SUSTAINING AND BUILDING EXCELLENCE

IN DIFFICULT TIMES

The Research University in the l990s: The Case of the

University of Virginia

Initial Report

A faculty perspective drafted by members of the

Steering Committee

of the Assembly of Professors and the Faculty Senate

September 22, 1993

Sustaining and Building Excellence in Difficult Times

Preface

This report is intended to continue the call by the faculty of the University of Virginia for constructive dialogue about supporting and improving higher education with the administration, the legislature, and the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) draft reports of November 25 and December 11, 1992 occasioned the historic meeting of the Assembly of Professors on December 22, 1992, when, in a unanimously-adopted resolution, over 650 professors expressed their fundamental concerns with the reports.

At a meeting of the Concerned Faculty on January 7, 1993, there was a call for constructive dialogue with SCHEV. In making a presentation to the Board of Visitors of the University on February 3, 1993, Vice President and Provost Thomas Jackson reiterated the call for dialogue. On January 7, the Concerned Faculty also established several action committees, including a study group to consider constructive alternatives to the SCHEV proposals. Later in January, SCHEV submitted its preliminary report, based on revisions of its draft reports of November and December, to the Governor and the General Assembly. The Concerned Faculty study-group completed a draft report entitled "Alternatives" which was submitted to the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate and the Steering Committee of the Assembly of Professors on April 19, 1993.

The present report, written by members of the Steering Committee of the Assembly of Professors and the Faculty Senate, is a revision and expansion of the "Alternatives" document. While many of the problems and concerns are faced by institutions of higher education across the nation, the study at hand naturally focuses on research universities in Virginia and the University of Virginia in particular in the face of the SCHEV "preliminary report" and in the face of very recent suggestions by the administration in Richmond that additional cuts of ten to fifteen percent in state support may be forthcoming in the 1994-96 biennium.

Executive Summary

"Education is undoubtedly the key to the future of our country. Period."

- Walter Annenberg

Education is a vitally important mission of state government, and higher education is the least understood component of that mission. The budget cuts of the last three years have threatened the quality of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia. If proposals for anything like an additional lO to 15 percent cuts in state support are executed without buffering from other sources of funds, the effects will be disastrous. New resources and new efficiencies must be found to maintain the first-rate institutions of higher education that the people of the Commonwealth want and need for a secure future.

Role of a Research University

The mission of a modern research university is the creation, preservation, dissemination, and application of knowledge for the enhancement of the quality of life and for the economic and cultural good of the individual and society. A successful research university is a community of learners, a place where students, faculty, and staff of various backgrounds, interests, and aspirations are supported and encouraged in their pursuit of creative inquiry, mastery of skills, and acquisition of appropriate values. While these activities take place in all institutions of higher education, the research university places greater emphasis on advanced training and the creation of knowledge, activities which are critical to our economic and social well being. Knowledge is power, power that we need to shape our future. Much to its credit and auspiciously for its future, the Commonwealth of Virginia has developed a group of strong institutions of higher education that includes nationally ranked research universities.

Research universities are among the few American enterprises that continue to set the standard of excellence for the rest of the world. Even when it has become fashionable to criticize teaching at research universities, students increasingly seek admission to them. The market, that is, students and their parents, indicates that Virginia's research institutions are providing superior undergraduate education by statewide and national standards. Virginia's major research universities are among the most highly sought after institutions of higher education in the Commonwealth and in the nation. This is not to say that some of the criticism of research universities is not justified any operation can be improved, and universities have not always lived up to their potential. What is of concern, though, are beliefs based on a misunderstanding of the methods, purposes, and requirements of the academic and research enterprise. In this time of financial stringency, we must take care to preserve and improve Virginia's colleges and universities. As those who have built these institutions know well the high quality of educational institutions is sustainable only through great effort, and, once lost, is painfully difficult and expensive to recover.

Declining State Support

Higher education has absorbed a disproportionate share of the shortfall in resources in the recent recession. Statewide, Virginia leads the nation in cuts to higher education 13 percent, as opposed to l percent for the United States as a whole. Tuition and fees have been raised more than 60 percent since 1989-90, so that the Commonwealth is now second highest nationally in state tuition, but only 43rd in per student state support. During the last three years, the University of Virginia has experienced a 21 percent reduction in state support. The Commonwealth now provides less than one-sixth of the University's total operating budget. Yet state rules, regulations, and mandates complicate, delay, and increase the cost of administration. Faculty and staff salaries have fallen substantially behind national averages, and faculty have lost a portion of their retirement benefits. These trends cannot continue without the loss of faculty and the exclusion of many of the Commonwealth's students due to increasing costs. Despite these cuts, the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) has proposed to force an increase in the number of students without a corresponding increase in resources. Furthermore, new proposals from the state administration suggest that higher education might be asked to absorb further cuts of up to lO or l5 percent in state support as much as half the total projected shortfall in state revenues for the next biennium. Such cuts, particularly when coupled with suggestions that tuition not be used to buffer the effects of the cuts, would be ruinous for quality higher education in the Commonwealth.

Teaching, Research, and Service at a Research University

It is common, and useful, to divide faculty activity into teaching, research, and service. This division of effort is not illogical when viewed from a distance, but, from the perspective of each faculty member, the three activities are intimately bound together. In addition to health care, university administration, and community outreach of many kinds, service includes advising students and improving academic programs. Besides work done for scholarly publication, research includes studying texts or doing laboratory work which is then used in class as an example or new insight. Teaching, both in the classroom and in individual consultation with students, is based on research, and teaching gains its richness and texture from a constant interplay with the professor's research. It is sometimes suggested that the obvious way to increase productivity, narrowly defined as the number of students encountered in a classroom, is to have the faculty spend less time on research and more time in the classroom. Then a university could accept more students without needing more faculty. While such an action is possible in the short term, it strikes at the very nature of a research university and its special mission.

Faculty at a research university are held strictly accountable for all their activities. At the end of each semester all courses taught by all professors receive written evaluations by students enrolled in the courses. These teaching evaluations are read by department committees and/or chairs and are used in the annual review of each faculty member. Research, whether funded by an external source or not, is evaluated by a multitiered system. This system includes the review of grant proposals, reports by expert referees on book manuscripts and journal articles submitted for publication, the review of papers offered to scholarly conferences by program committees and attendees, and scrutiny by department chairs. A faculty member's research is also reviewed annually by a dean, and, for matters of promotion, by a senior faculty committee.

Some research, particularly in the sciences and engineering, is supported by the federal government and industry because of its practical social and economic benefit. In addition, there is an immediate positive local economic impact, since sponsored research in the universities brings several hundred million dollars per year to the Commonwealth. Although smaller in its potential for economic impact, unsponsored research is as central to the research university as is funded research, and it is essential to society. Such research and the understanding it generates have the potential for contributions to the educational, moral, legal, and cultural good and health of individuals and of society. If not done in universities, unfunded research might well not be done at all, and our culture would be unmistakably the poorer for its absence.

Initiatives for Action

The reductions in state support for higher education have reduced substantially administrative budgets. The reductions are now also affecting the academic mission of colleges and universities. New proposals to balance the state budget with further cuts would, if enacted, have disastrous effects. To sustain and build quality higher education, we must find additional resources and institute new efficiencies. Here we propose some actions that could help preserve the quality of higher education and lead to improvements in efficiency.

First, we encourage SCHEV, as the intermediary between colleges and universities and the state government, to exercise its leadership role by speaking out on behalf of excellence in higher education for Virginia. The council contributed to the creation and building of a strong group of institutions of higher education for the Commonwealth. We ask that it reject short-sighted solutions to the state's present political and economic problems. Short-sightedness now will cripple the institutions of higher education in Virginia for the long term and damage their ability to contribute to our future economic and social well- being.

