President's Budget Advisory Committee

Minutes April 16, 1996

Approved by PBAC, 30 April 1996




Approval of the Agenda

Approval of the Minutes of April 2, 1997

The meeting was called to order by Don Farish at 3:11 p.m. who asked for a motion to approve the minutes of April 2 which were approved unanimously. Farish then welcomed Carol Cinquini "back" to the Committee indicating that the Staff Council had determined that it was appropriate for Carol to continue representing the staff on the PBAC through the end of the 95-96 academic year.

Presidential Policy Changes

Farish and Schlereth also reported on two policy changes made by President Armiñana. The President has asked the PBAC to serve as an advisory body on the creation of any new student fee as well as requests to increase existing student based fees. In addition, the President has indicated that the concept of a four year guarantee not to increase campus based student fees is acceptable to him assuming the campus enacts a DSUF. Tracy Terrill questioned whether the DSUF would be subject to Trustee mandated increases in the State University Fee. Farish indicated that this would not be the case.

SSU Audited Financial Statements for Fiscal Year 1994-1995

Schlereth then introduced the first agenda item by asking if there were questions regarding the University's audited financial statements for fiscal year 1994-1995 which had been distributed at the April 2 meeting of the PBAC. Schlereth and Steve Wilson responded to two general questions related to (1) the definition of restricted and unrestricted financial aid grants (Link) and (2) the composition and method of calculation of equipment (Farish, Merrill and Clark).

Proposed Differential State University Fee

Farish then presented the third agenda item--a further discussion of the proposed differential state university fee (DSUF). He indicated that the issue had received favorable coverage in the Press Democrat referencing an editorial which suggested that the DSUF and its proposed method of implementation was a "double good idea" -- first asking if the concept was worthy to ensure quality and second putting the question to a student referendum.

Farish also identified which campus groups had had the opportunity to hear presentations on the Multi-Year Financial Plan (the Plan). Specifically presentations have been made to the PBAC, the Academic Senate, the Staff Council, the Campus Reengineering Committee (CRC) and the Vice-President for Academic Affairs Budget Advisory Committee (VPBAC). Presentations are scheduled for the Associated Students and the Department Chairs. Farish noted that while these presentations were a good first step, significant dialogue with, among and between faculty, staff and students had yet to take place. He suggested that as discussion moved forward on the Plan, it was critical that the differential state university fee proposal be seen as but one part of a variety of initiatives associated with the Plan including efforts to materially improve the campus infrastructure and physical plant, expand the Residence Community and construct a University Center. Failure to grasp the comprehensive nature of the Plan and the relationship between the DSUF and these other aspects could, Farish suggested, cause the students to reject the DSUF.

Farish also indicated that the key issue associated with the Plan was an issue of expectations. He noted that broad consensus existed at SSU regarding the size, ambiance and style that was Sonoma State University. At the same time, as a result of state-wide demographics and full utilization at most other CSU campuses, the very things so strongly valued at SSU were at risk as the CSU Trustees and public policy makers grapple with the problem of how to educate as many as 200,000 new students in the CSU by the year 2005. Farish made the point that if SSU expected to maintain its intimate and small size, clearly the campus would need to distinguish itself from other CSU institutions. Differentiation, particularly a campus distinguished by a relatively small enrollment, class availability, state of the art equipment and exceptional technology could not be maintained within the existing funding and pricing structure that currently finances SSU's operations. Farish concluded his opening comments by suggesting that the Multi-Year Financial Plan and the DSUF were perhaps the most important issues to be faced by the campus in its history and that the faculty, staff students and administrators were all asked to make a choice regarding what they wanted SSU to become.

Discussion then ensued.

Dennis Harris reported on feedback he had been hearing on the campus as a result of presentations of the Plan. Four issues were raised including:

  1. Is the money from the DSUF really needed. Couldn't the budgets of the Executive Office, Administration and Finance and Student Affairs be cut to meet the needs of Academic Affairs?
  2. Concern with the concept of a "public ivy,"
  3. Perception that the DSUF is a done deal and represents the agenda of Farish and Schlereth.
  4. Concern over how money generated by a DSUF would be spent.

