Good morning, everyone. I’m sorry for the delay in posting your (usually) regularly scheduled blog post. The full agenda (with supporting documentation) for the June 19 Board of Trustees meeting is available at http://www.uky.edu/Trustees/agenda/full/2012/jun/welcome.html. Below are some particular items of interest.
President’s Report 3 (Removal of a Board Member)
This was the second reading for the proposed change to Governing Regulations II (“Governance of the University of Kentucky”). KRS statute has outlined the process for removal of a Board member for many, many years, but it was not documented/duplicated in UK’s regs. As part of the upcoming SACSCOC accreditation (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges – they recently changed their name from just ”SACS”), UK has added that information to Governing Regulations II. Only the Governor can remove a Board member, and it must be for just cause. I personally think that elected trustees should be subject to removal by a process conducted by their constituents, but I don’t feel strongly enough about it to try to change state law!
Finance Committee Report 4 (Budget Revision)
The Board approved a budget revision for the Athletics department – when the budget was created for 11-12, the basketball schedule had not yet been solidified. A 20th home game was added (they budgeted for 19) and Athletics had to receive approval from the Board to use the money generated from that previously unbudgeted 20th game. The income received will be primarily used for the renovations of the Softball Complex but a portion will go towards renovations for the ROTC program in Barker Hall.
Finance Committee Report 7 (Campus Security System)
Over the next three to four years, UK will see implementation of a campuswide security system, including cameras, loudspeakers, access to remote video feed for security personnel and employee/student security badges for building entry. The security cameras and loudspeakers will be located inside buildings and outside; the cameras will not be hidden and will look like security cameras (dark dome with a white base). Some sites off campus with security needs (some buildings at Coldstream, for example) will also be included.
Finance Committee Report 13 (Fiscal Year 2012-2013 Operating and Capital Budget)
This was the big item on the agenda, in my mind. I sent out a few emails soliciting input from staff – I wasn’t inundated, but it would be difficult to respond to them all. THANK YOU for sending me your opinions – they really guided my thoughts.
I think that by now, everyone is aware of the details of the budget and the cuts that took place. I’ll just say that I voted against the budget and prepared a short statement to read during the meeting, explaining my rationale for voting against it. That statement is reproduced below, in italics.
One thing that I have learned is that no one on the Board likes surprises when conducting business during meetings. When I am voting or speaking against something, I let the Board Chair and President know in advance as a courtesy. I have a good working relationship with them and other Board members, so voting against this budget does not affect my ability to work with them in the future.
We trustees come from widely varying backgrounds and have just as wide a variety in our opinions. Perhaps what I appreciate the most is that Board members discuss and debate and maybe even argue a little bit, but when the meeting is over, we shake hands, wish each other well and look forward to the next time we can meet and discuss and debate.
As always, if you need to contact me, try email (firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com) or you can stop by my office – my contact information is in the directory.
One last thing - if you or one of your staff colleagues wins an award, recieves a grant, is elected to your professional board, etc., please let me know. I'd like to start recognizing you in my blog posts. We as staff do many, many wonderful things on this campus and sometimes we don't toot our own horns as much as we should!
With very best regards,
Statement Regarding the Budget (June 19, 2012)
First, I’d like to say to staff employees, including Angie Martin, staff who work in all areas across this University and put in countless hours to get all this information organized and together in one place so I, at the very least, could understand it, T H A N K Y O U.
I have heard from a number of constituents. Many commented on perceptions that decisions in departments are made based on favoritism, not on how the University’s mission can continue to be accomplished. Layoffs affect everyone – employees, students, and the community.
I regret that I must vote “no” on the proposed 2012-13 budget. When I make a big decision, I try to concentrate on a simple question - what am I trying to accomplish? I’m concerned that a major accomplishment of the recent position eliminations was having numbers add up properly on a spreadsheet. That type of simple math is not conducive to helping us reach our goals as a University.
I am concerned that the cuts that have already been enacted are too deep. Many employees were and still are willing to individually endure a paper cut, a small decrease in pay, to avoid watching a co-worker suffer a life-changing gash. I think the administration could have presented a budget that still moves us closer to our goals of improving facilities and our human capital, but sets aside a little less money for capital debt service pool and other items.
My biggest concern is that a vote in favor of the 12-13 budget is that it will be seen as an implicit statement of approval for the cuts scheduled for 2013-2014. If the 13-14 cuts take place, the savings from the cuts will fund the merit raises; I have deep concerns about how our performance evaluation process for staff is currently conducted – it has a number of problems. The evaluation process is inconsistent across campus, it is highly subjective and some departments dictate to supervisors the scores that can and cannot be given. Another issue that needs to be addressed is ensuring that no administrator carves out a little extra money from the raise pool for his or her direct reports, leaving less for the employees further down on the org chart.
Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to comment at length about this very important issue. President Capilouto, I look forward to our future interactions, whatever the topic may be.