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Thursday, November 30, 2017

Task force to examine instructional budgeting and planning

Earlier this month, I appointed the CLA Instructional Budgeting and Planning Task Force, which includes representatives from CLA offices, department chairs, and administrators. The task force will examine issues related to instructional planning and delivery and the coordination of three-year planning/budgeting and annual budget requests in the college.

Significant goals of a review of the TA/UI-TINs (Teaching Assistant/Unassigned Instruction - Temporary Instructional Needs) funding allocations are to determine whether we might develop simplified, transparent models, and to determine where we might be more efficient. With our three-year planning process integrated into our operations, it is now a good time to review the instructional budget process to respond to some of the dissatisfaction I’ve heard expressed about the current arrangements. Perhaps TA/UI and TINs can be a combined source of funds rather than two separate processes. Perhaps we could find ways to fold these funds into the three-year planning process to provide more stability and predictability for departments. Perhaps we’ll find the current system works best. These programs serve multiple purposes, including undergraduate instruction and graduate student support, so the issues are complex.

The second set of issues for the task force’s consideration is the coordination of our annual budget process and three-year planning to avoid duplicative processes and reduce confusion between the older annual process and the newer three-year process. Now that we have moved into the three-year planning process, it is an opportune time to see if we might like to shift away from this approach of an annual call for requests and, if so, what might be the preferred way to do so.

Michael Kim (Chair, Council of Chairs; Director, School of Music) and Penny Edgell (Associate Dean for Social Sciences; Professor of Sociology) have agreed to serve as co-chairs of the CLA Instructional Budgeting and Planning Task Force, and I thank them for doing so. The other members of the task force are department chairs Elisia Cohen (Journalism and Mass Communication), Lynn Lukkas (Art), Monica Luciana (Psychology), Nita Krevans (Classical and Near Eastern Studies), Ronald Greene (Communication Studies), Charlotte Melin (German, Scandinavian, and Dutch), Andrew Elfenbein (English); Kara Kersteter (Chair of Administrators Forum; Anthropology Administrator); Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Programs Steven Manson; Chief Financial Officer Brent Gustafson; Assistant Dean for Curriculum Nanette Hanks; Chief of Staff Katie Louis; Stacy Bonn, Accountant II; and John McEwen, Assistant to the Associate Dean for Arts and Humanities.

I have asked the task force to report with recommendations by April 23, 2018.