Second, along with SCHEV, each college and university in Virginia, while seeking to increase revenues, should at the same time develop and institutionalize permanent performance enhancement mechanisms. These mechanisms should have the dual goals of increasing productivity and responsiveness while reducing bureaucracy and its attendant costs. Given the severity of the past and proposed cuts, efforts to increase revenues should be made in the context of examining all sources of revenue and all costs, including those forced upon the institutions by the Commonwealth.

Each institution of higher education in Virginia has its own history, traditions, and ways of carrying out its educational missions. Institutional autonomy has been an important element in the development of ambitious and successful institutions. It is important that these institutions continue to have the autonomy to work out creative strategies suitable to their own unique situations for building excellence in the l990s.

We recommend that state agencies and universities take steps to follow these four guidelines:

1. Assessment. Develop and apply a credible system for assessing the value and cost of all personnel functions, whether performed by faculty or staff. Reduce or eliminate programs with high cost and/or low productivity. Ensure that faculty effort on an individual level is appropriately balanced among teaching, research, and service.

2. Accountability. Provide accountability not through multiple levels of prior approval and control, but through review and evaluation of completed actions and projects, with rewards for superior performance. Seek to reduce administrative hierarchies and empower employees at all levels to make and carry out decisions. Seek methods to improve efficiency through sharing and consolidating appropriate administrative services.

3. Contract for Services. Contract for services in the private sector in those cases where greater cost effectiveness can be obtained. Consider whether some functions might become self-supporting.

4. Respond to Needs. Strive to ensure that all instructors, staff members, and administrators at all levels in higher education know and respond to the needs of the people they serve.

For the University of Virginia we recommend a comprehensive look at the following areas, considered not separately but as part of a whole: 1) internal expenditures; 2) revenues (including tuition); and 3) state oversight in relation to the state government's actual level of support to the institution. Within the context of this systematic assessment, we suggest several specific steps, some of which have already been instituted:

1. Cut back Weak Programs Rather than Dilute Quality Overall. Each dean should develop a plan detailing which units should be targeted for reduction or elimination in response to extreme financial stress.

2. Reallocate Resources. The faculty resources assigned to departments and programs are not immutable; that is, where quantitative efficiency is low and there are no counterbalancing contributions, such resources can and will be shifted by the dean to departments in need of them. This is something that can in principle be done now; but it is rarely done, and more rarely in such a way as to indicate the priorities of departments or programs.

3. Make the Most of Faculty Resources. The acceptable mix of teaching, research, and service must be flexible enough to accommodate talents and interests that vary over the course of a career as well as from individual to individual.

4. Expand the Academic Calendar. In an earlier era, summer was necessarily a time spent away from classes because of the needs of the family farm. For most of our students this is no longer the case, and we should move toward integrating the summer term into the academic calendar on an equal footing with the other two terms. This will allow more efficient use of classroom and other facilities.

5. Provide Accelerated Programs. With an expanded calendar, the option of an accelerated baccalaureate curriculum three years instead of four could be offered for intellectually- and emotionally-qualified students, provided that they were willing to use summers for serious academic work, here o r at other institutions of comparable quality.

6. Eliminate Under-enrolled Courses. While the highest quality teaching often takes place in small classes, there is a point below which the necessary dynamics do not occur. The critical number of students differs by discipline and by level within each discipline. Courses that are too small should be taught less frequently so as to build up the class size, replaced by independent study, or eliminated.

7. Coordinate Specialized Programs with Other Institutions in the Commonwealth. Where there are under-enrolled upper- division classes (for example, because of a relatively small number of majors) that for reasons of curriculum must nevertheless be offered, special efforts could be made to enroll qualified students from other Virginia colleges. This would require a new, statewide system of agreements with potential "feeder" institutions.

8. Cooperate with Colleges and Universities Outside the Commonwealth. Arrangements could be made with institutions of comparable quality, in states with declining college-age populations, to accommodate University of Virginia students for one or two years. If the cooperating institutions were chosen with care, the option of a year or two in a quite different environment might be attractive to good students with specific and well-developed interests.

9. Employ New Technologies. Genuinely creative use of technological advances and the early involvement of all students in them might over time increase efficiency in some areas and free up human resources to be used more intensively elsewhere. These technologies include computer-assisted, self-paced teaching, TV courses transmitted throughout the state, high- speed electronic networks, and on-line library information systems. These and other technologies have the potential to enhance teaching and learning in selected disciplines, but experience shows that so far they are more expensive than conventional methods of instruction.

I. Introduction

Research universities are among the few American enterprises that continue to set the standard of excellence for the rest of the world. The modern research university, while having roots extending back to medieval times, be

gan to assume its present structure in the 1940s with the increased enrollments and the substantial investments in sponsored research that followed World War II. Those investments have paid off handsomely in the training of skilled and able citizens and, according to a recent study, have yielded an impressive 28 percent average annual rate of return for federal investments in academic research. Research universities have become engines of social and economic improvement.

The thirty-nine public institutions of higher education in Virginia are widely regarded as a strong and appropriate capstone to the state's educational structure. The Commonwealth provides one-third of their total operating costs. This support $1.8 billion in 1992- 94 comes from discretionary funds, which means that public funding is robust in good economic times, less so in lean. The problem facing higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia is that we are currently experiencing a slow recovery from the recession and greatly increased expenditures for Medicaid health care, correctional institutions, and environmental protection. Up to this point Virginia has been, financially, the second hardest hit state in the nation, and that condition may not improve because of the Commonwealth's heavy dependence on declining defense industries. The rest of the decade is likely to see fierce competition for discretionary funds.

Given the tough choices legislators must make, Virginia's citizens need to know how severely the present fiscal situation threatens the quality of public higher education in this state. The discussion that follows is focused on the special case of the six research universities in Virginia that offer doctoral studies (the University of Virginia, the College of William and Mary, Virginia Tech, George Mason University, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Old Dominion University). We will deal with the research universities, using the University of Virginia as our specific instance, for two reasons: l) the research university is the least understood component in the state's educational system; and 2) the suggestion has been made that research universities in Virginia can, with no additional funding or e ven with additional large budget cuts, increase their undergraduate enrollments without experiencing a substantial change in their mission and a serious decline in the quality of their teaching as well as their national ranking.

In this report we argue that continuing to cut budgets or increasing enrollments without additional funding for faculty and facilities would unambiguously undermine the efforts of the last four decades to build the quality and reputation of Virginia's research universities. During that time, thanks to extraordinary good will between the Commonwealth and the universities, the University of Virginia and several other of our research universities have become nationally recognized. Some of their schools and departments now compete for first place in the nation in terms of quality. Any imprudent move to restructure higher education, including the legislation of rigid formulas on the time faculty spend on teaching versus research, or mandated increases in enrollments without concomitant funding, or the imposition of unproved pedagogical methods, will abort efforts to sustain excellence at Virginia's colleges and universities. In this regard, moreover, no harm done to these institutions today is likely to be short-term; and any harm done will invite mediocrity and parochialism at our research universities, including the University of Virginia. A reasonable, nationally competitive teaching load, manageable class sizes, and adequate research opportunities are essential to the effective functioning of a nationally competitive research university and are fundamental to recruiting and retaining world-class faculty. Faculties at the Commonwealth's research universities tolerated frozen salaries over three long years. They cannot, however, remain silent when their ability to carry out their intellectual and social mission is threatened by misunderstanding of the enterprise, overly-simple teach more/research-less prescriptions, and mandates to accept increased student enrollments without adequate funding.

