Minutes of January 7, 1999 Meeting
The meeting convened at 2:04 p.m. in room 817 Cathedral of
UPBC members present were: Carolyn Ban, Mary Ann Barber, James
Cassing, Jerome Cochran, Richard Colwell, Van Beck Hall, Nathan Hershey,
James Maher, Josephine Olson, Richard Pratt, Arthur Ramicone, Ellen Beam
Rudy, Bruce Williams, and Philip Wion. Also present were: Margaret
Duronio, Jeffrey Liebmann, and Jeffrey Masnick.
UPBC members not present were: Frank Cassell, Joel Cornfeld,
Ingrid Glasco, Arthur Levine, Carol Neuner, Margaret Rechter, Alec
Stewart, Michael Stuckart, Alyson Wallach, and Susan Whitney.
Approval of the Minutes and Report of the Chair
The minutes of the December 14, 1998 UPBC meeting were approved.
Membership on UPBC subcommittees was discussed with the general consensus
being that participation on subcommittees should be restricted to members
of the UPBC.
Report of the Parameters Subcommittee
Rudy discussed the traditional role of the Parameters Subcommittee
and the scope of budget areas covered by its deliberations. She asked
members for their input to FY 2000 discussions, specifically related to
priority areas or alternative approaches. Hershey expressed concern about
the progress being made on classroom facility renovations. Maher replied
that a recent reclassification of room priorities will redirect funds
toward classrooms most used as opposed to the rooms most in need of
renovation. He agreed that cost overruns remain a concern, but that the
problem is under control.
Cassing asked how funds directed to programmatic improvements have
been spent and whether any systematic effort exists to review these
investments after a certain period of time. Maher responded that the
effort to reallocate funds from programs of lower priority to those of
higher priority has accomplished most of the more easily achievable goals.
He cited the difficulty with comprehensive evaluations of this sort,
stressing the importance of basing fiscal choices on academic decisions.
Maher added that the majority of Provost's area units now focus more on
the effective use of existing resources than the pursuit of limited
University resources. Maher expressed confidence that, given necessary
investments in student life and academic initiatives, the University will
maintain its current level of operation among the elite universities in
Rudy cited concern over the condition of student dormitories and
the state of students' social lives at the Pittsburgh Campus. Maher
responded that the Parameters Subcommittee can certainly discuss the
existing Facilities Plan and the current schedule of dorm renovation and
construction. He added that residence life programs were recently
reviewed and recommendations are being implemented. Also, the Enrollment
Management Committee has been charged with assessing progress in this
Wion expressed concern over the practice of basing compensation
increases on budgeted salaries, rather than using actual expenditures as
the base, which are lower due to resignations, hiring decisions, and other
factors. While some of the imprecision was due to the need for a new
payroll system, Maher stated that units are forced to use available
personnel funds to cover operating expenditure increases, which the budget
has been unable to fund in recent years.
Update from the Salary Policy Review Subcommittee
Cochran reported that the Subcommittee has met twice and conducted
lengthy discussions of the issues involved. He cited that one area of
possible consensus is that a different policy may be needed to address
faculty salaries and staff salaries. Another area of possible agreement
is the need to address merit increases in ways other than just increases
to an employee's base salary. Cochran cited strong ideological
differences between Subcommittee members, particularly on the relative
importance of merit increases and cost of living adjustments. He added
that members have also expressed concern over the effectiveness of
existing performance appraisal processes, particularly given their
importance in assigning merit increases.
The meeting adjourned at 3:30 p.m.