Conversations on the budget
I want to talk a little bit about the budget process, but before I do, can I just say how proud I am of UT’s Women’s Basketball team, Tricia Cullop and the more than 7,000 members of the UT and Toledo communities who came to show their support. Go Rockets!
Now to the budget. As I prepared myself for my division’s budget hearings in February and March, I was asked by the president and those conducting the budget hearing to not only look at ways to run the division more efficiently – a process I am always engaged in – but also to consider whether some of the division’s top priorities were worth continued investment.
For example, questions about three marketing and enrollment initiatives were among 200 or so ideas [PDF] submitted to the FY 2012 Fiscal Budget and Reengineeing Taskforce. The question was asked, do we want to continue funding:
- The Blue and Gold Scholarship Program;
- Marketing UT to Michigan students; and
- The UT Matters advertising campaign.
For each of these initiatives, people in external affairs and colleagues across UT have devoted hundreds of hours to ensure they succeed and it can be jarring to be asked whether that time and dollar investment is still worthwhile. But these are the types of conversations we need to have.
I spent a great deal of time looking at data, UT’s mission and the other necessary functions of the division. It’s my belief that the Blue and Gold Scholar Program and Michigan advertising efforts are showing the type of results that make investment in these initiatives worthwhile.
However, despite the good UT Matters has done to share stories about the former Medical University of Ohio and now UT over the last six years, we plan to discontinue that effort and find more cost-effective ways to promote the University using internal resources.
These are just three of the many examples that affected me. As the budgetary development process moves forward and college and unit leaders evaluate their operations, a clearer understanding will develop between the things we do because they are best for students and patients versus the things we do due to institutional inertia.