Because higher educational institutions compete vigorously for the best faculty, lower pay, non- competitive teaching loads, ever-larger classes, and state restrictions on instructional methods would make our universities less appealing to the best faculty, and, over time, the quality of the faculty would deteriorate. Below is a list of the most obvious consequences of applying the proposed mandates and thereby insuring a mediocre faculty:

Mediocre faculty would be able to hire mainly mediocre new faculty. Only faculty of national and international stature enable a university to draw the very best teachers and scholars to its fold;

Mediocre faculty would not attract hundreds of millions of dollars worth of sponsored research to the Commonwealth every year. Only research-oriented faculty can win the grants that help the economy of the University, the locality, and the Commonwealth;

Mediocre faculty would produce mediocre future leaders in education, health-care, industry, government, law, and other areas. Only those faculty members who are themselves lifelong learners can educate the leaders of the future to think for themselves;

Mediocre faculty and mediocre institutions would fail to attract modern industry to the Commonwealth because faculty expertise and well-trained graduates are among the principal environmental attractions for industry;

Mediocre faculty would ultimately betray the taxpayers who invest in the future of their sons and daughters with the belief that their children will be receiving the highest quality education.

These costs must be seriously weighed against the alleged benefits of a teach-more/research-less formula combined with a yet-to-be-tested application of technology to higher education. The citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia demand of their representatives and officials more than access to public colleges and universities for their children. They demand access to the highest quality education. That education is precisely what research universities in the state, including the University of Virginia, can offer.

At present the University of Virginia and other Virginia research universities are recognized by government, industry, and the public as leaders in innovation and progress as well as treasuries of our cultural heritage. If these institutions are to continue meeting these high responsibilities, they must b e self-critical and innovative with regard to their intellectual life and their physical environment, but they must also preserve their independence, remaining free to take initiatives necessary to their intellectual well-being. It is the purpose of this report l) to outline the losses already suffered by the University of Virginia because of the recession and cutbacks in state support; 2) to explain the special nature and mission of research universities and their faculties; 3) to identify the likely consequences of additional budget cuts or expanding enrollments at our research universities without adequate funding to accommodate the expansion; and 4) to outline initiatives the University of Virginia and the state government can take to streamline operations without sacrificing excellence.

The existence of the University of Virginia and the other research universities in the Commonwealth is not threatened. These institutions will surely be here for many generations of Virginians to come. But the quality of the institutions and their ability to contribute to the future social and economic health of the Commonwealth is directly threatened by the serious decline in state support, coupled with a misunderstanding of the mission of research universities. We must take care not to do long-term damage with short-term and short-sighted solutions to the political and economic problems of the moment.

II. Cutbacks in State Financial Support

Research universities, like all state-supported institutions, must adjust to changing times. Much adjustment has already been made. In the last three years, the Academic Division has absorbed a cumulative $30 million in cuts and an ongoing reduction of 21 percent in state support: the state now provides 23 percent of the Academic Division's total operating budget. These deep cuts have occasioned many changes. Like other institutions in the Commonwealth, the University of Virginia has substantially increased tuition to partially compensate for the cuts, but still has fallen behind comparable institutions in the nation in salaries, benefits, and other means of faculty support. We have also fallen behind in the support of graduate students, who constitute 35 percent of the University's total student body and make a crucial contribution to both teaching and research. Other impacts of these funding cuts can be seen in diminished library purchases and services, reduced building maintenance, decreased travel support, slower replacement of outmoded equipment, and lower budgets for everyday operating expenses.

University administrators and faculty are currently investigating where further savings might be made, from canceling underenrolled classes to closing down departments. Innovations in the classroom are under consideration, such as an increased use of technology, although our early assessment is that electronics classroom computer networks, for example can increase teaching effectiveness but do not lower costs or decrease faculty involvement. We may be able to schedule more efficiently, reduce duplicate offerings, merge interrelated units, and make more effective use of the summer session, but there are limits. Belts can be tightened only so far.

At this point, Virginia leads the nation in cuts to higher education. If public funding continues to diminish, and if the University of Virginia and the other research universities are required to take additional students without additional state funding, accompanied by mandates restricting tuition increases and withholding additional faculty positions (both of which have been proposed), the quality of education will suffer dramatically. We will experience larger, depersonalized classes, loss of talented faculty and graduate students and a concomitant loss of external research funds. Tuition increases will limit accessibility to higher education, and important subfields of study subfields that make the University of Virginia and other research universities in the state uniquely rich in their offerings to students and uniquely valuable in their service to society will be eliminated.

By 1988-1989 the Commonwealth of Virginia ranked 12th among the 50 states in per capita support ($36.80) for higher education. By l99l-1992, per capita support for higher education in Virginia had dropped to $29.40, and the Commonwealth ranked 23rd, tied with Mississippi. Over the same period, the Commonwealth fell in per student support for higher education from 29th to 43rd, just above Louisiana and Alabama.

In the two years prior to 1992-1993 the Commonwealth of Virginia made the severest cuts among all the fifty states in support for higher education in terms of percentages: -13 percent in current dollars and -18 percent when adjusted for inflation. The national average was -1 percent in current dollars and -7 percent when adjusted for inflation.

The above data are the most recent available for national rankings. The rankings, while taking account of most of the $413,000,000 in cuts in the Commonwealth's support for higher education in recent years, do not even take into account the past year. If recent proposals for additional cuts of up to 10 or 15 percent in state support to higher education during the 1994-1996 biennium are implemented, the Commonwealth will rank near the bottom of the nation in every category of support for higher education.

At the University of Virginia, support from state funds dropped from $121.9 million in 1989-1990 to $102.3 million in 1992-93. These reductions in the face of increasing costs were partially made up by a rapid rise in tuition and fees. The Educational and General Revenue components of the annual budgets of the University's Academic Division for the past few years are shown below.

Unrestricted State Educational and General Revenue

Academic Division

(in millions)

                     Year                          State General Fund

1989-1990 $121.9

1990-1991 $117.6

1991-1992 $106.5

1992-1993 $102.3

1993-1994 (projected) $104.4

These figures exclude state general funds provided for Equipment Trust Fund lease payments, eminent scholars match, student financial aid, and other restricted programs.

To attempt to help students with the increased financial burden, the University has dramatically increased the financial aid it allocates from tuition. For 1993-94, over 15% or $17.3 million of gross tuition revenue has been devoted to financial aid compared to 6.3% or $3.9 million in 1988-89.

In the discussion to follow we focus on the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Virginia. This school is the largest in the University and is central to undergraduate ed

ucation, enrolling three-quarters of the undergraduates. Arts and Sciences is almost entirely dependent upon state allocations and tuition revenues for its academic programs.

The 1989-1990 final annual educational and general budget for Arts and Sciences was $38.7 million. The target budget for 1993-1994 is $40.5 million. In 1989, before the cuts in state support began, the proposed budget of Arts and Sciences for l990-l99l was $40.3 million, which anticipated a modest increase in usual times. This proposed budget was cut, as part of the general cuts of that year, to $3g.1 million. Had those cuts not been required, and had the Arts and Sciences budget been increased each year only at the rate of inflation, the target for the 1993-1994 budget would be $45.5 million, i.e. $5 million more than the proposed 1993-1994 budget.

