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Units' budget plans to face thematic review

STANFORD -- Budget-cutting and income-enhancement plans submitted by each of Stanford's schools and miscellaneous units now face more study and analysis.

The existing liaison teams will conduct exit interviews with their assigned units and make sure the plans contain no errors, omissions or other problems.

Meanwhile, new teams will each review all of the unit plans in relation to one of six "cross-cutting themes."

An example of an issue that will be studied is what Provost James N. Rosse calls "administerability." With large cuts proposed in administration for the second time, "are we going to be able to run the university?" he asks.

Engineering Prof. Charles Kruger, who also is senior associate dean of engineering and deputy chair of the Cabinet Committee on Budget and Strategic Planning, is organizing the review.

Kruger said it will be useful, for example, to study small student fees proposed by several units to maintain programs. Would these, in the aggregate, have a detrimental effect, and would they affect financial aid considerations?

Proposals relating to the arts also can be viewed across the institution: the Lively Arts program of Public Affairs, the dance division of Athletics, music and drama programs in Humanities and Sciences, and such student-run programs as the Concert Network and Ram's Head Theatrical Society.

The cumulative impact of several schools' increasing graduate student enrollment also will be studied.

Most of the teams are faculty led and dominated, and most members are involved either with the Cabinet committee or the Faculty Senate Committee on Education and Scholarship at Stanford.

The six topics and teams are:

  • Undergraduate education. History Prof. Judith Brown serves as chair and has recruited philosophy Prof. Michael Bratman, who heads the senate committee's task force on undergraduate education. Ted Mitchell, deputy to the president and to the provost, and student Alison Derbenwick also are on the team.
  • Graduate education. Prof. David Clayton, developmental biology and chair of the team, has recruited biological sciences Prof. Pat Jones and graduate student David Bradfute. Others may be added.
  • Research. Physics Prof. Steve Chu has recruited Profs. Lubert Stryer, cell biology; Amos Tversky, psychology; John Brauman, chemistry; Arthur Bienenstock, Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory; and George Frederickson, history. Chief Financial Officer Peter Van Etten also will serve.
  • Support services. The vice presidents, on their own, offered to examine the effect of cuts on the ability of administrative units to support academic activities. They selected Ray Bacchetti, vice president for planning and management, as their coordinator. Independently, the administrative associate deans of the schools will conduct a similar review of support-service capacity and needs.
  • The arts. English Prof. George Dekker still is putting together his team.
  • Diversity. Sharon Parker, director of multicultural development, will chair a study of the plans' impact on diversity. She has recruited Ted Mitchell and is still looking for a faculty member who will help.

The teams' findings will be discussed at a university cabinet retreat Feb. 18-19.

A seventh review for the Cabinet is being conducted by Bill Weiler, assistant vice president for institutional research in planning and management. He is collecting and summarizing data on proposed faculty and staff reductions, student employment reductions (and their effects on financial aid), departmental mergers and other proposals.

Meanwhile, the Faculty Senate plans to devote its Feb. 6 meeting to discussion of the budget plans.

And an open meeting for Humanities and Sciences faculty members to discuss the school's budget reduction plan is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 10, in History Corner, room 2.

Rosse said he had no immediate plans to hold more budget town meetings because consultation already should have taken place at the school and vice presidential level.

"We do need to have a process wherein appeals, so to speak, can be heard," he said. "On the other hand, as soon as you open it up, if you open it up very far, you simply invite redoing all the decisions that were done the first time around. That really violates the integrity of the process and is awfully hard to manage."

Kruger said he would welcome letters from community members who have views on specific plans.

When the cross-cutting studies are complete and refinements are made in the proposals, Rosse and President Donald Kennedy will prepare a final budget plan that will be reported to the Board of Trustees at its April meeting.


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