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Inside Iowa State
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December 14, 2001

P&S Council wary of budget-balancing tales

by Anne Krapfl
The Professional and Scientific Council is soliciting comments and experiences from P&S employees as university leaders prepare for another wave of budget cuts for the year that will begin July 1, 2002.

The president's Task Force on Strategic Effectiveness and Budget Priorities has developed guidelines to help managers plan for cuts in their units, but some P&S employees already have expressed concern about how their managers are interpreting or using the guidelines. (These guidelines are posted on the task force's Web site at

"Council members would like to hear more about how the FY03 budget cuts could affect P&S staff," said council president Rex Heer. "We need to hear from people in order to explain to the task force what people are hearing in their units, what their concerns are."

P&S employees may contact any P&S Council representative, including Heer ( with their concerns. Anonymous comments may be mailed to Heer, Instructional Technology Center, 1200 Communications Building.

Assistant provost Ellen Rasmussen, who serves as the provost's liaison to the council, said university administrators' decisions on the budget process have been shared openly on campus. She told council members she hopes that also is the case at the department or unit level. Managers are being encouraged to look at programs and activities, set priorities for their units and decide what kinds of people they need to keep their priorities operating, she said.

"But it's very early to be announcing decisions about the next fiscal year. This planning process isn't done, not by a long shot," she said.

Eventually, all proposals for budget reductions need to be reviewed by the vice presidents and provost, and then by President Geoffroy, she added.

The noon forum preceding the council's Jan. 3 meeting will be a question-and-answer session with Rasmussen and Mark Chidister, assistant to the president for budget planning and analysis. All are welcome to attend. Questions may be submitted in advance to Pam Minion, 107 Beardshear,

Supporting new parents
Council members, as well as members of the University Committee on Women, have received a preliminary draft of a proposed new policy for faculty and P&S employees when children are born or adopted into their families. The draft, constructed around the federal Family Medical Leave Act as well as planning and communication requirements, goes next to the deans council. It encourages managers to be flexible in accommodating absences when employees welcome new children into their families. A revised draft will be released, probably by mid-January, to the ISU community for review and comment.

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