Minutes of September 12, 1996 Meeting
The meeting convened at 10:12 a.m. in room 817 Cathedral of
UPBC members present were: Toni Carbo, James Cassing, Jerome
Cochran, Richard Colwell, James DeAngelis, James Maher, Keith McDuffie,
Linda Messineo, Arthur Ramicone, Ellen Beam Rudy, Alec Stewart, Brian
Ulery, Susan Whitney, and Philip Wion. Also present were: Ann Dykstra,
Jeffrey Liebmann, William Madden, Jeffrey Masnick, and Robert Pack.
UPBC members not present were: Mary Ann Barber, Thomas Detre,
Ingrid Glasco, Brian Hart, Josephine Olson, Richard Pratt, Margaret
Rechter, Jeffrey Romoff, Peter Shane, Michael Stuckart, and Bruce
Approval of Minutes and Report of the Chair
The minutes of the July 16 and August 29, 1996 UPBC meetings were
approved. Maher reported that the University has achieved the largest
freshman class in its history and that ongoing initiatives aimed at
improving undergraduate life have been well received by students. He
added that student retention is still being examined and that meetings
with regional community colleges are proceeding to reach planned goals in
the undergraduate population of junior transfers.
FY 1998 Budget Submission to the Commonwealth
Ramicone reported on the proposed FY 1998 operating budget request
due to be submitted to the Commonwealth this month. He reported that the
request is very preliminary, and represents only the beginning of the
nine-month process employed by the Commonwealth to set the amount of
funding provided to higher education institutions. Major components of the
a requested 6.0% increase in the Commonwealth appropriation;
a planned 4.5% increase in tuition rates;
a planned 4.5% increase in the compensation budget; and
planned incremental expenditures for debt service, new technology
systems, student services, and other inflationary costs.
Ramicone noted that the request is not unreasonable given that other
colleges and universities in Pennsylvania gave salary increases in FY 1996
while the University had a salary freeze. In response to Ulery's
question, Ramicone indicated that other institutions are submitting
similar planned tuition increases for FY 1998.
Discussion of the Draft Report of the University Capital Planning
Maher discussed recent efforts to survey students and otherwise
improve information on facilities needs and student attitudes. Pack
emphasized the overall focus of the Report on the University's academic
mission and on improving student life through enhanced housing and
recreation space. Rudy cited the findings of a recent study done by the
School of Engineering that highlighted, among other things, the lack of
campus green space and recreational opportunities.
DeAngelis expressed concern about the need to provide more
information to interested parties regarding off-campus housing. He noted
that this service, slated for improvement in the housing strategy, was
curtailed this summer with some undesirable consequences for graduate
students. He also suggested that the rationale for some of the proposed
conversions of University-owned "graduate" housing needed further
analysis. Pack replied that the staging of initiatives included in the
plan is dynamic and that a more detailed schedule of planned housing
project implementation is forthcoming.
Maher emphasized the importance of the proposed housing strategy
to the University's future success. He stressed the importance of careful
planning in order to solve problems without "throwing money" at them.
Pack also cited the importance of working with the local community.
Wion expressed concern over the proposed method of financing
specific projects, citing the inclusion of College of Business
Administration space in the Multi-Purpose Academic Complex. He suggested
that part of the MPAC funding be derived from gifts, given the original
recommendation of the UPBC relative to the CBA building that is not
included in the capital plan. Pack replied that the plan cancels the
originally-proposed CBA building and that CBA can be accommodated in
existing and planned space. Therefore, no incremental costs will be borne
by the University.
The meeting adjourned at 12:05 p.m.