Last week Pacific University held its March Board of Trustees meeting to discuss topics such as next year’s budget and tenure for Pacific faculty members.
According to President Lesley Hallick, the Board of Trustees was able to approve the proposed budget for the 2018-19 academic year, however it was not done easily.
“This was a particularly challenging budget but everyone did some challenging things to fill that budget,” Hallick said. “One of those things included not filling positions certain vacant positions, and luckily we haven’t laid anyone off nor will we have to.”
Although it was tough to balance the budget this year, Hallick was glad they were able to do so without layoffs. Another tricky variable in balancing next year’s budget was the increased price of health insurance.
“The way it works for employees here is, they pay a portion of it and we pay a portion of it,” Hallick said. “Because the cost went up so much and we had very little money left to give raises, people would’ve been paying out of pocket this year to next.”
The university did a few things to combat the rising cost of health insurance in order to balance next year’s budget. One of these things was giving all faculty members a $1,000 raise regardless of salary to cover insurance costs, as opposed to giving percentage raises like in year’s past.
Since 95 percent of the university’s revenue comes from tuition, managing and balancing costs is always an aspect when discussing the budget. The Board of Trustees approved a raise in tuition costs for next year, however they also approved rises in financial aid to balance out costs.
“Everyone raised their tuition two percent,” Hallick said. “In some cases we increased tuition up to four percent, but in the undergrad we also increased financial aid quite a bit. The net increase on financial aid will be about 2.1 percent.”
Also discussed at the Board of Trustees meeting is the approval of tenure. This year the Board granted six faculty members tenure including, associate professors of exercise science Jennifer Bhalla, Rebecca Concepcion and Kathryn Dolphin; as well as Associate Professor and Director of the Forensic Track at Pacific’s School of Graduate Psychology Leonardo Bobadilla, Director of the School of Audiology Wendy Hanks and Associate Professor in the School of Physical Therapy & Athletic Training Rebecca A. Reisch.
Hallick looks forward each year to seeing Pacific’s faculty members receive their tenure.
“That’s always a happy event,” Hallick said. “I send them a letter and invite them to come in and tell me about their work so that’s a very enjoyable part of my job.”