19 positions to be filled at SUNY Fredonia

The SUNY Fredonia budget is still not certain, but currently includes hiring 19 tenure-track faculty positions.

Vice President of Finance and Administration Stephen Schillo estimated the consolidated budget is $106.6 million, but said the biggest piece, the state operating budget at $49.7 million, is still up in the air depending on what is done with the downstate medical campus.

“Given the challenge of balancing this year’s budget, it’s similar to previous years, but the next couple of years are going to be very challenging to us. The state needs to find a way to deal with downstate medical, the state needs to find a way to more properly support its comprehensive institutions. We are patching together a balanced budget here, and it will be balanced, but we are challenged by it. We don’t have our authorization from the state yet on funding due to the uncertainties especially around the downstate medical situation,” he said.

He said the SUNY Board will meet in June to decide what to do about the downstate medical campus deficit, which may mean reduced funding to other campuses.

He said the 19 vacancies to be filled will include restoring 17 positions and creation of two new positions.

One area to see cuts was the Faculty Student Association. He said there have been staff cuts and Erie Dining Hall will be closed.

Schillo also reported the governor’s executive budget recommends reauthorization of all prior year appropriations, but has no reference to future capital plans for construction or emergency maintenance.

He said the state is looking for more detail and more justification for future projects.

“Before you could just say this is equipment is 45 years old and it would be a no brainer to replace. Now the state needs you to justify that,” he said.

He reported the Rockefeller Arts Center project will be funded and will hopefully be put out to bid in the fall, which would put construction at spring 2014, a year behind schedule. He said ground has been broken for the townhouse project, the bleacher replacement project has been completed enough to accommodate commencement Saturday and will continue through the summer and the construction on the science center is on schedule and on budget, although there is still a lot of interior work to be done. He said the college council could have a tour of the science center construction in the fall.

Vice President for Student Affairs David Herman reported, despite a tough market, enrollment is exceeding goals. He said investing more into scholarships, especially for out-of-state students whose enrollment numbers have doubled, has helped these numbers. He added there are also indications graduate student enrollment may be up.

SUNY Fredonia President Virginia Horvath announced Dr. Ralph Blasting has been appointed dean of the college of visual and performing arts. She said he will begin July 1.

The board also thanked Kevin Kearns for serving as interim provost. The new provost and vice president of academic affairs, Dr. Terry Brown, will attend the next college council meeting in the fall.

The SUNY Fredonia Technology Incubator was awarded a $100,000 grant from the state. The council thanked Senator Catharine Young for her advocacy in securing this funding.

The class of 2013 was able to raise $17,000 for a class gift of a gazebo near the Williams Center patio. The ribbon cutting on the gazebo will be held Friday.