The Fall Senate Meeting took place on Thursday (November 2). Chancellor Christ addressed the issue of the cost of Intercollegiate Athletics to the campus, both its on-going budget deficit and the question of the annual debt payments for the renovation of the Memorial Stadium. She is proposing that the campus assume part of the debt but, at the same time, taking over Edwards Stadium, deploying it for academic, student housing and revenue raising purposes. It’s not clear whether this is merely an accounting maneuver as the campus has been bailing out the IA for decades, and in the last two years to the tune of an annual $20m. The big difference would seem to be taking over Edwards Stadium.
Jennifer Johnson Hanks, Chair of CAPRA, gave a presentation on changes in the head count and costs of non-academic staff since 2011. The figures show how administrative expansion and its rising costs are out of step with the rest of campus. Part of the expansion was due to Campus Shared Services, but this, by no means, explains everything. According to the CAPRA report of 2016-2017, between 2010 and 2015 the wage bill in Central Administration grew by 38% compared to a 13% increase in academic units.
The rather innocent resolution of Anant Sahai for faculty to participate in evaluating administrative staffing failed by a narrow margin of 24 to 18 votes. A second resolution by Satish Rao that the Chair of the Senate be elected directly by the faculty rather than appointed by the Committee on Committees also failed. These resolutions and the sparse attendance are a sure sign of faculty disgruntlement with the Senate leadership as working too closely with the administration. It might also be a good idea to hold Senate Meetings at times that are less likely to clash with faculty teaching.
Chair of the BFA.