Strategic Budgeting Update

Resources & Sustainability
December 2, 2015
Submitted by: 
Joyce Lopes, Vice President for Administrative Affairs

Our new strategic plan challenges us to serve as effective stewards of our financial resources with a focus on sustainability.  Further, the plan outlines the necessity of developing and implementing a transparent and evidence-based budget model that reflects institutional priorities.

For the past several years the campus has wrestled with increasing transparency and accountability in the budgeting process.  This was also a focus of the Cabinet for Institutional Change recommendations.  Toward that end, the University Resource and Planning Committee is developing a strategic budgeting approach to link financial resources to the strategic plan.  

Strategic budgeting is more than just a budget, it is a process focused on allocating budget resources appropriately to preserve and build assets (human resources, curriculum, facilities, brand, etc.) over several years.  It helps to focus the annual budget process on the priorities of the institution.  

For strategic budgeting to be successful, we need to link a long-term strategic budget and strategic plan to a short-term annual budget through a comprehensive, data-driven approach to all resource allocation and annual department goal setting, assessment and review.

I have formed a work group charged with outlining a campus wide process that:

  • Links annual goal setting, assessment and review with the annual budget process 
  • Includes an integrated resource request and allocation process
  • Fits within the framework of the strategic plan and strategic budget, for both long-term and short-term purposes, and works within the context of shared governance.

The work group will be chaired by Lisa Castellino and staffed by Amber Blakeslee, Jena' Burges, Becca Ingerson, Robin Jones, Volga Koval, Angela Rich, Josh Smith, Mary Virnoche,  and Travis Williams.  

While URPC is focused on developing a strategic budget that spans five years, this group should be focused on the annual process that will support the strategic budget and strategic plan.  Once the recommendation has been reviewed by the President, Vice Presidents and Senate Chair, the Strategic Planning Oversight Committee, URPC, and Senate will be asked to provide input.

The work group recommendations should be provided to me and should include:

  1. an outline of what a process would look like (steps, timeline, etc.) that links budget, assessment and allocation;
  2. a list of what is needed from a software product(s) to implement the process, including the viability of Compliance Assist or the need to explore other options;
  3. a timeline for implementing the process, and
  4. a communication plan.

I have asked the group to have recommendations completed no later than February 28, 2016.