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Monday, June 5, 2017

Results of the FY 2018 Compact Process for CLA

I shared an overview of this year’s Compact process with you in March. Each college is required as part of the Compact process to put dollars on the table for reallocation -- some of these funds may return to a college for investment in areas identified by the college in the Compact, while others are moved to support University initiatives or address budget deficits across the system.

In our Compact submission, CLA needed to identify $1.6 million of reallocation options. The options we put forward relied heavily on reductions in CLA college-level offices and included multiple positions eliminated as well as reduced Supplies, Equipment, and Other Expenses (aka SEE) funding
across our administrative units. We also made a small overall reduction in TA/UI allocations and will work in collaboration with departments to determine how we might achieve additional curricular/instructional savings. Pinched finances are not easy for any of us and mean we can’t do everything we would like to be able to do. The glass half full is that they provide all of us an opportunity to examine what we might do differently. 

Unfortunately, the University’s tight financial constraints precluded the funding of CLA’s FY 2018 Compact investment requests. We had sought funding to bolster CLA Roadmap goals through support for new faculty positions, including one cross-college position; graduate student career development; undergraduate learning abroad scholarships; remodeling and facilities improvements for the UMTC Asian American College Excellence Project joint with the College of Education and Human Development; and operational capacity to expand CLAgency (the student agency that works with departments on communications, including department e-newsletters -- examples of fall 2016 newsletters here; spring 2017 examples coming soon) and further grow the work of the CLA Reporting and Analytics team through our CLARA data transparency project (open to all CLA faculty and staff). 

CLA joined the other colleges in this disappointing outcome. A review of Attachment 1 in the President’s recommended budget (pages 41-42) shows that incremental investments went largely to campus-level services (e.g., facilities, classrooms, technology, libraries) and to colleges and campuses running deficits to balance their budgets. Relatively small amounts were returned to fund college initiatives. 

There are nonetheless some positive aspects of the Compact outcome for CLA. We received funding to cover the higher costs of compensation in FY 2018, including the cost of salaries and higher fringe costs. This totals just over $4 million. This amount includes the increased fringe cost due to rising graduate tuition, which in other years the college has had to fund internally. We received an offset to some higher cost pool charges that we’ll experience in FY 2018. The Compact also includes some modest graduate student funding support that is the result of one of our previous-year Compact requests, and provides some modest support for a faculty start-up package. We had a small net amount returned to us for discretionary use.

Although we are disappointed that we did not receive funding for the investments we submitted, I remain encouraged and energized by the momentum we have built within CLA as a result of the dedication and innovation of our faculty and staff. We have made major strides, thanks to you, and we’ve built a strong foundation upon which to launch our capital campaign later this year. You are making amazing things happen and are transforming lives, and for me it’s an honor to see this dedication and creativity in action. We will further advance our efforts to build CLA as a destination college as we head into the new fiscal year, and I look forward with great optimism to our continued partnership on that work.