Tag Archives: bernie machen

In Search of Administrative Transparency, Rationale and Accountability (and a recommended budget plan for UF Engineering)

Questioning  UF Administration’s Allocation of  Funds

During the May 29, 2012 “Open Faculty Forum about Budget Cut” called by the central administration, President Machen and Provost Glover were asked, among others,  several questions from this list,    based on an independent report on UF’s  reserves,  including those held by the University “proper” and  those held by the University’s various “discrete component units” including Shands;  including approximately half a billion dollars  categorized as “restricted expendable;” and over 100 million dollars held by the University “proper,” and characterized as “unrestricted net assets.”   Candid answers were not forthcoming.

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Dean Abernathy’s Final Budget Cut Proposal

On May 11, Dean Cammy Abernathy, along with her administrative colleagues in other colleges, delivered their budget cut proposals to Provost Glover. You can find the 2012-2013 budget cut proposal for each of the University of Florida’s colleges at http://www.ufl.edu/budget-proposals/.

The College of Engineering’s “FY 2013 Budget Cuts” document lacks critical details necessary to judge the health and safety of any individual department. Engineering is not alone. Almost every budget cut proposal omits a department-level breakdown, a breakdown for which concerned parents, students, and alumni of affected units are anxiously awaiting.

We expect Provost Joe Glover would require his deans to produce publicly available, detailed reports. It is shocking that he accepts such minimalistic levels of detail for budget cut proposals. At the April faculty senate meeting, he acknowledged that these budget cuts will cause serious pain to the programs and offerings at the University of Florida.

On April 17, Florida’s Board of Governors declared, “Our Universities will continue to tap their reserves year-round in order to save course offerings, retain faculty and account for enrollment growth, among other critical demands.” President Bernie Machen has elected not to spend the University of Florida’s reserves and to instead interpret the one-time budget shortfall as recurring.

Spending of UF’s reserves is just one strategy to address these state-mandated one-time cuts. Another is by closing some of the 102 open faculty positions. If the university is in such dire financial straits, its administrators should carefully consider adjusting their hiring strategies before making permanent modifications to their colleges’ teaching, research, and services. In Florida, the university with the second-most aggressive hiring strategy in these delicate financial times is FIU. FIU has 2 open positions.

Nuri Yeralan
CISE Lead Coordinator



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