Charge to the Advisory Budget Committee (ABC)

The Advisory Budget Committee (ABC) was formed in response to the request by the Board of Trustees that the Amherst community develop plans for how to adjust the College’s budget to meet the broad goal of reducing, within ten years, the draw (spend rate) on Amherst’s endowment to five percent, and more specific financial targets to be set by the Trustees.  The ABC will work most intensively immediately before and/or after Commencement 2009 and will meet, as needed, in the future.

The committee will be composed of six faculty representatives, the President, the Dean of the Faculty, three staff members (one Trustee-appointed), three students, three Trustees and one alumnus/a of the College.  The Treasurer will serve in a consulting role.

The ABC will bring together campus conversations and coordinate the work of the standing faculty committees (the Committee on Educational Policy, Committee on Priorities and Resources, and the Faculty Committee on Admission and Financial Aid) that have been charged with the following: to consider ways to increase efficiency and decrease costs in the areas that fall under their charges, to include the campus community in their deliberations and to make efforts to reach consensus.

In May, the ABC will receive the standing committees’ reports on steps and approaches that might be taken to reduce the budget, together with other reports and information.  The ABC will consider all recommendations collectively, convey the substance of these recommendations to the Board, weigh priorities and trade-offs, and develop recommendations for the Board.  In its first round of deliberations, the ABC’s recommendations will focus on final adjustments to the 2009/10 budget, but may also include deliberation on possible budget adjustments in 2010/11, 2011/12 and beyond.