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January 7, 1999


Input sought on planning & budgeting committees

To the editor:

The Universityπs Planning and Budgeting System (PBS) is now in its seventh year. The system is designed to offer faculty and staff the opportunity to participate in the process through the Planning and Budgeting Committees (PBCs) of their units.

The Senate budget policies committee (SPBC) wishes to call attention to the collegial and participatory intention of the PBS process. The PBS document explicitly states that ≥Planning and budgeting decisions are legitimate only if they are both based on f ull information and arrived at through an open, formal process.≤ Under the PBS our committee ≥is responsible for reviewing whether the PBS procedures are followed and whether all constituencies involved are provided adequate opportunities to participate in the process and to be informed of its outcomes.≤ The SBPC rece ntly met with members of school-level PBCs who were willing to discuss the activities of their committees during the past year.

To varying degrees, the focus of these school-level PBCs appeared to be much more in the realm of planning than in budgeting. The SBPC notes some concern regarding what appears to be a lack of data and information transfer between the senior vice chancell or-level PBCs and the school-level PBCs. Since PBC members from only four schools participated in our meeting, we are interested in any concerns that other PBC members might have as they relate to the issue of data and information transfer and the PBS pro cess in general.

Also, it was of interest to note that in attempting to arrange this meeting, I discovered that faculty members from two different schools were surprised to learn that a PBC still existed in their unit. They were unaware of any PBC meetings having been hel d during the 1997-98 academic year. The Senate budget policies committee intends to hold a meeting with members of the PBCs of administrative units in the near future. From the responses received in last yearπs survey and from discussions that have occurr ed with heads of administrative units, it would appear that the function of PBCs in administrative units is quite different from that of academic units. The Senate budget policies committee is interested in learning more about the operation of PBCs in the administrative units. The Senate budget policies committee is available to help in PBS implementation and to provide information. We are particularly interested in hearing from any faculty or staff member who can provide specific examples of how/where t he PBS process is NOT being carried out in their unit.

Any member of the University community who has questions or concerns may contact either me (by phone: 648-8445, fax: 383-8662, by e-mail:, or by campus mail: 386 Salk Hall) or Richard Pratt, chair of the Senate budget policies commi ttee (624-9052, fax 624-9163, e-mail, 221B Allen Hall).

Thomas G. Zullo

Chair Process Review Committee

University Senate Budget Policies Committee

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