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Planning and Budget Council discuss future

Katherine Dowdy
Staff Writer

  The Planning and Budget Council (PBC) joined together with the University Council in the University Center’s Executive Dining Room to discuss and revise the budget plan for 2010.   The main topic of discussion at the recent Planning and Budget Council meeting was how to maintain the student-to-faculty ratio.
 With an enrollment total of 11,092 students, and still increasing, the PBC and University Council are planning the FY10 Original Educational and General (E&G) Budget to be about $600,000 for about a 7 percent enrollment increase.
 Due to this increased enrollment, the councils constructed a formula to determine new positions for faculty. In addition, the formula will consider the number of majors and credit hours as well as the backlog of students trying to get into classes. The councils are seeking solutions to these problems that won’t increase costs or affect the curriculum and class schedules.
 In this constructed formula, the PBC and University Council will administer the money to Academic Affairs, and then Academic Affairs decides where positions will go.
 In order to determine where these positions will be filled, each department makes a request for a new position and the deans look over and evaluate these requests.
  Dr. Patrick J. Schloss made clear that he wants to have clear procedures to control those positions and find balance for faculty and students alike.
 The councils are also producing a formula for providing equally adequate services for students. One of the biggest problems of the increase in enrollment that affects students is the availability of seats for each class.
  An immediate assumption would be that the councils would simply add more seats to the current classes. However, this impacts not only the student-to-teacher ratio and space, but also the availability of help to the individual student from the instructor.�
 As an alternative to this problem, the councils created eight super sections with 150 or more students for the Fall 2009 semester. According to the Budget Summary for March 2009, this means that 0.4 percent of all undergraduate sections and 0.8 percent of all undergraduate courses are offered for this fall semester. One course represents 2.5 percent of a student’s total course load.
 “I am proud that our faculty has risen to the challenge,” Dr. Schloss said. “There is no question that they will demonstrate a level of excellence typical of our university.”

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