February 2009 minutes

Administrative Staff Council Meeting Minutes

Wednesday February 4, 2009


The meeting was called to order at 9:02.


·         Daffodil Days are coming up again.  The flyers are in the mail.  Wrapping is March 15 from 8:15-9:15 and volunteers are needed to wrap and deliver.  Orders are due February 24.

·         Relay for life: order forms for Luminaria were provided.  The kickoff is February 10.  Coop/Career services has a team and welcomes anyone to join them.

·         We need volunteers for the picnic committee.  The date will be determined as soon as we have checked the president’s schedule.  We also need ideas for the  theme.

·         In April we will have nominations for officers for the next year


Treasurers report:  Although not detailed at the meeting there are a few adjustments.  The first is the $75 presidential podium fee for the February meeting.  The second is an extra $40 for coffee.  This is because as of January 1, Lackmann instituted a $15 surcharge for orders under $50 (previously our coffee was $40 for 20 people).  We would have ended up paying $55 for the same amount of coffee.  Because of this, we decided to order coffee for 25 people instead and pay only $10 more for the February, March, April & May meetings. Drink up people!


Benefits Committee:   Meeting at the end of February


Middle States:  Karen DeSantis had copies of the self study at a glance and the group is making a top 10 list of things everyone should know about Middle States.  The Middle States representatives are coming in March the Sunday – Wednesday after Spring Break week (March 22 to 25).


Service Committee:   Thank you for all of the help with the Clout Toy Drive.  Electronic copies of the thank you letters should be available soon.


Faculty Council: Robina Schepp was the guest speaker.  Westchester enrollment is down & so are the SAT scores.  Faculty made a motion that they want to see the salaries of all positions/grades.  They also want a task force to look at schedules.  The next meeting is Friday February 6.


Next month our speaker will be Steven Johnson.


Guest Speaker: President Friedman.

Two years ago (06/07) Pace had an operating loss of $17.5 million.  Last year (07/08) we had a loss of $3.5 million.  This year we had budgeted for a profit of $1.5 million but that was before the stocks dropped.  Our total budget is $270 and we don’t know how well we did until after the void process in October. 


This year initially we ended up projecting a loss of $4.5 million but have made changes in various options to drop that down to about $800,000.  This included changing a $62 million term loan from Merrill Lynch to similar to a line of credit “don’t borrow money when you don’t need it”.  We also changed the terms to eliminate the negative pledge so that we could sell either Martine or Briarcliff (which President Friedman thinks we should”) in an appropriate market.


We are having a modified job freeze – we are only filling essential positions and trying to hold as many positions until the next budget year as we can.


We are looking to save more energy including replacing light switches with motion detectors and changing to the compact fluorescent bulbs – those items pay for themselves in 6 months.


In terms of spring enrollment:

·         Our students haven’t had a problem getting loans.  There was a small erosion of state funding  (about $75,000)

·         The number of currently registered students is smaller than last year.  We budgeted for 237 students with a stretch goal of 257 students and we are between the two.

·         The number of applications has increased but that data is increasingly meaningless as it is done online to multiple colleges at the same time.

·         We were not successful in increasing retention

·         Enrollment overall is about 650 students smaller than last year – mostly in the Teach for America and NACTEL programs

·         We are expecting to exceed our graduate applications by about 40 students

·         As of right now “spring looks terrific”


We learned our lesson from previous years and sent out our financial aid packages in January instead of May.


We are doing really well in spite of the economy – partially because we don’t have a big endowment.


The Golden Report was discussed.  This is an attempt in retrospect to have a precise accounting about the margin of profitability of programs, departments & schools.    This report breaks down to the individual class level:

·         What the faculty got paid to teach it

·         What % of that pay is for this class

·         How many students are in the class

·         What did they pay for the class

It then adds it all up per department.  It is a tool to quantify how things are doing.  It does not make recommendations or analyze anything.    The summary of the report has previously already been sent to faculty and will now be sent to staff.  President Friedman does not want the entire thing circulated for a number of reasons.  The council can have an executive representative(s) to view the entire report.


No layoffs are planned despite some rumors that have surfaced.  There was a hypothetical question posed to the provost etc about what we would do if we lost 10% of our students (about $27 million).  We don’t have the list yet of what would be done.  An attempt to reduce compensation would come before layoffs.   At this point in time that does not look to be a problem.


The next draft of the strategic agenda will be distributed soon.


There were questions about reduced staff and the positions not being filled.  The response was that between 2001 and 2007 we lost ½ of our unrestricted assets (from $90 million to $42 million) and that is our cushion for losses.  We cannot afford to lose that further.  What happens when there are reductions is that people continue to try to do everything by working harder.  That leads to low morale.  You have to think of what can service be eliminated (and there is always something that can be) so that the whole department is re-engineered.


We are trying to be less paperbound.  We are spending money on new software programs for space allocation to make us more efficient by seeing which rooms are not being used to the best of their ability (i.e.. how much of the midtown campus is being used between 9am & 4pm- answer “0”.  It will also make event planning easier.


We are working to get more out of banner “the roach motel” of data.


We are still hoping to be in the black this year and when that happens we can start re-investing in the University.


We should have an announcement about the new CIO of DOIT in about 10 days as we are in final negotiations.



Respectfully Submitted,

Christina Blenkle

February 5, 2009