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MassArt Budget Advisory Committee

February 14, 2018

Meeting Notes



Committee Members Present:

Bob Perry, Chair Jamie Costello, Co-Chair Kara Mackie

Jim Cambronne Ernie Plowman Kyle Brock

Don Arpino Elizabeth Freeman-Smith Luanne Witkowski

Howie LaRosee Ezra Shales


Committee Members Not Present:

Kathryn Riel, Co-Chair Bob Gerst Susana Segat

Katelyn Costello Chris Wright Dwayne Farley



Bob and Jamie began the meeting with the continuation of the working session from January 31, in which the committee brainstormed suggestions for campus-wide priorities to help inform the Strategic Planning and Budget Processes. 


Discussion of departmental priorities, items shared with the group:

  • Studio Managers concern – how we fit everyone, enrollment doesn’t necessarily match up with space.
  • Safety and Security Concerns
  • Would like the budget to support operationally with equipment etc. but the physical space to be more flexible, or ability to be more flexible in using underutilized space.
  • 540 students using 190 desks – working small may be result of small working space
  • Campus Safety Working Group proposal has gone through committees and approved by the BOT, for $100,000. In security improvements, will need to be funded.  Some items are one-time expenses, and others are on-going.
  • Concern – finding a way to be sure that approved items are funded.
  • Kiln example – how do we maintain for small enrollment majors and still provide for students in large enrollment majors
  • Enrollment Management and Institutional Research are analyzing trends.
  • Suggestion for endowments – could work with Institutional Advancement to create funding resources: Example of Al Gowan Memorial Fund for Lyons letterpress.
  • Foundation is too restrictive.  Example – no room in required/electives for a graphic design student to take drawing etc. 
  • Students have mentioned the counterpoint – some are frustrated by a lack of required courses.
  • Studio Experience – more exposure, cross-pollination, promoting shared space, universal tools.
  • How do we integrate what students are doing day to day, not just at show(s)?
  • Architectural limitation – departments are isolated physically.
  • There is cause and effect for every enrollment decision.
  • Suggestion to have each department manager visit found and talk briefly about the major and then students would have a face and name to follow up with if they are interested.
  • Suggestion to have student in that major join the department manager on that visit



Discussion of Faculty Staffing/Compensation Concerns/Administration:

  • Faculty are doing more work for less pay, can open our doors, because some faculty are underpaid
  • MSCA negotiations are ongoing and not determined at the individual university level, MSCA negotiates faculty and Adjunct contracts, 80% FT (other AICAD schools 20-30% FT), salaries tied to contract. APA and DGCE are somewhat different in how they are able to approach compensation.
  • Suggestion to add “Equitable Community” to buckets
  • Important for the College to have a “heads-up” about discontent, a walk-out would shut down MassArt.
  • Example of Boston University allowing faculty to review their enrollment procedures to make adjustments to accepted pool.
  • Students will follow the teaching – move toward vitality.
  • Question – who decides 80% FT? MSCA
  • Opinions offered:
    • Faculty are the product that student are here because we are –
    • It’s not us against them – WE are MassArt
    • School doesn’t look open to Fine Arts and Art History – more of a Practical Arts School
  • Add Academic Excellence to “Buckets”


Please see the complete list of “buckets” below (without omissions for duplication).  Items added at this meeting (2/14/18) are bolded and italicized.


Operational Priorities:

  1. Update Colleague
  2. Resources that meet our growing population
  3. Enrollment Management (dept. resources allocation, re-org.)
  4. Tech infrastructure upgrade
  5. Equipment
  6. IT upgrades and software integration
  7. Shared portfolio events resources for departments – how much do we spend on rentals for shared events. Strong understanding of space for academic use vs. rental use to help balance tuition cost
  8. Upgrade in processing

Enrollment Management/Retention Priorities:

  1. Student Support, i.e. Food Pantry, Emergency Funds
  2. Ensure adequately fund student aid to increase access to students
  3. Advising for First Year students; what to expect, major selection, career options
  4. Student Success (retention, persistence)
  5. Student support services (helping students to graduate in timely manner to avoid excess loans)
  6. Recruitment (very lean budget) $1100 per student, $1700 avg. at public schools
  7. Student career prep
  8. Student retention
  9. Balancing overinflated majors
  10. Improved student support for disability and mental illness
  11. Business, career, and marketing – focused classes
  12. More commuter resources (shuttle)
  13. Meeting student financial need
  14. Programming for students
  15. Consider the whole of a departments enrollment, are cause and effect


Enrollment/Marketing/Identity Priorities:

  1. Branding the College
  2. How we message the college – are our messages speaking to prospective designers and fine arts


Facilities/Security Priorities:

  1. Structural Repair
  2. Facilities Upgrades
  3. Security Access Shuttle
  4. Facilities Improvements
  5. Real Intranet
  6. Fiscal and Security Infrastructure
  7. Storage
  8. Security enhancements
  9. Additional Security for Expensive Equipment
  10. Full support for maintenance H&S of all studios and Equipment regardless of dept./major enrollment
  11. More fluidity in space usage as department numbers ebb and flow


Affordability and Access Priorities:

  1. Summer Courses; Financial Aid and Foundation Completion
  2. Affordability


Staffing Priorities:

  1. Additional faculty in specific areas
  2. Training
  3. Training
  4. People and staffing
  5. Filling vacant position and retention
  6. Equitable pay
  7. Aspirational Goal – strive to be a college adjuncts want to work at (seek us out)
  8. Equitable pay – especially for adjuncts


Strategic Priorities:

  1. Inclusive socially just training and learning
  2. Getting our house in order vs. doing and adding more, more, more
  3. Student centered-ness


Academic Excellence:

  1. Every major we have should be the “X” major
  2. How a dept. is staffed may affect the vitality of the department
  3. Promotions Universal Tools
  4. More flexibility with in majors to experience other depts.
  5. Encouraging students to work collaboratively


Discussion of Next Steps:


  • Keeping in mind timeline to provide information to Cabinet and for Strategic Planning Committee
  • Notes will be distributed. 
  • At the next meeting the priorities will be ranked by importance to be shared with the Cabinet and community.
  • Question – What can faculty do to help? Talk to colleagues about what they see as priorities.
  • Example of Academic Affairs having departments doing “Needs Inventories”.
  • Suggestions to share the budget in a more esthetically pleasing and/or understandable way, higher level graphics, contextualize.





























Submitted by:

Margaret Maki