Faculty Senate to hear resolution on CUPB

Cassie Buchman, Administration Editor

The Faculty Senate will hear a proposed resolution concerning the number of members on the Council on University Planning and Budgeting at 2 p.m. Tuesday in Room 4440 of Booth Library.

Grant Sterling, a philosophy professor, said the resolution was Faculty Senator Teshome Abebe’s idea, and he agreed to co-sponsor it.

The proposal advises President David Glassman to change the membership of the CUPB by having one voting representative in the CUPB for every 150 employees.

The proposal asks for a minimum of one representative in the areas of academic affairs, business affairs, student affairs, university advancement and the president’s area, as well as a student representative.

The proposal is a result of the CUPB’s perceived inability to understand the magnitude of the university’s budget and planning problems and to come to a consensus on what the core mission of the university is.

Behind the proposal as well is the suggestion that the CUPB has grown too large to be effective.

Sterling said people perceive the CUPB as unable to understand the university’s budget and planning problems because of what happened when they were tasked with making recommendations to the president on what programs to cut.

“The CUPB essentially said every institution is equally important; you can’t prioritize and say ‘cut this first, cut that later,’” Sterling said.

When Sterling sent a statement saying that academics were the most important aspect of the university, he said the CUPB shot it down.

“The perception coming from that was that the CUPB didn’t understand how serious the budget situation was,” Sterling said. “Nobody wants to say this area of the university is more important; this function is more important than that.”

Sterling said some believed representatives on the CUPB think their job is to protect their area and would not agree to anything that suggested one area was more important than another.

“It’s historically been a problem,” Sterling said. “Lots of people are chosen because they are basically there to defend their turf and make sure nothing happens in their area.”

Sterling said the proposal would substantially reduce the number of members in the CUPB.

“If we’re counting the non-voting members, it would be cut by more than half,” Sterling said.

Sterling said he wants to see an increase in the people in academic affairs as well as people who understand finance.

“It’s important to try to figure out ways to get the CUPB to be used,” Sterling said. “As things currently stand, the CUPB doesn’t see the university budget until it was approved.”

Sterling said the CUPB is supposed to oversee the budget, but the Board of Trustees already decides on the budget beforehand.

“It’s not a budget planning committee if they’re not taking part in planning the budget,” Sterling said.

Sterling said with a smaller committee, the administrators would be better able to use the committee.

“They could bring the proposed budget to the CUPB and come to the CUPB and ask what should be in the budget,” Sterling said.

The Faculty Senate will also consider having a joint session with the University Professionals of Illinois in the spring to invite Glassman to “address the state’s ongoing budget crisis and its immediate and long-term implications.”

The members of the committee think it would be beneficial to invite one political figure from each political party to give their knowledge of education policy at the state level, according to an email from Jon Blitz, president of Eastern’s chapter of UPI.

Suggestions from the Republican side include Eastern alumni and former Gov. Jim Edgar or Sen. Chapin Rose, Charleston’s former representative.

Former state Rep. Naomi Jackobbsen was the suggestion for the Democratic side.

Jemmie Robertson, the Faculty Senate chair, said Bob Martin, the vice president for university advancement, will speak about the new athletic logo and some recent fundraising developments.

Cassie Buchman can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].