Committee releases budget projections

Kristine Gill

Five colleges’ funds may increase

Provost Robert Frank and David Creamer, senior vice president for administration, met with deans from each of the colleges late last month to discuss the gradual move from the current budgeting model to Responsibility Centered Management, which will give each college more control over its budget. Projected changes to each college’s budget are now available under the RCM model.

“We began to look at the preliminary data, how their college would have been affected if they had been in RCM last year,” Frank said. “The conversation was meant to help understand how (RCM) changes the operations of colleges and to increase understanding of the RCM process.”

Creamer said the numbers were based on past budget models, and are meant to give each college an idea of the potential implications of RCM.

“We want this to be a positive situation for every college,” Creamer said. “We’re trying to find ways to make sure this is a successful change for them.”

“It’s a really slow implementation; we want people to learn how to work in this system before we implement it,” Frank said.

The university currently operates under the incremental budget model, where a centralized administration gives money to each college. Under RCM, each college will become a “responsibility center” that manages its own income, and will be responsible for its budget.

Jeff Milam, executive director of the academic budget, said RCM will use a three-year rolling formula instead of historical budgets to determine how much money a college receives each year.

“The numbers we’re working with will be averaged over three years,” Milam said. “It makes the budget more predictable and easier for deans to manage.”

Under RCM some colleges are projected to gain money, while others will lose it.

Timothy Chandler, dean of the College of the Arts, said the college will have to find new ways to support its high intensity classes.

“Art and labor-intensive or studio-based courses are expensive,” Chandler said. “Teaching music students one-on-one is a costly endeavor.”

“The (RCM) system doesn’t favor us as a college,” he said. “I think it will encourage innovation though.”

Chandler said the College of Nursing will most likely experiences similar deficits under RCM as another college requiring high intensity courses, but students aren’t likely to suffer as a result.

“I don’t think it will affect them in any way except to encourage us to work harder to provide resources to ensure quality education,” Chandler said.

RCM Digits

The following numbers represent the positive or negative change each school would have experienced in their budget last year if they were operating under the RCM model.

• Arts and Sciences $6,800 positive

• Architecture $347,000 positive

• Arts $195,000 negative

• Business $641,000 positive

• Communication and Information $2,248,000 positive

• Education Health and Human Services $115,000 negative

• Nursing $912,000 negative

• Technology $130,000 positive

Source: David Creamer

Contact academic affairs reporter Kristine Gill at [email protected].