The University of Wisconsin System administration prepares a biennial budget request with input from each institution in the System. The biennial budget includes continuing costs, a faculty and staff compensation package, and new initiatives from each campus and from the System as a whole. The budget request is guided by direction from the Board of Regents.
The UW System annual budget development process begins with the System’s Office of Budget Planning sending budget guidelines to each campus in January. Each institution identifies budget priorities based on System-wide and institutional strategic plans, taking into account existing and proposed rules, regulations, and directives from the Board of Regents, as well as additional state and federal agencies. The UW System Office of Budget Planning scrutinizes each institutional annual budget using a comprehensive set of analytical procedures. Next, the Board of Regents formally adopts the annual budget at their June meeting. Following Board action, the budget request is sent to the Legislature for approval. After legislative passage, it is sent to the Governor for final approval.
Tying institutional planning to budgets is among the highest priorities of the current institutional strategic planning effort, which declares that “UWRF will engage in continuous quality improvement and assessment, define its priorities, and use solid information to make future decisions about how to use its resources.”
The process we are initiating now ties budgets more closely to institutional planning priorities and is consistent with a continuous improvement model.
STEP 1: The planning cycle begins in July with a planning retreat. Members of the Chancellor’s Council meet for two days to review progress on the strategic plan’s goals and tasks; review and renew the mission statement; review academic plans; review data and information on institutional benchmarks; review emerging issues at the national, state and local level; revise the budgeting process and procedures as necessary; and develop the annual plan for the following academic year. This retreat is an opportunity for the administration to look at the progress it has made in the previous academic year, predict the upcoming academic year, and set priorities for the following academic year.
STEP 2: During the fall, the Chancellor presents the priorities and the annual plan for the following academic year to the campus community. All campus groups and constituents will have opportunities to provide feedback on the plan.
STEP 3: In November, based on campus feedback, the Chancellor’s Council establishes final priorities for the annual plan.
STEP 4: In January the annual plan is finalized and the budget is designed to reflect the annual plan.
STEP 5: In late spring, the institution begins to gather the data and information that will be needed at the July retreat. The campus will conduct a needs assessment to gather information on resource and programmatic needs.