CAPRA Meeting Minutes
April 27, 2012


Paul Bingham, Debra Dwyer, Bill Godfrey, Norm Goodman, Shmuel Einav, Stalin Mafla, Larry Wittie

Strategic Planning Report

The recommendation of Paul Bingham to represent CAPRA on the Finance and Budget Committee (F&BC) was accepted by Mark Maculaitis and Provost Assanis, especially given his role in the response to responsibility management we put forward.  The committee mostly consists of medicine and finance people.  Paul is the only one from CAS.  They are looking to get someone from anthropology that might have the necessary revenue and finance experience.  They have to be careful with size given there are already 14 on the committee.  Response from CAPRA to the initial RCM model proposal was well received with the exception of the idea of the second committee (RCM committee).  Given how large F&BC is, Paul said he may be able to make a case for a split.
There is also an issue of whether all F&BC committee members must have the finance background.  Privacy of emails was raised as an example of how technical expertise alone is insufficient to bring about good outcomes.  You need some academic substance to supplement in the decision-making and strategic planning.

The F&BC committee is primarily a technical committee dealing.  As an example, it is not the committee’s responsibility to oversee IDC return formulas, but how they are technically distributed whatever formula is decided upon.

Paul will emphasize the importance of transparency in the RCM process that CAPRA insists upon.

A new SUNY Budget Model

Norm Goodman reported that a new model for SUNY is in the process of being developed .  After discussions with relevant people in SUNY and President Stanley, Mark Maciulaitis, and Lyle gomes, there is some concern that the current models that are being considered largely disadvantage Buffalo and Stony Brook.  It will be a more “all funds, zero-based budgeting” approach as opposed to a “maintenance of effort” model that would maintain the current budget for a campus, already largely decimated by considerable cuts over the past 4 years, and use the new budget model to make adjustments for any budget additions or cuts.  While there is a budget item to include funds for promoting research, which is useful for the University Centers, it is based on matching external funds that campuses attract.  However, since, inexplicably, the external funds that will be matched to the New York State budget allocation to SUNY include research grants and contracts from New York State, one consequence is that Albany’s Nanotech Center, which gets considerable funding for its research from New York State while Stony Brook and Buffalo mainly attract federal and foundation funds, will get disproportionately more than SUNY Buffalo or Stony Brook.  There apparently is mixed support among campus presidents for the various models that are currently being discussed.

Flow of funds subcommittee

Larry Wittie reminded the group that he has accumulated four years worth of expenditures by schools/departments that part of the provost’s budget. As a committee,  Norm pointed out, we need to consider what questions we should ask of this data base to carry out our responsibilities for overseeing “resource allocation and academic planning” on the campus.  Paul Bingham suggested several good questions and agreed to send them to Larry.  Example of questions from Paul and others at the meeting include:  How many dollars per graduate student have been spent?  How many dollars per undergraduate student?  Campus budget dollars spent verses dollars from external funds?  Were there significant changes in funding patterns over the past few years?  If so, what might explain these changes?  Is there a correlation between state funds allocated to departments/programs and the external funds they attract?

The campus’ Strategic Plan will be implemented through the budget so it is important to identify where money goes and what the model for spending is (if one exists); in short, how are budget allocations used to carry out the Strategic Plan.

Deb Dwyer raised the issue of how the criterion of scholarly activity is included in the campus funding model, and how this criterion is measured.  She indicated that she will explore how to get faculty addendum data for this issue.  Norm Goodman reminded the group that last year he, Kane Gillespie, and Bill Godfrey had proposed a model that would make the academic department the major unit of analysis for faculty responsibilities for teaching, research/scholarship, and service that was discussed with the West Campus deans and with the late Michael Marx, then Associate Provost.  Included in this proposal were some suggestions for items to include in the research and scholarship component that CAPRA might well want to consider in the current context.