Instructional Program

Within the University and within Arts and Sciences, sheltering the instructional program from budget shortfalls has been given the highest priority. To cover losses in funds, individual departments have used various strategies, determined by the nature of their courses and the losses they have suffered. Some have reduced course offerings, some have increased the size of classes that should be small (e.g. senior seminars and language sections), some have eliminated laboratory sections or limited them to majors. Others have replaced some small upper level courses by larger mid level courses. By and large, however, the general profile of course enrollment has been maintained in both upper- and lower-level classes.

Students

The undergraduate and graduate students have had, in general terms, the same numbers and types of courses available, but they are paying significantly more. In 1989-1990, in-state tuition and fees for undergraduates in the College were $2.708, out-of-state $7,088. For 1993-1994, in-state tuition and fees are $4,350, out-of- state $12,254. Here it should be noted that, in financial terms, out-of-state students do not attend the University at a cost either to in-state students or to the Commonwealth. Based on SCHEV's system of calculating the per-student cost of undergraduate education, last year out-of-state students paid app

roximately 120 percent of the cost of their education, in- state students about 38 percent. Similar increases have occurred at other state colleges and universities in the Commonwealth, and the result is that now Virginia is second highest among the fifty states in tuition and fee costs for residents to attend state colleges and universities, and eighth for residents attending doctoral institutions.

Faculty

Although some positions vacated by retirement and departure have had to be left open, and although some departments have been more adversely affected than others, full time positions in Arts and Sciences have remained steady, with 586.22 in 1989-1990, 575.09 in 1991-1992, and with 597.90 planned for 1993-1994. The funding for this was possible, in part, because most Arts and Sciences faculty have received no raises from state or university funds for three years. The maintenance of Arts and Sciences positions has also been managed by replacing retiring senior faculty with junior faculty, by replacing full-time tenure track faculty with less expensive part-time non-tenure track faculty, by replacing some faculty with graduate assistants, and by deficit spending. This deficit in Arts and Sciences has been covered by special appropriations from within the University but it is not sustainable.

The most deleterious impact on the faculty, who by SCHEV's data work an average of 55 hours per week, has been cuts in salary and retirement benefits. In 1990 faculty and staff salaries were cut 2 percent. At the same time the state's contribution to the TIAA pension fund for faculty was reduced from 12.5 percent of salary to 10.4 percent (cutting retirement benefits by 16.8 percent). (Through substantial use of private funds, the University restored the TIAA contribution to 11.5 percent for those faculty employed before 1990.) In December, 1992, the state restored the 2 percent salary cut. The net effect is that since 1990 most faculty and staff salaries in Arts and Sciences have remained unchanged, and faculty have lost in addition a portion of their retirement benefits. If inflation is taken into account, an Arts and Sciences faculty or staff member's salary in 1993 is approximately 87 percen

t of what it was in 1990.

Prior to 1990-1991, SCHEV and the state targeted salaries of University faculty at the 60th percentile of those of a group of peer institutions. By 1992-l993, University faculty salaries had fallen to the 34th percentile of the peer group. The 3.55-percent average increase approved by the state for December 1993, without the 2-percent supplement provided by the University from private funds, would continue the decline, to the 32nd percentile of peer institutions.

These data show that the Commonwealth of Virginia is not keeping up with the national average in support for faculty, a symptom of reduced support for higher education in general. The decline is not only significant. It is precipitous and continuing.

Operating Expenses

The Other Than Personal Services (OTPS) budget is intended to cover non-salary costs for instructional and administrative purposes, including office supplies, telephones, xeroxing, purchase and maintenance of office and instructional laboratory equipment and supplies, some building maintenance, and other general operating expenses. The OTPS budget has not increased in more than a decade. The OTPS budget for Arts and Sciences was $2,550,000 for 1984-1985; the projected budget for 1993- 1994 is $2,342,260. Money from the Higher Education Equipment Trust Fund ($8.7 million since 1986) has allowed the purchase and lease of significant amounts of equipment necessary for laboratory and other instructional purposes, but the maintenance of that equipment, the replacement of typewriters by computers, the upgrading, maintenance, and fees of telephone equipment, have had to be borne by the OTPS budget.

Departments whose OTPS budgets have remained virtually unchanged since 1980 have had to limit severely basic expenditures for postage, xeroxing, travel, and telephones. It is hard to imagine any business which expects its employees to pay out of pocket, as the University does of its faculty, for a major share of postage for business letters, travel to professional meetings, computers for business purposes, long distance business calls or xeroxing for instructional purposes. Even these draconian "economy" measures have not sufficed to cover the

shortages in the OTPS budget.

III. Teaching, Research, and Service at a Research

University

Since their creation in medieval times, universities have been places where scholars have gathered and scholarship has flourished. In the nineteenth century German universities established what has become one model of the modern research institution, in which students participate as apprentices in the research of their professors. Exported to America, this German model was joined with a second model that of the British teaching college. The merger of teaching and research in American universities became a hallmark of the American system, a system of higher education that is now widely regarded as the best in the world. The present structure of the American research university came fully into its own in the late 1940s, after researchers at universities had demonstrated the importance of their work in such wartime projects as the development of radar, atomic energy, and wonder drugs. With a massive postwar increase in enrollments, which eventually included graduate studies, with the rapid expansion of many fields of inquiry, and with extensive federal funding, senior universities in America developed into places where knowledge was not only stored and disseminated, but discovered as well. In addition to instruction of the young, the mission of these senior institutions came to be defined as creation, invention, and reinterpretation They now produce ideas and services not only for the educational system, but also for government, the military, health care, the cultural life of the nation, and business where new concepts and products are converted into commercial ventures and jobs. Leading writers, artists, and musicians, along with the growing number of American Nobel Prize winners, tend increasingly to be university faculty. Perhaps the clearest indication of this change can be seen in the extraordinary increases in extramural funding for scholarship and research in the case of the University of Virginia, from $50,000 in 1946 to over $122 million in l991-92. This investment in research, largely by the federal government, has paid substantial dividends. A recent study, confirmed by the Congres

sional Budget Office, indicates a 28-percent annual rate of return for federal investments in academic research.

It has now become common for the expertise of faculty members in research universities to be used both inside and outside the academic world. Professors from Charlottesville demonstrate this point in myriad ways: designing the continuous electron beam accelerator now being built in Newport News, serving as a member of the President's Council of Economic Advisors, discovering a lost musical score by Mendelssohn, staging an exhibit on the history of American architecture at the Smithsonian, serving as Poet Laureate of the United States, creating experiments for the Hubble space telescope, serving as Ambassador to Peru, drafting the revised constitution for the Commonwealth of Virginia. In recent decades, three faculty members from the University's Department of English have been awarded Pulitzer Prizes, for poetry, short fiction, and the novel a circumstance that succinctly defines the special function of a research university. These professors are not only distinguished teachers who help their students understand our literary heritage; they have themselves created works that are part of that heritage.

Attracting faculty of the highest quality requires an environment in which scholarship can flourish; able colleagues for discussion and stimulation; top-ranked graduate students as junior partners in both teaching and research; bright, questioning undergraduates; well- equipped laboratories; and an outstanding library. 'The cultivation of this environment must be constant and energetic, for a research university is a fragile place and the slide to mediocrity as we have seen elsewhere in the world is an ever-present danger.

