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Managing the identification and adoption of a new budget model

July 29, 2022

Sandy Cavi

Associate Vice President for Budget & Planning, Illinois State University

The views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of EAB.

The goal of my capstone project with EAB is to better support university mission and goals through a refined method of resource allocation. The desired result is a new budget model that aligns budgets with the university strategic plan.

Change is difficult

Identifying the forces working for and against change is the first step. It is important to draw the attention of key leaders and portray a sense of urgency for the change. With funding levels not maintaining the pace of expenditures, and priorities shifting from status quo to more robust needs, there is a need to identify the positive outcomes of a new  budget model.

Engage to motivate

In development of any new budget model, campus partners need their voices heard. As conversations develop, it will be necessary for central administration to decide whether a planning team will be developed and/or external help will be consulted. As a central campus, there must be a clear commitment to change and frequent and transparent communication.

Major milestones

Most importantly, the campus strategic plan, under review for renewal in early 2024, needs to provide the foundation for the creation of a new budget model. The engagement of campus needs to be deliberate, communication needs to be frequent, and feedback on modeling needs to be inclusive.

There is no need to rush through development of a new model. Implementation should be methodical and key stakeholders should be aware of planned incremental changes.

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  • “What is a Budget Anyway?” 2020
  • “Challenge to Change: A report on the NACUBO Baldrige Challenge 2010 Initiative, NACUBO 2011
  • “An Embedded Budget,” Business Officer, Karen L. Goldstein, June 2018

See the fellows’ blogs from the capstone projects

Sandy Cavi and others participated in EAB’s Rising Higher Education Leaders Fellowship in spring 2022

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