Volume 6, Number 3, 1997

Emphasis is on academics

Since fiscal year 1990, funds allocated for academic units have grown by 45 percent (5.5 percent annually), while administrative units grew by 16 percent (2.15 percent annually), according to a seven-year analysis completed recently by UD's Budget Office.

The growth of academic budgets included a dramatic increase in student financial aid, which jumped by 213 percent between 1990 and 1997, Budget Director Carol Rylee reported. Moreover, she said, academic salaries have increased, and the growth in funds allocated to academic units would be even greater except for the fact that fringe benefits-a category that increased by 53 percent over the seven-year period-are not budgeted to the academic units.

"These figures are consistent with our ongoing efforts to improve compensation, reduce overhead, increase scholarships and improve the living and learning environments," President David P. Roselle says.

Academic budgets have grown more than two times faster than state appropriations, which increased by 20.6 percent between 1990 and 1997. "Increasingly," Executive Vice President David E. Hollowell says, "we are leveraging private support to make the most of University and state funds, and we are constantly looking for ways to create administrative efficiencies that can generate funds for reallocation to academic programs."

The recent budget analysis provides clear evidence of administrators' intent to support teaching as well as research and community service by faculty members, Provost Mel Schiavelli says. "The growing number of named professorships and student scholarships, plus budget increases for library materials, are just a few of the benefits resulting from the increase in academic budgets," he adds.

"In a larger sense, these increases symbolize the administration's commitment to support faculty and promote a stimulating environment that is conducive to new ideas and productive dialogue," Schiavelli says.

"The University of Delaware's goals are competitive compensation, increases in financial aid, improvements in the living and learning environments and putting considerations about our students at the very center of all that we do," Roselle says. "As we have advanced toward a full realization of these goals, we have increasingly been able to mix together wonderfully capable faculty and staff with highly talented, enthusiastic students in appropriate instructional venues, supported by the most modern equipment."