Farish thanked Harris for reporting on the feedback and concurred that the words "public ivy" were not the best. He indicated that the concept of SSU being the public university of choice for undergraduate education in California was more appropriate and generally endorsed by the SSU campus community.

Terrill asked if clarification could be obtained regarding a comment made by CSU Chancellor Barry Munitz related to a potential reduction in general fund appropriations for those campuses who adopted a DSUF. Farish responded by saying that it was his understanding that this concept was a trial balloon that met with general disfavor among the CSU Presidents. It was unlikely that the concept would become reality since it would eliminate the incentive of creating a DSUF in the first place. Harris indicated that language could be inserted in the referendum indicating that should the concept be implemented, the DSUF would be eliminated.

Carol Cinquini commented on issues that she saw as important related to the DSUF. Specifically, she indicated that the idea of adequate course sections making it relatively easy to graduate in four years represented a significant value since students would be able to enter the work force more quickly and reduce the cost of higher education by shortening the time to degree. She also pointed out that the DSUF would be incorporated into the calculation of a student's financial aid package.

Terrill raised the question of how the DSUF concept would impact the three tiers of public higher education in California. He noted that the DSUF would make some campuses not quite a CSU campus but not a UC institution either.

V-B. Motion to Table Vote on 2nd Reading of DSUF Until April 30, 1996

Harris then moved to table, until the April 30, 1996 PBAC meeting, a vote on the DSUF concept for SSU raised in a first reading on April 2, 1996 and in second reading for action at the present meeting.
A second was obtained by Marty Ruddell.

Discussion then ensured on the motion to table.

Farish asked Harris what he thought could be learned between the present and April 30. Harris responded that waiting would permit time for the Associated Students to hear a presentation on the Multi-Year Financial Plan and for the VPBAC to take an official action either endorsing or rejecting the Plan.

Wilson argued against the motion indicating the role of the PBAC was to make strategic financial recommendations to the President. He also pointed out that it was important for the PBAC to take ownership of the concept in order that it not be seen as a Farish/Schlereth idea.

Harris responded by indicating that he believed Wilson to be correct but that it was important for the PBAC to know the feelings of the VPBAC on this issue since the DSUF impacted primarily the instructional program,

Charles Merrill argued against the motion indicating he was not confident that VPBAC would take action on the item prior to April 30. In addition, he suggested that the PBAC should endorse the DSUF in concept and then begin the process of working out the specifics with the help of the VPBAC.

Terrill argued against the motion arguing he was prepared to vote on the DSUF in concept at today's meeting.

Cinquini argued against the motion indicating the the issue had been on the table for several months, that it had been publicized in the Press Democrat and that much was at stake. She argued the PBAC needed to move quickly.

Ruddell argued in favor of the motion indicating she felt it unwise to vote prior to the presentation to the Associated Students.

Farish commented that he did not wish the PBAC to do anything now that it was not fully prepared to do.

Rand Link argued against the motion indicating he saw no need to wait for a vote. He concurred with Wilson that it was time for the PBAC to take ownership for the concept.

Harris then withdrew his motion with the concurrence of Ruddell.

V-C. Motion to Approve on 2nd Reading the Proposed SSU DSUF

Harris then called the question related to the motion made on first reading at the April 2, 1996 PBAC meeting related to the DSUF. The motion was re-read to the Committee and is reproduced below:

Harris then moved that the PBAC endorse the concept of the Differential State University Fee

Terrill offered the following substitute motion:

Approve the State University Fee Differential as a concept to take to the students via a binding referendum in Fall, 1996 which will include a contract with students that there will be a four year moratorium on new campus based fees and a four year moratorium on any increases in existing campus-based fees. In addition, proceeds from the State University Fee Differential will be allocated among identified categories on a percentage basis which shall not change for at least four years.

