June 6, 2011

Ideas wanted: How has the budget model impacted your work experience?

by Anne Krapfl

We've had three years to either work with it or experience how it may have changed our work, our departments or possibly the university culture. Now ISU leaders want to assess how the budget model -- known as the Resource Management Model (RMM) -- has impacted the university. And they need the university community to participate in that review.

"The RMM has effectively changed how we manage our financial resources," said director of budgets Dave Biedenbach. "The purpose of the review is to give the campus an opportunity to provide their thoughts about the Resource Management Model."

Share your ideas

Any student or employee may provide input beginning this week to: budgetmodel@iastate.edu. An alternate online submission form also is available and assures anonymity for those who want it. Biedenbach suggested two questions that individuals could respond to:

  • How has the RMM impacted my work, my job, my department and the overall culture of the university?
  • What changes would improve the model?

Who's leading the review?

Executive vice president and provost Elizabeth Hoffman has appointed a 10-member committee to lead the review process and provide a final report, with recommendations, to her by May 1, 2012. The committee is co-chaired by Business dean Labh Hira and Liberal Arts and Sciences associate dean Arne Hallam.

Much of the campus input will be gathered over the course of the fall semester. This summer, the review committee will decide on appropriate formats for that process. Details will be shared at a later date.

The committee will hire a consultant to serve throughout the review process. Biedenbach said he or she will advise the committee on the review process, assist this fall with information gathering, and compare ISU's experience with that of other universities that have implemented a similar type of budget model.

Why now?

Iowa State units first used the new budget model to build budgets for the 2009 fiscal year (July 1, 2008-June 30, 2009). Preceding that was about three years of studying alternative budget models and adapting the selected model for Iowa State's business processes. The committee that shouldered that enormous task recommended a thorough review of the model after three to five years of implementation.