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Archive for June, 2015

internet-unfollowA trend in higher education is the move towards decentralized budgeting.   Terms like ‘Responsbility Based Budgeting’, ‘Activity Based Budgeting’, ‘Responsibility Centered Budgeting’ and ‘Value Centered Budgeting’ are used to describe this concept.   Support for responsbility based budgeting at universities has been mixed.  Organizations like the NEA have expressed their concerns with it (Beware Higher Ed’s Newest Budget Twist by Leroy W. Dubeck) and organizations like the National Association of College and University Business Officer’s have generally been supportive of it (The Case for Decentralized Financial Management, by Scott Scarborough).

If your university is engaged in discussions about responsbility based budgeting, it is important to understand how it works.  I have found the following document to be the absolute best source of information:   Responsibility Center Management: Lessons from 25 Years of Decentralized Management by Jon C. Strauss and John R. Curry.   This is a relatively old document (2002), yet it is the most comprehensive and readable report on the principles, guidelines and details on how to make decentralized budgeting work.

Please consider the following quote from the preface of the report”

Decentralization is a natural act in universities. Decentralization of authority, that is.  Decentralization of responsibility is not a natural act.That requires intention and design.  Many academic leaders will say that most authority lies with the faculty in departments and schools, and most responsibility lies with central administrators. In many universities today, this state still obtains yet is more often lamented than addressed and managed.  Increasing numbers of institutions,however, are making explicit efforts to address such imbalances, to design organizational structures and incentives to make responsibility commensurate with authority, wherever that authority lies. The problem we address is the decoupling of academic authority from financial responsibility.

I highly recommend that you read this document as you consider new budeting models at your university.

from the pen of Dr. Percy Trappe

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MBANerdThe following is the job description for the MBA Director at our university.   Enjoy!

The individual in this position provides academic leadership for all aspects of the Master of Business Administration program including strategic planning, admissions and daily operations. Specific responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:
Curriculum Management

  • Leads Graduate Curriculum Committee activities and navigates proposals through University C&I process
  • Leads and coordinates assurance of learning

Academic Program Oversight

  • Serves as primary point of contact for prospective students
  • Promotes MBA Programs at information sessions
  • Reviews applications for admission and makes admissions recommendations to The Graduate School
  • Works with Academic Unit Heads to schedule faculty for MBA class offerings
  • Provides written teaching performance feedback to faculty and respective AUH’s for development and use in faculty annual evaluation process
  • Estimates revenues and expenses, by concentration, for input into self-supporting budgets
  • Coordinates with provider for iMBA international travel; moves proposals through purchasing process
  • Updates annually the Business Administration section of the graduate catalog
  • Writes annual report for MBA Programs
  • Maintains and reports data for rankings to U.S. News & World Report, The Princeton Review and Bloomberg BusinessWeek
  • Collects data for AACSB BSQ
  • Ensures adjunct MBA instructors meet College of Business faculty qualification standards
  • Creates program objectives, sets goals and reports outcomes
  • Monitors student progression and audits graduation applications
  • Provides academic advising to students
  • Manages the student grade appeal process

Supervisory Responsibility

  • MBA Program Administrative Assistant
  • Coordinates with faculty Teaching in MBA Program
  • Leadership Development Consultants

Qualifications and Requirements

  • Academic preparation: Ph.D. degree, rank of Associate or Professor
  • Experience teaching in MBA program or previous work experience with an MBA program
  • Teaching load – 9 credits per academic year
  • 12-month position
  • Solid record of scholarship, teaching, and service
  • Excellent interpersonal, oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to work collaboratively with Department Heads, faculty, and staff, as well as with colleagues across the campus community

I would encourage anyone looking at hiring a MBA Director to look at and consider the position description for Graduate Director of Enrollment Management and Student Services.    Clarity of roles in the MBA office is extremely important when looking to maximize team effectiveness.

from the pen of Dr. Percy Trappe

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