For many years, the University of New Hampshire suffered from serious resource constraints resulting from cost cutting and budget rescissions, a situation that has and will continue to persist for many years to come. Up until 2001, this situation was exacerbated further by the lack of a clear, effective connection between our budgeting system and the broad, complex resource allocation problems confronting the University. That lack of clarity made matters worse by breeding an undesirable degree of mistrust in the University community in regard to our financial affairs.
Our centralized, incremental approach to budgeting simply did not work well in situations requiring flexible, creative responses to financial problems. It tended to favor the status quo with dwindling resources, a situation which pleased no-one. Instead, our budgeting system and financial management practices should encourage the generation of new resources and the efficient use of current resources, all the while allowing sound programmatic trade-offs consistent with an overarching University mission. Ironically, due to the shrinking proportional contribution of State appropriations to our budget, the portion of budget revenue over which the University has more control was growing. For that reason alone, a new budgeting system seemed a worthwhile consideration. But, the lean condition of the University made it imperative that our resources and programs were better aligned for the future. The time had arrived to consider a budgeting system to achieve that goal.
In 1999, the University of New Hampshire completed a project to reorganize and improve administrative services through process redesign and maximizing the use of technology. Part of this effort involved the creation of 18 Business Service Centers through which the institution's accounting and business transactions flow. The establishment of these centers provided a natural foundation from which to implement a budget model that decentralizes more accountability and authority.
In July of 2000, after three years of researching the feasibility of a decentralized budgeting structure, the University of New Hampshire implemented its own version of decentralized budgeting, known as Responsibility Center Management (RCM).
Letter of Approval
Implementation Powerpoint Slides