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MU Leaders to Faculty: New Budget Model Will Take Time, Energy

Trevor Hook
MU Vice Chancellor of Finance Rhonda Gibler presents to faculty and staff on MU's new budget model, Thursday, May 16, 2019.

MU leadership Thursday wrapped up a two-part series of public information forums by urging campus departments to take the time they need to explore budget scenarios that will serve them best with the new budget model. 

The new “resource allocation model” shifts budgeting responsibility to individual schools and departments within the university. The model will calculate an allotted amount of money for a college incorporating student tuition, tuition waivers, and amount of space used by a school or department.

Critics worry that the new model may hurt graduate school enrollment or discourage interdisciplinary study. 

MU Vice Chancellor for Finance Rhonda Gibler says she hears them.

“There’s some amount of trepidation," Gibler said. "And change and uncertainty will produce that. That’s one of the reasons why we’re doing this more than a year out from when we’re actually going to use the model to arrive at people’s allocations. We want them to take that energy that may come around with, ‘I need to know what this means’ and really be able to use it effectively to come up with solutions for the future.”

The model calculates the amount of revenue that a school or department generates in part by including tuition revenue and state appropriations. This new model subtracts the costs generated by a department to calculate a school’s allotment.

Under this new model, all revenue-generating units on campus will be charged for the use of their facilities per square foot.

Gibler says that the new model will divert some undergraduate tuition money from each department to support areas of campus that generate little revenue.

“Our model is not identical to anyone else’s," said Gibler. "We certainly have the opportunity to learn from other universities who’ve launched them, and so I think we’ve really built into our plan some lessons learned from what didn’t go as well other places.”