President's Budget Advisory Committee

Minutes December 11, 1997

Approved by PBAC, 29 January 1998

Members Present:

Staff Present:

Members Absent:

Staff Absent:

Meeting Agenda

Approval of the Agenda

Don Farish brought the meeting to order at 8:15 AM and asked for a motion to approve the Agenda. A motion was made by Dennis Harris. A second was obtained from Debbie Gallagher. The Agenda was approved unanimously.

Approval of the Minutes of October 2, 1997

Farish then asked Members to consider the Minutes of November 20, 1997 which had been distributed electronically prior to the meeting. Members approved the Minutes by consensus.

Presentation of Preliminary Financing Model for Fiscal 97-98

Discussion then turned the list of financing alternatives developed by the PBAC in Spring, 1997 that had not been discussed at the November 20, 1997 meeting. The following items were discussed:

1. Utilize Division-based reserve balances in Trust or Foundation for one-time needs.

During discussion, Members raised the following points in this regard:

  1. The donor's specific intention needed to be considered before redirecting funds of this type;
  2. Panic buying strategies to deplete funds prior to fiscal year end needed to be avoided.
  3. A more complete understanding of the nature of the funds in question was needed by PBAC members.

To assist in the development of a recommendation on this potential strategy, Farish requested that the Office of Financial Services prepare a listing of Trust and Foundation balances as of December 31, 1997 for discussion at the January meeting of the PBAC.

2. Eliminate general-fund support for school-based development efforts.

Members discussed the merits and weaknesses of a centralized vs. a decentralized development effort. In addition, some Members indicated a need for the development of an over-all philosophy regarding development strategies. Members agreed that the PBAC was not the appropriate body to address either topic. Little support was generated by the Members for implementing this financing strategy since it could potentially represent a loss of support for the overall advancement activity which was already perceived as minimal.

3. Increase the student-faculty ratio via the reduction of part-time faculty

Members did not see this financing strategy as viable for Sonoma State University.

4. Eliminate faculty development resources.

Members did not see this financing strategy as viable for Sonoma State University and argued that additional resources should be devoted to the area of employee training and development for faculty, staff and administrative employees. Victor Garlin questioned how much money was spent on administrative travel (excluding CSU business) in Academic Affairs. Silvia Barajas indicated that she had provided this data in Spring, 1997 for the PBAC but would provide it again at the January, 1998 PBAC meeting.

5. Reduce faculty release time.

Farish indicated that the Vice-President for Academic Affairs Budget Advisory Committee (VPBAC) was discussing this topic. He noted that data existed regarding release time provided by the Provost's Office but was not readily available for release time provided by the Deans. This information was being gathered for review and analysis by the VPBAC. Sue Parker noted that the VPBAC was also discussing the need for the restoration of release time for Department Chairs and Coordinators and that shifts in release time allocations were a possibility. Harris noted that release time was really an issue for VPBAC and not PBAC although Link indicated that it would be helpful for the PBAC to have a more complete understanding of this budget item in analyzing overall campus priorities. Farish agreed to provide data on release time at the January meeting. Barajas noted that similar information had been provided to the PBAC in Spring, 1997.

6. Reduce overhead expenses associated with Academic Centers.

Clarification on this item was provided by Schlereth noting Academic Center included such areas as Continuing Education, the Center for Anthropological Studies, the California Institute for Human Services, the Center for Critical Thinking etc. Farish noted that he, Schlereth and Wilson were studying this issue in relation to the utilization of indirect cost recovery dollars provided by the academic grants and contract function.

7. Contract with community colleges for remedial education.

Members agreed that this potential initiative primarily applied for Mathematics and English. Bill Barnier indicated that the Math Department had become much more efficient in providing remedial education which was now primarily for freshmen students. Katharyn Crabbe indicated that similar progress was being made with English. Farish asked Barajas to gather data regarding total dollars budgeted for remedial education at SSU for fiscal 97-98 for distribution at the January, PBAC meeting.

8. Move to a tri-semester model for instructional delivery.

Advantages and disadvantages of this initiative were discussed. A key advantage included the inclusion of certain summer-based programs, primarily in the School of Education, in the third semester at a lower cost to students that currently charged in the Summer School. A key disadvantage would be the loss of Summer job income to students who participated in the third semester.


Given the time, Farish indicated that the PBAC would continue discussion of the following remaining initiatives at the January PBAC meeting:

  1. Evaluate the costs and benefits of Residence Life.
  2. Evaluate the costs and benefits of the Library
  3. Evaluate the costs and benefits of Information Technology
  4. Evaluate the costs and benefits of the Customer Service Center.
  5. Utilize salary savings that occur when employees retire and are replaced by lower cost new employees.

Minutes prepared by Larry Furukawa-Schlereth

PBAC minutes 1997-1998
Updated 2007-12-14