Senate executive committee talks options for budget impasse

By Megan Jones

The Senate Executive Committee set the agenda for next week’s academic senate, centering around effects of the budget impasse and new proposals.

There are no updates on the state’s budget impasse, Interim Chancellor Barbara Wilson said, and administrators recently spoke to the senate appropriations committee before spring break. They focused on how the budget has hurt faculty retentions.

Gay Miller, Senate Executive Committee chair, is sponsoring a resolution calling for the state to enact a budget. The resolution will be voted on at the next academic senate meeting Monday, April 4.

Mike Bohlmann, professional advisory committee representative and SEC member, spoke about how recent anecdotes have surfaced regarding University employee health care. In the past the University has heard complaints regarding dental coverage, specifically regarding providers wanting money upfront, but there are even more now that reimbursements are taking longer and longer from the state.

The same issue is now starting with the state self-funded health plan to the point where people are being turned away by providers or being asked to pay for medical procedures upfront.

Bohlmann said his committee is trying to work on how to approach this as it affects all employee groups on campus, and thought the Senate Executive Committee should be aware of the problem so they could potentially work with the benefits committee.

Additionally, the academic senate will vote on a resolution to revise the general education requirements so students have to take both a U.S. minority course and a non-western culture course.

The campus is in the height of student recruitment right now, Wilson said, particularly in the undergraduate level. Applications were up by 11 percent in comparison to last year and the number of students attending for fall increased as well.

Dean searches are currently being made in the College of Medicine, AHS and ACES.

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