UW News

May 13, 2010

Provost Wise addresses budget decisions in latest Town Hall, available online

Provost Phyllis Wise spoke about the budget and the University’s vision for the future at a Town Hall on Tuesday, May 11.

Wise opened her remarks with a discussion of the shrinking amount of money received from the state Legislature and how it was forcing the University to make difficult cuts, then explained a new method of budgeting, called Activity Based Budgeting, or ABB, that will be implemented in the coming year.

Wise said that Doug Wadden, executive vice provost; and Paul Jenny, vice provost for planning and budgeting had chaired a committee to study the ABB system, consulting with more than 200 people on campus and off before coming up with values that will guide the use of the system at the UW. You can read the report of the ABB Steering Committee here.

Basically, Wise said, ABB is a way to give revenue to units that generate it in a clearer manner, while maintaining quality throughout the University. She said ABB would make the budget process more transparent. ABB will have a “soft launch” at the University in July, but will not be fully implemented until next year.

Wise then turned to an initiative called “Two Years to Two Decades,” or 2Y2D, which she described as thinking about what the University wants to be in 2030. She emphasized that the vision should be grounded in sound financial planning. “What we want is a sustainable academic business plan,” she said.

Wise said the plan was designed to be implemented over 18 months at the end of 2011. You can read more about 2Y2D here.

Wise concluded her remarks with a brief discussion of NEXT CITY, a two-year series of conversations that looks at sustainable urbanization, acknowledging the University’s place as an urban institution. A question and answer period followed her talk.

You can view the entire Town Hall here.