What happens to teaching when professors work in the lab and the library as well as the classroom, when they advise congressmen as well as freshmen? According to a 1992 study conducted by SCHEV, faculty members in research universities work longer hours than any other educators, and spend less time in classroom teaching. These statistics have led some to conclude that research institutions are uninterested in teaching and that scholars and researchers are no

t good teachers. Just the opposite is true, for the special nature of the research university produces a large volume of high quality teaching, even though neither the volume nor the quality is reflected in measurements based solely on course loads and classroom contact hours. These measurements miss the crucial fact that a great deal of teaching goes on beyond classroom doors. They miss the work of a history professor who coaches a student through five drafts of a dissertation, and then through article and book publication; they miss the intensive teaching of a physics professor who leads a team of postdoctoral, graduate, and undergraduate students in experiments designed to increase our knowledge of the characteristics of subatomic particles; they miss the teaching and learning that occurs in a multidisciplinary research team studying mitigation techniques for the effects of acid rain on native fish populations. As popular as comparison of classroom teaching loads across all institutions of higher learning has become, it is erroneous and illogical to assume that what a "teaching load" measures at a community college can or should be compared to what it measures at a research university.

Although it is currently fashionable to criticize teaching in research universities, the market, that is, students and their parents, indicates that Virginia's research universities, including the University of Virginia, are providing superior undergraduate education by statewide and national standards. Virginia's research universities are among the most highly sought after institutions of higher education in the Commonwealth and in the nation. In l993, for example, the University of Virginia received nearly 16,000 applications for approximately 2,700 positions in its first-year class. These numbers are evidence of consumers' widespread acceptance and acknowledgment of the quality of instruction as devised and practiced by the University.

A university is a community of learners, learners at all levels undergraduate, graduate, and faculty interacting with one another. Scholarship, research, invention, and publication are the ways in which faculty learn, the ways in which they pass on their learning,

the ways in which they continue to qualify themselves to be teachers. Good teachers are not merely caretakers or facilitators or conveyer belts of information to cite three false models that have led the public schools astray. The powerful teacher is a powerful learner, and he or she thereby produces students who are creators rather than receivers, writers rather than note takers, active experimenters rather than passive recorders of the experiments of others. Our most successful teachers are often also our most significant scholars and researchers. Graduate students come to Charlottesville from fifty states and sixty-six foreign countries to study with faculty whose work is widely known. Undergraduate students recognize this value as well. "It's different," one third-year student told us, "it's exciting, when you take a course with someone who has written the text, someone who has helped to shape the field you are studying."

The elements of the January 1993 SCHEV report that threaten the quality of education at the Commonwealth's research universities are easily summarized. The report large increases in student enrollment during the next few biennia at all of Virginia's colleges and universities and it sets forth a plan for distributing the additional students among them. Under that plan the University of Virginia and the other doctoral institutions will be required to accommodate a major expansion of its entering classes, in order to accept a share of the growing pool of Virginia applicants. The report foresees, however, no corresponding increase in legislative appropriations to support the additional faculty needed, and indeed suggests that additional faculty or staff positions are necessary or supportable.

In consequence, the report argues, the faculty must teach more. That, it is proposed, can be accomplished by a reduction of the time faculty spend on (1) research especially on what is termed "departmental" (i.e., not externally sponsored) research, and (2) committee activity. Such changes, the report suggests, will improve the quality of higher education at all Virginia institutions, including the University of Virginia. What is most alarming about the SCHEV report's recommen

dations is that they are based on mistaken premises about how teaching, research, and service coalesce in the lives of individual faculty members at research universities. What follows is an effort to describe the special mission of the research faculty at the University of Virginia and other research universities. We recognize the importance of acknowledging problems of revenue and demography in the Commonwealth and we do not shrink from our responsibility to streamline our efforts in response to changing times. But we believe that such streamlining must not be made at the expense of quality. It must be based on a proper understanding of the special character and mission of research universities and research faculties.

A. The Internal Dynamic

The responsibilities of the faculty in a research university include three closely interrelated areas: teaching, research, and service. Some statements in the SCHEV report, perhaps inadvertently, seem to suppose that these three activities are both separable and quantifiable and that they can be compartmentalized and mathematically redivided. In fact, however, for most faculty members the three components are inextricably united in a single vocation. Together they support a life, shared with students, of intellectual inquiry and discovery aimed at preserving the reservoir of traditional knowledge and creating new knowledge. While teaching is central to institutions of higher education, it must be understood in a comprehensive sense as it is informed by the faculty member's service and ongoing research (a nationally and internationally competitive enterprise that involves far more than "keeping up with one's field.")

For faculty members who fully embrace the life of university professor, there is no greater achievement and no greater pleasure than sharing their scholarly or creative work whether in the sciences or the humanities or the fine arts with their students, both in the classroom and outside it. Moreover, it is the lived experience of teaching, worked out in relation to research or creative endeavor, that informs and motivates faculty work on university committees as well as their work in and for the larger community. It would be naiv

e to assume that all faculty members at the University of Virginia or any other institution of higher learning in the Commonwealth achieve a perfect balance of the three areas. It is fair to say, however, that the great majority of faculty do maintain a good working balance among them.

It is precisely for this reason that institutions like the University of Virginia enjoy a national reputation for excellence in research as well as teaching in the humanities, the fine arts, and the sciences. This national reputation serves our students in two ways. First, in the classroom, they have the advantage of instructors who are fully current in their fields and who are establishing national and international standards of excellence in their areas of research. Secondly, once they have graduated, the students' degrees have enhanced value because the quality of their university is widely recognized.

Teaching

Only a small fraction of a professor's teaching involves classroom contact hours with students. It is the preparation for and follow-up to class sessions that determine the success of any given class or course. In addition to the ongoing preparedness achieved through constant research, preparation includes course design, the writing of lectures and organization of discussions, the selection of textbooks, the creation of materials for the students, the design of experiments for laboratories, the application of audio-visual and electronic materials, the writing and grading of exams, the reading of papers and other written assignments, consultations with individual students on paper and course matters, and the supervision and instruction of teaching assistants. Over and above such course-related activities, teaching also goes on in a labor-intensive way in the supervision of senior theses, graduate theses and dissertations, and the setting and grading of graduate qualifying exams.

At the level of departments and schools, faculty members devise and maintain a curriculum of required and elective courses that undergoes regular, intensive scrutiny. Departments and schools introduce new courses and new requirements in response to changes in their fields and changes in the background and preparatio

n of incoming students. Moreover, there is a great deal of room every semester for creative innovation by individual faculty members. Professors regularly offer new seminars and courses, often based on their current research, to supplement "canonical" courses. Very often these innovative courses find a permanent place in the curriculum, thereby reconfiguring over time the shape of the curriculum. In the end, it is individual professors breaking new ground who most fully and permanently affect the lives and minds of students.

Research

For most faculty members, research is intimately tied to teaching. Some of the closest ties between teaching and research occur in graduate education in the experimental sciences. The conduct of experimental research programs at the University depends critically upon the strength and existence of the graduate program. Graduate education in the laboratory has the characteristics of an apprenticeship. The student learns to conduct research by doing it, and as a consequence becomes a producer of research. In addition to the contribution of the student in the laboratory, there is an important intellectual interplay between teacher and student. This interplay is akin to that found in seminars, but more extensive and deeper. The generation of ideas and their sharpest refinement occur during the continuing dialogue between teacher and student. The graduate education process casts the student and faculty in interchanging roles of learner, instructor, and researcher. This symbiotic system, which produces research, advances knowledge, and generates new scholars, has proven to be extremely productive.

