Edie N. Goldenberg is saying no more often these days than she would like, but its paying off, the dean told her colleagues at LS&As September faculty meeting.
By saying no and reducing the size of the Office of the Dean from five associate deans to four associate deans, the College has achieved savings equal to one third of the $2.4 million cut it received in its budget this year.
Budgets for all of the U-Ms schools and colleges have been trimmed this year. Although times will be tight, Goldenberg said that LS&A will be able to spread its adjustments over several years with the help of gift funds.
LS&A has completely redesigned and restructured the College budget and tried to provide greater flexibility to departments and programs in managing your budgets, she added.
I believe that Michigan is a well-managed institution and though we are certainly not immune from financial stresses and strains, we are preparing for them in ways that will ensure the continued excellence of the College and the University, the dean said.
Commenting on the administrations decision to grant no merit salary increases this year except to some employees who make less than $25,000 a year, Golden-berg added, It is clear to meand to all of usthat a second year without merit increases would place us in great jeopardy.
As part of the first meeting of the academic year, Goldenberg welcomed new and returning faculty and discussed some of the highlights of last year and hopes for the coming year.
She said LS&A has made significant progress in three areas: space, graduate student research assistant costs and computing.
After years of delay, we now have the resources and a firm schedule to proceed with renovations of East Engineering, the Randall extension and improvements to the Undergraduate Library. We can begin to plan for the dominoes that will eventually benefit many departments and programs in the College, Goldenberg said.
She noted that the College also has developed a new graduate student research assistant tuition funding plan that will improve the Colleges ability to compete for research funds.
Implementation of a partnership between LS&A and the Information Technology Division has helped the College upgrade instructional computing, provide UNIX support, and provide consulting and training services for LS&A faculty and staff.
Goldenberg said LS&A has made major gains in the educational climate during the past year for both undergraduate and graduate students, including:
A number of departments and programs have improved their undergraduate offerings for concentrators and non-concentrators.
The Undergraduate Research Program, in which students work with a faculty member on research, has grown from 150 students last year to more than 400 students this year, thanks to additional support from the state, a number of foundations and private donors.
Mid-course teaching assessments for new faculty have been introduced to give them a clearer idea of how their students are experiencing their classes before the end of the term.
Under the leadership of Associate Dean Michael Martin, Goldenberg said she expects to see curriculum proposals during the coming year for a quantitative reasoning requirement, an expanded first-year seminar program and continued improvements in language and science instruction.
The provost has earmarked $2 million in base funds for the undergraduate initiative in LS&A in the 199394 budget, Goldenberg said. We are now planning for the use of those fundssome of which will be needed to support teaching assistant training and other activities previously funded only one year at a time.