From the Desk of the Chancellor, May 24, 2010
Chancellor Charles R. Bantz View print-quality image
May 24, 2010
- Diane Brown
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Last week, I met with the IUPUI Staff Council to provide updates on campus issues and hear what’s on people’s minds. It has been a very successful year (measured by graduates, research funding, civic engagement). It also has been a challenging year (measured by budget and staff reductions). Our staff feel the competing pressures of continuing to provide great service while coping with diminished resources—human and financial.
I know our faculty share my concern for staff. Faculty work depends on staff. At a recent meeting with me, the Chancellor’s Professors emphasized that staff make their work successful and it is important to support our staff. Our success as a campus across all our mission areas is heavily dependent on staff contributions. Much of the enhanced student life on campus is owing to work provided by staff in food service, housing, and the Campus Center. Campus Facilities Services workers are critical to campus performance in using best practices and promoting sustainability. Academic advisors, career counselors, psychological service providers, and other student support staff—all are vital to helping students succeed.
I also learned there is frustration about campus construction and loss of parking and that not all staff members are aware of the constraints we face in how money is spent. People ask, “Why do we construct buildings instead of spending the money on raises?”
Our operating budget and expenditures are tightly governed by law (through the State Budget Agency), regulation (through the Indiana Higher Education Commission), and governance (through the IU Board of Trustees). As a public institution, our capital project budgets are separate from the general fund that supports salaries, so we cannot use capital funds to pay for salary increases. For example, the Glick Eye Institute construction is funded by a gift, and the new Gateway parking garage is funded by capital bonds repaid from parking revenue. These funds are locked into place according to their point of origin or authorization.
We will continue to seek resources to support staff. Our increase in externally funded research means there will be staff to conduct the research. We will continue to advocate for state support, but must recognize the state has experienced a dramatic decline in revenue. We will seek to be efficient so we can spend funds on our most critical needs. We will seek increased philanthropic support, knowing our community’s gifts—including the campus community’s gifts—make IUPUI and our schools stronger.
We know that budget constraints are putting a burden on our staff. We continue to seek ways to remedy this, such as paying the health care premium increase for employees, and we are grateful for everyone’s going the extra mile to help get us through these challenging times.
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