Higher Education

Performance matters in higher education budgets

Max Parkinson

Max Parkinson

Today’s fiscal environment has forced states to carefully consider how their limited dollars are spent on higher education. This results in funding that’s increasingly based on allocating a portion of a state’s higher education budget per specific performance measures.

  • Thirty-two states have integrated performance-based budgeting into higher education budgets
  • Performance-based budgeting focuses more on outcomes such as course completion, credit attainment, and degree completion than traditional enrolment-based considerations
  • Successfully implementing performance-based budgeting requires institutions to collect data to ensure that programs are transparent and accountable

(Source: National Conference of State Legislatures LEGISBRIEF)

 

For example, beginning in the 2017-18 fiscal year, Virginia Tech will begin a three-year transition to a new performance budget model that will impact how funds are distributed to colleges. Since the mid-1990s, when the university last made changes to its academic division budgets, it has undergone substantial growth in financial activity, complexity and increased dependence on self-generated revenue.  “Adopting a new budgeting model will better position the university to be more adaptive to change, and create new incentives to faculty for instructional and research innovation,” said Thanassis Rikakis, executive vice president and provost, Virginia Tech.

 

Conventional budget systems such as spreadsheet software are simply not sufficient to deal with the complexities and demands of performance-based budgeting for colleges and universities.

 

As a proven Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) software solution, Questica Budget and Questica Performance delivers all of the necessary performance-based budgeting tools, while also offering a high level of configurability and integration to a wide variety of ERP systems.

 

Questica Performance allows colleges and universities to establish and manage objectives, leveraging financial and statistical data from any number of sources, to effectively measure performance. With all the data in one database, there is no longer a need to re-key the summary data from error-prone spreadsheets, while advanced searches are simple and eliminate the need to slice through massive quantities of data. It can help improve an institution’s efficiency and effectiveness. Scorecards that use green, yellow and red thresholds via user-friendly dashboard displays are built-in tools for the ongoing monitoring of measures.

 

Questica’s budgeting, performance and data visualization solutions were purposely developed for the public sector. If you would like to find out how we can help your institution successfully incorporate performance-based budgeting into all, or parts, of the budgeting process, schedule a demo of Questica’s solutions today or contact us for more information.

 

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