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Budget modernization updates

The following message was sent to all employees Thursday, April 25, 2024.

Dear Colleagues,

We are writing today to provide several progress updates on the Budget Modernization Initiative, including both the work currently happening and what is planned for the remainder of the calendar year.

Project consultants from Kennedy and Company were on campus the week of March 25 to host in-person listening sessions for campus units, followed by a virtual session on April 1. In total, approximately 750 faculty and staff attended a session. These sessions allowed the consultants and Planning Advisory Council (PAC) members to gather Boise State community input on the priorities, values and guiding principles that should be included in the budget model development process and ultimately the model. These sessions also provided the opportunity for attendees to ask their own questions.

Throughout these sessions, a number of similar questions and themes emerged including the following:

  • Understanding Research Costs: A more clear picture of the total cost of research (including often-overlooked indirect costs) will be needed for everyone involved.
  • Centralized vs. Unit-Level Services: The need to define which services are best delivered centrally and which require specialized unit-level expertise.
  • Service Level Agreements: An understanding of how service level agreements (SLAs) will work and how to mitigate the potential for inequity in service levels is needed.
  • Focus on Student Success: Cost management efforts should not come at the expense of student enrollment, recruitment, retention, or graduation.

The answers to these and other questions will be collaboratively developed as we establish clear principles and values and begin considering the mechanics of the budget model. To that end, four working groups have been established and their work is now underway. These groups are divided into four major areas:

  • Tuition and Fees, and State Appropriations: Evaluate how tuition (undergraduate, graduate, online, and summer), fee revenue, and Idaho appropriations should be applied across the university.
  • Academic Unit and Central Services Costs: Review the costs incurred at academic and central service units and how they should be assessed in the most equitable manner possible.
  • Research and Creative Activity: Consider budgetary mechanisms to incentivize and account for sponsored project revenues and research and creative activity admin costs across the university.
  • Strategic Initiatives: Examine how the strategic initiatives can be funded and supported in the budget model as well as consider carryforward and subsidy policies.

The members of these groups are listed on our website. The working groups are meeting weekly and will convene in June to share the ideas from their group. The PAC will be working through the recommendations and considerations from the work groups in late summer. We will then begin the process of identifying data needs for preferred model attributes.

In fall of 2024, we expect to share the roadmap and future milestones with the Boise State community. We will continue to provide the campus community with opportunities for input and to be engaged in this initiative. We expect that the PAC will turn its attention to building the components of the budget model in the fall after roadmap recommendations are reviewed.

Thank you again for your engagement in the Budget Modernization Initiative.

Most sincerely,

Dr. John Buckwalter, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Alicia Estey, Vice President and Chief Financial and Operations Officer
Dr. Zeynep Hansen, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Institutional Effectiveness
Chris Johnson, Associate Vice President for Budget and Planning

For the most up-to-date information on this initiative, please visit the Budget Modernization webpage, which has a recently updated FAQ section.