Provost W.A. “Bud” Baeslack III and Chief Financial Officer John Sideras have charged a Budget System Review Committee to assess how effectively our budget system supports our strategic plan, aligns resources for optimizing programmatic and overall institutional excellence, and improves related services essential to support that excellence. “In order to promote an environment that encourages and facilitates interdisciplinary activity, the University must identify best practices to conduct business and to eliminate roadblocks to collaboration and success.” (FY10 Action Agenda)
Based on outcomes from this assessment, the committee will identify and recommend specific strategies and actions to improve and enhance the University’s budget system as needed. “Our strategic plan calls for Case Western Reserve to build on its strengths through interdisciplinary alliances,” Provost Baeslack said. “This group will recommend changes to reduce barriers to cooperation and provide incentives that reward such joint efforts.” The committee also is tasked to suggest ways to enhance the overall budget model in a manner consistent with best practices in higher education nationwide. Its work will involve consultation with deans and financial officers from each school and college, as well as reviews of systems at other universities. Case Western Reserve’s existing budget model is highly decentralized, locating the majority of funding and budget authority within individual academic units. “We intend to continue to use a decentralized approach to university financial planning,” Sideras said. “But this review offers us a rich opportunity to consider how our specific budget practices can better support our academic priorities.”
The final report from the committee with specific recommendations for improvements will be due in March 2010. These recommendations will be reviewed by the Faculty Senate Budget Committee, Deans’ Council, President’s Council, and other groups and individuals as appropriate.