Since Spring 2015, the AAUP-UC Works has approached the question of where UC’s money goes from multiple vantage points, looking at the impacts of rising student enrollments and shrinking numbers of full-time faculty at various colleges[i], examining the Performance Based Budgeting (PBB) process,[ii] and viewing the University’s finances from a big picture perspective.[iii]
In some ways, it is easier to answer this question by showing where UC’s money is not going. Over the past half-decade, UC Administration has spent less on Instruction, allowing the number of full-time faculty to drop significantly even though student enrollment has skyrocketed. [See Chart: UC by the Numbers.] UC Administration has not only permitted but actually required cuts in expenditures at several colleges and academic units, despite rising revenues and enrollments.[iv] In short, over the past half-decade, UC Administration has directed fewer resources to the University’s core academic mission of educating its students. The consequences of this long-term disinvestment have been felt across the University, impacting faculty workloads, class-sizes, and the day-to-day functioning of UC’s colleges and academic units.
The most recent information available for Fiscal Year 2015 (“FY15”) is sobering: UC Administration continues to direct more resources to administrative sectors, such as Academic Support (including Dean’s offices) and Institutional Support (non-academic administrative units), and continues its generous subsidy for Athletics, while allowing Instruction to decline below its FY09 funding level.[v] (All references to figures are in inflation-adjusted dollars).
|Category||Expenditures from Unrestricted Funds: FY09||Expenditures from Unrestricted Funds: FY15||+/-|
In “Where is the Money Going? Part I,” we looked at the University’s expenditures on a more granular level, examining expenditures at the colleges and at various administrative units, and beginning a discussion of the University’s “Operating Expenditures,” the budget category covering the University’s day-to-day operations. While it is not feasible to trace spending in each of the literally hundreds of spending categories across all of the University’s administrative and academic units, it is illuminating to look at a few categories that appear to be in common among numerous administrative and academic units. Spending in these categories may be indicative of basic quality of life issues, including the availability of professional development opportunities, across the units, and even more so demonstrates some glaring inequities and questionable decisions and practices.
|GL CODE: 533101||Consultant Services|
|Total University Expenditures||7,991,646||6,951,903||-13%|
|Total Colleges and University Libraries||5,845,585||3,712,027||-36.4%|
|Total Administrative Units/Other||2,146,061||3,239,876||+50.9%|
- Most of the decline in spending on consultants by colleges over this time period can be attributed to the College of Education, Criminal Justice and Human Services (CECH), where spending on consultants dropped from $3.8 million to $1.05 million (including a drop from $488K to $79K in the College Office). Although CECH’s expenditures in this category peaked at over $4 million (inflation-adjusted) dollars in FY10, spending since then has followed a downward trend. CECH’s School of Criminal Justice accounts for the majority of CECH’s spending on consultants, related to its operation of several institutes which generate significant grant funding.
- Conversely, spending on Consultants spiked considerably in several administrative sectors, including:
- Intercollegiate Athletics Administration ($100K in FY14, up from over $54K in FY09);
- the Board of Trustees ($70K in FY14, up from $2.4K in FY13, and $0K from FY09-FY12);
- Enrollment Management Administration ($100K in FY14, up from nearly $9K in FY09);
- the President’s office ($117K in FY14, up from $19K in FY09);
- the Chief Investment Officer ($555K in FY14, up from $179K in FY11); and
- the Administration and Finance Business Affairs office ($411K in FY14, up from $365K in FY09 and a huge jump from $59K in FY13).
|GL CODE: 533100||Services|
|Total University Expenditures||10,878,052||5,410,350||-50.2%|
|Total Colleges and University Libraries||8,671,780||3,502,338||-59.6%|
|Total Administrative Units/Other||2,206,263||1,908,011||-13.5%|
- Since there are many types of services with their own specific codes, “Services” appears to be a miscellaneous category. Given that, the amount of money spent on “Services,” particularly in FY09-FY11, is significant.
