Members Concerns About Cuts in FTE's

The Department of Medicine has instituted a policy of systematically reducing the value of faculty FTE's provided to support faculty salaries. This policy appears to have been initiated by Dr. Lee Goldman several years ago, when he reduced the value of an FTE by 12% to reflect the "Bugetary Savings" that the State requires the University to return to the state. Dr. Goldman's policy of reducing the value of an FTE to reflect the budgetary savings seems to be at odds with the University Policy that mandates budgetary savings, which indicates that these savings are designed to recover funds allocated to vacant positions, not to reduce the money available to support faculty (and staff) state-funded FTE's.

The Academic Procedures Manual says that the duty of a Department Chair is "To prepare the budget and administer the financial affairs of the Department, in accord with University procedures.

Chapter 4020 of the University of California Planning and Budget Manual states:

Budgetary savings represent General Fund appropriations which are not expended during the fiscal year within the specific control point for which the funds were allocated. (See Chapter 4010, Section IV for a list of control points.) The University was first assigned a salary savings target by the State in 1950-51 in recognition of the normal accrual of unused salary funds. These unused salaries are derived from such sources as: (1) positions temporarily vacant as a result of employee turnover and recruitment delays, (2) filling vacancies at lower than budgeted salary levels, (3) leaves of absence without pay, and (4) sabbatical leaves for which no replacement is provided. The savings concept was extended in 1959-60 to all University sub-budgets, and the term budgetary savings was applied to all General Fund sources, including salary savings. A formal budgetary savings target was established by the State in 1964-65 using the 1953-64 savings target of $5.5 million plus 3 percent of all subsequent incremental State General Fund appropriations. This incremental savings ratio was changed to 3.5 percent of additional State General Fund appropriations in 1969-70. Since 1971-72, the level of the University's budgetary savings target is negotiated between the University and the State. [emphasis added]

There is no suggestion here, or in the subsequent implementing policies, that this provision authorizes reducing the value of an assigned FTE.

In addition, the Department of Medicine has increased the percentage of FTE's being "taxed" by the Department to 15%. When asked the reason for the additional 3% reduction, one staff employee reported that it was an additional tax for "Departmental administration." Despite the fact that the Legislature has increased the University's budget with the express purpose of increasing faculty salaries (which means increasing the value of an FTE), the Department of Medicine has notified Divisions that the value of an FTE available for faculty salary support will again be reduced and that the Divisions and individual faculty members will have to identify other sources to make up the difference.

Finally, the Department seems to be holding back on the support funds provided by the State that accompany each FTE (somewhere between $30,000 and $50,000 per year) are also not being made available to support individual faculty work. For example, a part time administrative assistant position which used to be supported by the Department are now being charged to individual faculty research funds.

Chair's comments:

According to Larry Hirshman, Budget Director OP: during the recessions in the early 90's when the UC budget was cut $430 million, OP made general cuts to each campus in the order of 20% but did not specify how the cuts were supposed to be made. These cuts were so steep that they superceded anything that may have been happening before, such as the salary savings program referred to above. Each campus implemented the cuts differently with no control by OP. According to him, the local experience is not unusal EXCEPT for the lack of support for teaching. That infrastructure support should still be there.

Similar policies are in effect in all schools on this campus except for Nursing. A similar poslicy exists in teh Department of Medicine, UCSD. Is there anything in writing to support the Budget Director opinion or does the Planning & Budget manual still pertain?

If you have comments or questions, please email the Faculty Association

Warren Gold, Chair