Student Fee Advisory Committee

Student Affairs Budget Review Team (SABRT) Report, 2001-2002

 

Undergraduates:†††† Elias Enciso (SFAC)†††††††††† Graduates:Dean Gerdeman (SFAC)

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Matt Kaczmarek (USAC)††††††††††††††††††† Reggie Allen (GSA)

 

The Student Affairs Budget Review Team (SABRT) met four times during Winter Quarter 2002. SABRT is comprised of the AVCs for each of the four Student Affairs (SA) divisions (who often bring additional people), and four student members, all of whom are also SFAC representatives.The SABRT was chaired by AVC Soncia Lilly (SA Administration). Claudia Mitchell-Kernan has been serving as Interim VC of Student Affairs after the retirement of VC Winston Doby at the end of 2001.

 

SABRT serves as the internal Student Affairs mechanism by which they prioritize budget requests for the upcoming academic year. Requests are ranked by this body, after which the Vice Chancellor ultimately decides what to send forward, either to the Chancellorís budget process, or to SFAC, depending on the funding sought. This opportunity allows students to partake in each level of the prioritizing process, and provides them with a unique perspective during SFAC budget deliberations.In SABRT, each of the divisions is given one vote, and each of the students are given one vote, so that there is equal weight between the administratorís votes and the students.

 

In a routine year, SABRT would have reviewed budgetary proposals and made recommendations.However, this year in light of the state budget crisis, SABRT has not yet been able to perform this function.In the first meeting on January 17, SABRT reviewed the latest information on budget cuts (estimated to be approximately 5 - 7%) and decided to enact a planning exercise for budgetary reductions in all SA divisions.In the second meeting on February 7, SABRT agreed upon a strategy for the planning exercise and a set of assumptions upon which planning would be based.Previous strategies and precedents for dealing with budget deficits were discussed.The SA divisions agreed upon planning for 4% reductions in 2002-2003 and 2003-2004.At the third meeting on February 28, SABRT discussed the methods and form in which budget plans would be presented and reviews.Potential exemptions from reductions were also discussed.On the fourth meeting on March 14, SABRT reviewed the budget plans for all SA divisions and units.Presentations were made by the various AVCs and comments were solicited from the SABRT representatives.After approval by SABRT, the budget reduction plans were sent to APB.

 

Overall SABRT was an unusual experience for the students this year. The lack of a normal budget process limited the value of student input; most of the planning was conducted internally at SA.SABRT conducted important business but was essentially working with estimates and plans in an unpredictable budgetary situation.The SA staff was generally welcoming of the student input and AVC Lilly made the student representatives feel welcome in the process. In a couple of instances, meetings were scheduled at times when a student indicted he or she was not available; hopefully this situation will be avoided in the future.

 

As of this writing, final budget guidelines are not yet available.SA, along with other units of the university, will be making important budgetary decisions this summer.Several SFAC members will be available to meet with SA during for this process during the summer.Unfortunately, a compressed timeline and a budget process after the regular academic year might make it difficult for students to have meaningful input into the SA budgetary decisions.During Summer 2002 and the 2002-2003 year, SABRT will serve an especially important purpose as difficult decisions are made with respect to budget reductions.

 

Respectfully Submitted,

 

Dean Gerdeman

SFAC Graduate Representative