Farish asked Harris if he would accept Terrill's motion as a friendly amendment to the Harris motion. After discussion, Harris argued that because Terrill's motion was substantially different from his own, he could not accept the Terrill motion as a friendly amendment.

A second to the Terrill motion was then obtained from Margarita Zuniga.

Discussion then ensued.

Terrill indicated that the key reason he wished to maintain the language of his motion was that it served to codify the legislative intent of the DSUF proposal.

Harris suggested, not disagreeing with Terrill, that it was difficult to codify the legislative intent until agreement had been reached regarding how the DSUF proceeds would or should be utilized.

Farish agreed pointing out that until further discussion and debate took place and campus consensus reached on how the DSUF would be utilized, it was prudent to keep an endorsement of the DSUF concept as broad as possible.

Terrill indicated that he wished to define the DSUF, provide structure and general parameters that could then be fleshed out. He indicated that it was difficult to endorse a concept without understanding the basis parameters.

Les Adler indicated that he supported Terrill's thoughts but would prefer the motion language to be kept fairly general and then let students and faculty indicate agreement once the specifics and details had been determined.

Cinquini then offered a friendly amendment to the Terrill motion which is reproduced below:

Approve the State University Fee Differential as a concept to take to the students via a binding referendum in Fall, 1996 which will include a contract with students that there will be a four year moratorium on new campus based fees and a four year moratorium on any increases in existing campus-based fees.

Terrill did not accept the friendly amendment.

Link spoke in opposition to the Terrill motion indicating that additional information was needed particularly with regard to the concept of a four year moratorium on campus-based fees should the DSUF be enacted.

Harris asked a technical question regarding who actually would write the referendum language. Schlereth responded that under the proposed Trustee policy on Student Fees a committee appointed by the President, whose majority members would be students would write the referendum language.

Merrill commented that he sensed that it might not be possible to obtain an affirmative vote on the Terrill motion and perhaps it might be better to withdrawal it and bring the motion back at a later meeting. Another alternative, Merrill argued, could be the creation of a substitute motion.

Terrill responded that he would rather have a vote taken on his motion as presented.

Larry Clark raised concern about the impact of a negative vote at the PBAC level on the Terrill motion.

Schlereth then suggested to Terrill that he believed consensus existed among the PBAC on most of the Terrill motion. Specifically he noted that he felt Committee members agreed with the concept of a binding referendum and were also supportive of a four-year moratorium on new campus-based fees or increases to existing student based fees. He urged Terrill to reconsider accepting the Cinquini friendly amendment since it did not diminish student control over the ultimate disposition of any DSUF proceeds and permitted the PBAC to endorse the DSUF concept in an affirmative fashion.

Terrill concurred and accepted the friendly amendment.

Bill Ingels then questioned whether the proposed four-year moratorium on campus-based student fees applied to the Student Union Corporation. Terrill indicated that it did. Ingels then questioned the wisdom of this given inflationary pressures faced by entities like the Union.

Farish responded to Ingels but saying he understood Terrill's rationale and that the campus would have to make certain that the various operational needs of campus and its auxiliary corporations were met with the presence of the four year moratorium on fee increases.

Clark then called the question on the Terrill motion as amended which was re-read to the Committee as follows:

Approve the State University Fee Differential as a concept to take to the students via a binding referendum in Fall, 1996 which will include a contract with students that there will be a four year moratorium on new campus based fees and a four year moratorium on any increases in existing campus-based fees.

The motion passed with no negative votes. Link abstained from voting citing the need for more information regarding the impact of the four-year moratorium on campus-based fee increases or new campus-based fees.

Clark and Merrill complimented Terrill for his excellent work and leadership with respect to the motion. The Committee as a whole concurred with Clark and Merrill by applauding Terrill.


Farish then adjourned the meeting at 4:59 PM.

Minutes prepared by L. Furukawa-Schlereth

PBAC minutes 1995-1996
Updated 2007-12-14