- Much of the drop in expenditures on “Services” can be attributed to the College of Nursing (CON). From FY09 to FY11, the CON spent an average of $2 million per year on “Services” for Academic Nursing. In FY09, that amounted to 88% of the operating expenditures for Academic Nursing, dropping to the still-staggering proportion of 41% in FY11 for what is essentially a miscellaneous category. In FY14, expenditures on “Services” dropped to $184K, which is a positive sign.
- Although spending on “Services” appears to have been reined in at the CON, “Services” consistently has made up roughly one-third of operating expenditures at the Clermont College Office, in amounts ranging from $396K(in FY09) to as high as $639K (in FY13).
- Spending on “Services” has spiked at the College of Medicine (COM) College Office, reaching $408K in FY13 and $370K in FY14
- With respect to administrative units, spending on “Services” tends to fluctuate considerably from year to year. However, FY14 saw significant expenditures on “Services” among several administrative units, including:
- Athletics Administration ($64K)
- Enrollment Management – Admissions ($205K, up from $24K in FY13)
- Finance – Campus Services ($434K)
- Finance – Facilities Management ($687K)
|GL CODE: 530400||Meetings, Seminars and Events|
|Total University Expenditures||4,025,059||7,881,618||+95.8%|
|Total Colleges and University Libraries||2,251,279||6,152,128||+173.2%|
|Total Administrative Units/Other||1,773,780||1,729,490||-2.49%|
- Much of the increase in expenditures on “Meetings, Seminars and Events” appears attributable to the College of Medicine (COM), specifically “CONMED,” the Continuing Medical Education programs that the COM offers for medical and health professionals.
- While expenditures in this category seemed to fluctuate in most non-academic units, Athletics is notable for a consistent and sharp upward trend, with spending in this category increasing from $228K in FY09 to $672K in FY14. In FY14, Athletics spent more on “Meetings, Seminars and Events” than the College of Allied Health Sciences (CAHS), the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences (A&S), UC Clermont, the College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), CON, the College of Pharmacy, and the College of Engineering and Applied Science (CEAS) combined.
|GL CODE: 530401||Refreshments and Meals|
|Total University Expenditures||2,349,031||2,140,488||-8.8%|
|Total Colleges and University Libraries||1,026,597||1,024,490||-.2%|
|Total Administrative Units/Other||1,322,434||1,115,999||-15.6%|
- Although spending in this category generally declined, expenditures on “Refreshments and Meals” at the College of Business (COB) increased by over 70% from FY09 ($90K) to FY14 ($155K). The amount spent by the COB Dean Administration on “Refreshments and Meals” alone in FY14 ($79K) exceeded the entire “Operating Expenditures” of several academic units at UC, including the Departments of Philosophy ($65K) and Political Science ($40K) at A&S.
|GL CODE: 530205||Plaques, Trophies and Awards|
|Total University Expenditures||180,772||522,291||+188.9%|
|Total Colleges and University Libraries||22,461||68,197||+203%|
|Total Administrative Units/Other||158,311||454,094||+186.8%|
- Most of the increase in expenditures on “Plaques, Trophies and Awards” is attributable to Hoxworth Blood Center; its “Donor Recruitment” sector spent $343K on this category in FY14, up from $59K in FY09.
- Athletics Administration spent $49K on “Plaques, Trophies and Awards” in FY14, up from $9K in FY09.
|GL CODE: 530100||Non-employee Compensation and Awards|
|Total University Expenditures||339,518||1,795,215||+428.7%|
|Total Colleges and University Libraries||254,016||672,476||+164.7%|
|Total Administrative Units/Other||92,512||1,122,729||+1113.6%|
- Although expenditures in this category jumped across many units at UC, Athletics Administration alone accounts for one-third of the overall increase in spending, with spending skyrocketing from $11K in FY09 to $512K in FY14.
