University plans new budget panel

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    A new university committee proposed to be effective next year will allow students, faculty and staff to provide input in the creation of the annual budget, said Carol Campbell, vice chancellor for Finance and Administration.

    Faculty Senators recently approved the creation of the budget advisory committee which would make recommendations to administrators on the budget as it’s being created.

    “This committee is to get a broader campus input into the budgeting process,” Campbell said.

    More campus involvement in the budgeting process is important because the recommendations made in the new committee would have an effect on everyone associated with TCU, Campbell said.

    The new committee would have 10 members: Three from the Faculty Senate, three from the Staff Assembly, three appointed by Chancellor Victor Boschini, and the vice chancellor for finance.

    Edward McNertney, faculty senator and chairman of the economics department, said he served on a similar committee for a year that had no representation for staff members.

    “There wasn’t any role for staff,” he said. “I understand the need to have a broader committee that will have a bigger view, it makes perfect sense.”

    David Grebel, Staff Assembly chairman, said the new committee would educate the Staff Assembly about the budget issues.

    Nadia Lahutsky, who chairs Faculty Senate, said she served for a year on another budget committee and it helped her to understand the complexity of the university.

    “For me to have served on that committee gave me a perspective of the university that I never had in 20 years of teaching,” said Lahutsky, a religion professor. “Students would benefit from that.”

    Faculty Senators recently discussed the issue of allowing students to participate in the new committee when it discusses sensitive or confidential topics like personal salaries or specific budget items only relevant to administrators.

    Lahutsky said students who participate in the new committee would have commit themselves to participate because it takes time to understand the budget issues of TCU.

    Andrew Fort, a Faculty Senate member, said he supports allowing students on the committee.

    “I participated in committees when I was in college and that enriched my college experience,” said Fort, a religion professor.

    Campbell said there has been another advisory committee for the last three years and the new committee would replace the existing one.

    The new committee would become a permanent part of the structure of the university, she said.

    “No matter who holds the position of chancellor or vice chancellor for finance, the budget advisory committee is going to be there to help with the creation of the budget every year,” Campbell said.

    The Faculty Senate proposal states that the new committee would be required to meet at least once a semester and make two reports a year on its decisions that would be reviewed by Boschini and the Board of Trustees.