The Senate Budget Policies Committee (SBPC) is an advisory body of the University. The Committee meets about every third week in the Fall and Spring terms, less often in the Summer.
The Committee does some of its work through standing or ad hoc sub-committees, composed of those regular and pro tem Committee members who volunteer. Subcommittees report to the full Committee, which must endorse subcommittee recommendations, after review and possible modification, before they are taken to other bodies, usually Faculty Assembly and Senate Council, and/or forwarded to the administration. Committee resolutions are voted on in open meetings. Budget issues and details not suitable for public discussions are addressed in non-public "working" or "executive" sessions.
The primary concerns of the Budget Policies Committee are the fiscal health of the University, the economic welfare of its faculty and staff, and the appropriateness and sufficiency of funds provided for the academic programs of the University. The Committee therefore makes recommendations on such matters as tuition levels, compensation policies, and issues like the creation, merger and termination of academic programs, when budgetary considerations are involved.
In order to acquire factual knowledge necessary for informed advice, the Committee has initiated or participated in various studies on such matters as budget and compensation history, personnel levels, and revenues and expenditures of cost centers. Much of this information as been compiled by the Office of Budget and Administration and the Office of Institutional Research.
Under the University's Planning and Budgeting System (PBS) (available at http://www.academic.pitt.edu/pb/), the Senate and its committees, including SBPC, are recognized as providing advice to the Chancellor and administrative officers "on all aspects of University planning and budgeting, including long-range planning and budgeting, program plans, operational plans and budgets, gift and endowment spending policies, compensation policies, and design and modification of the PBS" and "may initiate recommendations with respect to broad University policies (such as gift and endowment spending policies, and compensation policies) and with respect to information collection and dissemination, such as the Revenue and Cost Attribution Study."
In addition, the PBS document specifically states that SBPC "is responsible for reviewing whether the PBS processes are followed and whether all constituencies involved are provided adequate opportunities to participate in the process and to be informed of its outcomes. Accordingly, the SBPC may communicate or meet with PBCs as necessary. The SBPC will regularly inform all unit heads and all members of PBCs of its role in reviewing the integrity of the planning and budgeting process."