Responsibility Centered Management gives profit to some, loss to others

Aaron Kunkler, Staff Reporter

While the College of Business has been hit particularly hard by the Responsibility Centered Management (RCM) model, other departments across campus are also feeling its effects.

Departments such as biology, chemistry, geology, music and theatre, which conduct lab work, field trips and have small class sizes are all adapting.

Though many departments and programs face the same general problems, figuring out ways to balance educational necessity with a tightened budget varies across campus.

Scott Robinson, chair of the theatre department, remains optimistic.

“I think we’re gonna do okay,” Robinson said. “We have always been in an entrepreneurial model.”

Robinson said the theatre department has always had to get by with what it has and  other departments may be hit harder.

According to documents presented by George Clark, CFO/Vice President of business and financial affairs, at the last faculty senate meeting, the theatre department nets a loss of $149,126.

This is a relatively small number in comparison to other departments, even in the College of Arts and Humanities.

The music department, for example, loses around $1,074,842 a year under the RCM model.

In both cases, this is mostly due to the nature of the programs, which often require small classes and high educator-student interaction, as opposed to simple gross-numbers and the allocation of funds based on greater student-credit hours.

Additionally, the music department is one of Central’s ‘brand’ departments, as Central is known for its music education programs.

Robinson said that to offset losses in the theatre department and generate greater funding through student-credit hours, larger general education classes are offered.

Theatre appreciation can have up to 200 students at a time.

The theatre department also puts on productions to allow students to hone in on their skills. Admission ($7 for students and more for the general public) helps offset the expenses of putting on a show.

Robinson said a subvention or grants for the arts would help greatly, as would a more nuanced look into why certain departments are more costly than others.

Departments in the College of the Sciences have also taken a hit. Biology and geology are in the red $1,129,233 and $844,964, respectively.

According to Carey Gazis, geology chair, costs for her department are manifested in different forms such as field trips and lab work, which are required for geology. Labs, in particular, have a limited amount of space and relatively small numbers of students participating at one time.

Once again, this is reflected in lower student-credit hours, and consequently larger overall budget losses.

“There’s some things that are expensive, like field trips or lab time, that we’re not just going to do away with,” Gazis said.

Gazis also said that her department receives federal grants, but that she doesn’t see it reflected in the RCM.

Another problem for Gazis is that inter-disciplinary courses are not counted towards her department if the courses have a different departments’ course prefixes.

Under the RCM model, even if faculty from her department are involved in student-credit teaching hours, it may not be reflected in the budget.

It is a reminder that while some departments are having to cut back, others are doing very well.

With summer revenues included, the College of Education and Professional Studies nets a surplus of $2,169,582.

The College of the Sciences nets $1,267,269, and the College of Arts and Humanities is  in the black by $50,904.