|GL CODE: 530200||Administrative & Educational Supplies|
|Total University Expenditures||18,805,971||5,024,364||-73.2%|
|Total Colleges and University Libraries||13,233,719||2,843,207||-78.5%|
|Total Administrative Units/Other||5,572,252||2,181,157||-60.8%|
|GL CODE: 530201||Office Supplies|
|Total University Expenditures||1,086,991||832,662||-23.4%|
|Total Colleges and University Libraries||522,742||454,585||-12.9%|
|Total Administrative Units/Other||546,250||378,076||-30.7%|
|GL CODE: 530202||Instructional Supplies|
|Total University Expenditures||303,568||450,489||+48%|
|Total Colleges and University Libraries||225,413||411,708||+82%|
|Total Administrative Units/Other||78,155||38,780||-50%|
- With respect to “Administrative and Educational Supplies,” expenditures dropped in the vast majority of colleges, academic, and administrative units, but they plunged most steeply in the COM (from $4.8 million in FY09 to $780K in FY14) and in CAHS (from $3.5 million in FY09 to $257K in FY14).
- Likewise, spending on “Office Supplies” dropped in the majority of colleges, academic, and administrative units. This may reflect greater reliance on technology (as opposed to paper products, for example). However, the Performance-Based Budgeting process has also impacted some units’ ability to purchase office supplies.[vi]
- Although it appears that UC spends comparatively little on “Instructional Supplies,” the positive news is that expenditures in this category by colleges and academic units have increased.
|GL CODE: 530500||Employee Travel & Training|
|Total University Expenditures||2,681,651||2,584,617||-3.6%|
|Total Colleges and University Libraries||2,377,508||1,970,773||-17.1%|
|Total Administrative Units/Other||304,108||613,845||+101.8%|
- Expenditures in this category dropped more steeply for academic units (-18.5%) than for the college offices (-9.7%).
- Most of the increase in the non-academic sectors appears to be driven by Athletics, which spent approximately $187K more in this category in FY14 than in FY09.
|GL CODE: 530503||Employee In-State Travel|
|Total University Expenditures||758,455||701,714||-7.5%|
|Total Colleges and University Libraries||542,471||517,236||-4.6%|
|Total Administrative Units/Other||215,984||184,478||-14.5%|
|GL CODE: 530504||Employee Out-of-State Travel|
|Total University Expenditures||3,780,790||3,912,307||+3.4%|
|Total Colleges and University Libraries||3,140,085||3,125,456||-.4%|
|Total Administrative Units/Other||640,705||786,851||+22.8%|
|GL CODE: 530505||Employee Foreign Travel|
|Total University Expenditures||1,296,312||2,520,095||+94.4%|
|Total Colleges and University Libraries||1,166,908||1,670,624||+43.1%|
|Total Administrative Units/Other||129,403||849,471||+556%|
- With respect to “In-State” and “Out-of-State Travel,” there was considerable variation in trends among the colleges, academic, and administrative units. Some colleges (A&S, COM and Pharmacy) showed declines in both categories, while others saw increases in both (CAHS and CECH, the latter due primarily to the institutes run by its School of Criminal Justice). However, the figures make clear the dwindling college and department-level resources available for faculty travel, on a general level.
|GL CODE: 533125||Distance Learning Support|
|Total University Expenditures||0||15,251,163||–|
|Total Colleges and University Libraries||0||14,362,706||–|
|Total Administrative Units/Other||0||888,457||–|
- Expenditures in the “Distance Learning Support” category began in FY11. The CON spent $6.2 million in this category in FY14; this expenditure amounted to over 94% of the Operating Expenditures on Academic Nursing for that fiscal year, a dramatic shift in a very short time. CECH also spent a significant amount – approximately $4.7 million, college-wide – on “Distance Learning Support.”
In the Performance Based Budgeting process, upper administrators determine how much money it will take to operate the University in the following academic year, and then set revenue targets for the colleges, which face budget cuts if they do not meet those targets. As we have discussed in previous issues of Works, in order to meet those targets, colleges have sometimes resorted to implementing cuts detrimental to students (increasing fees and class sizes, and delaying or cancelling faculty hires). Such cuts and economies frankly are unjustifiable, given the significant amount of money that some administrative units and, of course, Athletics, are allowed to spend on items that do not clearly further, or bear only a tangential relation to, the University’s core academic mission.
