Dollars under review

Butler University is undergoing a revenue and expenses review by an independently-hired consultant.

Michael Leardi is working alongside Bruce Arick, vice president of finance and administration, and Provost Kathryn Morris while collecting the university’s financial data to create a cost of education model.

The work group conducting the review will also include Doug Spaniol, vice-chair of Faculty Senate; Brynnar Swenson, assistant English professor; and Anne Kelly, assistant accounting professor, along with other staff members throughout the university.

Leardi spoke with Faculty Senate at Tuesday’s meeting to share his model and hear some thoughts and answer any questions the faculty had.

“I really try to focus on the growth-contribution margin,” Leardi said, “things that the academic areas and other administrative areas really have some level of control over.”

Leardi said in his presentation that he will summarize revenues and expenses for each major and subject that students take.

Arick also answered questions on topics Leardi was not familiar with regarding the campus.

“We’re sitting at the foothills of a vision for growth,” Arick said. “We need to find out where we want to grow.”

Vivian Deno, associate history professor, inquired whether his review would look into how much the university pays some of its professors and other members of staff.

“I want to make sure this doesn’t become some sort of unfortunate affair in regards to the surveillance become some sort of unfortunate affair in regards to the surveillance of the faculty,” Deno said.

Arick said the model will be used to evaluate all possible aspects of the university, but some factors, such as the success of the basketball team, will not be able to be fully defined and assigned a dollar value.

“The model will fall short of a whole lot of things,” Arick said. “It will not be the only driver of every decision that happens on this campus but will be a good tool to use.”

Leardi, Morris and Arick are still in the process of collecting data. They are looking to meet with the work group in the beginning of April to review that data and start putting the model together.


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