Provost tells Faculty Senate USU's pushing for $5 million for faculty salaries, better student-teacher ratios
Utah State University's Faculty Senate heard some bleak budget talk from Provost Stan Albrecht Monday afternoon.
"We are 22.7 percent behind peers on salary levels," Albrecht said, showing the senate the budget requests for 2003-2004. Budget requests are aimed at getting faculty compensation closer to that of peer institutions.
"The most critical thing is to enhance compensation needs to enhance the institution," he said.
Albrecht said the university is pushing for $4 million to be allocated to aid in the student-faculty ratio. He wants to be able to get a ratio better than 26:1.
Albrecht said USU is also requesting $1 million for the impacts of House Bill 331.
Right now USU has the lowest yield rate -- the number of freshman -- in many years and maybe ever, Albrecht said. There are about 400 fewer freshmen than last year.
The issue of declining enrollment was also addressed by Kent Hopkins of the recruitment and enrollment office. Hopkins said academic quality and reputation are the most important things students look for on a national level.
He challenged senate members to look at what they were doing to make themselves more attractive to students and how they used the electronic media to find the right student for the university.
"It is important that we move forward on the recruitment side," said Hopkins. "The most critical time to maintain the students' interest in the university is the first three to six weeks." Hopkins asked the faculty what their colleges or departments did to connect students to USU during that period.
In addition to discussing potential recruitment for USU, the senate passed a revised "conflict of interest" policy.
Brent Miller, vice president for research, said the current policy has been in place for five years but there is no mechanism or means to monitor the conflict of interest policy.
The old policy said "university employees shall not knowingly use university property, funds, position, or power for personal or political gain, nor engage in any activity, financial or personal, which may disadvantage the university."
Miller said the new policy takes the old one and enlarges it to encompass internal disclosures of conflicts of interest, managing conflicts of interest, the university's oversight of conflicts of interest and examples that require disclosure.
Clark England, director of Personnel Services, reviewed the early retirement program, which raised numerous questions amongst the faculty senate. Discussion was tabled as an item for the Faculty Forum to discuss.