Joint Letter From CISE Faculty

The following is a letter to President Machen jointly written and unanimously approved by 25 CISE Faculty members on Friday 13, 2012 in response to Dean Abernathy’s proposed budget-cutting plan for the College of Engineering. You can find a pdf copy here.


April 13, 2012

Dear President Machen,

Thursday’s Faculty Senate Resolution (see Appendix) reaffirms the faculty’s and the administration’s responsibility to engage in a shared governance process concerning budget cuts and restructuring (required steps listed below, citing the UF Constitution Article VI(1)(E), Senate Bylaws 22, Dec 2009 Resolution).

This was further emphasized by (1) your statement on Thursday that we need to take time to deliberate and discuss the consequences of recurring cuts, and that we have at least a 3-month time frame to do so, and (2) Provost Glover’s statement that it was important for the faculty to provide alternative budget cut plans. Hence we, members of the CISE faculty, respectfully request that:

  •  The Engineering Dean immediately cease all steps toward implementing her proposed plan; rescind provisional notices of termination already given to CISE staff; and cease making provisional agreements with individual faculty members about what department, if any, they will be moved to (see justification in Footnote #1).
  • The Dean provide an analysis of both the near and long term revenue gains and losses expected from the proposed changes, including projected changes in weighted SCH’s, grants, donations, as well as an analysis of the projected impact on faculty and students.
  • The Dean provide the CISE faculty full budget information (for each department, institute, center and supporting unit in the college, including a complete breakdown of RCM budget categories and revenue streams, in the format of the university budget book) so that the CISE faculty may provide alternative budget and restructuring plans that are cogent and realistic (see justification in Footnote #2).
  • The deadline for the College of Engineering faculty to provide alternative budget and restructuring plans be moved to June 15 (see justifications in Footnotes #1 and #2).
  • Two university level committees be established. The first would be charged with the task of evaluating the costs and benefits of alternative College of Engineering budget plans; the second would be charged with monitoring the shared governance process steps taken within the College of Engineering and ensuring that the steps identified below are followed. We feel the committees should include representation from at least 3 relevant colleges (see justification in Footnote #3) that at least half of the members of the first committee be comprised of Faculty Senate members, and that the second committee be comprised solely of Faculty Senate members.
Respectfully and sincerely,

Members of the CISE faculty

Shared Governance Process Steps Concerning Restructuring and Reorganization:

  1. Provide “a proposal that includes a description of the proposed change, the rationale for the change, its budgetary implications, and its impact on faculty, staff, and students,” (Senate Bylaw 22)
  2. Provide “a tally of the vote of the faculty in the unit(s) affected by the restructuring,” (Senate Bylaw 22)
  3. Provide “a description of the input received from appropriate Academic Unit faculty governing bodies,” (Senate Bylaw 22)
  4. Provide “a statement of support from the appropriate Dean or Director, Vice President, and Provost,” (Senate Bylaw 22)
  5. Provide “a statement of support from the University Curriculum Committee and the Graduate Council as appropriate,” (Senate Bylaw 22)
  6. Ensure “the review by appropriate committees within the University, and the full consideration of the costs and benefits of alternative plans,” (December 2009 Senate Resolution)
  7. Obtain “approval by the Faculty Senate,” (UF constitution Article VI(1)(E), and Senate Bylaws 22).

FOOTNOTES

  1. We understand that the April 19 deadline that the Dean set ensures that savings associated with staff terminations can begin on July 1st. We note that delaying terminations by 2 months would represent nonrecurring expenditures if the staff positions are indeed to be terminated. These can be easily accommodated in any forthcoming alternate budget proposals provided by the CISE faculty.
  2. These requests were formally and publicly made to the Engineering Dean as soon as she announced her March 12 Budget Town Hall meeting, but were ignored.
  3. Proposals to be provided by the CISE faculty could impact other colleges as much as the College of Engineering; and according to the Dean’s budget cut proposal, the CISE Department is the sole department in the College of Engineering to be cut.

APPENDIX: Faculty Senate Resolution of April 12, 2012

WHEREAS the University has not officially declared financial exigency in keeping with the Faculty Senate resolution of December 2009 concerning reorganization of
the University, and

WHEREAS all of the University’s departments support the three interdependent and synergistic missions of the university: teaching, research, and service, and

WHEREAS the instruction of students at the University will suffer greatly if the research missions of the departments are compromised,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT:
The principles of shared governance as stipulated in Senate Bylaw 22 shall be followed before removal or transfer of graduate programs from any Department in
an attempt to address budget shortfalls, whether temporary or permanent.

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