Budget Model Redesign

In the fall of 2016, Chancellor Ronnie Green formed a task force to perform a review of University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s existing budget system in order to better align the University’s budget allocation with university goals and objectives.

The task force:

  • reviewed UNL’s existing budget system
  • documented general processes for resource allocations
  • investigated “best practices” in higher education budgeting
  • drafted a series of recommendations.

The task force released its full report in the spring of 2017 and recommended UNL move from a Central-Administration Management (CAM) model to a modified Responsibility Centered Management (RCM) Model.

A steering committee to lead the campus through the implementation process was selected and began work in March of 2019.

What is UNL's Budget Model?

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) has chosen an incentive based budget (IBB) model. This budget model will support the achievement of the University by decentralizing budget authority - transferring it from central administration to individual schools or programs.

Budget Model Feedback/Questions

How does it work?

The incentive based budget model at UNL delegates operational authority to primary units (colleges and auxilaries) and support units or cost pools (academic affairs, facilities and research) allowing them to align their goals with the University's central missions - Teaching, Research and Outreach.

The budget model has four types of funds (revenues and expenses):

  • Allocable and Direct Revenues - tuition, fees, and state appropriations
  • Direct Expenditures - salaries, wages and benefits
  • Support Unit Allocations (costs) - academic, student and administrative support, facilities and research

UNL's budget model is guided by some common RCM principles, and the direction set out in the task force report and steering committee established the principles that will guide UNL's budget model moving forward.

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UNL’s Guiding Principles

  • Supports the values, mission, and strategic vision of the University in the advancement of excellence in teaching, research, creative activity, outreach and engagement.
  • Provides units with the responsibility and accountability in order to enable and empower those units to be efficient, entrepreneurial, collaborative, flexible and creative
  • Allows for investments in University strategic priorities and ongoing support of mission-critical campus operations.
  • Supports collaborative, data-driven decision making.
  • Provides accessible, predictable and clear information that is simple to understand, is transparent and facilitates trust across campus, and is subject to periodic review.