FAS Deficit At Four-Year Low
About 70 Full-Time Positions Eliminated Over Period
The annual budget deficit of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences is at a four-year low, Dean of the Faculty Jeremy R. Knowles announced at yesterday's first Faculty Council meeting of the year.
In the last fiscal year, the deficit for unrestricted funds was one percent, according to a chart Knowles was reported to have distributed at the meeting.
Unrestricted monies are those, such as tuition, that are given without stipulation for their use; restricted funds are those donated for a specific purpose.
One council member, according to Secretary to the Faculty Council John B. Fox Jr. '59, asked Knowles whether he was happy about the reduced deficit.
Fox said Knowles told the group that while he was seldom happy, he was extremely grateful.
Factors that have helped lower the deficit, Fox said, include the reduction of about 70 full-time employees over the past three or four years, the refinancing of debt and the centralized purchasing of supplies.
But Knowles still appeared watchful of the financial future of the FAS, according to Fox, saying that the kind of savings that had been achieved over the past four years are no longer there to be made.
Fox said that future FAS financial concerns could include information technology costs and decreased government funding of Harvard research.
One Faculty Council member echoed Knowles' wariness.
Even when the news is good, it doesn't mean that vigilance can be relaxed," said Professor of Government Kenneth A. Shepsle. "Harvard is no different than any other organization in the current economy, which is under lots of pressures, with the concerns of federal support declining and the costs of health care going up."
Other issues discussed at the meeting included the proposed Humanities Quad, the report just released on the structure of the College, the faculty's stance on training teaching fellows and the Educational Policy Committee's review of concentrations.
Since it was the first meeting of the year, with several new members in attendance, the discussion was mostly preliminary.
"I think this was mainly an organizational meeting and an opportunity for us to meet one another," Shepsle said.
Elizabeth J. Riemer contributed to this report.