- Awareness is critical when diving into budget matters
- Your staff can make or break budget initiatives
Budget season is a fraught time for leaders in higher education. College leaders must balance a multitude of intense and competing pressures as they craft their budgets. They are given the unenviable task of perpetually doing more with fewer resources. Drive enrollment, yet cut costs. Expand offerings, while trimming overhead. The project can seem insurmountable.
Compounding problems, COVID brought changes to funding in higher education, from drastic drops in enrollment to infusions of pandemic funding. As institutions seek to find equilibrium, they are wrestling with volatility, adding even more complexity to the many demands of shaping a college budget.
The project can devolve into reductionistic rationale based on disembodied spreadsheets. As you step through the essential and integral process of budget planning, there are two principles that can guide your approach.
Remember Your Mission.
Before you can do effective planning, you must have a clear picture of who you are as an institution. Take a wide view that considers an institution’s rich history, organizational culture, institutional values, and educational mission.