Three budgeting tips for higher ed

Budgeting in higher education will be the primary pain point for technology leadership in the next decade

budgeting-higher-edBudgeting in government and higher education used to be difficult.

It has always been a challenge to rally for increases to accommodate technology purchases in historically tepid budget-growth environments.

For high-number, like-valued purchases, guesswork could often be removed by initiating standard equipment “refreshes” on comfortable cycles – 2 year, 3 year, 4 year – resulting in chunks of capital dollars.

Continuous transparency on the utilities-esque budgetary constraints surrounding software licensing, telephony, maintenance agreements and similar was always required; after all, you can’t not pay bills, right?

Those costs were operational and would increase annually on fairly familiar increase arcs. Annual fees for large administrative systems often became familiar what with the massive multi-year contract negotiations. Also operational, also expected.

Compensation budgeting proved to be uncomfortable as it is always less than our competition on the corporate world. We fight and claw for 1-3 percent for our employees, continuing to sell the reality that our benefits are comparatively great, our environment is “education chic” and you get tangible albeit non-financial satisfaction from your work. Training and travel would always be the “first to be cut” in trying times. That’s the drill.

(Next page: How can you manage budgeting and funding intangibles?)

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