5. A. 5. The institution has a well-developed process in place for budgeting and for monitoring expense.
Miller College’s commitment to shared governance and strategic planning extends into the budget development process. The President’s Council meets in September to prepare budgetary priorities one year in advance. The Deans propose new strategic initiatives for their respective areas for the subsequent academic year, keyed to the Strategic Plan, and the President’s Council prioritizes these items into a revenue-sensitive expense plan. Revenue projections, based on a 2.5% growth in credit hour enrollments, guide the selection of the highest priority initiatives, while medium and lower priority items are keyed to specific revenue targets in excess of projections. These initiatives are then shared in the College Forum for comment and further refinement. This prioritized list of strategic initiatives then guides allocation of new revenues should they accrue during the current academic and fiscal year in advance of projections. This meeting also identifies areas for streamlining non-essential services and eliminating expenses should revenue projections outpace actual growth (See President’s Council strategic budget planning retreat agenda/minutes, College Forum agenda).
The development of the annual operating budget, exclusive of the strategic initiatives developed by the President’s Council, continues in January. A packet of budget materials is distributed to the Deans and other administrative personnel, who are then asked to obtain input and then to submit operational needs of their areas for the upcoming year. Following submission of budget requests, the data is compiled and reviewed by the President’s Council, and final budget allocations are then incorporated into the proposed College budget for final approval by the Board of Trustees. After Board approval, the detailed budgets are distributed to the key administrative personnel who are assigned the responsibility to monitor and manage the budget throughout the year (See Annual Budget, College Forum Minutes).
Throughout the fiscal year, Miller College’s small size, shared governance structures and strategic budget prioritization allows the College to adapt quickly to sudden changes in revenue or new market demands. For example, after the resignation of a full-time Education faculty member early in the 2010-2011 fiscal year, the President’s Council was able to quickly reallocate salary funds to meet human resource needs in Student Services and Nursing now that had been deemed high priority items for the 2011-2012 fiscal year. This expansion of Nursing faculty was a funding item that had initially been given lower priority than other initiatives, yet the need for it became more acute as the budget year unfolded. Thus, Miller College’s strategic planning processes allow for reprioritization of goals when necessary due to changing environments (See Strategic Planning Retreat Minutes).
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