Optimizing Institutional Budget Models

Strategic Lessons for Aligning Incentives and Improving Financial Performance

Topics: Academic Affairs, Budgeting, Administration and Finance, Budget Models and Cost Allocations, Debt Management, Facilities and Operations, Space Utilization, Revenue Enhancement, Tuition and Fees, Library, Research Enterprise, Strategic Planning

Compendium of Budget Elements

The Periodic Table of Budget Model Elements

The graphic below shows EAB’s periodic table of budget model elements. Each of the 29 elements represents one component of a budget model. Rather than debating the merits of a fully formed budget model, leaders should focus on the specific activities to be encouraged or discouraged and the associated elements that will help achieve those goals. Institutions should use those elements to build a budget model best suited for them.

Budget model elements are organized into four categories— revenue allocation, cost allocation, performance targets, and strategic funding. The following pages provide a compendium of all 29 elements, with detailed descriptions and case studies.

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Budget Design Principles

Revenue Allocation Elements