In a parallel way graduate students in the humanities, fine arts, and social sciences participate as apprentices in the faculty member's teaching and research or creative work. In graduate courses, and particularly in seminars, professors share their most recent research or art work, and students learn strategies for presenting scholarly papers as preparation for writing their dissertations or techniques for producing their own art. At the same time, graduate students, under close supervision from faculty mentors, teach some introductory courses, often designing the

syllabus themselves and having full or nearly full responsibility for the class. Departmental teaching workshops, run by faculty directors, together with the University's Teaching Resource Center, provide instruction and guidance for graduate assistants in the early stages of their teaching apprenticeship. Generally, graduate-student teaching is monitored by a faculty advisor who visits the classrooms of the students assigned to him or her and meets with them to discuss their performance. The interactions between faculty and graduate students are constant and mutually beneficial. In these interactions, principles of good teaching are as much a subject of scrutiny, discussion, and study as are new ideas in research.

Classroom teaching is also strongly coupled to research. The sharing of ideas in the classroom can grow out of a professor's current research interests, or it can stimulate new research projects. In general, the most exciting classroom experiences, for both instructors and students, occur when a teacher puts together a new course in order to try out a novel way of approaching a subject. A group of literary texts or paintings or musical compositions not usually studied together, or a set of little-known archival data, brought to bear on a particular historical period, forms the basis for a semester's conversation between teacher and students. Most often, the result of such a course will be a genuinely fresh, innovative interpretation of the materials. The faculty member may well use his or her own discoveries to advance national or international understanding of the subject via publication. This scholarly publication, whether in the sciences or the humanities, virtually always undergoes a strict competitive review and the publication of research is the principal means by which a university gains its national and international reputation. At the same time, the students who have participated in the process of inquiry generated by the professor in the classroom will have learned how to think about literature or art or music or philosophy or architecture or historical events or scientific phenomena in new ways. These students will also have learned how to carry out a critical

examination of virtually any topic.

Service

The management of universities differs substantially from that of most enterprises, although some businesses are now moving toward a model of individual and group responsibility similar to that characteristic of academic institutions. The faculty play a central role in the administration of the university at every level and much power resides in them. They hold all of the major administrative positions within departments and schools, and these are generally filled on a rotating basis. They also participate fully in all hiring, in curricular changes, in management decisions about graduate and undergraduate programs, and in most of the policy questions arising in their departments and schools. In addition, a number of faculty members participate actively in the administration of the university as a whole, holding central administrative positions and serving on university-wide policymaking committees. Faculty service on committees and in administrative positions is a means of implementing in the most direct, effective way possible the university's full academic mission. Faculty are motivated to work much longer hours than most employees because of the excitement of the intellectual enterprise, but also because they have a sense of ownership and responsibility for their individual and collective actions.

Service also includes advising undergraduate students formally and informally; training graduate students to become teachers through apprentice programs in departments; and participating in outreach programs aimed at instructing school teachers, business leaders, and other groups seeking academic expertise. In addition, faculty also serve on state and national boards of professional and government organizations. These activities, like everything else faculty members do, are not easily quantifiable, nor are they separable from other responsibilities in relation to students and their academic commitment to the transmission and creation of knowledge.

B. The External Pressures

In 1990, Gordon Davies, the Director of SCHEV, wrote eloquently on the danger to Virginia universities of tampering with the present distribution of faculty time between

teaching and research:

How do we want faculty activity to be distributed differently? 'That is, if we want them to teach more, what are we willing for faculty to do less of?.... The usual nominee for elimination, of course, is research, but we also need to ask what price we're willing to pay if we ask faculty to do less research in order to teach [more] .... [D]espite serious misgivings about the basis of reputational rankings, we know that in order to be considered a "first-rate" institution, a university has to not only offer academic super-stars reduced teaching loads, but also routinely attract the most promising faculty by offering a standard two-course load. If Virginia is not willing to pay that price, we have to be willing to forego the academic standing....

Davies here articulates unambiguously the loss of reputation, of competitiveness, of quality in faculty and programs and the accompanying loss of value to students and the Commonwealth, Virginia research universities will suffer if the state attempts to legislate teaching loads that differ from those of our peer institutions across the country.

While the decline in faculty salaries over the past four years has dropped us well below peer group averages, we stand a chance of recovery on this score, at least over time. But we would not recover from an adjustment in teaching loads that ran counter to the national norms at research universities. The Economics Department at the University of Virginia has recently done a survey and finds that its teaching load is already not competitive with those of the top forty or fifty departments in the nation. Economics faculty members at the University, on average, teach one course more, and in some instances teach two courses more per year than do their counterparts at comparable research universities. Unless we maintain teaching loads commensurate with those of our peer institutions, we will not be able to attract the caliber of faculty which has won the University a national reputation. Not only the students but the Commonwealth will be the losers if we do not take a more enlightened, more fully informed approach than the SCHEV report allows to the present financial and demographic

situa tion in Virginia.

C. Accountability in Teaching and Research

Accountability in Teaching

At the end of each semester, every course by every professor receives a written evaluation by the students enrolled in the course. These evaluations are read by department chairs and form part of the annual review of each faculty member. Students know well that teaching involves much more than just the time spent in the classroom. Consequently, in their evaluations they take into consideration the quality of the professors' preparation for class, the professors' accessibility out of class, the effectiveness of tests and other assignments, and the human dimension that professors bring to their dealings with students. Students frequently praise the command of the field that their professors display and they acknowledge that they enjoy studying with researchers whose contributions have advanced their fields of learning. These twice-yearly evaluations are available to faculty members after they have handed in course grades. A reading of positive evaluations is not only good for morale, but also lets instructors know what approaches are working. Conversely, negative evaluations inform instructors and their department chairs of areas in which improvement is needed.

Each year each faculty member submits to the department chair an annual report that documents several types of activity: teaching; supervision of M.A. and Ph.D. theses; research; publications; professional activity, such as participation in conferences or service on editorial boards of scholarly journals; awards received, service to department, University, professional organizations and community; and paid consulting. The teaching evaluations and the annual reports serve as a basis for discussions at the annual budget meetings that take place between the department chairs and deans. In those meetings the "state of the department" receives its annual review. Included in the review is faculty productivity (teaching, research, and service), which is considered in both quantitative and qualitative terms. A "bottom line" in this review process is faculty salary which is determined by the department chair on the basis of productivity in al

l areas of the University's academic mission.

Accountability in Research

Sponsored versus Nonsponsored Research. Sponsored research is any research supported by external funds. Sponsored research is funded, most often by the federal government, but also by industry and foundations, mostly because of its potential application to national needs or goals. Such research has contributed to vastly improved medical care, transportation, communication, and defense, to name a few areas. In some cases, the application is a major motivation for the individual researcher, and in others the primary motivation is the quest for basic knowledge. In either case, most of the funding is subject to open, often peer reviewed, competition.

Competitively funded, peer-reviewed research promotes a kind of intellectual capitalism. Researchers choose what problems to address, what concepts to pursue, and how to promote their ideas and results. In order to obtain results, it is necessary to obtain funding, find space, buy equipment, hire researchers, hire technical and support staff, and carry out the work. The process is similar to operating a small business. The researcher's success or failure is ultimately determined in the marketplace of ideas by peers and others who help make decisions about funding, and about publication, invited lectures, prizes, promotions and other forms of recognition. This system has produced remarkable results. It adds both motivation and reward to the intellectual enterprise, which has its own substantial intrinsic motivations and rewards. Knowledge is empowering, and the quest for new knowledge, while requiring discipline and much effort, can be more exciting and satisfying than any other activity.

Sponsored research, especially scientific research, is usually a collaborative activity, normally involving students. Almost always, faculty and graduate students work in close collaboration. In the sciences, advanced graduate education and research are one and the same. In many circumstances research also involves other research scientists, postdoctoral research associates, and technical and secretarial staff. Increasingly, scientific research involves undergraduates. Decades of exp

erience have shown that the best way to convince students to consider careers in science is to get them involved in research.

