Binghamton University’s

Strategic Plan: Round Two Funding

Round Two Funding - 2015/16

July 7, 2014
The Road Map Steering Committee recently completed its review of the proposals put forward for funding for the 2015-16 academic year, ranking the top 10 to receive a portion of the $1.8 million base, continuing funding available. The majority of funds will add support staff in priority areas.

July 1, 2014
President Harvey Stenger and Provost Donald Nieman

The time line: Between March 1, 2014, and April 7, 2014, 153 proposals were submitted to the "roadmap-allocation" website requesting support for new and continuing initiatives.

153 original proposals (.pdf, 1.8mb)

Between April 11 and May 9, the proposals were reviewed by the Senior Officers Group (SOG: vice presidents and other division leaders). This review led SOG to conduct a process that grouped similar proposals under single titles and reduced the number of proposals to 54. This process occurred between May 9 and May 16.

Summary of combined proposals (.xlsx, 350kb)

Also between May 12 and May 16, the original 153 proposals were reviewed and scored by the Faculty Senate Budget Review Committee (FSBRC) on a scale of high, medium and low. Between May 16 and June 9, the reduced set of 54 proposals was scored by all members of the Road Map Steering Committee on a 1 to 5 scale, and on June 12, 2014, the Steering Committee met to select and rank the top 10 proposals for funding. Total 2015-16 base-continuing funding for selected proposals is $1.8 million, which is in addition to $3.2 million being allocated for new faculty hires to start in fall 2015.

Steering Committee decision process: The June 12, 2014, day-long meeting of the Road Map Steering Committee was structured to select and rank the 10 best proposals out of the list of 54. Information provided for deliberations were the scores by the FSBRC, scores by the Steering Committee members, a booklet of each of the 154 proposals and a booklet with the bundled version of 54 proposals. Each Strategic Priority subcommittee was asked to choose five proposals from the list of 54 that would be taken to a second round of selection. Due to overlap in proposal selection, this step resulted in 17 proposals brought forward for consideration by the full Steering Committee. In the afternoon of June 12, each of the 17 proposals was endorsed in presentations by the Strategic Priority subcommittees. This list of 17 was then ranked by each member of the Steering Committee and ranking scores were tallied. The top 10, in order, were then chosen for funding, with funding decisions to be made by the provost and president. While this process was inclusive and structured, it was not perfect. If we had had more time, we would have had the proposals bundled more quickly so that the bundled proposals could have been rated by the FSBRC, rather than having their review made on the original list of 153 proposals. We believe that in the next cycle of proposals we will add more time so the steps added during the process are more clearly defined with enough time to be completed.

The requests of the top 10 proposals totaled just over $6 million, which required we reduce each of the requests to reach the available $1.8 million. These decisions were guided by the context of our overall budget, conversations with deans and vice presidents, and the willingness of others to provide matching funds in 2014-15 to jump-start as many proposals as possible.

The results of these funding allocations were presented to the FSBRC in late June, which provided feedback on our funding decisions and posed questions to further its understanding of the decisions. The FSBRC feedback was addressed by answering the members' questions as well as providing funding decision perspectives and context (see the following table).

The following table shows the funding decisions and how funds are to be used. It also contains the perspective of the provost and president on why the proposal was chosen and reasoning for the amount and kind of funds provided.

Funding Decisions

Proposal title:

What was funded

Amount of funding

Comments and perspectives on this project, provided by Executive Vice President and Provost Don Nieman and President Harvey Stenger.

1. Undergraduate and graduate recruitment: combination of original proposals 34, 88, 50, 110, 58, 104, and 90

Two Graduate School recruiters, one Watson graduate student recruiter and one undergraduate admissions recruiter

Four staff members

We are rapidly growing our tenure-track faculty, increasing our research profile, our undergraduate student population and our graduate student population. During this period of growth, it is critical that we attract, admit and matriculate the highest-quality graduate students to our master’s and doctoral programs in order to support and facilitate our faculty growth. Current investments in graduate student recruiting are modest and have largely been the responsibility of departments, schools and their faculty. We believe centrally provided support can improve the quality and quantity of our future graduate students.

Specific support to Watson is given to accommodate its rapid graduate student growth. Application and admission statistics show that Watson has the largest number of applications, admits and deposits paid of our six schools and colleges. (see Appendix A)

Undergraduate admission support for international and transfer students is a critical need to help improve our selectivity, yield and retention of these important groups of students.

2. Graduate student support: combination of original proposals 51, 135, 49, 57, 98, 102, and 18

Tuition and stipends for exceptionally qualified PhD students

Approximately 20 new PhD lines of support

Growing our PhD students at a rate close to our faculty growth rate is important to maintain our research profile. During our NYSUNY 2020 growth period we are adding 30 net tenure-track faculty. Providing PhD student support for these new faculty members is a high priority. We will provide this support to those students and departments that are doing the best research, finding the best post-PhD placements and meeting time to degree goals that are consistent with peers in their discipline.

