University Committee on Budget and Financial Planning approved by President Lovell

Ian+Gonzalez%2C+the+vice+president+of+finance%2C+presented+at+a+special+academic+senate+meeting+Nov.+3

Ian Gonzalez, the vice president of finance, presented at a special academic senate meeting Nov. 3

Marquette University has approved the new University Faculty Committee on Budgets and Financial Planning, in an effort to improve shared governance. The approval was announced by University Academic Senate chair and associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences Allison Abbott in the Oct. 18 Academic Senate meeting.

“The change to the academic statutes to form the University Faculty committee on Budgets and Financial Planning was supported by Provost (Kimo) Ah Yun and approved by President (Michael) Lovell,” Abbott said.

The committee, composed of faculty, will review the proposed budget prior to its adoption by the board of trustees each fiscal year. This is a step toward shared governance, meaning there will be faculty input in relation to how the university’s budget and financial planning would affect academic affairs. 

This committee comes after a yearlong battle between the administration and Marquette community members surrounding the university’s budget. Specifically, the budget in relation to academic affairs and faculty salaries. 

The UAS executive committee will work on finding faculty to fill the committee immediately.

“(The committee) will be most effective and successful if we can identify colleagues who are interested and passionate about budget and financial planning,” Abbott said.

The official approval from Lovell and Ah Yun came after unanimous approval by the Academic Senate at the last meeting Sept. 20. Ah Yun also expressed his verbal approval for the committee at that meeting. The proposal was first introduced back in August.

“We need to be very mindful that we’re doing our part in shared governance, and this includes our role in terms of providing feedback, opinion, analysis and shaping our budget and our budget priorities going forward,” Amber Wichowsky, associate professor of political science and Academic Senator, said.

The committee will be comprised of a faculty representative from each college, one representative from the full-time participating faculty librarians, one faculty member who serves on the University Financial Planning and Review Committee and the vice president for finance or another representative from the Office of Finance. 

Committee members will serve three staggered terms. For the inaugural term committee members will be randomly assigned to two, three or four-year terms.  

Even though the committee will be put into effect immediately, Abbott said it’s unlikely before the presentation of the budget to the board of trustees for fiscal year 23.  This presentation normally occurs in December. 

Ah Yun assured senate meeting attendees there have been faculty who have seen the budget as a part of the University Financial Planning and Review Committee, which is directed by the budget office. 

“The University Academic Senate recommended a faculty member who serves as a representative to serve on UFPRC, Gary Adams. I know that he has talked to the Academic Senate and others as well. So, yes there’s faculty eyes, in addition to that there’s another, Lisa Theimann, a nontenure track faculty member who also sits on UFPRC and also sees the budget,” Ah Yun said.

Adams is a professor of management in the College of Business Administration and Thiemann is a clinical associate professor and director of the nurse anesthesia educational program in the College of Nursing.

The committee will also be allowed to offer advice directly to either the provost or president and will respond to requests from them.

The committee will be chaired by an elected tenured faculty member and meet monthly. An annual report would also be delivered to UAS. Although prior to presenting to the entirety of UAS the committee would need to receive approval from the vice president for finance “to ensure the protection of sensitive information.” 

Such “sensitive information” would be specified to the committee members at the time of its presentation. Any information that is only connected to academic affairs will not require such approval.

This story was written by Megan Woolard. She can be reached at megan.woolard@marquette.edu