Building a smarter institution

Higher education's centuries-old modus operandi is no longer viable. Given current fiscal pressures and slowing revenue, no institution can afford to make academic and business decisions in silos—administrators can't craft budgets without a full understanding of programmatic levers to pull, nor can academic leaders fund initiatives without considering the business implications. Going forward, campus leaders of all types must align around a common understanding of financial health and sustainability, and make strategic decisions with cost and growth goals top of mind. The focus must be on long-term consequences and the ripple effects of decisions across campus, not just the immediate impact.

Although senior finance and administration leaders acknowledge this new reality, most institutions have struggled to make progress. Finance executives run into pressing questions:

  • What are the most important milestones of a successful budget model change, and what costly mistakes can we avoid?
  • How can we ensure our budget model aligns with strategic cost, growth, and research goals?
  • How can we tailor financial reports and dashboards to different campus constituencies to ensure understanding and buy-in?
  • How can we best measure administration efficiency and effectiveness, and how can we make more data-informed resource allocation decisions?
  • What information is most critical to help deans and department chairs make better financial decisions?

This year's national meeting series will uncover proven strategies and best practices to address these questions.