The level of sponsored program activity (which is principally sponsored research, but also includes supported teaching and public service) at the University has been increasing steadily over the last decade, with increases in recent years averaging approximately 15 percent per year. In l983-84, $49.4 million was received by the University in sponsored program awards. That rose to $92.0 million in 1989-90, $107.2 million in 1990-91 and $122.5 million in 1991-92, exceeding the total state appropriations for the University for that year by $3.4 million.

Of the $122.5 million awarded in 91-92, approximately $26.5 million went to the University in the form of indirect costs or "overhead." Thirty percent of this money goes to the educational and general budget of the University and 20 percent to capital outlay projects. Of the remaining 50 percent, substantial fractions go to schools and departments, and smaller amounts to the library, graduate fellowships, computing, and central research needs. In Arts and Sciences, about 25 percent of the total finds its way hack to the departments responsible for the research.

This research activity has a major economic impact on the region as well as on the University. Research is a labor intensive activity, and the majority of support goes for the salaries of additional personnel hired to help carry out the research (research associates, technicians, and office assistants). Over 1500 people employed by the University are paid from research grants. These people buy houses, rent apartments, purchase groceries, and pay taxes, and in doing so, generate many more jobs in the region and state.

In contrast, sponsored research in the humanities and in some of the social sciences as well as creative work in the fine arts is often conducted with smaller grants designed only to replace the salaries of faculty members who are on a research leave. For researchers who do not require laboratories, time and access to research materials, documents, and specialized libraries are crucial. Grants in excess of a professor's salary pay for researc

h assistants, computer equipment, photographic equipment and services, and travel to distant resources. Some projects in the humanities and the social sciences are, in fact, large-scale collaborative efforts that require large grants and numerous people, just as in the sciences. Examples of such projects are archaeological excavations, the editing of the papers of George Washington and James Madison, and projects in psychology that are conducted in laboratories. Increasingly. the computer revolution is serving to change the scale of research in the humanities and social sciences. As a consequence, large grants are sought for expansive projects that make use of advanced technology and staff members who enter and process data with the aid of computers.

Nonsponsored research is conducted by faculty members without the benefit of outside funding for their work and is most typical in the humanities, fine arts, and social sciences for those projects that can be conducted by a single individual. Most projects receive at least some outside funding and therefore do not remain nonsponsored for their entire duration. However, in the periods between summer grants and longer externally-supported leaves, most faculty members in the humanities, fine arts, and social sciences conduct their day-to-day and month-to-month research or creative endeavors with no support other than their salaries. Indeed, such activity is expected as part of the workload of faculty members at a research university. Most significant projects, however, cannot be completed without the time provided by a research leave, and there are not enough grants to support every faculty member. As a consequence, many faculty members take leaves without pay, and pay for research-related travel, equipment and services out of their own pockets.

Evaluation of Research. A multitiered system exists for evaluating research projects at every stage of their development. The first level is that of the grant proposal which must be submitted to the granting agency. Proposals are reviewed by panels of specialists in the field of the proposal. The larger the grant, the more rigorous the review; competition is intense and only the best are funded. The procedure at the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), for example, is to send grant proposals to several specialists in the applicant's field. Written evaluations are sent by the reviewers to the NEH which then convenes several panels of experts who review the applications and the reviews that relate to their area of expertise. Each panel then makes recommendations for funding.

A second evaluation takes place when scholars attempt to publish the results of their work. Book publishers and journal editors send manuscripts to readers who are authorities in the author's field. The reviews are rigorous, and acceptances are few. Even when a work is accepted, an editor often requires that substantial revisions be made. If, in advance of publication, a scholar presents the results of research at a professional conference, then two additional tiers of evaluation are introduced. One is a review by a program committee that selects papers, and another is the review by peers who hear the presentation at the conference. Another level of evaluation is the book review. When a scholar's work is published as a book, scholarly journals publish reviews written by other scholars in the field.

The annual faculty activity reports document each faculty member's yearly progress in research. Submitted to the department chair and reviewed by the dean, these reports constitute the basis for an annual departmental- level and University-level review of a faculty member's productivity. And, in addition, the career record of research of all faculty candidates for promotion is evaluated by a senior faculty committee and by outside evaluators.

IV. Present and Projected Initiatives to Enhance the Quality of Education within the Current Financial Climate

Colleges and universities in the Commonwealth of Virginia have struggled to preserve the quality of the academic programs in the face of the budget cuts. At the University of Virginia, administrative units have borne a larger proportion of the reductions than academic units. Eleven senior administrative positions have been eliminated by consolidating or eliminating functions. The University is operating with 95 fewer state supported positions than it had be

fore the cuts. While some of these positions are faculty, most are staff. In addition, the services provided by the University to income-generating auxiliary enterprises and the Medical Center have been carefully evaluated, and charges for those services have generated additional revenue of $1.7 million. Nevertheless, with state support of the University cut by $20 million, virtually all units' operating budgets have been held constant or reduced over the last several years, forcing them to absorb costs of enrollment increases and inflation without additional resources.

Part of the cost of higher education in Virginia is due to the state government itself. The public universities in the Commonwealth are regarded as arms of the state government and are subject to all the levels of control that apply to other state agencies. In some cases such control is entirely appropriate. However, too many rules and regulations, no matter how well intended, and too much prior review by the state complicate and delay actions and increase administrative costs for both the state and the universities. Consider, for example, a purchasing regulation introduced in the last few years. All sole source requisitions over ten thousand dollars must receive prior approval in Richmond. The process requires extra paperwork, and it often takes months to get approval. Many millions of dollars of specialized scientific and medical equipment are bought every year. It is impossible for administrative staff, no matter how skilled and dedicated, to judge at a distance the appropriateness of a particular piece of equipment, for example a picosecond laser, for a particular project. In addition, regulations cost time and money when dealing with purchase of computers and airline tickets. With respect to computer purchases, a listing of state- approved vendors must be used, frequently resulting in higher prices, slower delivery and inferior service compared to vendors not currently on the state-approved list. In addition, all airline tickets for University of Virginia business must be purchased from one of three state-approved travel agencies, often preventing individuals from taking advantage of special fares offered by other travel agencies or directly by the airlines. Of course the universities should be held accountable for the quality and quantity of higher education they provide as well as for their financial and personnel practices. Accountability can be maintained by a posteriori review rather than multiple levels of a priori approval and control. The result would be improved efficiency and reduced costs.

Many steps for dealing with budget reductions have been taken by the universities and colleges of the Commonwealth. But the new proposals for further cuts would, if enacted, have disastrous effects. To sustain and build quality higher education, we must look for both additional resources and new efficiencies. Here we propose some actions which could help preserve the quality of higher education and lead to improvements in efficiency.

First, we encourage SCHEV, as the intermediary between colleges and universities and the state government, to exercise its leadership role by speaking out on behalf of excellence in higher education for Virginia. The council contributed to the creation and building of a strong group of institutions of higher education for the Commonwealth. We ask that it reject short-sighted solutions to the state's present political and economic problems. Short-sightedness now will cripple the institutions of higher education in Virginia, and particularly its research universities, and damage their ability to contribute to our future economic and social well-being.

Second, along with SCHEV, each college and university in Virginia, while seeking to increase revenues, should at the same time develop and institutionalize permanent performance enhancement mechanisms. These mechanisms should have the dual goals of increasing productivity and responsiveness while reducing bureaucracy and its attendant costs. Given the severity of the past and proposed cuts, efforts to increase revenues should be done in the context of examining all sources of revenue and all costs, including those forced upon institutions by the Commonwealth.

