SGA Open Forum on Priorities, Planning and Budget Committee (PPBC)


Photo courtesy of the PPBC Open Forum.

There was an increase in student disapproval of the administration after it was reported that there had been a third incident of voyeurism between 2018-2021. At the SGA’s Voyeurism Open Forum on November 11, students wondered why it had taken so long for changes to be made to the bathrooms and where college funds were going. According to SGA President Samirah Jaigirdar, the Priorities, Planning and Budget Committee (PPBC) Open Forum was originally scheduled on the day of the Voyeurism Open Forum, but was postponed to November 18.Initially we were going to talk about other issues such as how budget makers allocate money to infrastructure and all that, “Jaigirdar wrote,” but naturally the questions mostly revolved around funding for the OSVPA. and the DIEI. The heads of the senior PPBC team were in attendance: Vice President of Finance and Administration, Richard Madonna, President of PPBC, Professor Priya Kohli, and Vice President of College Advancement and Acting Vice President for communications, Kimberley Versandig. Also in attendance were Dean Arcelus, Dean Smith, Acting Dean Rotramel and Dean Norbert. SGA provided The voice of the college with the transcript of the open forum.

Professor Kohli presented a Powerpoint which explained the role and responsibilities of PPBC as well as how each department is funded. During a fiscal cycle, the board meets in October to discuss enrollment, retention and discount rate, meaning the board understands “the mission, the financial outlook, profitable strategies and challenges. of the different divisions ”. The board discusses compensation, overall fees and the expense rule in February. The budget is then approved in May. The president attends cabinet meetings and may raise any concerns of staff, faculty, and students at those meetings.

Kohli produced a pie chart of fiscal year 2022 budget income and expenses. The 81.2% of the income was net tuition fees which brought in about $ 78.8 million. 12% of income came from endowment with $ 11.6 million and 6.2% came from annual income with $ 6 million. On the other hand, 65.4% of the expenses came from compensations with approximately 63 million dollars, which represents the total amount of money that the College invests in each division. 23.6% went to the decision’s operating budget and 2.6% came from the Study Away program. The three lowest spending areas were debt servicing, asset reinvestment and contingencies.

The total operating budget of the divisions is $ 33.6 million and total compensation is $ 63.2 million including benefits. The division with the highest compensation is teaching and faculty with $ 25.84 million and $ 1.87 million in the operating budget. Other divisions of note are the Dean of Institutional Equity and Inclusion (DIEI) which has a compensation of $ 1.01 million with an operating budget of $ 0.24 million, and the utilities which have compensation of $ 0.41 million and an operating budget of $ 2.58 million. .

Between the years 2010-2022, net income from tuition fees was stable at around $ 75,000. An outlier is in 2021, when net income was less than $ 70,000. The amount of revenue earmarked for financial assistance has increased. Between 2010 and 2022, there was an increase of $ 13 million. The same trend can be observed for financial aid within operating expenses. Between 2016-2022, there was an increase of $ 29 million in operating expenses related to financial assistance. Despite more money spent on financial aid, operating expenses for salaries and benefits have declined. In 2016, $ 67.1 million was spent on salaries and benefits, but in 2022, only $ 63.4 million is spent.

During the question and answer period, a hardworking student from the Advancement Office noted that there was more emphasis on athletics than DIEI when looking for donations and asked why. Versandig responded that there are multiple levels to fundraising, especially since there are 9 sub-departments within advancement. Money is raised on an annual basis of around $ 25 million, with goals and reasons for those goals in place. The Office is currently guided by the 2017 strategic plan, which has five key objectives listed in the campaign. Versandig went on to explain that DIEI is infused into every lens, which is why it doesn’t have its own lens.

One of the roles of the advancement office is to speak to donors of interest. There is not enough staff for someone to be the contact person for each department. “We are trying to involve more offices,” says Versandig. Another student asked why many alumni don’t know much about fundraising. Versandig replied that there are several phases in a 7 year campaign: the first 3-4 years is the silent phase, where you only talk to big donors. The public phase begins in January 2022, which means that the campaign will be nationally “more broadcast”.

Madonna mentioned that the College has looked at what can be done to mitigate the risks of voyeurism in bathrooms and are currently meeting with architects to find short and long term solutions which would require huge infrastructure changes. . Solutions like improving security take time and money. Madonna explained that “the College will find the dollars” even if the budget has not changed. The college has an emergency fund for students that is there to help in times of crisis and is always open to people who wish to donate. The biggest challenge right now is operating expenses, stating that “the operating budget is just not where we want it to be.” The Bureau is trying to reallocate funds and spend less. Dean Arcelus intervened to mention that “there are processes that need time to be seen in action”. He went on to say that $ 100,000 raised over budget will be distributed to DIEI, to prioritize survivors and the sexual violence prevention and defense program. Dean Rotramel pointed out that while they are grateful for the $ 100,000, the operating budget is minimal and the DIEI office is working to really increase and amplify it. “The operating budget is the way we can do things, it’s very important. Long term needs are really people, we need people!

In response, one of the students asked the PPBC to explain how the decision was made for the president to receive raises as initiatives and offices where the money was most needed. Madonna explained that President Bergeron did not actually get a raise. Rather, in 2019, Bergeron was eligible for a cash sabbatical of around $ 200,000, which was a form of compensation. Madonna went on to mention that Bergeron actually cut her salary by 25% in the pandemic year, but the base salary has not changed.

One student explained that the college had not provided enough support systems in the wake of the voyeurism affair, especially as counseling hours were cut in half. The College is in the process of hiring two new advisers and is initiating the search for a permanent advisor next year. There are also two new Student Support Specialists starting this year.

At the end of the open forum, a student pointed out that the same problem continues to occur on campus due to the culture that has been created. As a result, she demanded that the administration take a public stand to combat the culture of rape. While there was no guarantee of change to be made on the part of the administration, it was noted that few in the administration agreed that the culture of rape must end.

To maintain momentum, it is important that students continue to raise concerns with administration.

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