As approved by Senate and the Board of Governors, the University of Manitoba’s 2015 to 2020 strategic plan, Taking Our Place, identified one of our key institutional priorities as “Building a community that creates an outstanding learning and working environment.” One of the supporting actions of this priority is to form better linkages between planning and resource allocation in support of the University’s academic mission and priorities.
Since 2013, the U of M had been reviewing options for a budget redesign process and in fall 2015, a number of key stakeholders were convened for a series of conversations on the topic. As such, the U of M has opened a comprehensive and consultative process to review and redesign our current budget model. The Budget Model Redesign Steering Committee, chaired by Janice Ristock, Provost and Vice-President (Academic), will oversee a comprehensive process to explore various budget models.
The Committee is charged with examining the U of M’s current approach to resource allocation and developing a set of recommendations for a new resource management, allocation and planning process. This will include the design and implementation of a new technology-based budget and planning solution to streamline and improve the financial planning and management of resources.
To support this undertaking, the university has engaged Huron Consulting Group to assist the committee. Huron Consulting has helped many other organizations and post-secondary institutions, including Canadian universities, with similar initiatives. Canadian universities such as Queen’s, U of Toronto, McMaster, Waterloo, Dalhousie, McGill and Ottawa have undertaken similar initiatives. Calgary, Alberta and Saskatchewan are also beginning to explore new budget models. Huron will support the U of M Budget Model Redesign Steering Committee in numerous ways, from data analysis and modeling to sharing of best practices, lessons learned and case studies.
No formal decisions have been made regarding what future budget model might be adopted. As the work progresses, the committee will report to and continue to consult and engage with the university community, including deans/directors and academic and administrative support units, and employees generally.
“Embarking on a Budget Model Redesign Initiative is an important and substantial undertaking for the University of Manitoba,” says President and Vice-Chancellor David Barnard.
“Committee members will offer a diverse range of expertise while considering the larger vision of our university — who we are and what we want to be, as outlined in our strategic plan, Taking Our Place.”
“The work done by this committee will be instrumental in shaping the future of the University of Manitoba,” adds Ristock. “In the end, a new model — one that is best for this university — will be developed through an informed process that is transparent and consultative.”