we receive our allocation from IHL, we would likely need to identify an additional $4.3 to $4.8 million from tuition, private support, and other sources to fully fund those priorities. We calculate that each 1% of tuition increase, after waivers, yields about $600,000 in new revenue. The amount of the increase we formally request later this spring will depend on the amount of our IHL allocation and other revenue projections.
The Legislative session also produced a bond bill that includes renovation funds for Harned Hall, housing biological sciences; Middleton Hall, housing Army and Air Force ROTC; and Lloyd-Ricks Building, home to the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. We need to focus during the next few years on renovations and facility upgrades, with limited new construction. Lee Hall alone needs more than $20 million worth of improvements.
Our goal, as stated in FutureSTATE 2015, is to maintain growth of 300 to 500 undergraduates per year for four to five years, consistent with growth in faculty numbers and other resources. As we look toward next fall, we seem to be about where we need to be right now. Based on applications received and other indicators, we are targeting 2,200 new freshmen for next fall, which would be an increase of 300 over last year. We also foresee slight growth in transfers and new graduate students, as well as a small increase in the number of returning students. A lot can change between now and August, but we appear to be on track. Keep in mind that while we have had small enrollment increases for the past two years, our fall 2006 figure was still about 700 short of our peak number reached in fall 2001, when the statewide headcount hit 16,878. As we have previously committed, 75 percent of new tuition revenue resulting from enrollment growth will be returned to the departments and colleges through Academic Affairs, while the remaining fourth goes into the General Fund.
STATUS OF SEARCHES
Dean of Business and Industry—Lynne Richardson, dean of the Miller College of Business at Ball State University in Muncie, will begin work at MSU Aug. 1. Her appointment was approved in March by the Board of Trustees.
Vice President for Development and Alumni—MSU Director of Major Gifts John Rush has been named the preferred candidate, subject to Board of Trustees approval.
Dean of the Graduate School and Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs—Search committee interviews with the four internal candidates named finalists for the position were concluded last week.
Vice President for Research and Economic Development—The search committee has recommended two candidates for further consideration.
Director of Diversity and Equity Programs—The internal search was suspended. An external search will begin in the future following re-evaluation of the structure of the position.
We will not have a retirement incentive program this year. Such a step was considered this spring, and may be revisited in the future, but it does not appear to be a viable option at this time, in part because of our current shortage of faculty members.