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Strategic reinvestment process set in motion

Proposal Submission: Proposals should be submitted electronically by Jan. 1, 2007 to John Day at dayj@ohio.edu

Proposal Format:
Proposals for reinvestment funds focusing on undergraduate priorities should address the following areas.

Description of proposed activity
Describe the proposed activity in detail. Specify the budget for the activity including existing budgeted resources as well as the requested one-time or base funding. If multiple years are involved in the request, provide details by fiscal year. If resources from other units are required, documentation of those commitments should be included.

Alignment with university strategic plan priorities

The proposal should specify how the activity fits with the university strategic priorities for investment and resource allocation. Evidence should be provided to demonstrate that the proposed activity is feasible and the extent to which the activity will enable the university to achieve the strategic priorities.

Alignment with planning unit strategic plan

The proposal should specify how the activity fits with the strategic plan for the planning unit and where it ranks among the priorities within the planning unit. If the proposed activity is part of a larger initiative or will be supported by related initiatives within the planning unit, describe how the proposed activity is related to or supported by these other initiatives.

Allocation of current resources

The planning unit should demonstrate that current resources are being used as efficiently as possible. Specifically, the proposal should document:

• how the resources are currently distributed (e.g. how workload is currently distributed across existing employees) and will be maintained if the proposed activity is implemented

• how the productivity of existing resources (e.g. employees, space, equipment) is maximized while maintaining the required quality of programs/activities

• the status of any existing vacancies or unallocated resources, and reasons why redistribution of resources cannot meet the goals of the proposed activity

• the extent to which planning unit resources, including carry forwards, have been or will be used to support the activity

Assessment of effectiveness and sustainability

The proposal should describe the measures and the timeline that will be used to assess the effectiveness of investment in the proposed activity.

Proposals should describe how the planning unit will sustain the proposed activity (either directly or indirectly) through the generation of additional revenue or the reallocation of existing resources.

Proposals from planning units due winter quarter

ATHENS, Ohio (Oct. 24, 2006) -- Ohio University freed up $6.3 million in strategic investment funds by making realignments for the fiscal year 2007 budget. Now, it’s time to put those resources to use. Provost Kathy Krendl has announced a request for proposals from planning units seeking funding for activities related to undergraduate priorities laid out during the strategic planning process. 

“Too often universities develop strategic plans and they sit on the shelf and collect dust,” Krendl said. “The key to not allowing that to happen is to link our stated academic priorities to our resource allocation. This will bring our priorities to life.”

The $6.3 million in reinvestment funds will be divided to support three key areas: graduate education and research, faculty compensation, and undergraduate education. The Graduate Education and Research Board is considering initiatives for funding that will support the first area; Krendl has appointed the Faculty Compensation Task Force to create a multi-year plan for increasing faculty salaries; and proposals for funding related to undergraduate priorities are due Jan. 1.

Planning units — which include colleges and academic support units such as Student Affairs, Library, Research, and Finance and Administration — will be asked to make proposals for funding the activities that fit with the unit’s as well as the university’s strategic plan related to undergraduate priorities. Proposals should indicate whether they seek base (continuing) or one-time funds (see sidebar for more information about proposal format). 

“An emphasis on quality with links to our academic planning priorities should be highlighted,” Krendl said. “One of the key goals with this process is the integration of strategic planning and our budgeting process.”

The strategic reinvestment process is expected to help make the transition to the university’s new budget model, which will connect the university’s fiscal activities with the priorities of the academic plan by allocating resources in more direct line with the activities of academic units. (For more information, visit the New Budget Model.)

The university will establish a standard process for vetting the proposals this year and in future years. Deans and senior administrators will rank and comment on the strategic importance of the proposals received from planning units before passing them on to the Budget Planning Council by mid-February. 

The BPC is made up of 15 campus stakeholders and has a new charge to act in an advisory capacity to the president regarding current and multi-year budget issues, long-term financial policies and funding priorities. It will rank the proposals in terms of the budgetary impact and potential qualitative and quantitative return on investment before forwarding its recommendations to the president for final decisions. Awardees will be announced in March.

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