BLACKSBURG (WSLS 10) – Virginia Tech is in the beginning stages of changing it’s budget process. The Budget has nearly tripled over the last 20 years to $1.4 billion. The University used a legacy model and says the new budgeting process is catching up to the world we live in.
Mark Owczarski, Virginia Tech spokesman says in the past, 40% of Virginia Tech’s budget came from state money but it’s now less than 20%, as the school gets money from tuition and fees, private philanthropy, and research grants. He says as Virginia Tech it gets bigger it becomes more challenging to adapt. The new budget model enables them to be more flexible and change the way they do business so they can be more responsive to the needs of the world instead of just increasing the budget little by little every year across the board.
“If we don’t have a budget model that supports change and rapid change by the time we get around to it we may have missed our opportunity,” said Owczarski.
Virginia Tech made its last major changes to the way academic division budgets are allocated in the mid-1990s. Since then, the university has undergone substantial growth in financial activity, complexity, and dependence upon self-generated revenues.
“A faculty member who has a really innovative or creative idea to work across disciplines, to work across colleges, maybe even to work across the world at Virginia Tech locations and partnership so that they can receive the funding and support that they need based upon the impact of their work,” said Owczarski.
Impact can be the number of students who want to sign up for a major or research dollars. The plan rolls out in parts over the next few years with full implementation in 2019.
Virginia Tech will continue to develop and collect feedback on the new performance budget model during the 2016-17 fiscal year, and will fully implement the new model the following fiscal year. At that time, budget allocations will be linked to the accomplishment of annual performance goals.
Performance goals will be determined jointly between the colleges and the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost. Goals will be set in the context of the past five years of actual activity and five years of projected activity such that the goals for any single year is a point on a continuum of planned improvement.