Developing Partnerships with Business and Government

Robert Hanyak, M.S.

University of the Pacific

Earl Seaver, Ph.D.

Northern Illinois University

INTRODUCTION

Developing partnerships with business and government for university speech-language pathology and audiology programs requires an entrepreneurial spirit. Webster's dictionary defines an entrepreneur as "a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, usually with considerable initiative and risk." University administrators are, for the most part, not considerable risk takers. Therefore, our definition of an entrepreneur within the university setting is "a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, usually with considerable initiative and limited risk." Utilizing this approach to entrepreneurship with my university administrators at the University of the Pacific and Northern Illinois University has been successful in obtaining additional funding for our speech-language pathology programs. We would like to provide you with examples from each of our institutions to illustrate how we have been able to develop partnerships to assist us in developing resources during a time when institutional support has become increasingly scarce.

THE UNIVERSITY OF PACIFIC

The University of the Pacific is a medium-sized, comprehensive university (enrollment = 4,000) located in Stockton, California. The Department of Speech-Language Pathology is located in the School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. The other two programs within the school are pharmacy and physical therapy. The Department offers both undergraduate (B.S.) and graduate (M.S.) degrees in Speech-Language Pathology. There are approximately 45 FTE students in the undergraduate program and 40 FTE students in the graduate program.

In September, 1993, I became chair of our department and was faced with many challenges. The biggest challenge was an ASHA-accreditation site visit in 1995. The department had been on probation in 1993 as one Ph.D.-faculty member had left the program, and a hiring freeze had been instituted campus-wide. At that time the department only had two Ph.D. faculty in speech-language pathology. The second biggest challenge was the lack of funding from the university for the department for other (non-salary-related) expenditures.

Like most university speech-language pathology departments, funding comes from a variety of sources. In Table 1, a list of departmental accounts can be seen. The departmental account, a restricted account, is the money provided by the institution during our fiscal year (July 1st - June 30th) to operate the department. These funds must be used during a specific fiscal year, or the funds revert back to the university on June 30th.

Table 1. List of Accounts (1994)

Account Name

Type

Department

Restricted

Practicum Lab

Unrestricted

Speech & Hearing Clinic

Unrestricted

Endowed Scholarship (n=1)

Unrestricted

 

The other accounts are all unrestricted accounts, where funds "roll-over" from year to year. The practicum lab account is funded by a $25 course fee for undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in clinic. These funds are used to purchase "consumables" (e.g. protocol forms, tongue blades, surgical gloves, batteries, paper, etc.) for student use in the speech, hearing and language center. The Speech and Hearing Clinic account is funded by fees collected from clients in therapy. In 1994, clients were charged $35 per semester for approximately 20-25 one-hour sessions. This account provided the center with approximately $15,000 per year to buy clinic supplies and materials in 1994. The funds in the unrestricted accounts remain under the control of the department chair and can be thought of as a "savings" account. The endowed scholarship fund provided two or three students a year with a $500 scholarship to aid with their graduate studies.

In 1994, the department's restricted account was $2,790 and the total funds available in the unrestricted accounts was $9,963.

Table 2 lists the current accounts available to the department in 1999. A quick glance would reveal that two additional endowed scholarship funds and three new accounts were established.

Table 2. List of Accounts (1999)

Account Name

Type

Department

Restricted

Practicum Lab

Unrestricted

Speech & Hearing Clinic

Unrestricted

Endowed Scholarships (n=3)

Unrestricted

Speech & Hearing Gifts

Unrestricted

Scottish Rite Language Center

Unrestricted

Valley Mountain Regional Center

Unrestricted

The Speech and Hearing Gifts fund was established in 1994 to purchase computer technology and equipment to be used for teaching in the department and for therapy in the clinic. Two $5,000 donations were obtained from school alumni to create a "matching" capital campaign to other alumni from the Department of Speech-Language Pathology. The donors would match other gifts to this fund dollar for dollar for a total of $10,000. The total goal of the campaign was $20,000. Within seven months of initiating the capital campaign, $24,000 had been raised to fund the first computer and technology lab in the department and clinic. Gifts to this fund with no annual solicitation average $2,500 per year.

The Scottish Rite Language Center account was established in 1997. In November, 1996, the department was approached by some board members of our local Scottish Rite Language Center. The board was unhappy with their current staff and productivity ($200,000 a year to serve 45 children a week). During this meeting, they asked me the following question: "if we gave the university $200,000 a year how would you run the clinic and how many children would you see?"

After discussions among the department faculty and university administrators, a departmental proposal to serve a minimum of 95 children per week eleven months of the year was submitted to the Scottish Rite Language Center board in January, 1997. In April, 1997, the university signed a 15-year, $3+ million contract for the department to professionally manage the Stockton Scottish Rite Language Center. The contract for the first year was $190,000. The department took over operation of the Stockton Scottish Rite Language Center on June 1, 1997. By December, 1997, the Center was serving 115 children per week. The contract was increased to $210,000 in June, 1998 for Year 2. By December, 1998, the Center was serving 160 children per week. The contract was recently renewed for $240,000 for Years 3-5. There is no charge to the families of the children receiving diagnostic or therapy services as all the Scottish Rite money for the contract is endowment income. The Scottish Rite Language Center is currently staffed with a full-time SLP clinic director, a full-time office manager, 5 part-time SLP supervisors, 2 full-time CFYs, and 5 full-time paid graduate internships during the summer.

