Questions & Answers

Is the committee going to consider eliminating (or reducing) degree programs and/or departments in the budget reallocation process?

The Organizational Appraisal Committee will consider all suggestions that are presented to them. This committee will only consider suggestions and forward recommendations to the UPRAC for further consideration and evaluation. The Organizational Appraisal Committee will not be making final decisions. UPRAC will send recommendations to the Chancellor for final decisions.

If so, how much advance notice will faculty members in the affected departments receive in order to weigh their employment options and pursue other opportunities?

Any recommendations forwarded to the UPRAC or the Chancellor will be posted on the Budget Rebalancing website. Faculty will know what suggestions are being forwarded for further consideration. The Chancellor will make his decisions and inform the campus in late March 2015.

Will current majors in the affected programs be able to complete degrees?

If a major is eliminated, the University is dedicated to ensuring that current students in that major can finish the major in a timely manner. We have an obligation to provide the student the degree. In situations where a similar or related major is at UTC, we will provide necessary advising so the student can make an informed decision regarding major options.

And, how will the campus deal with the potential for new enrollment in the affected programs?

If a decision is made to eliminate a major, further acceptance of students into that major will be halted.

Want to increase revenue? Keep students for a full four years? Drop the out-of-state fee for residents of North Georgia! It's ludicrous for my son to pay an extra 8K per semester to attend UTC when he can receive the same education at Chattanooga State for a sixth of the cost. Looks like he'll be transferring to you in 2017 as a junior unless changes are made soon.

UTC  is currently exploring the possibility of broader competitive  enrollment access and tuition scholarships/discounting for students residing within the regional states that boarder Hamilton County.  Expansion of our current program would require review and approval by the UT Board of Trustees.  

Combine International Education and International Student Services into an International Education Services office.   What is the justification for keeping them separate? The function of the two offices could easily be coordinated, saving the cost of one administrative salary and benefits (approximately $41,000) per year.

As we move forward with implementing a more robust international education office on campus we will pursue an organizational  structure that ensures efficiency and stewardship of available funds. All international services will be operated from one office.

1. Turn off lights in offices, hallways, and restrooms at night and when not in use.

2. Take advantage of virtual (online) conferences and webinars.

3. Restrict the number of people from the same department attending the same conference.

4. Limit reimbursement of "excessive" travel: i.e. claiming mileage for department errands; claiming mileage to airport when flying; claiming actual meal and gasoline receipts en lieu of meal per diem and mileage; tighter controls when faculty are invited to speak at other institutions (how do we know they are not being reimbursed by us and the host institution?); claiming parking fees for downtown meetings. These are small expenses but add up over time and when multiplied.

5. Limit the amount of "entertainment" of guests: i.e. ask faculty to pay out-of-pocket for guests without expecting reimbursement from the university, and, in group situations, asking each employee to pay for these events without expecting reimbursement of his/her meal; limit reimbursement of alcohol purchases (even with restricted funds) because these funds would be better utilized elsewhere (as in program development).

6. Limit amount of spending on food, in general, for activities and events held on-campus and off-campus. We spend too much in meal and snack invoicing and reimbursements. "When they meet, they eat" has become commonplace.

7. Eliminate the staff picnic and give every employee a monetary reward instead (perhaps a $10 gift card). Staff frequently complain about cold food and about how apathetic the picnic is, in general. There may be better ways to improve morale among employees.

8. Be more proactive in partnering with the community in an effort to better our reputation, share with the community the positives about UTC, and ultimately acquire more funding and resources for UTC from the community and private sector. Staff should be encouraged to participate in community activities whenever possible and not to be apathetic (perhaps even offer incentives for community involvement).

9. In general, promote less spending and attitudes of "entitlement" on the part of all UTC staff....encourage everyone to be fiscally responsible simply because it is the right thing to do.

10. Eliminate "dead weight" employees by offering retirement incentives, and build stronger departments with reorganization and salary upgrades for the ones doing the best work and majority of the work. Encourage a strong work ethic...there is too much satisfaction with mediocrity, adding to low morale.

You have provided us with many great ideas and innovative approaches to save money and operate more efficiently. As we move forward with our campus wide dialogue regarding fiscal resources and related planning, we remain confident many of your recommendations will be fully explored.

I am wondering why we have two Associate Provosts in Academic Affairs. Are both roles clearly responsible to critical parts of our institution's business? If not, then I am a little confused about how this all plays out, especially in light of the budget revisions that are necessary and our efforts to streamline our organizational processes.

Justification or rationale for suggestions, ideas or comments:

If there must be two Associate Provosts, then their duties should be clear, and they should be a active and contributing part of Academic Affairs as a whole. It does not seem appropriate that if one person does not perform well, additional tasks should be removed from their oversight and assigned to someone else. Perhaps only one Associate Provost would be needed with an additional coordinator to handle other tasks.

As Provost (Jerald Ainsworth), I continue to evaluate the role of and responsibilities of each employee in AA. As the need arises, duties are modified to ensure all Academic Affairs staff are providing critical services to our university which could result in reassignments.

In the meeting that the Vice Chancellor and Chancellor held in 2014 the Vice Chancellor stated that the faculty salaries were over 90% up to over 100% to the average. He stated that he was trying to raise those to be better. In the same speech he mentioned that the salaries for staff were much lower. There was no mention of trying to raise staff salaries to equal the average. I would like to see the same amount of attention paid to the staff salaries as to the faculty.

Justification or rationale for suggestions, ideas or comments:

Our insurance costs go up, with co-pays and deductibles increasing and our salaries stay the same. There is very little opportunity for salary evaluation and we receive little or no cost of living adjustments. In order to retain a quality, trained work force you must compensate them.

It remains our full intent and institutional priority to continually review and invest in faculty and staff salaries to ensure market competitiveness. We have recently raised our minimum hiring rates for staff from $9.00 to  $9.50 per hour and effective July 1, 2015, we hope to move the minimum hiring rate to $10.00 per hour. We have exceptional compensation benchmarking data developed by an outside national consultant. This data will assist the institution in compensation planning and the setting of priorities for staff salary adjustments.

Please consider closing the following departments or minimizing their budget which don't generate SCH (Student Credit Hours). 
   -Counseling & Career: $603,035 
   -Ctr for Acad. & Innovation: $560,867 
   -Honors College: $223,010 
   -Lifelong Learning: $352,760
   -Probasco Chair: $419,194 
   -Skills Lab-Research Lab: $83,477
   -Student Affairs: $703,998
   -Total $2,946,341

Justification or rationale for suggestions, ideas or comments: 

The total salary of above mentioned organization units last year cost is $2,946,341. This much budget is taken every year without generating any SCH or contributing to revenue. Why pursue an academic departmental merger which can barely save $30,000 when you can save almost $3,000,000 annually by cutting above mentioned units . Even if one consider only a 10% budget reduction on the proposed org units, it would be $300,000 per year rather than $30,000.

During our ongoing planning process, we will consider all recommendations that appropriately align with the strategic priorities and mission of the university.