The Leadership Institute budget was the flashpoint of last Thursday night’s ASMSU senate meeting, spurring over two hours of contentious discussion.
The senate discussed the ASMSU administration and Finance Board recommendation to change the Leadership Institute director position from half- to full-time, hire a student assistant for the director and reduce the speaker honorarium funds by $15,000.
In response to the proposal, numerous Leadership Institute student employees and supporters spoke to the senate to show their support for the original budget the Leadership Institute had proposed, claiming that the new proposal is not right for the Institute. In particular, current Leadership Institute Director Carmen McSpadden — who splits her time with the Leadership Fellows Program — opposed the effort to change the position to full-time.
For most of the discussion on this matter, the senate went into two closed executive sessions, which can be called to support matters of personnel.
After more than two hours, the senate voted to change the director position to 0.75 full-time employment (FTE) during the school year and 0.5 FTE during the summer, to restore $10,000 in the honorarium fund to equal the 2012 level of $50,000, and hire a student assistant for the director.
“We were pleased that the ASMSU senate brought our honorarium levels back to our current budget,” McSpadden said in response to the vote. “For next year, we are moving forward and focusing on the Leadership Institute having a great year.”
All budgets and decisions can be revisited by the senate until the budget is officially closed, which is expected to be tonight, April 18.
At tonight’s senate meeting, incoming president Lindsay Murdock and vice president Lukas Smith will be sworn in and officially take over the positions. ASMSU program directors for next year will also be confirmed at the meeting.
Students can provide input for the senate’s budget deliberations and any other topic during the public comment section of senate meetings, which take place at 6 p.m. on Thursdays in SUB room 235.