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DeFleur updates faculty on budget, enrollment and faculty hiring

The budget, capital projects, enrollment and the University’s faculty hiring initiative were among the topics highlighted by President Lois B. DeFleur in her semi-annual report to the Faculty Senate earlier this week.

“There is still some negotiating left, but it appears the state is committed to making us whole and we expect to get the necessary monies for negotiated salary increases and increased energy costs,” she said. “The agreed upon budget also provides full funding for TAP and restores EOP funding.”

DeFleur said she is hopeful that additional funds earmarked for construction projects will be approved.

“Both the Senate and Assembly have earmarked money for additional con-struction projects and we don’t believe the Governor will veto these,” DeFleur said. “Included is $6 million for initial planning for a new Science and Engineering Facility at the Innovative Technologies Complex. Even as the architects are moving ahead on the concepts for the Downtown Education Center, there is also a $5 million earmark to purchase buildings and land adjacent to the site for the facility.”

In addition, while the legislature did not adopt a tuition guarantee plan, hearings are likely to be held on the issue.

During her address, DeFleur responded to concerns raised on campus and in the community about the April 1 issue of Pipe Dream.

While the April Fool’s Day edition of the student newspaper is a tradition on this campus and a number of other college campuses across the county, this edition was “mean-spirited, offensive and demeaning,” she said. “I would like to say that we have worked hard to establish a community of respect and support, and will continue to do so.”

Two public forums were held earlier this week, and a third open forum with professors, community members and students is scheduled for 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 20, in LH-1.

The president updated the faculty on the University’s undergraduate and graduate enrollment efforts. “This is the most competitive admissions cycle we have experienced and we’ve set records for the number of undergraduate applications we’ve received,” she said. “We do extraordinarily well in predicting and recruiting the kind of students we want, and with student SAT scores now nearly 50 points higher than they were several years ago, they will be even higher this fall.”

DeFleur said graduate enrollment will likely remain stable. “Though applications from international graduate students have declined about 5 percent, this has been offset by increased domestic applications,” she said.

DeFleur concluded her remarks with an update on the three-year faculty hiring initiative she announced last year. “Currently, there are 40 searches underway and Provost (Mary Ann) Swain has been reviewing requests from the deans for additional hiring,” she said. “This critical initiative will see us increase the number of faculty across the campus.”
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Last Updated: 10/14/08