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January 10, 2012

Institutional Priorities Committee
Minutes of January 10, 2012
3:00pm - 5:00pm
DUC 211 A & B

Present:  Brodnick, Cavanaugh, Ciccolella, Datcher, Duzgunes, Eibeck, Gale, Giraldez, Griego, Johnston, Lackey, Leland, Luu, Meyer, Murta, Page, Pallavicini, Pearson, Perrot, Shipp, Wright

Absent: Gong, Johnston

Guests: Robert Alexander, Lynn Fox

Call to Order: 3:05pm

Minutes: Minutes for the December 6, 2011 meeting were approved.

IPC Town Hall Open Forums: Pearson stated that the first IPC campus forum will occur on Wednesday, February 1 in the DUC Ballroom B at 4pm, the second forum will occur Tuesday, February 7 at 12pm in Grace Covell. Pearson encouraged all IPC members to attend the forums and will submit a statement regarding the open forums for inclusion in E-News.

Bond Ratings: Cavanaugh discussed the bond rating for the financing of the Dental School relocation in San Francisco. In the next couple months, there will be another bond issue associated with housing on the Stockton campus. He explained that as the University prepares for bond issues, the institution engages Moody's Investor Services to do an analysis of our financial condition. Moody's comes back with a rating that informs the market generally about the risks associated with lending. On January 4, Moody's sustained Pacific's current rating at Investment Grade A2. 

Financial Aid Primer (how financial aid works): Alexander gave a presentation to address questions about aid dollars. Fox provided supplemental information as the presentation occurred. Sources of undergraduate aid were discussed as well as potential strategies for utilizing additional funds for students. Institutional dollars are currently the largest source of aid at 47.4%. 

Request: Fox clarified the review process when family financial circumstances change for undergraduate students. Fox explained there are numerous requests for reviews from families, but after the information is reviewed there is sometimes little change. For aid to be increased, there needs to be substantial and obvious financial change that is real and measurable. Federal legislature affects requests for reviews. Following the housing collapse there was a spike in requests, but the requests leveled off following government action (students were allowed to borrow an additional $2k on unsubsidized loans and the rules of plus loans were changed so that parents could defer payment). 

IPC discussed the $500k held in reserve to support financial aid. Pearson asked if the funds would be available to students this spring. Fox explained that spring is underway so they would need to look again at aid because it's an ongoing process. The goal for the $250k was to fill in the gaps because Pacific has received fewer federal work-study funds. 

Cal Grant Update: Alexander's presentation included Governor Brown's proposed Cal Grant adjustment. Governor Brown is proposing that Cal Grant funds be reduced. President Eibeck reiterated that Cal Grants go to the students not the universities, students could go to another institution and the Cal Grant would adjust. If this happens then there will be large attrition at all the private universities in the state. Pacific will be working closely with other organizations (for example, the Association of Independent California Colleges & Universities) to try to develop strategies to amend the Governor's proposal. 

Brodnick suggested being proactive to communicate the possible changes and how any adjusted Cal Grant ranges could affect students' financial aid packages. 

FY13 Budget Recommendations Next Steps: Pearson will prepare a second ballot to send out to committee members. He asks that IPC respond with their votes by Tues., January 17. He will send the results to the committee before the January 24 meeting. 

Ending comments: At the January 24 meeting, there will be a brief presentation from the Dugoni School of Dentistry and possibly the Long School of Pharmacy. IPC will hear from McGeorge School of Law later in the spring.

President Eibeck stated that on January 11 she will hold a Budget Town Hall. This is part of an effort to provide more information to students who are concerned by a proposed tuition increase.  President Eibeck will explain the basic principles of the university budget (where do revenues come from, where do expenditures go, how were budget allocations made last year, etc). 

Pearson urged as many committee members as possible to attend the campus forums on February 1 and February 7. Griego said it should be clear that these forums are informational, and not a platform for people to give further information about their requests. 

Adjourned: 4:38pm