By SUSAN JONES
The Budget Model ReSTART Steering Committee is extending the timeline on getting input from stakeholders, but still anticipates implementing the new responsibility center management budget model in the 2022-23 fiscal year, according to a newsletter from the Office of the Chief Financial Officer.
The original plan was to have a test budget model in place by July of this year that would run parallel to the actual budget. Now the plan is to have the model infrastructure ready in October to run the parallel year, “which aligns well with when RCs (responsibility centers) start executing against a budget,” according to a statement from the steering committee co-chairs, Chief Financial Officer Hari Sastry and Provost Ann Cudd.
“It usually takes a couple of months into the fiscal year to set the budget details. The FY 2022 budget will follow a similar timeline to prior years in that RCs will establish their budgets in the summer, and in the fall they are able to view their final budget,” the statement said. “In addition, as a result of the parallel year, RCs will also be able to view their new incentive-based budget in the new model and compare it to their final FY 2022 budget in the current model.
“We also expect the timeline for the formulation of the FY 2023 budget to be similar to prior years, beginning with the RC resource proposal process in late fall/early winter.”
Shared governance groups have objected to the pace and transparency of the process. Faculty Assembly, Senate Council and Staff Council all passed resolutions last month that asked for more transparency, and that planning and budgeting committees at the unit level be strengthened so they are actively involved in the budgeting process.
The newsletter from the CFO’s office to responsibility center heads, directors of administration and business managers said the Budget Model ReSTART (Revenue Sharing to Accelerate Responsive Transformation) Steering Committee co-chairs and working group “have decided to extend the timeline for the initiative. This will allow for additional stakeholder engagement to ensure more voices are heard and more feedback is incorporated into the new budget model and surrounding governance structures and processes.”
It went on to say that, “This summer, infrastructure will be developed to support the model, including the establishment of an initial budget model governance framework, system integration, documentation, and a plan for moving forward.”
The separate statement from Cudd and Sastry said: “We are continuing to meet with stakeholders across the University to gather information for decisions related to the new budget model, including the governance structure. Some of the main stakeholder engagements include individual meetings with deans as well as non-academic responsibility center leaders, a deans’ retreat, and additional meetings with the steering committee, which includes deans, faculty and staff, and shared governance groups.”
The proposed responsibility center management budget would give schools and other units more decision-making power about how money is spent but also would make those units more responsible for raising money and would require them to pay a “tax” to the central administration for shared services.
Susan Jones is editor of the University Times. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-244-4042.
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