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April 10, 1980 - Image 12

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1980-04-10

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Page 12-Thursday, April 10, 1980-The Michigan Daily
'U' budget process long, complex
(Continued from Page 1) 9P

their case for more money in hearings
before the state budget director and
higher education appropriations
subcommittees in the legislature.
Yet another part of the University's
time is spent tring to keep state officials
"happy," according to Vice-President
for State Relations Richard Kennedy.
Part of that includes being responsive
to legislators questions about the
University and pressing them to be
more responsive to the needs of higher
education, as would any other lobbying
TRADITIONALLY, the state budget
office and governor set priorities and
examine the University's fund request
in the late fall. The state legislature
sets into motion their budgeting system
immediately after the governor
releases his recommendations.
At that point, a series of legislative
hearings begin, and University
adminsitrators are drilled about their

needs and asked to justify their
requests. Lately, energy conservation
has been an important topic of
legislative inquiry. Certain legislators,
namely Rep. Gary Owen (D-Ypsilanti)
and Sen. Bill Huffman (D-Madison
Heights) act as "champions of the
cause" of higher education, according
to Kennedy. Owen and Huffman are the
subcommittee chairmen responsible
for the higher education budget.
"While they will beat us up, they keep
us honest," Kennedy said. "In a sense
they're fighting your battle in the
THE UNIVERSITY, which several
state officials say is a very powerful
lobby in Lansing, has its share of
political forces with which to contend.
,Because legislators are "obviously
very political people with political
goals, everything's a trade-off,"
Kennedy said. Legislators often request
administrators to grant them favors in




such as admission for their sons or
daughters, he said. "That's one thing
we don't do-regardless of the political
benefit," Kennedy said.
Meanwhile, the University must
decide what it is going to be doing with
the money it receives from the state,
keeping in mind that all is in limbo until
the governor signs the budget bill in
early July. Adjustments in tuition and
salary levels usually allow the Univer-
sity to produce a finalized budget just
days after the state comes through with
its portion of the money.
ALTHOUGH each school and college
operates in a slightly different manner,
their basic budgeting processes are the
same. Each department submits its
request for classes, faculty, staff,
equipment, and other material to the
central school or college budget office.
The College of Engineering, for
example, has a budget of about $10.4
million for 1980-81.
Engineering college budget officer
Harold Harger explained that each
department submits information about
the classes to be offered, expected
enrollment, and details about faculty
and staff needs to his office. He then
reviews information for each depar-
tment and assigns a c st to different
classes and allow for sme equipment
and rehabilitation requests. The
college's administration meets with in-
dividual department heads to evaluate
requests and narrow the gap between
the college's and the department's ex-
The priority fund, a special part of
the budget which is receiving increased
attention from University departments,
is set up to add flexibility to the budget
process in especially tight financial
college, and unit is taxed a portion of
the allocation they are scheduled to
receive - for 1980-81 the figure will be
one per cent,or almost $1.8 million.
Requests for the priority fund money
go to the vice-president for academic

affairs and other budget ad-
ministrators. A faculty/ad-
ministration/student committee
designated as the "Budget Priorities
Committee" reviews requests and
submits its recommendations to the
University's executive officers.
According to Dentistry Prof. Robert
Craig, chairman of the University
Budget Priorities Committee (BPC),
the priority fund frees up money for
special projects when "there is no
flexibility to do anything different"
from funding salaries, equipment, and
other fixed costs.
CRAIG ALSO said the priority fund
tax also pressures various units to
allocate their own funds wisely.
BPC was created in the early 1970s,
when financial times were also dif-
ficult. Faculty members became in-
terested in the budgetary process, and
the BPC was created.
However, BPC has come under at-
tack by faculty members who say the
system acts as an information
gathering body rather than acting in an
advisory capacity.
THE FACULTY governing commit-
tee, Senate Assembly Committee on
University Affairs (SACUA) this week
discussed BPC's role and its "limited"
role as a mechanism for providing
faculty input on University budget con-
siderations. According to SACUA
member and Social Work Prof. Jesse
Gordon, an ad hoc committee will be set
up to develop a charge for study BPC's
role, function and structure.
Members of BPC, which include
several students, generally agree that
there is a willingness on their part to
accept the "greater knowledge of ex-
perts"' who deal with the budget on a
day-to-day basis.
Craig said he sometimes finds it
"frustrating" that his committee has
little say in the final policy decision.
TomorroW: An examina-
tion of the state's current
financial status and its effect
on the University.

in MSA

Approximately 5400 ballots were cast
Tuesday and yesterday in the Michigan
Student Assembly (MSA) election,
MSA election director'Ross Romeo
estimated last night. Romeo described
the turnout as "very heavy." i
The election was marred by the
omission of LSA freshman Mark
Daniels' name on 25 per cent of the
printed ballots.
DANIELS SAID last night he is "not
bitter" over the error, but added that he
has not decided whether to file a
complaint about the omission.
The freshman said he is "waiting to
see how the votes turn out," and said he
will not pursue the matter if it appears
the ballot error did not affect th4
All the ballots distributed yesterday
that were missing Daniels' name were
altered to correct the error at the
bottom of the LSA category. However,
none of the erroneous ballots caston
'Tuesday were corrected, as the
mistake was not discovered until late
THE REALISTIC party, to which
Daniels belongs, will protest to th
Central .Student Judiciary (CSJ) "i
he's anywhere near close" to being
elected, Realistic presidential
candidate Mike Ryngaert said.
CSJ Chief Justice Dave Schaper
said he welcomes all complaints from
individuals or parties before the CSJ
election certification hearing Sunday at
3 p.m.
Schaper said he will ask for
suggestions on possible remedial action
to counteract the misprint from all thp
parties involved. Two suggestions
far have been to hold a new election for
all 11 LSA seats or a run-off election
between Daniels and the lowest LSA
vote-getter elected.
"If (Daniels) wins-or doesn't have a
chance of winning-then there's no
problem," Schaper said.
Ballot counting is to being this
morning at 9. Schaper said votes on
Proposal A (the MSA fee increase) will
be counted first, since the Regents mus'
consider the increase next week.


Resume Writing


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