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Faculty advisory committee created to consider FY 2010 expenditure reductions

Published: October 24, 2008
Section: Front Page

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Marty Krauss announced the creation of a special faculty advisory committee to consider possibilities for expenditure reduction in Arts and Sciences for fiscal year 2010 in an e-mail to the faculty sent Monday.

The creation of this committee comes nearly three weeks after President Reinharz and Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Peter French announced a $10 million budget shortfall for fiscal year 2009 at a faculty meeting Oct. 2.

The special advisory committee, Krauss explained, was created after President Reinharz assured the faculty at the Oct. 2 faculty meeting that they would be involved in discussions about expenditure reductions affecting the academy. Additionally, the committee is consistent with provisions in the faculty handbook requiring “a deliberative process” whenever “changes in an academic program are being contemplated,” Krauss said.

“This is what I normally do,” Krauss added. “When an issue comes up, I set up a committee.”

Members of the committee include Dean of Arts and Sciences and Fred C. Hecht Professor of Economics Adam Jaffe, who will serve as chair, Physics department chair Prof. Bulbul Chakraborty, Faculty Senate and English department chair Prof. William Flesch, Hispanic studies director Prof. Dian Fox, Sociology department chair Prof. Karen Hanson, Fine Arts department chair Prof. Charles McClendon, Prof. Emeritus Kalpana White (BIOL), and Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Prof. Greg Freeze, who will serve as an ex-officio member.

The committee, whose job is to “just give advice,” according to Krauss, will release a report with their recommendations for expenditure reductions by the end of the semester.

The advisory committee’s discussions regarding expenditure reductions will focus on fiscal year 2010.

In order to help resolve the issue of the $10 million budget shortfall in fiscal year 2009, cuts to department budgets have already been made, Jaffe explained in last week’s issue of The Hoot.

Those cuts, Jaffe said, will affect departments’ travel budgets and new equipment budgets.

The advisory committee will consider broader budget changes. Krauss commented, the committee will “look at all kinds of ways we might be able to do things more efficiently.”

“Especially in the academy,” Krauss said, “if there are changes in the [FY2010] budget, they need to be identified now.”

Committee members were unable to comment on the committee’s specific deliberations, citing them as confidential.

However, McClendon remarked via e-mail, “the university community can take heart that the administration is seeking advice from faculty members.”

Even so, “This will be a long and complex process; one really cannot predict how all the different pieces will fall in place,” Freeze wrote in an e-mail.

“We’re looking for ways to operate more efficiently, to reduce expenses without compromising the university’s high standards in teaching and research,” Fox commented via e-mail. “Our first priority is to make certain that Brandeis will continue to offer undergraduate and graduate students a superior education.”