Forum held for Budget Model Redesign

Students and faculty gather in the Memorial Union Lecture Bowl to discuss the upcoming budget redesign. Photo by Chester Beltowski/The Dakota Student.

An open forum on April 14 invited members of the university to share their thoughts and opinions and to ask questions about the Budget Model Redesign Initiative that is being implemented at UND. The initiative currently is in its third stage out of five stages and is expected to be fully implemented in the next year or two.

Representatives from Huron Consulting Company were on hand at the forum to present the process for implementing the system and explain how it will affect UND in the future.

“I want to thank the university community for being with us this afternoon to talk about a few issues that are very much a part of our collaborative success,” UND President Robert Kelley said. “The framing that we’ve all invested in our Exceptional UND plan lays a great groundwork for us to continue to work together to develop these mechanisms and processes by which we are going to allocate resources to achieve the Exceptional UND that we are all working so hard to achieve.”

The budget initiative started in the summer of 2013 and will work hand-in-hand with the Program and Support System Service Prioritization to help UND better understand how and where it should be spending its money.

“This is not complicated at all, at least in my mind,” Kelley said. “Now, I realize the nuts and bolts are complicated, but I think as we look ahead as a university, we must recognize that we have revenue streams coming into the university that fluctuate year to year.”

Along with Kelley and representatives from Huron, Provost Thomas DiLorenzo and Vice President for Finance and Operations Alice Brekke also were on hand to make comments on the budget initiative.

“UND has partnered with Huron Consulting Group which is assisting the university in determining what budget model will best enable UND to reach its goals and guide us through the transition to a new model,” DiLorenzo said.

Huron Consulting has worked with universities across the country, especially in the years since the recession, to find the best ways to strategize budgets.

Kelley assured the audience that UND is not going through any budget crisis, but is working to implement a new budget system to be more efficient in the future.

“We’re not in a hard time,” Kelley said. “I don’t want anyone to think we’re going into a crisis that’s going to start July 1. We are not. But I do think this is responsible management for the administration and leadership of our university to develop processes that are collaborative that are shared that are fully transparent that will help us understand how we resource various components of the university.”

 Megan Hoffman is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected].