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The University has identified ways of minimizing the impact of recent years' losses from the University's endowment while continuing to advance Brown's agenda, administrators announced at Tuesday's faculty meeting, proposing several measures to cut costs including layoffs, a tuition increase and cuts to varsity sports programs.

The Organizational Review Committee, charged with finding opportunities to reduce expenditures as well as improve existing programs, successfully met its goal of decreasing the budget by almost $14 million for the 2011 fiscal year. This will allow the University to continue most of its plans for expansion, retain its policy of need-blind admission and end its faculty salary freeze, Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration Beppie Huidekoper said. Notable recommendations to President Ruth Simmons included potential cuts of varsity teams, an increased transfer class, and an introduction of a supplementary recreation facilities fee.

Also at the meeting, the Cognitive Sciences, Linguistics, and Psychology departments reported on their intention to merge into a single department this summer.

Financial finagling
The ORC was charged with providing Simmons council on options to reduce the budget in response to an endowment loss of over 26 percent, while still allowing the University to sustain the Plan for Academic Enrichment, Simmons' wide-ranging blueprint to improve Brown's academics. The ORC's recommendations stemmed from the University's guiding objectives of maintaining, if not improving, both the academic programs offered by the University and the student experience, Huidekoper said.

She told the faculty that the committee's goal was to minimize any negative impact on faculty and student experience, and especially to avoid cutting jobs. The ORC was divided into 12 teams, each of which focused on one aspect of the University, including teams devoted to academic administration, libraries, athletics and student services, according to Huidekoper.

Simmons supported most of the committee's recommendations, which will be presented to the Corporation, the University's highest governing body, for its approval at its meeting later this month, according to Huidekoper.

The recommendations included changes to reduce expenses in every area of the University. The events management team, for example, recommended merging existing events planning resources into one program that could manage different kinds of events and conferences to increase efficiency. The continuing education team focused on methods to add revenue rather than cut expenditures, suggesting an increase in enrollment in summer programs as well as an expansion of existing online and certificate programs coupled with the creation of new ones.

The athletics team, the only one of the 12 that did not meet its savings goal, recommended eliminating several varsity sports, though the teams and a schedule for their elimination have yet to be determined, Huidekoper said at the meeting. The committee is unsure of whether they are ready to enact these changes immediately, but feels that altering the number and variety of teams offered could improve the overall program, she said.

In addition, the athletics group suggested a mandatory recreation fee for students and a revised fee for faculty and staff use of the planned Nelson Fitness Center, she said.
The University has attempted to cut jobs with as few firings as possible by allowing positions to remain vacant and by offering an early retirement program to staff last year, Huidekoper said. One hundred thirty-nine staff members have opted for the early retirement plan, which, along with the approximately 100 pre-existing vacancies, will minimize the extent of eventual job loss, she said. But the University still estimates that some layoffs will be needed, though the number will be determined by the Corporation, Simmons told the meeting.

Improving while cutting
Provost David Kertzer '69 P'95 P'98 presented the recommendations of the University Resources Committee, which recommended ways to allocate resources that would allow the University to continue to advance the Plan for Academic Enrichment. An additional focus of the URC was to keep Brown competitive with its peers in attracting faculty and students by offering comparable salaries and financial aid payments, Kertzer said.

The URC suggested that increasing the size of the transfer class by 50 students could serve as a source of revenue, he said. While increasing the incoming freshman classes might lead to strains on housing, first-year seminars and introductory chemistry classes, current efforts to improve the transfer orientation program should allow an increased class to successfully integrate into the Brown community, Kertzer said.

The URC also recommended raising undergraduate tuition, though exact figures are yet to be determined and will be affected by market conditions, he said. Last year, Brown was at the bottom of its peer group in tuition hikes, he said.

The University plans to cut jobs while maintaining a competitive edge in attracting faculty and graduate students by increasing graduate student stipends and faculty salaries, Kertzer said. The University currently pays stipends to 703 graduate students, and the URC recommended offering stipends to an additional 10, while raising the amount awarded.

The University also plans to end the freeze on faculty salaries it began last year, he said.
The plan called for an increase in the number of faculty to 700, and there are now 686 faculty members, Kertzer said. But this year is the first since the plan's implementation began that the University will not grow its faculty, he said.

Merging departments
William Heindel, associate dean of the Grad School and professor and chair of psychology, and William Warren, professor of cognitive and linguistic sciences, formally announced a motion to integrate the Department of Psychology and the Department of Cognitive and Linguistic Sciences into a single cohesive Department of Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences. The programs, which will formally merge July 1, will occupy a newly renovated Metcalf Chemistry and Research Laboratory in fall 2011.

While Associate Professor of Psychology Ruth Colwill expressed concern that the merger would impede the process of faculty promotion, impact research and increase class size, Simmons said the change "should in no way disadvantage those on the path to promotion and tenure."



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