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Budget & Planning

Investing in UWM's Future:
Questions and Answers (2/2000)

The questions listed below were suggested by campus administrative and governance participants in the January 18, 2000 retreat as ones that might be anticipated from their campus colleagues as Investing in UWM? Future is distributed for comment and endorsement.  Answers were drafted by the CBAC writing committee to reflect the discussions of the retreat participants.  In some cases, the answers provided are preliminary and will be further addressed as the CBAC develops its recommendations for the campus administration regarding  implementation guidelines and processes.

Additional questions and/or  requests for clarification are welcome.  Please send questions/requests by email to the committee reflector: cbac@uwm.edu.  Answers/responses will be provided by the CBAC steering committee and will appear on this posted list within two weeks.
 

Question
The model suggests an increase in resources for UWM of over $70M in the next five years.  How realistic is this?

Answer
We certainly can understand why some might ask this question.  But there are many reasons to be optimistic about our future.  First, we are already meeting, and often exceeding, the goals in the model.  Additional tuition revenues returned to campus in 1999-2000 are expected to exceed the amount predicted in the model and are the result of increasing enrollments and student interest in UWM.  We have experienced the best biennial budget in 1999-2001 that UWM has experienced in years.  Our gift campaign will be launched within the year.  And, we are experiencing enormous success in attracting extramural funds.  Only one example is the over $26M in external grants and contracts UWM and its partners have garnered over the past months to improve preparation of urban students for college and teacher preparation.

In this context, several folks have expressed concern about our goal to increase extramural gifts and contracts by 5% in 1999-2000, 10% in 2000-2001, and 15% in 2001-2002 and in the next three years.  Two facts clearly show that our ambitious growth rates for extramural support are indeed attainable:
*  UWM has grown at these rates in the past.  For example, when comparing Federally Financed Research & Development Expenditures from 1987 to 1992, UWM grew from 3.9M to 7.6M, for an overall increase of 95%, and an annual compounded growth rate of 11.7% over the 6-year period.  (Source:  National Science Foundation.)
*  The current increase for 1999-00 is exceeding the stated goal of 5% growth.  For example, comparing Federal Awards for December 1998 year-to-date to December 1999 year-to-date, (excluding Student Aid), UWM?s totals are as follows:

    December 1998 = 10.4M
    December 1999 = 14.8M
    This is a 42% growth rate (Source:  UWM Report ? January 26,2000 ? page 39)
Finally, and most importantly, there is so much being done that is focusing local, state, national and international attention on UWM?s accomplishments and its potential.  Under Chancellor Zimpher?s energetic and visionary leadership, UWM is attracting support at all critical levels.  The Milwaukee Idea has garnered cooperative partners and wide-spread support.  The UW System and President Lyall have provided funds for this biennium, and have pledged that our budget request will be featured in the UW System budget proposal for the next biennium.  We have every reason to be optimistic!
 
 

Question
Over $70M sounds great, but what happens if we fall short of these optimistic predictions?  For instance, what will happen to the Milwaukee Idea initiatives during the second and third biennia if there is a shortfall in state or gift funds?  Is there an expectation that UWM will reallocate to cover the shortfalls?

Answer
It?s a dynamic plan that requires rethinking and restructuring as revenue projections become revenue reality.  We can?t control all areas of funding but we need to monitor shortfalls and reevaluate and, if necessary, readjust the plan.   It will generally depend on where shortfalls occur; for instance, if we don?t raise scholarship funds, we won?t have them to spend. The plan is based on outcomes, and every investment must be evaluated in terms of whether its anticipated outcomes are being met, particularly if continuing funding cannot be guaranteed.
 
 

Question
The investment plan doesn'?t speak to implementation.  For example, how will budget planning and decision processes ensure that the investments outlined are made and that the outcomes are realized?

Answer
The implementation process is not yet developed.  The CBAC is charged, by Chancellor Zimpher, to develop a proposed implementation strategy.  In doing so, the CBAC will consult extensively with campus units and governance groups for input on a campus-wide planning and budget allocation process.  The CBAC has been asked to present its recommendations to the chancellor and provost by the end of the Spring, 2000 semester.
 
 

Question
This plan describes very broad areas of investment.  How will we determine more specific priorities like what departments get the positions?

Answer
The new resources envisioned here will benefit all units.  Clearly, some of these resources will be targeted.  We anticipate that the bulk of new tuition revenues from expanding enrollments must pay for increased instructional and related infrastructure costs; some gift monies will be designated for specific programs; extramural funding must be spent on the projects for which it is awarded.  At the same time, substantial amounts of the new resources can be allocated on the basis of campus priorities for development of our scholarly mission, building a stronger support infrastructure, etc.  The implementation plan - to follow the investment plan - will define how we make these decisions.  It is also the case that the investment plan encourages units to take control of their futures.  Units can most easily do so by analyzing the possibilities for connecting with one of the opportunities for development outlined in the plan: (a) The Milwaukee Idea, (b) enrollment increases, (c) enhancement of their scholarly mission.
 