3. The 4-1-1 program: combination of original proposals 56 and 59

Adding staff that will find internships for master’s students and support the integration of 4-1-1 internships with degree programs.

Travel funds and 2 staff members: 1 staff member in the CCPD and 1 staff member in the Graduate School

This staff and travel support will enable the 4-1-1 program to develop internship placements and curricular connections for MA and MS students. This proposal will receive matching funds in the coming 2014-15 year from the CCPD to immediately begin the program. If the program reaches its goals for this first year (50 internships for MA and MS students), more funding can be made available in future years.

4. Academic affairs staffing: combination of original proposals 68, 122, 83, 85, 126, 136, 17, 114, 52, 117, 97, and 53

Adding staff in priority areas of academic affairs

Seven staff positions, salaries between of $35,000 and $60,000: 1 OIRA analyst, 3 secretaries in Watson, 1 administrative assistant in computer science, 1 admin assistant in social work, 1 staff member in marketing and communications

Uneven enrollment growth has created uneven support staffing needs in schools and colleges, as well as in non-academic departments in the Division of Academic Affairs. These seven staff positions were selected from the dozens proposed to strategically support the schools and colleges that are growing at the highest rates. Support of this growth from the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment (OIRA) and our Office of Communications and Marketing will be important to make sure decisions of how, when and where to grow are made effectively and supported strategically.

5. Undergraduate advising: combination of original proposals 131 and 141

Support staff to increase the effectiveness and accessibility of our advising staff

Four staff positions, average salary of $40,000: 2 advisors in Harpur and 2 in SOM.

The complexity of registering transfer and continuing students continues to increase as we increase the number of undergraduate students. If we can meet the advising needs of these students, we believe we can significantly increase the retention and graduation rate of our students.

6. Transdisciplinary Areas of Excellence: combination of original proposals 16, 19, 20, 139, and 140

Support staff to advance the progress of our six TAE committees

Three staff positions, average salary of $42,000, 1 grant writer, 1 administrative assistant and 1 laboratory technician in health sciences

The concept of TAE faculty hiring is establishing momentum and the pace of TAE hires is growing. This growth in TAE faculty has created the need to add administrative support, grant writing support, and laboratory technician support to these areas. Certainly we could invest much more in this area than the proposed $125,000, but we believe that base and unit funding in the Division of Research and our schools and colleges will leverage this funding significantly.

7. Entrepreneurship and innovation partners: combination of original proposals 143, 148, 25, 87, 22, and 146

Support staff and seed funds to increase the success of undergraduate and graduate student business startups.

One staff position at $50,000 to help student start-ups build business plans and find initial funding, and $25,000 of seed investments provided to start-up companies begun by students

Entrepreneurial activities of faculty and students have the potential to change higher education from a provider of information and credentials to a creator of regional economic growth, innovation and employment opportunities. Examples include the 128 loop around Boston, Silicon Valley in California, Research Triangle in North Carolina and City Science Center in West Philadelphia. Binghamton University has been successful in the past two years winning funds for the creation of a high-tech incubator in downtown Binghamton, a smart energy facility on the ITC campus, a national DOE center for battery technology, a NY innovation hot spot in collaboration with Cornell and Corning, and construction of a new building in Johnson City to conduct research and development in the area of pharmaceutical sciences. Further investments in staff and seed support for student based start-up company ideas is a need that currently is not meet with existing staff and resources.

8. Language Center: original proposal 137

Staff to support the creation of a Language Center that will identify, design and acquire language instruction resources for both domestic and international students.

One staff member to direct the Language Center

This Center will support language and culture education by providing pedagogical expertise, technological infrastructure, and connections with partners on campus and around the world. In collaboration with interested departments, the Language Center may also provide services such as testing for graduate student reading knowledge and nationally recognized proficiency tests. Students will find resource, expert support, and means for learning languages that we do not teach for credit.

9. Start-up supplemental support: original proposal 23

Equipment and transition salary support for new hires

No funding projected for 2015-16, but $600,000 of one-time funding provided in 2014-15 with a goal to provide funding in 2015-16 with one-time funds.

Currently the provost and vice president for research contribute $2.3 million annually to provide start-up support to new faculty hires. As we continue to implement our NYSUNY 2020 faculty hiring plan of growing 30 net faculty members per year, we have created a larger need for start-up funds to attract and support the exceptional high-quality faculty we recruit.

10. Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: combination of original proposals 70, 132, 63, and 66

Increasing staffing to support federal Title IX requirements and student diversity activities.

$125,000 (3 staff positions)

The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion was created in 2013 by renaming the Office of Affirmative Action and adding one staff member to increase the staffing of the office to three people. The expectations for this office to improve and expand the importance of inclusion and diversity on our campus are significant, especially with respect to new federal guidelines related to Title IX and to the expanding population of a diverse student body.