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April 29, 2004

University Planning and Budgeting Committee Minutes

The meeting convened at 2:00 p.m. in room 817 Cathedral of Learning.

UPBC members present were: James Alexander, Frank Cassell, Jerome Cochran, Richard Colwell, N. John Cooper, David DeJong, Christine Dollaghan, Gerald Holder, Lindsay Howard, James Maher, Linda Marts, Maureen McClure, Carol Neuner, Mary Ann Peterson, Arthur Ramicone, and Philip Wion. Also present were: Jeffrey Liebmann, Jeffrey Masnick, Charles McLaughlin, and Robert Pack.
UPBC members not present were: Nicholas Bircher, Liz Culliton, Jacqueline Dunbar-Jacob, Ronald Hoelzeman, Arthur Levine, Michael Stuckart, Evelyn Talbott, Stephen Wisniewski, and Thomas Wolf.

Approval of Minutes and Report of the Chair

The minutes of the November 13, 2003 UPBC meeting was approved. Maher discussed the ongoing work of the ad hoc Subcommittee on Strategic Issues, stating that he would be giving the group a presentation on the University’s strategic planning.

Discussion of the Commonwealth FY 2005 Budget

McLaughlin presented a summary of the University’s $184.5 million appropriation request for FY 2005. This figure represents an increase of $6 million over the original appropriation approved for the University in FY 2003. In that year, however, the University actually only received $173 of the approved amount. The Governor’s recommended FY 2005 budget includes a 2.5% increase in the Educational and General budgets of the University, Penn State, and Temple and no funding for special line items. McLaughlin indicated that revenue estimates for the state are up this year, although efforts to approve gambling in the state are still in discussion. McLaughlin also indicated that while other states have used tobacco settlement funds to balance their budgets, Pennsylvania has not resorted to this strategy.

Matters Arising

Wion reported that the Attribution Subcommittee had met several times to streamline the methodology to make it simpler to produce. The new methodology will not use a step-down of support unit costs, and will shift some traceable and some assignable costs to the general cost category, as being too small to affect the analysis. More precise drivers will be used, as well.
In response to a question, Cochran reported that the University is working on its health insurance contract for next year. Cochran added that he will soon present a report to the Committee on the impact of current health benefits for faculty retirees on the University’s future budgets and the impact of changes to those policies. Maher indicated that projected changes, which are not expected to be immediate, will be humane and even generous compared to national norms without the potentially staggering financial commitments.

The meeting adjourned at 2:40 p.m.

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