Academic Administration and Finance
The Provost’s Academic Administration and Finance team manages the financial and budgetary processes for academic affairs, working with the deans, department heads, program directors, and financial and human resources personnel at the various UMass Amherst schools and colleges and administrative units. We are your resource for:
Assisting with annual budget planning.
Administrating various financial policies, such as staff hiring.
Providing assistance for financial modeling of new programs.
Controls on Hiring Memo - June 2019
Controls on Hiring
In order to prevent future budgetary issues in schools and colleges and to improve our oversight of school/college resources, we have decided to implement additional controls on hiring. Beginning immediately, hiring of personnel that meet all of the following criteria must be approved by the Provost’s Office prior to posting the position:
- All employee types with the exception of temporary, non-benefited positions
- Funding source of state, general operations, Continuing Ed Incentive, or school/college fee
- New or replacement position
If you wish to seek approval to hire, send an email to Deb Gould (firstname.lastname@example.org) with the following information:
- Position title and estimated salary
- Whether it is a new or replacement position (if replacement, include previous incumbent)
- Funding source
- Justification of need for the position
Please note: if you received approval to hire a position through the FY20 budget process, you do not need to send an email. Those positions are considered approved (though some are contingent on strategic funding, which has not yet been confirmed).
While we welcome the generosity of donors who endow a professorship, it is important to be aware of the budgetary consequences of trying to stretch this gift into a new faculty line. An endowed professorship requires a gift of $1.5M, which yields about $60K/year in income. If that money is put toward a faculty salary, the actual amount net of fringe charges is about $43K -- a far cry from the salary that would be needed to recruit a new faculty member at full professor rank. Even if the gift was made at a time when a campus match commitment was in effect, the total with the match is only $103K -- still not enough.
For this reason, the ideal use of an endowed professorship is to recognize and retain a current member of the faculty rather than hire someone new. This is the standard practice in ISOM, and I commend it to the rest of you. A current faculty member is appointed to the endowed professorship for a period of say, five years, which may be renewed. The payout and match, if any, are used to provide a temporary salary bump (add comp or summer) and/or research support. This is an effective form of pre-emptive retention for valued faculty members who might be tempted by an outside offer.
Even an endowed chair is an iffy proposition if the goal is to create a new faculty line. With a $2.5M gift, an endowed chair yields $120K in income, reduced to about $86K after fringe. Only with a $120K match does the total rise to the level of a full professor's salary in some parts of campus.
Going forward, you need to clear it with the Provost before your development people present a proposal to a donor for an endowed professorship or chair. If the intended purpose is to use an endowed professorship to reward a current faculty member, clearance will be granted promptly. Otherwise, the Dean and Provost will need to have a discussion about how the salary and any start-up will be covered. These discussions will usually make the greatest sense in the context of the annual budget cycle, when competing college and campus priorities can be weighed.
The Provost’s Academic Administration and Finance team can provide assistance during your department’s annual budget process as well as provide guidance in other administrative areas throughout the year.
The Academic Administration and Finance team is available to help guide you in finding the right tools and resources to help manage your funds, including links to Financial System and various other resources.
For help with any of the above, or to find an answer to another question, please contact the team directly at 413-545-6228.
For assistance with Faculty Personnel management such as reappointment, promotion, and tenure processes; MSP union contract issues, APWS, or sabbaticals and leaves of absence, please contact Academic Personnel.