University of Wisconsin–Madison

Budget Model

In January 2016 Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Sarah Mangelsdorf and Vice
Chancellor for Finance and Administration Darrell Bazzell reconvened the Budget Model
Development Committee to assess progress under the new model and gather advice on next
steps. This review was considered especially timely given budget challenges that were not
anticipated when decisions on the model were made.

The committee recommended using the alternative formula to redistribute resources, which applies the activity change measure to the unit’s actual budget allocation.  The committee recommends that 10 percent of the combined school and college budgets should be subjected to the instructional metrics in development of the 2016-17 budget.

Building a New Budget Model for UW-Madison

The time is right to consider changes to UW-Madison’s budget practices.

The University has followed the same approach to allocation of its base budget since the UW System merger more than 40 years ago. Scrutiny of public resource stewardship has intensified. UW-Madison’s educational and research programs are undergoing major innovations.

For these and other reasons, UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank and the faculty University Committee – in consultation with other shared governance groups – appointed a faculty, staff and student committee to analyze and recommend alternatives for a new budget model. After five months of work, the Budget Model Development Committee forwarded to the Chancellor recommendations for a new model. The proposed model would be more transparent, allow some resources to shift based on objective measures of activity and provide incentives for innovation.

A previous faculty, staff and student committee, known as the Budget Model Review Committee, concluded that the current model no longer meets campus needs and that it’s time for a change.

Before final decisions are made, Chancellor Blank will seek feedback from school and college leadership, governance groups and other campus stakeholders. The committee report and campus engagement will lay the groundwork for a more transparent, coherent and sustainable budget model.