Amherst 250 Plan
Implementation of the Amherst 250 Plan
A third allocation consideration implements the principle that the campus rewards success. An example here that relates to faculty resources could involve the opportunity for a major research grant. When a college or group of colleges submits a major proposal for a federal grant, the proposal may require a campus commitment of additional faculty resources beyond those already allocated to the units involved. In this case, the campus will guarantee the additional needed faculty resources on a conditional basis. Only if the grant application is successful will the campus will allocate additional faculty resources. Similarly, in the event a unit, program, or department seeks a major private gift in support of an activity that will require additional faculty resources, then the campus will guarantee the resources, but only if the gift materializes. Approval to seek these grants and gifts comes from the deans and the provost and on occasion the vice chancellors for Administration and Finance, and Advancement and Alumni Affairs.
The fourth allocation consideration relates to the capital budget. Each faculty hire beyond the current number requires an additional investment in library, support, and especially in the sciences, start up funds to permit new faculty members to carry out their research programs. Startup funds, while one-time for each new faculty member, taken together create a continuing obligation that accompanies the growth of the faculty.
The process that implements these allocation decisions and considerations is iterative in that it responds to the behavior of the students and faculty. If students shift their focus from one area of the campus curriculum to another, over time the process will accommodate that shift so that adequate resources will flow to where they are required for teaching. If faculty in one unit are remarkably successful in gaining external support, the institution will readjust its budget to meet the new requirements of that success.
The campus is just now beginning to develop the tools that will permit this allocation process to work in an effective and transparent process. Allocation decisions affect everyone, and while not everyone will celebrate the campus allocation results, everyone should have the same information in evaluating the process and the results. The process of reviewing these criteria, refining them, and collecting the essential data requires the engagement of the faculty both through the process of the Faculty Senate and its councils and committees as well as the deans and departments in the various colleges and schools.