Faculty and students to aid budget planning

Budget assessment at USF will continue this year with a new development: including faculty and students in the planning process.

President Judy Genshaft announced this month the formation of a System Budget Planning Advisory Committee, consisting of the provost, vice presidents, faculty and students.

Student Government, Faculty Senate and the USF chapter of the United Faculty of Florida said they hope this administration change as well as a newly formed Budget Advisory Committee will provide openness, which is a key issue for members.

Faculty members said they have been disappointed with the way budget planning has taken place at USF.

“The administration took sole responsibility for the development and proposal of the budget, and with little input from the other constituencies that are very concerned,” said Larry Branch, Faculty Senate president, in a conference Thursday.

Budget processing is in need of transparency, said Sherman Dorn, president of USF’s United Faculty of Florida.

This issue and others will be addressed though the committee’s guiding principles, Branch said, which include openness, trust among faculty and staff and training in working effectively.

“Openness depends on the president and chief financial advisor,” said Leroy Dubeck during his presentation to USF on Thursday.

He also encouraged USF’s creation of the budget planning committee.

“The past is certain. We know precisely how much money we have,” Dubeck said. “The challenge lies in the future, which is uncertain.”

Goals of the advisory committee include advising the Executive Budget Planning Council in developing the budget by reviewing expenditures and money allocations.

The planning takes students into account by including the SG president in meetings.

SG Vice President Thomas King said that he hopes this will allow students to learn about the University’s finances and be more involved in planning.

“I’m excited about building a strong relationship with the Faculty Senate, administration and United Faculty,” he said.

The next meeting of the System Budget Planning Advisory Committee is scheduled for Feb. 18.