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Leadership And Budgeting In A Higher Education Setting

3217 words - 13 pages

Leadership and Budgeting in a Higher Education Setting
Decision-making, policy, finance and budgeting are all areas that one will encounter as a higher education administrator. There are multi-facets of leading a higher education department and managing that department’s budget. An administrator must be strategic when planning and budgeting. Understanding higher education administration requires knowing how to define the basic objectives of the department, while efficiently and effectively allocating limited resources to accomplishment departmental and institutional goals (June, 2013, par. 40). In other words, one must know the direction in which the department or institution needs to move ...view middle of the document...

The budget process is not in a vertical something that one does only once a year; it is a continual process of regular review and possible revision. An administrator should continuously evaluate the effectiveness of the budget compared with how one anticipated its effectiveness. Overall, survival and prosperity of a higher education institution depends on the efficiency of budgeting as well as other processes used by the organization to produce its goods and services.
Institutional and unit budgets can be intimidating at first glance. Columns of numbers and unfamiliar categories can be confusing. Leaders in higher education must gain new insights on budgeting, by occurring some basic knowledge and practice in using budgets and spreadsheets. Just as important as managing money is managing resources. Different resources within an institution or department such as personnel, facilities, and equipment, require varying amounts of money for their use. Faculty and staff must be paid, computer labs must be maintained, and services must be reviewed and updated. A certain level of efficiency in the use of these resource must be achieved. For example, although it would be beneficial for faculty or others to have a low workload, they are often ask to take on more responsibilities when funds are tight. Yet too high a workload, is not effective in accomplishing the institution’s or department’s goals. Furthermore, while technology enhances collegiate learning environment, it becomes vital in lower operating cost (Keppler, 2010, p. 32). Just as in the business world, many educational institutions are being asked to “do more with less.” The success of a leader will be due in part to their ability to employ superior decision making processes while creatively managing the budget, even in the mist of budget cuts.
Budget Cutting
Budget cutting is a noteworthy crisis for higher education because it gives institutions a free choice between cutting particular programs and divisions and progressively distributing the pain across the board, weakening some of the vital centers of intellectual achievement at a specific institution. Of course, such choices face many institutions whenever their economic fortune takes a turn down. Budget cutting, while painful and often difficult, nevertheless offers an opportunity to engage in serious strategic thinking about organizational direction and priorities. For institutions of higher education, particularly public institutions, such an imperative is an important one. Thinking about how states can reduce overlap, can identify opportunities for program amalgamation, or can initiate collaborative efforts within departments to yield significant savings. According to Barr (2002), one of the chief responsibilities as a department head “is to garner the resources needed to implement the ideas, programs, services, and needed classes and instruction required or desired by students, colleagues, and other constituent groups” (pg. 1)....

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