Responsibility Center Management

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 RCM

Responsibility Center Management (RCM) is an incentive-based management philosophy designed to support the achievement of the University’s mission by decentralizing budget authority – transferring it from central administration to individual schools or programs.

RCM Feedback/Questions

How does RCM work?

A RCM budget model delegates operational authority to college, divisions, and other units, allowing them to align their goals with the University's central missions (Teaching, Research and Outreach).

The primary goal of a RCM budget model is to incentivize units to take ownership of their revenues and expenses while supporting the overall mission of the university. A RCM budget model is guided by some common principles, but each entity must adapt those principles to their own needs, its mission and goals.

Guided by the RCM principles and the direction set out in the task force report, the steering committee established the principles that will guide UNL’s budget model moving forward.

SVG Icons Document showing a pier chart with a message box displaying a bar chart

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.