Inside Iowa State
Feb. 9, 1996
Faculty Senate: Athletic department "on target" to pay back FY94 deficit
by Linda Charles
The athletic department has developed a strong financial plan that will allow it to repay the deficit it experienced in FY94, athletic director Gene Smith told the Faculty Senate Feb. 6.
Smith noted that in FY93, the department finished the year with a $406,000 deficit, which was absorbed by the university. The following year, Smith's first year at Iowa State, the year-end deficit was $391,000. The university covered that deficit also, with the understanding it would be repaid by the athletic department. The department has since developed a five-year budget plan to get its finances back on track.
"We're on target in this fiscal year," Smith said. "We don't project any problems. We anticipate that we're going to be able to come in on budget and we're hoping to have some additional revenues for (repairs to) Cyclone Stadium. We intend to pay the deficit of $391,000 back in fiscal year '98. If we can move that up, we'll move it up."
New budgets are based on conservative revenue projections, Smith said. Prior budgets, he said, were "built on optimism," for example, counting on revenue from two bowl games rather than one.
During FY95, the department cut its operational budget 14 to 17 percent, did not give raises to a number of people and did not fill eight vacated positions.
University officials also considered cutting several sports. However, a new scholarship campaign, additional support from student fees and private donors, and increased revenues enabled the department to continue its broad-based program of 20 sports.
"Fiscal year '95 was probably the most difficult year in intercollegiate athletics for Iowa State University," Smith said. "That was a tough year for all of us, for many of our student-athletes, the Athletic Council and for me, personally."
However, Smith added, the year ended as the "greatest year in the Big Eight Conference that we ever had in revenue -- a $20 million year in the Big Eight Conference. There's no way we could project that."
The additional revenue will be used to address deferred maintenance problems that were not built into the five-year budget plan. This includes a $2 million deferred maintenance problem at Cyclone Stadium, Smith said.
In other senate business, senate vice president Joanna Courteau, professor of foreign languages and literature, updated the senate on the faculty conference to be held March 22-23 at Grinnell College.
Cornelius Pings, president of the American Association of Universities, will be the keynote speaker.
Two panel discussions are scheduled Friday. The first will be on issues and problems in research-based education and the second, on innovative ways to deal with these problems. President Martin Jischke will address the conference during dinner Friday night.
Saturday morning, the participants will break into discussions groups. Pat Swan, vice provost for research and advanced studies, will wrap up the conference early Saturday afternoon.
Conference participation is limited to 85. DEOs have been asked to nominate faculty and faculty members also can nominate themselves. All nominations are due Monday, Feb. 12, and should be sent to Courteau, Jane Henning or Ellen Rasmussen.
Ken Kruempel, associate professor of electrical engineering and computer engineering, reported on a project to improve the undergraduate experience.
The colleges held caucuses during January to brainstorm about ways to improve undergraduate education. These ideas have been passed on to associate provost Ed Lewis, whose position was recently defined to allow him to focus on undergraduate education, and to a steering committee appointed by the provost.
Next, Kruempel said, some of the suggestions will be formulated into a plan. Task forces probably will work on the plan.
Kruempel also updated the senate on the progress of the diversity requirement. Departments have nominated courses to meet the requirement and college curriculum committees have reviewed those nominations. The Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee will begin considering the nominations this month.
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