May 24, 2012
On Tuesday, members of the Ohio University community gathered for a set of budget forums to share the ongoing progress in the University's shift to a Responsibility Centered Management (RCM) budget model.
The forums, which were held at noon and 4 p.m., shared the same content, but provided faculty, staff and students with multiple opportunities to acquaint themselves with the ongoing development of the new budget model.
Dean of the College of Business Hugh Sherman opened the noon forum discussing the steps the University has taken to reach this point in the planning process. He emphasized that the conversion to the RCM model has been a long-planned event.
"As you know, this has really been an effort that the deans have driven," said Sherman. He continued that "for two years now we've had multiple meetings throughout the year and we've also had retreats where we can talk about these issues."
Dean of the Russ College of Engineering and Technology Dennis Irwin echoed Sherman's remarks at the 4 p.m. forum. He shared his personal reasons to pursue an RCM model for the University.
He stated that he had to cut an academic course in 2005 to save his college money in the short term, but, on later reflection, realized that this action may have cost the University and the Russ College more than it saved.
"We don't have currently, or didn't until recently, anywhere near the information or tools we needed to run a scenario," he said. "What I need is a tool that tells me how much a particular action costs me in revenue. I know how much in expenditures I save, but I need to know how much that will cost me in revenue."
He said that he views an RCM model as this tool.
John Day, associate provost for academic budget and planning, with Chad Mitchell, budget director, then took the floor to share a presentation on the status of the budget model and how various sources of funding and costs were being factored into the discussion.
Many of the numbers in the presentation were placeholders. Once the FY12 data is complete and combined with the FY11 data currently in use, a more complete picture of the University's finances will emerge.
There was a brief question and answer period after each presentation.