In June, 1997, the Department of Speech-Language Pathology was approached by Valley Mountain Regional Center (VMRC), a local service provider to developmentally-delayed adults in day treatment centers. VMRC wanted professional services from our graduate students and staff for their clients and also to expose future professionals for possible later employment with this population.

The department received $35,000 in Year 1, $60,000 in Year 2, and $107,000 for Year 3. The department did not have staff with expertise with this population available to supervise graduate student clinicians. A part-time SLP supervisor was hired, and paid, graduate-student internships were established. A portion of the funds from this contract allow for the purchase of additional clinical supplies and equipment.

 

Table 3 illustrates the growth in funds available to the department from unrestricted accounts and outside contracts for additional travel, supplies and equipment (academic and clinical), etc.

Table 3. List of Funds Available by Year (1994-2000)

Year

Departmental Budget

(Non-Salary Expenditures)

Total Non-Salary Expenditures:

All Accounts

Unrestricted Funds Available to Begin Fiscal Year ("Savings")

1994

$2,790

$21,597

$9,963

1995

$21.375

$42,996

$8,717

1996

$18,663

$56,441

$25,918

1997

$8,100

$54,769

$21,506

1998

$63,105

$164,696

$32,053

1999

$59,605

$119,560

$28,358

2000

$80,605

$151,700

$70,500

Through the use of unrestricted accounts and outside contracts, the Department of Speech-Language Pathology at the University of the Pacific has been able to add to its teaching faculty, obtain equipment and supplies, and provide graduate student stipends. This has strengthened the program. The department is no longer underfunded, and our ASHA accreditation is no longer in jeopardy. The department added a new, tenure-track position two years ago, and currently has four Ph.D. speech-language pathology faculty to complement the four, full-time and seven, part-time faculty with Master's degrees. When funds are abundant, faculty and staff moral is high. The unrestricted accounts and outside contracts allow for the department to pay ASHA dues for all full-time faculty and staff and support professional travel funds for all faculty and staff (full- and part-time) to both the national and state conventions. Work is good!

NORTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY

Northern Illinois University is a large comprehensive research institution (enrollment = 22,500) located in DeKalb, Illinois. DeKalb is a rural city located approximately 60 miles west of Chicago. The Department of Communicative Disorders is located in the College of Health and Human Sciences. Other units in the college include the School of Allied Health Professions (Community health, Physical Therapy, Clinical Laboratory Sciences), School of Family, Consumer, and Nutrition Sciences (Family and Child Studies, Textiles, Apparel and Merchandising, Dietetics, Nutrition and Food Systems, and Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Studies), Department of Military Science, and the School of Nursing. The department offers a B.S. degree with an emphasis in either Audiology/Speech-Language Pathology or Deafness Rehabilitation and a M.A. degree with an emphasis in either Audiology, Deafness Rehabilitation Counseling, or speech-Language Pathology. There are approximately 225 undergraduate majors and 100 graduate students enrolled in departmental programs. The department consists of approximately 14 academic and 8 clinical faculty.

As is true with the University of Pacific, the department is funded by a variety of sources. Table 4 lists those accounts.

Table 4. List of Accounts

ACCOUNT NAME

TYPE

General Revenue

Restricted

Speech & Hearing Clinic Income

Unrestricted

Practicum Fee

Unrestricted

University Foundation

Unrestricted

Endowed Scholarship

Restricted

Program for Hearing Impaired Grant

Restricted

Program for Hearing Impaired Income

Unrestricted

Grant Overhead

Unrestricted

As with the University of Pacific, restricted accounts provide funds that may be used only during the appropriate fiscal year (July 1 June 30). If not used, the funds revert back to the general university or college pool. In addition, restricted accounts provide for very little flexibility in moving funds from one line (personnel, equipment, telecommunications, etc.) to another.

Funds allocated to unrestricted accounts can be used in any fiscal year. In addition, there is greater flexibility in how the funds can be used. Funds in one line can easily be moved to another when shortages occur. At Northern Illinois University unrestricted funds can be used for any purpose including personnel.

Table 5 List of Accounts and Funds Available for FY 1999

ACCOUNT NAME

TYPE

AVAILABLE FUNDS

General Revenue

Restricted

$700,000

Speech & Hearing Clinic Income

Unrestricted

$60,000

Practicum Fee

Unrestricted

$3,000

University Foundation

Unrestricted

$4,000

Endowed Scholarship

Restricted

Under Development

Program for Hearing Impaired Grant

Restricted

$760,000

Program for Hearing Impaired Income

Unrestricted

$120,000

Grant Overhead

Unrestricted

$2,000

 

As with the University of pacific, the unrestricted funds are used to support faculty travel, equipment, supplies, printing, and add clinical faculty positions. The flexibility of the funds allows the department to address needs as they arise. We have found the support of faculty travel (in excess of $20,000) to be a highly valued benefit. In addition, the ability to carry over unrestricted funds from one year to another provides the department the opportunity to "save" for large purchases (equipment, computer upgrades, etc.). It has been our experience that the more unrestricted funds a program can obtain, the more flexibility a program has in addressing the budget shortfalls and in enhancing the quality of the program.