Fellow Faculty and Staff:
As we begin the new year, I want to express my appreciation once again to all of you engaged in creating the University’s next strategic plan and also to those serving on the Budget Council. The work of these two groups is critical as we construct our roadmap for the next decade and ensure a fiscally sound institutional budget. For these efforts to be successful, we also must revisit the underlying assumptions and operational details of our entire budget process.
The way we currently allocate resources across the University was constructed in a different era and is not sustainable. We will need to rebalance our internal investments based on strategic priorities while ensuring that our budgeting system supports our core mission, and we must take an approach that allows us to incentivize and reward performance. Ultimately, a new budget model should position WKU to be competitive in Kentucky’s new performance funding model as existing dollars within the state’s higher education system shift between institutions.
As part of our strategic rethinking that continues this Spring, we will create a new resource allocation model that will best serve WKU in the future. I have asked Provost David Lee and Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration Ann Mead to co-chair a steering committee that will lead this resource allocation model development process. In the next few weeks, they will announce a group of faculty and staff to provide guidance for this initiative, to review project status reports and to validate the opportunities presented. To support this effort, the University has contracted with Huron Consulting Group, which will facilitate an approach designed to create a customized resource allocation model for WKU that reflects our institution’s unique strengths, culture and values. Most of this work will take place during the first six months of this year.
This will be an inclusive and iterative process that will rely heavily upon feedback from the campus community. An open forum will be scheduled later this spring, and updates on the steering committee’s work will be available via the web at Resource Allocation, Management and Planning Development (RAMP). In the interim, I encourage you to e-mail questions and offer suggestions at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Change can be daunting, but it is necessary given the significant headwinds we face in higher education both nationally and in the Commonwealth. Thank you for your thoughtful participation and commitment to this important work.
Timothy C. Caboni