The big issue of the next legislative session: How much water will the board of regents be able to draw from the well
"When you have a single institutional governing board and a single foundation, it might work,'' he said. "But when you have a system and you have multiple, independent foundations, if all of these foundations don't participate in providing supplemental salaries to presidents, you end up with a situation in which basically the foundations establish the compensation program for university presidents.''
But the change raises new concerns.
Namely, from where will the extra taxpayer dollars come to cover the increases?
In the short term, the universities will look for the extra money from within existing budgets, even if it means taking it from current programs. Long term, however, they could ask the Legislature for more money.
"They're going to be asking for more money to replace that (foundation) funding," state Sen. Jerry Apa, R-Lead, said. "Does that bother me? Absolutely. This whole business of inflation creep in higher education just frustrates me, and now they're going to want more money? We'll be talking about that during session."
State Sen. Orv Smidt, R-Brookings, a member of the Legislature's Joint Appropriations Committee, said it won't be easy for the universities to replace foundation money.
"If there are real concerns and we need to change, I definitely will look at ways to do that through the state. But it won't be easy."
Smidt said the foundations linked to the individual campuses have provided financial help in many areas. None of the institutions has spare cash lying around to easily replace funding for programs that foundations currently help operate, he said.
Read it here. Now, this might not be a tremendous expense in and of itself. But it also comes on the heels of USD's announcement of a strategic plan to build itself into an elitist... er, sorry. ..to build itself into an "elite institution:"
Nine months after university officials began receiving departmental requests for the strategic plan, President James Abbott released a finalized version last Thursday.Read that all here. Now, according to the strategic plan they want to do such things on paper as:
The plan outlines university goals regarding academics, research, enrollment, funding, organizational effectiveness and diversity at USD. It is set to be integrated between 2007 and 2012, but Abbott said its success will depend on student and faculty support.
"Is this what the best small public flagship university in the country would do? In every decision we make, we should be considering that," Abbott said.
Abbott said that the most immediate changes students will see will be in construction of the new student center, Business School and School of Medicine. Although not listed specifically in the plan, he said these facilities will help with continued education and recruitment.
"Students are always pleased with new and updated facilities, but I hope they are impressed with strengthening academics," Abbott said.
Other topics he highlighted included raising admission standards, revamping the IdEA program and initializing the Multicultural Center.
- Create an honors college,
- Double the number of U.Discover Undergraduate Research Scholarships,
- Fully implement the recently approved doctoral programs: Computational Science and Statistics (PhD), MD/PhD, Biomedical Engineering (PhD), Doctorate of Audiology (AuD), and Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT),
- Develop new doctoral-level programs from within these candidate areas: Ecological & Evolutionary Informatics, Materials Chemistry, Political Science, Educational Leadership, Music History, School Psychology, and Occupational Therapy.
- Provide library services, and access to information at a level consistent with Carnegie Research Universities with High Research Activity.
- Develop a Multicultural Center that supports and celebrates diversity of all types, while strengthening the programming at the Native American Cultural Center.
- Determine which undergraduate programs are to be offered at distance locations and develop those programs for distance delivery.
- Create and develop the Office of Enrollment Management with the market research and management capability to build student enrollment.
- Implement a prospect management recruiting process that increases state-support enrollment.
- Identify and prioritize what facility and infrastructure improvements are needed to accomplish the strategic plan goals.
- Develop a landscape and grounds master plan that incorporates the higher design expectations of today's constituents with a mandate for low-maintenance requirements.
In other words, they're going to be going to the well of taxpayer funds for all of this, at the same time they are attempting to go into Division I sports.
I'd argue that when SDSU did it, they adopted a different tactic of laying low on the additional funding for the University. Here, USD is taking the opposite approach by going whole hog with a plethora of new programs.
My thoughts? Bad move. This next legislature is going to be a vastly different place and if things track as they are expected, they are arguably going to be holding a tighter grip on government's pocketbook.
With the Board of Regents showing up with requests for a nearly doubled salary expenditure for institution presidents, and USD wanting to be the world leader in everything, expect the tight-fisted Appropriations committees to put a foot down.