 

Question
The document sets as a goal an average of $1M in extramural funds annually for each PhD program.  Does this mean my program will be endangered if we don't regularly generate that much funding?

Answer
This figure is an average across all PhD programs.  It is recognized that it is unrealistic for some programs to raise this kind of extramural funding, but that other programs should be able to raise much more than this amount when faculty numbers are brought to the desired level.  In order to maintain an overall level of extramural funding commensurate with being a first-rate doctoral/research  university, this level of average funding is very important.
 
 

Question
The investment plan seeks to increase scholarships for high achieving students and multicultural students.  Both goals are desirable.  However, if funds become limited at some point, will we be forced to make a decision about supporting one of these goals and not the other?

Answer
No.  The money that is projected in the investment plan to be awarded to students will come from outside sources, principally through the gift campaign.  Furthermore, the funds are expected to be restricted for one category of scholarship or the other by the donor.  Consequently, students in one category do not compete in any sense with students from the other category for the same scholarship dollar. UWM is committed to expending effort in generating the funds via its gift campaign for each category of scholarship.
 
 

Question
Why is there no explicit funding plan for competitive compensation until the next biennium?

Answer
The investment plan includes commitment to addressing competitive salaries, but considerable work needs to be done to determine the need and the approach the campus will take in resolving competitive salary issues.  Working groups have been established to analyze and recommend strategies for addressing competitive salaries for faculty, academic staff and graduate assistants.
 
 

Question
The plan calls for reallocation of $4.0M over the next five years.  How will that be done?

Answer
Some reallocations will be done centrally; that is, across campus units, and some will be done within units.  It is useful to note that about $4.5M turns over each year as ?natural? reallocation.  The PAR and COF processes were examples of central reallocation this past year.  Our willingness to reallocate - or to devote our own resources to our investment goals - is critical to making our case to the state, to extramural funding agencies, and to private donors that they should invest in our aspirations.  As we begin to implement the plan, communication and consistent guidelines are extremely important when discussing and implementing reallocation strategies.
 
 

Question
Are we planning to include in our biennial budget request a UWM-specific tuition increases to fund our investment plan?

Answer
We are still in the planning phase and need to work with our student representatives as we move forward in making this decision.  We are committed to maintaining access, but also need to develop strategies to support that access as well as our broader goals.
 
 

Question
What about space needs associated with this growth plan?
 
Answer
We have the ability to more effectively and efficiently use our current physical plant.  In addition our biggest potential for additional space is off campus.
 
 

Question
Why are we increasing our enrollment and what will ensure that we maintain a quality education from both the student and the faculty perspective?

Answer
Demand for UWM has increased and continues to increase, particularly (but not exclusively) in the Milwaukee metropolitan area.  Because UWM is so critical to the educational and economic livelihood of the metropolitan area and state, we want to maintain access and support purposeful growth.  With careful and planned growth, we will also be able to realize tuition revenues which can, in addition to supporting the additional instruction and services expanded enrollment will require, assist in resourcing our broad institutional goals.  Maintaining - and increasing - quality of teaching, learning and student services during enrollment expansion requires effective and efficient planning and communications across all campus units. All participants in preparing this plan emphasized repeatedly the need to maintain and even improve quality. Our implementation plan must attend to this goal.
 
 

Question
Why are we implementing the tuition revenue target model as part of this plan?

Answer
Tuition revenues are an integral portion of our projected revenues, and represent the revenue source most within our control.  The purpose of distributing a pre-determined portion of the revenues generated to the schools and colleges is to afford academic units the ability to predict revenue returns and enable program planning and expansion without the necessity of reallocating within units.
 
 

Question
The investment plan proposes increasing S & E for research but not for teaching.  Amid stories of departments that cannot afford bluebooks, was this omission intentional or merely an oversight?

Answer
No, there really is no omission.  Two general areas of need for additional S&E that were identified in the planning discussions around Investing in UWM?s Future were general S&E needs in most departments to support activities ranging from paper supplies to travel expenses, and the particular need for S&E funds to support research.   The expectation is that under the investment plan, the entire sum of money available to be distributed as S & E will increase in the future.  When given an increased S & E, units will be expected to make decisions concerning how they want to spend those funds themselves.  The increase will almost certainly not be enough to support all wishes of the unit, but the goal is to increase S & E generally so that as many activities as possible will be better supported in the future, including teaching.