Although this article concludes a series of articles that the AAUP-UC Chapter has researched and published on UC’s budget and spending priorities, the real work lies ahead. We believe this series of articles provides one of the most thorough attempts to assess UC’s budget over a period of years, in key expenditure categories, and to raise questions about how those expenditures reflect on the fundamental objective of the University. These cuts have impacted faculty workloads, class sizes and the daily functioning of UC’s colleges and academic units. They will continue to be felt unless and until a major spending shift back to the core academic mission occurs.
—Stephanie Spanja, J.D.
Director of Research, UC Chapter AAUP
With input from the UC Chapter AAUP Budget and Compensation Advisory Committee and approval of the UC Chapter AAUP Executive Council
[i] “Education on the Cheap: Devaluing Students and Faculty,” Works, Vol. 22, No. 3, Mar. 30, 2015; “Education on the Cheap: Devaluing Students and Faculty (Part 2),” Works, Vol. 22, No. 4, May 27, 2015.
[ii] “PBB: The High Cost of Efficiency,” Works, Vol. 22, No. 5, Sept. 3, 2015.
[iii] “Where Is the Money Going? An In-depth Look at University Expenditures,” Works, Vol. 22, No. 6, November 24, 2015.
[iv] “PBB: The High Cost of Efficiency,” supra.
[v] Supplemental Schedules to the Annual Financial Reports; Annual Fund Accounting Schedules.
[vi] “PBB: The High Cost of Efficiency,” supra.
February 2, 2016 is Groundhog Day. Coincidentally, February 2 also marks the first negotiation session between the AAUP and the UC Administration to hammer out the 2016-2019 Collective Bargaining Agreement that will take us to UC’s 200th anniversary. At the same time the AAUP and Administration teams are meeting, the UC Board of Trustees will hold its first meeting of 2016. It is tempting, of course, to use all of the worn-out Groundhog Day metaphors to describe this situation. So I will.
Harkening back to the now-classic Bill Murray movie, we certainly don’t want to relive the last round of bargaining. Going into that round, President Williams had resigned with then-Provost Ono moving into the Interim President and shortly thereafter the President position. In addition, the Vice Provost who usually handled negotiations departed, making the situation worse. They hired outside counsel—three sequentially to be precise, none of whom actually finished the deal—which dragged bargaining out for a solid year.
I’m happy to say that there is no indication that anyone wants to relive that round, nor is it likely. The relationship between the faculty, the Administration, and the Board is much better than it’s been in quite some time. All indications are that the Administration is taking full responsibility for bargaining on their side, and seeks an amicable and speedy round of negotiations. We have seen nothing less than a Murray-esque transformation in the attitude of the Administration toward the faculty.
Of course, we still don’t know whether or not we will see an early spring or six more metaphorical weeks of investment winter. Indications here are mixed. While the Administration seeks to compete with a robust peer group and claims the desire to “invest in people,” salaries at all levels of the university other than upper administration fall well below peers. The words of Senior Vice President of Administration and Finance Bob Ambach, during his budget presentation to the Board in June 2014, still rattle around in my head: “we have determined that the staff are paid 8% under market, so we are giving them a 2% raise.” That, dear friends, sums up the entire situation at this University.
On the other hand, we can point to some positive indications of an early spring. Special funds have been allocated to partner hires, diversity hires, cluster hires, and startup funds, among other initiatives. Such measures at best touch only a minority of the faculty, however. Without systematic investment in the basics of competitive salary and benefits, such PR-friendly programs only put a fresh coat of paint on a house with a crumbling foundation.
We can see a stark indication of what is needed with the recently concluded negotiations at Kent State. Despite a long and adversarial round of bargaining that led to fact-finding, the Kent faculty ended up with a salary increase of around 10% over three years, modest but decent. The real twist is that Kent, which has not been named by our administration as a peer institution, pays its faculty more than UC does. Kent State’s base minimum salaries are more than 10% over what UC’s are. If you had dueling job offers, what would you do?
So when the bargaining teams poke their heads out of the hole at the end of bargaining this time around, we can only hope the financial winter will not continue. UC faculty not only need an early spring, we need full-on summer.
UC Board of Trustees Meeting, Feb. 2
The UC Board of Trustees Meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 2, 2016, in the Third Floor of Nippert Stadium W. Pavillion at 8:30 a.m.