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Wilfrid Laurier University Office of the Vice-President:  Finance  and  Administration
November 23, 2014
 
 
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Integrated Planning & Resource Management

IPRM Resource Management Team researches budgeting processes

Feb 13/14

While the Academic and Administrative Priorities teams evaluate the first group of IPRM program templates, the Resource Management Team (RMT) is busy interviewing key internal stakeholders to gain input about resource management at Laurier.

“We want to understand how people across the university interact with our current budget system, how it supports their decision-making, and what they feel are the advantages and disadvantages of the system,” says Joanne McKee, assistant vice-president: financial resources and RMT co-chair. “Beyond that, we want to get a sense of what features people feel are essential to include in a future Laurier budget model – from the outcomes it should encourage to how it should align institutional priorities with funding.”

The interviews are part of the resource management process – one of the two main components of IPRM – which will ultimately identify potential resource management models and recommend the most appropriate model for the university.

“Laurier uses the historical-based budgeting model, which was developed when we were a much smaller institution, and it was right for the time,” says Ruth Cruickshank, associate MBA director, associate professor and RMT co-chair. “But we’ve evolved in significant ways, and our budget model needs to evolve along with us. We’re working to recommend and develop a model that incorporates what is unique about Laurier, while freeing us from our past constraints.”

As part of their research, RMT committee members reviewed six other universities from across Canada and into the United States to gain a detailed understanding of their process as they moved from historical-based budgeting models to alternate models modified to suit their institutions.

Following the individual consultations with Laurier stakeholders that make up the second phase of its research, the RMT will deliver presentations to university academic and administrative groups and invite specific feedback from these groups.

The RMT process is being completed in tandem with IPRM’s prioritization process.

“This is the right time to do it,” says McKee. “It makes sense to look at our budget process along with prioritization. Whether we face an increase or a decrease in future resources, prioritization will allow us to be strategic in how we allocate our resources using the recommended budget model.”

The resource management team is committed to communicating and inviting input throughout the process.

“We recognize that not everyone is directly involved in budgeting or even familiar with the university’s process, but it is something that has a direct impact on everyone at Laurier,” says Cruikshank. “We’ve added information to the IPRM website to make the budgeting terms and models and the RMT process understandable, and we encourage all members of the Laurier community to provide their input and ask questions.”

For further information about the RMT process or to provide feedback on Laurier’s budgeting model, please visit /IPRM or email iprm@wlu.ca.

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