Inertia costs

Questioner: Anonymous

Posted to: Earle Traynham, Provost & Vice President Academic Affairs

Can the Provost please explain the so-called inertia costs in Academic Affairs that are needed for next year’s budget?

Response from Earle Traynham, Provost & Vice President, Academic Affairs:

“Inertia” costs may be classified as Recurring and Non-Recurring.

Recurring include: promotion increases (this year $420,875), continuing to replace long-term visiting positions, which are in violation of the CBA, with regular faculty (this year $253,820), two additional faculty required to address accreditation concerns (this year $174,825), extra salary rate required to replace 2 deans (this year estimated to be $129,500), stipend increases for department chairs approaching 8 years of service (this year $5180), electronic P&T dossier software (estimated to be $25,000). These commitments total $1,009,200. There are additional commitments that have been made against recurring dollars, but most of these are related to enrollment growth which will provide additional tuition to cover the projected costs. Of course, the total required varies from one year to the next, but this year is not atypical.

Non-Recurring include: startup funds, mostly in the sciences and engineering (estimated to be $500,000), accreditation support (estimated to be $250,000), Assessment expenses (estimated to be $50,000), Scantrons (estimated to be $20,000), Visiting faculty (estimated to be $800,000), Adjunct/overload expense (estimated to be $1,270,000), Transformational Learning Opportunities ($300,000), equipment budget ($300,000). These commitments total $3,490,000. As with the recurring funds, the total varies somewhat from year to year, and there are always some additional non-recurring items which are not required.

These recurring and non-recurring commitments are pretty standard each year, and total about $4.5 million. Given these commitments, it is easy to see why we do not want to be in the bottom three on the metrics and receive no new money.

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