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From the President

Posted: Thursday, September 26, 2019

Response to College Senate Recommendation: Memo of Support on Broad-Based Fee Increases

At its March 8, 2019, meeting, the College Senate voted in favor of a memo of support on broad-based fee increases as follows:

Buffalo State College
Budget and Staff Allocations Committee

and
Student Welfare Committee
Introducing and voting on motion at the March 8, 2019, Senate meeting

MEMO OF SUPPORT ON BROAD-BASED FEE INCREASES
February 19, 2019

The Budget and Staff Allocations Committee (BSAC) met with the Student Welfare Committee (SWC) to review the administration’s fee proposal for the 2019–2020 year. Presentations were given by Comptroller Thor (administrative liaison to BSAC) and fee custodian representatives. The proposal calls for a $37 increase from the current $1,340: Athletics and Health will increase by $10 each; Technology will increase by $11; and Transportation will increase by $6. 

In light of the discussion between the two committees, BSAC and SWC believe that the 2.8 percent increase is appropriate at this time and therefore support the recommended fee increase. The following joint motion was passed unanimously:

We (BSAC and SWC) support the administration’s proposed fee increase of $37 for the 2019–2020 academic year, raising the total fee from $1,340 to $1,377, a 2.76 percent increase. The fee increase is in line with SUNY’s policy recommending fee increases of no greater than the annual change in Higher Education Price Index (2.8 percent in the 2018 fiscal year). 

While BSAC and SWC support the fee increase, we do so with the following additional recommendations:

  1. The institution should evaluate the effectiveness (cost benefit) of recent campuswide software purchases used to improve retention. (Students specifically questioned the use of Tech Fee money for an administrative-focused program, Starfish.)
  2. To reduce cost pressures arising from benefit payments, we (again) encourage the institution to move (some) staff from Income Fund Reimbursable (IFR) funding sources to State funding sources. When Athletics and Health staff are paid from IFR fee accounts, we must cover both salary and benefit costs; whereas with staff paid from state-appropriated dollars, benefits are paid by the state. Currently, IFR accounts are required to pay a 64 percent fringe benefit rate, so we pay an additional $64,000 for every $100,000 in salary. Shifting staff to state funds would both reduce cost pressures and free up more funding to support these student services.

I hereby accept the recommendation of the College Senate regarding the Memo of Support on Broad-Based Fee Increases at Buffalo State. I charge the provost with responsibility for overseeing the implementation of this policy change and for communicating the change to the campus community.

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