2009-11 Budget Proposals by Planning Unit Leaders
As proposed on March 10, 2009. Specific reductions may be adjusted, as with any budget, as needs, challenges, opportunities and other circumstances change.
Introduction to Budget Proposals and Presentations
March 10, 2009
As part of our strides to provide a more open budgeting and planning process, we are placing initial proposals for 2009-11 budget reductions on the Web (see Division Budget Proposals below), and we are inviting comment and questions on each proposal via Western’s discussion forum.
Planning Units were not only asked to provide proposed budget reductions they were asked to provide the campus with a description of their bottom-up planning process, their principles and planning assumptions, a current SCOT analysis for their unit (Strengths, Challenges, Opportunities and Threats), a list of possible new or necessary investments for the biennium, and an accounting of management practices resulting in the shifting of base budget resources to higher priorities.
Please keep several points in mind as you review these draft proposals:
These are proposals.
Actual budget decisions will be made in May (and finalized by our Trustees in June) as we better understand the university’s budget situation, as the university community helps us better understand the consequences of particular proposals, and as we weigh those various consequences – one proposal against another.
These are drafts.
They are based upon targets set some months ago. Academic units are providing scenarios for reducing budgets at the 3.8% and 5% levels; other units are bringing forward proposals with reductions, generally, at 5% and 7% levels. The state’s budget situation has changed in the interim and uncertainty remains regarding how the university’s state support may be impacted by the state’s deteriorating revenue situation.
These are evolving.
As the process continues, as more information is brought to bear, and as more and more colleagues offer their creative thoughts, do not be surprised to see additional options included.
The budget presentations will be made on March 18 and 19. They will be audio webcast. Planning unit leaders making presentations have been asked to emphasize the following:
- The “bottom up” process by which the proposals and their strategic bases were developed.
- The strategic bases (unit-level mission/vision/principles and the SCOT – strengths/challenges/opportunities/threats – analyses supplementing those at the university level) that guided the budget planning.
- The logical relationship of particular proposals to the aforementioned strategic bases. Where shorter-term, more expedient steps are being proposed with the intention of further, more strategic decisions in the future, then units are asked to simply be explicit about that often times necessary choice.
The budget presentations provide opportunities for planning unit leaders to discuss presentations and the purposes of those discussions are limited and focused:
We want to ensure that we all understand the broader consequences of proposals coming from particular planning units. This is the primary reason to have all planning unit leaders around the same table: to make sure the full range of implications of particular proposals have been identified.
The budget presentation step is just that: a presentation. Planning Unit leaders and input from the campus community will provide the information, discussions and questions necessary for subsequent budget decisions. The March 18 and 19 presentations are not a decision-making step. Consequently, discussion or judgments on the merits of proposals are not relevant at this juncture in the budgeting/planning process. See the Schedule of Budget Presentations by Planning Unit Leaders March 18 & 19.
We will move closer to decisions only after we, as a university, have had an opportunity to fully understand consequences. There will be additional opportunities for wider university assessments and evaluations as unit-level proposals are crafted into a draft university-level proposal.
Finally, please understand that this is our first attempt at a new way to make budgeting and planning decisions at Western. There will be many elements that, with hindsight and with more experience, we could improve upon. And, the process does include an opportunity to use hindsight and experience as we go through a de-briefing process in order to continually improve our budgeting and planning processes.
2009-11 Finalized Planning Documents