Each institution of higher education in Virginia has its own history, traditions, and ways of carrying out its educational missions Institutional autonomy has be

en an important element in the development of ambitious and successful institutions. It is important that these institutions continue to have the autonomy to work out creative strategies suitable to their own unique situations for building excellence in the 1990s.

We recommend that state agencies and universities take steps to follow these four guidelines:

l. Assessment. Develop and apply a credible system for assessing the value and cost of all personnel functions, whether performed by faculty or staff. Reduce or eliminate programs with high cost and/or low productivity. Ensure that faculty effort on an individual level is appropriately balanced among teaching, research, and service.

2. Accountability. Provide accountability not through multiple levels of prior approval and control, but through review and evaluation of completed actions and projects, with rewards for superior performance. Seek to reduce administrative hierarchies and empower employees at all levels to make and carry out decisions. Seek methods to improve efficiency through sharing and consolidating appropriate administrative services. 3. Contract for Services. Contract for services in the private sector in those cases where greater cost effectiveness can be obtained. Consider whether some functions might become self-supporting.

4. Respond to Needs. Strive to ensure that all instructors, staff members, and administrators at all levels in higher education know and respond to the needs of the people they serve.

For the University of Virginia we recommend a comprehensive, systematic study of the following areas, considered not separately but as integral parts of a whole; l) internal expenditures; 2) revenues (including tuition); and 3) state oversight in relation to the state government's present level of support to the institution. Within the context of this systematic assessment, we suggest several specific steps, some of which have already been instituted:

1. Cut back Weak Programs Rather than Dilute Quality Overall. Each dean should develop a plan detailing which units should be targeted for reduction or elimination in response to extreme financial stress.

2. Reallocate Resources. The faculty resources assigned t

o departments and programs are not immutable; that is, where quantitative efficiency is low and there are no counterbalancing contributions, such resources can and will be shifted to departments in need of them. This is something that can in principle be done now; but it is rarely done, and more rarely in such a way as to indicate the priorities of departments or programs.

3. Make the Most of Faculty Resources. The acceptable mix of teaching, research, and service should be flexible enough to accommodate talents and interests that vary over the course of a career as well as from individual to individual.

4. Expand the Academic Calendar. In an earlier era, summer was necessarily a time spent away from classes because of the needs of the family farm. For most of our students this is no longer the case, and we should move toward integrating the summer term into the academic calendar on an equal footing with the other two terms. This will allow more efficient use of classroom and other facilities.

5. Provide Accelerated Programs. With an expanded calendar, the option of an accelerated baccalaureate curriculum three years instead of four could be offered for intellectually and emotionally-qualified students, provided that they were willing to use summers for serious academic work, here or at other institutions of comparable quality.

6. Eliminate Under-enrolled Courses. While the highest quality teaching often takes place in small classes, there is a point below which the necessary dynamics do not occur. The critical number of students differs by discipline and by level within each discipline. Courses that are too small should be taught less frequently so as to build up the class size, replaced by independent study, or eliminated. 7. Coordinate Specialized Programs with Other Institutions in the Commonwealth. Where there are under-enrolled upper-division classes (for example, because of a relatively small number of majors) that for reasons of curriculum must nevertheless be offered, special efforts could be made to enroll qualified students from other Virginia colleges. This would require a new, statewide system of agreements with potential "feeder" institutions.

8. Cooperate with Colleges

and Universities Outside the Commonwealth. Arrangements could be made with institutions of comparable quality, in states with declining college-age populations, to accommodate University of Virginia students for one or two years. If the cooperating institutions were chosen with care, the option of a year or two in a quite different environment might be attractive to good students with specific and well-developed interests.

9. Employ New Technologies. Genuinely creative use of technological advances and the early involvement of all students in them might over time increase efficiency in some areas and free up human resources to be used more intensively elsewhere. These technologies include computer-assisted, self-paced teaching, TV courses transmitted throughout the state, high-speed electronic networks, and on-line library information systems. These and other technologies have the potential to enhance teaching and learning, but experience shows that so far they are more expensive than conventional methods of instruction.

A substantial amount of caution is appropriate when considering the enhancement of efficiency by use of technology. To date, the technology has been long on promise and short on real impact. Forty years ago many were predicting that television would make the classroom obsolete, and twenty years ago some were predicting that the computer would make the teacher obsolete. Nonetheless, the potential of technology to enhance the quality of teaching and learning is great, and there may also be potential, yet undemonstrated, to increase the efficiency of teaching.

At present, there are several types of technology- enhanced classrooms in use at the University of Virginia. These include media-equipped classrooms with a TV, VCR, overhead projector and perhaps a slide projector; electronic classrooms where one or more computers are available to the instructor, the output of which may be displayed on a large screen, on television monitors in the classroom, or both; mobile units where such equipment is provided on a cart and shared among several classrooms; multimedia classrooms which integrate computer and audiovisual media; computer classrooms where each of the students sits at

a personal computer or work station which is linked to the instructor's computer; and television classrooms which are television studios with students in them and other students connected to them by satellite and phone links.

Students and faculty at the University of Virginia also have access to electronic texts and related search and analysis tools on a scale unparalleled at present in any other American university. With the catalogues of all the University's libraries available on a computer network, it is possible for students and faculty to carry out several different kinds of searches in just a few minutes' time from a terminal. This is a wonderful time- saver, and it reduces the barriers to branching out into new areas. Many texts are also available electronically so that they can be searched and read from a terminal. These include the Oxford English Dictionary, the entire corpus of Old English writings, several versions of Shakespeare's complete works, the complete works of thirteen hundred fifty English poets from AD 600 to 1900, and hundreds of other literary, social, historical, philosophical, and political works in various languages. The electronic text center staff members work daily with individual users to introduce them to new working methods, new teaching possibilities, and new types of equipment.

All of the above enhancements are able to improve teaching effectiveness. They make it possible to use a wider range of examples and illustrations than were available to instructors only a few years ago. In addition, the TV classroom increases the accessibility of instruction to the citizens of the commonwealth. So far, however, none of these technical improvements has resulted in greater efficiency or cost effectiveness. The TV classroom appears to offer this possibility, since it does allow one instructor to reach a large number of students located at several remote sites. These potential savings are currently overbalanced by the cost of the satellite transmission. Indeed, nearly all research to date indicates that teaching enhanced by technology will be more rather than less expensive for institutions of higher learning.

V. Conclusion

Substantial cuts to the Commonweal

th of Virginia's higher education budget have seriously threatened the present high quality of the University of Virginia and the other research universities in the state. In addition, recent proposals by SCHEV for increased state control strike directly at the University's traditional prerogative to determine its own educational and fiscal policies. Yet the University of Virginia, like other research universities, can succeed in a fiercely competitive national and international market only as long as it retains the freedom to decide for itself how to manage its human and financial resources. SCHEV and the state government may choose to continue reducing financial support and, at the same time, move to increase their control over state institutions of higher education. But, if they do so, the governor and state legislators, as well as the citizens of Virginia, must understand what is at stake: No more nor less than the high quality of their research universities. The University of Virginia and the Commonwealth's other research universities presently provide their students with an outstanding education and a nationally impressive degree. Because of their excellence and prestige, the public research universities also enhance the cultural and economic health of the state. If state funds for higher education continue to be reduced and if the autonomy of universities with respect to internal policy is abridged, Virginia will have lost one of its most precious assets, and the loss is likely to be irreversible.

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