Lightening the load — Faculty Senate approved increase in voting members on Budget and Finance Committee

By: 04.19.2017 Administration, News 158 Views

The University of Idaho Budget and Finance Committee (UBFC) has a large workload.

In order to lighten the load and help broaden perspectives within membership, UBFC proposed a change to the structure of the committee.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Faculty Senate approved the proposal regarding changes which increased the number of voting members on UBFC.

Faculty Senate heard from Vice Chair Patrick Hrdlicka, who is a member of UBFC,

about the changes. Hrdlicka said the change focused on two things — to provide the appropriate man-power needed and provide a broader representation of the university on the committee.

“The committee really feels that it is important to have the broadest possible representation on that committee to provide perspectives,” Hrdlicka said.

Hrdlicka said this will assist the impact the program prioritization process might have.

The proposed changes to the structure and membership of the UBFC will expand voting members in UBFC from 13 to 19, Hrdlicka said. It will also implement four non-voting members instead of three. This will increase the number of faculty from seven to 10, the number of the voting staff from three to five, and the number of faculty senators to three to one, he said.

The voting committee consists of 10 faculty members selected by the Committee on Committees, preferably one faculty member from each of the nine academic colleges, one representative from faculty-at-large and one faculty senator, Hrdlicka said.

Even though the committee will be large after proposed amendments are made, Hrdlicka said that is the price they will pay for having broad representation.

Hrdlicka said the committee feels the broad representation is important enough to outweigh the cost of a larger committee. He said he also believes it will be important for years to come.

The second reason behind the proposed change was to provide more individuals who can evaluate applications sent to UBFC.

“It’s a large number of applications and it has been a relatively small committee who has been evaluating them,” Hrdlicka said.

Faculty Senate Chair Liz Brandt said the committee typically divides the proposals up among committee members. The members are then the primary person on the proposals where they present them at a larger meeting, she said.

UBFC obtains proposals from different colleges at the university, Brandt said. This could mean if a committee member obtains a technical proposal dealing with science, yet doesn’t have a science background or have someone on the committee to explain it to them, it may become difficult to evaluate the proposals, she said.

“You have fewer members on the committee, you’ve got more proposals that you’ve got to wrap your head around so that you can present them to the rest of the committee,” Brandt said. “So it’ll reduce the work load for each member.”

Savannah Cardon can be reached at arg-news@uidaho.edu or on Twitter @savannahlcardon

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