Q. How much state funding will FAU receive in the
2010-2011 fiscal year?
A. The legislative session ended on April 30
with the passage of a $70.4 billion budget for fiscal year
2010-11 — an increase of nearly $4 billion in total
spending over the current fiscal year. For FAU, the
budget includes about $247.8 million for expenditures from
all sources, including student tuition, state general
revenue, Federal Stimulus dollars and the lottery. This
represents an increase of about $2.8 million in discretionary
funding over the current budget.
While this is the first positive budget news we have
had in more than three years, it is important to note that
approximately $12.8 million of the operating budget is in
non-recurring funds, including the Federal Stimulus monies.
When viewed against the reality that these temporary funds
are eliminated with the 2010-11 budget, the outlook for the
2011-12 fiscal year is uncertain at best.
Q. Has the University considered closing the campuses
when classes are not in session, such as during spring break?
This would serve the dual purpose of saving money and
boosting employee morale.
A. Everything is being considered, but at this
time there are no plans to close the campuses when classes
are not in session, such as during Spring Break and at
certain times during the summer. For the last few years, the
University has closed for a period in December (Winter
Holiday) when classes are not in session. It has already been
announced that we will be closed this year from December 24
through January 1.
The University is always interested in exploring
alternatives that may save money and boost employee morale.
Several years ago the Office of Human Resources established
an Alternate Work Arrangement program. Currently they are
looking into the feasibility of allowing staff in selected
areas of the University to move to voluntary 9-month
appointments with benefits.
Q. There is an obvious temptation to respond to the
current budgetary squeeze by attempting to collect more FTE
monies by growing enrollment, which would exacerbate the
problems we are having with student retention. I would like
to know what safeguards the administration is considering
putting in place to ensure that we don’t waste Florida
taxpayers’ money in this way.
A. For the past three years the number of
freshman admissions to FAU has been frozen by the Board of
Governors in response to repeated reductions in state
appropriations. During this period the number of applications
for admission has increased significantly, 17% in the last
year alone. As a result, a large pool of students who meet
FAU eligibility standards for admission have not been
admitted because of these restrictions, which are no longer
in place. Any growth would come from this pool of qualified
Q. Will it be possible for the University to give
employees who have earned and need more income cost-of-living
increases with the expectation that they will take on greater
A. The salaries of all our employees remain a
top priority. As you know, several years of budget
reductions by the State of Florida have placed an
unprecedented burden on all of our employees as we continue
to maintain quality and access consistent with our
mission. We are exploring ways to generate revenues
(increased/sustainable enrollments, for example) and we are
optimistic that the state’s economy will improve so
that we will be able to use those funds to reward our
employees. It absolutely is one of our most important
Q. Will introduction of the free-standing FAU medical
school mean that resources will be drained from other areas
of the University?
A. The medical program will operate on state
dollars that were allocated for that purpose when the
original agreement was developed. That funding is still in
place and will provide the financial resources needed to
operate the medical school.
Q. Will the library get the resources needed to build
a proper medical library without reducing the collections
that serve other areas?
A. Library staffing and materials/collections
are being increased to serve the needs of the new medical
degree program. These funds come from the medical school
budget, not the existing FAU Libraries budget.
Q. Given that FTE production will be an important
stream of revenue with tuition increases, why are we not
offering more lower division courses on the Jupiter campus?
If we are no longer bound by the articulation agreement with
the (former) community colleges, it seems as if we should
offer more lower division courses to gain back those
FTEs from the newly created four-year schools.
A. Board of Governors Regulation 8.009 limits
university offerings on branch campuses to upper division and
graduate programs. The Honors College is an exception because
of its special status as a four-year college. Should this
regulation be lifted or amended, we could explore the
possibility of offering more lower division courses on the
Q. If a unit wants to change its administrative
structure to make chairs 9-month faculty (with one- or
two-month overloads) rather than 12-month out-of-unit, will
it be able to do so? In other words, can we relax the
previously inflexible “in-unit/out-of-unit”
dichotomy in order to cut costs and increase
A. Following the devolution of the Florida Board of
Regents (BOR), the FAU Board of Trustees (BOT) became the
employer and the FAU Chapter of the United Faculty of Florida
(UFF) was certified by the Florida Public Employees Relations
Commission (PERC) as the bargaining agent for certain FAU
employees in 2003. PERC certified certain FAU employees as
“in-unit” at that time; chairs and others were
not certified as “in-unit.” FAU cannot alter the
decision of PERC at its own discretion.
The 12-month appointment of chairs/directors precedes
the 2003 PERC decision. Chairs at FAU have been on 12-month
appointments from the mid-1990s. As FAU grew in size and
complexity, the need for chairpersons to be available all
year long became evident. There may be a situation, however,
in which it would be more efficient for a chairperson to be
on a 9-month appointment. If you believe this to be your
situation, please discuss it with your dean.
Q. What is the % of operational expenses and
non-operational expenses? Can the non-operational expenses be
A. FAU follows the Governmental Accounting
Standards Board (GASB) Financial Statements format in
addition to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)
for its official financial reporting of the institution. As
such, “non-operating expenses” are those that are
not considered part of the University’s normal expense
generating activities. Examples include loss on capital
assets (assets that are sold, surplused, removed, loss in
which there is a net book value left — cost less
accumulated depreciation) and interest on debt related to
housing and traffic and parking. Non-operating expenses
represent 2% of the total, and operating expenses are 98% of
Q. Is there a plan to make the Jupiter campus into a
biomedical campus? If so, when is that happening and how will
this, along with budget cuts, affect current Jupiter staff
A. The partnerships that we have established with
Scripps and Max Planck have laid the groundwork for the
expansion of our biomedical footprint in Jupiter, meaning
that we’ll see an increase in the number of graduate
students on that campus. Also, certain other units of the
University that are carrying out work in the biomedical area
may be relocated there. However, any decision to change the
focus of the campus’ mission to an exclusively
biomedical one would have to be made by the president and the
provost, in consultation with the Board of Trustees. No such
decision has been made at this time.
Q. Will the Honors College be moved off the Jupiter
campus because of budget constraints?
A. No decision has been made about moving the
Q. Will a graduate level biomedical campus need its
own library if the Honors College moves off the Jupiter
A. The Honors College plans notwithstanding,
library technology is moving rapidly out of the bricks and
mortar era. Holdings are now widely available in electronic
form, and this trend is certain to continue in the years
ahead. With supplemental funding for electronic resources and
staffing support, the existing library can handle the medical
program’s library needs.
Note: A video of the last budget forum can be accessed at
Archived questions and answers can be found