Vargas Speaks - Episode 4

Jun 27, 2016

Let's start with some recent news about the rape case at Stanford University. In that case, there has been a national uproar because some have said the student convicted of assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster on campus was too lenient.

This is a serious topic to be sure. I wanted to ask you how our university handles these types of situations and it just so happens that Southeast has produced a new brochure to help students and faculty navigate through this area. Why don't you tell us more about that.


Vargas: This brochure is a very simple to read brochure that essentially gives students an opportunity to understand what they need to know and not only students -- everybody in the community -- what they need to know about sexual discrimination, harassment, violence, stalking and relationship violence. It's a way to bring items of importance to everybody so that they understand what they're dealing with days when sexual violence has become such an important topic of conversation on campuses.

We're very serious about this. This is all part of Title IX legislation that we are all supposed to be operating under. Title IX is oftentimes seen as something that affects athletics but in reality it's not. It affects anybody in every area of a university and that's one of the things that this brochure is also helping us to communicate clearly what Title IX is all about and what responsibilities we as an institution have and how we should follow up. Institutions needs to be responsive to these things. We cannot just put, ignore or assume that things are not important. Things are changing and we need to be responsive to the impression that the students get and the parents who send their kids to study at our university. So they need to understand that we are serious about helping students and everybody on campus be safe.

Woods: We had a recent Board of Regents meeting [and] a lot of things were done at that meeting. Let's start by talking about the budget for next fiscal year, FY17.

Vargas: Yes indeed we had a number of items at the Board of Regents meeting. I guess it might be useful for our listeners to know that we have an operating budget of about $114 million. And then we have almost $40 million in auxiliary operating budgets. We separate it like that because the operating budget of the university encompasses all those activities that are supported by the fees, the tuition and the appropriation from the state. But the auxiliary operating budgets are the ones that reflect the operations of entities within the university that are essentially self-supporting.

An example would be housing where they really have to make sure that their income and their revenue and their expenses balance every year. So, they cannot afford to go into a deficit. So we have a number of auxiliaries at the institution but we have the operating budget also so when you put those two together, we have a total budget of $150 million. That's fairly average for an institution our size. It's not uncommon to see this kind of breakdown. We actually got a 4% increase in state appropriation for fiscal year 2017. That amounts to about $1.9 million for the university.

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