Ad hoc budget committee sets agenda for spring

The Ad Hoc Budget Advisory Group convened for the first time on March 3 and took the preliminary steps in its budget examination. The 20 committee members consist of faculty, staff and administrators, as well as students Lizzy Brickley ’10, Mike Tcheyan ’10, Peter Nurnberg ’09 and Jeremy Goldstein ’09. Provost Bill Lenhart chairs the committee while Associate Provost Keith Finan acts as the secretary. Other members include President Schapiro and an assortment of deans, professors and program directors. As the committee’s members represent several important campus groups across a broad spectrum, the committee hopes to have a broad view to consider new budgetary restraints that will work in saving money substantially throughout campus.

“The purpose of the committee is to advise senior staff and articulate the potential large areas for reducing budget over next several years, and to get reasonably ambitious strategies in place,” Lenhart said.

The first meeting provided needed background information on campus finances and brought the whole group up to speed on recent, current and projected assets, including “how expenditures are funded, from which sources and the size of expenditures and how the world has changed in current financial turmoil,” Lenhart said.

The group has now begun weekly meetings. According to members, its goal is not a series of projects but rather a comprehensive analysis of prospective budget revisions. The committee’s work is sure to continue at least for the duration of this semester, and aims to provide some sort of recommendation at the next meeting of the Board of Trustees in April.

Following the April meeting, the committee will continue to amend and revise its proposals until the June meeting of the Board.
After that time, the future of the ad hoc group is uncertain. “It depends how satisfied senior staff and board are, and if we have strategies in place that we need to pursue,” Lenhart said.