Budget Office Aims to Improve Communication, Web Site

Posted: May 16, 2001 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Jeremy Lasich

Editor’s Note: This is the third feature story of a four-article series exploring services that received low ratings on the support services survey conducted last fall, and reporting how those services have improved since that time.

Why didn’t my department get the amount of money we requested? Are we getting a pay raise next year? Why is the budget process so slow? These are some of the questions the Budget Office must deal with on a consistent basis.

“In the budget area, where there are limited resources and a lot of needs, there is often a certain level of frustration with the funding that is allocated to each unit,” says Donna Kidd, assistant vice president of budget and institutional research and reporting. “There are some areas where we have less control, but there are others that we are working to improve.”

The primary goal right now is to improve communicating information to all departments and units. Changes have already been made to the budget web site, and more improvements are scheduled for the summer. “We are restructuring our news section to make it more effective and have up-to-date news on a regular basis,” says Kidd. The office recently put the instructions for biennium budget requests online, as well as the tuition, fees, and room and board rates for 2001-02. The Board of Visitors’ (BOV) approved six-year capital outlay request submission has also been added, and over the next few weeks the BOV approved operating budget for 2001-02 will be available online.

The Budget Office plans to put the 2002-04 Biennium Budget Request process on the web site, and this will include the summer schedule of budget presentations by deans, directors, and vice presidents. This online information should keep the university better informed on the progress of biennium budget development.

Other changes in the works include plans to develop new budget workshops, disseminating budget information to departments earlier in the year, providing more general information on the web site, and ongoing implementation of a new budget system, which will allow all requests, transactions, and allocations to occur electronically.

Kidd encourages the university community to share with the Budget Office their suggestions or ideas for items that could be added to the web site. For more information, contact Kidd at x38743.

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