Budget Planning Advisory Council looks to incorporate new budget model

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A newly formed group of finance-minded WSU staff is taking up the task of advancing progress toward implementing the much-anticipated new budget model and process for the university system.

The Budget Planning Advisory Council (BPAC) will continue the next phase of the work of the Executive Budget Council in further refining WSU’s ambitious new budget model. Its members will meet in the coming months to serve as WSU system advocates as they assess the model developed by the Executive Budget Council in coordination with Huron Consulting Group. The council’s work will initially focus on evaluating a fiscal year 2023 version of the model. The new model will run parallel with the legacy framework during fiscal year 2024 and current plans call for full implementation for fiscal year 2025.

“We’re tasked with turning this framework into a model WSU can run with its own data,” Chip Hunter, co-chair of the council and dean of the Carson College of Business, said. “Folks that are part of this group have the expertise needed to help us understand what this model looks like for WSU as well as the choices we can we make in terms of feeding data in.”

Elizabeth Chilton, provost and co-chair of the original Executive Budget Council, noted that once the budget model is refined and ready to be put into place for the parallel year, “the next phase of work will focus on the governance process, and we will look to expand the BPAC members in the spirit of shared governance. We have said from the start that this is not a formula-based budget model — the governance processes are in many ways just as important as the budget model that informs decision-making.”

The model will improve on our existing budget processes by encompassing all funds of the university, allowing for resource allocation decisions that better align with the university’s strategic goals. It will also allow for more predictability, strategic budget planning, and transparency in funding for campuses and colleges, two core guiding principles established by the Executive Budget Council.

After collecting feedback and vetting model variables and methodology, the council will advise university leadership on governance structure, timing and workflow for the budget development process. More information on the council and its members can be found on the Office of the Provost website.

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