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Dartmouth's Strategic Budget Reduction and Investment (SBRI) Process

To: The Dartmouth Community
Fr: Carol Folt, Acting Provost and Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences
Steve Kadish, Senior Vice President
RE: Budget Memo #2: Strategic Budget Reduction and Investment (SBRI) Process

December 11, 2009

Dear members of the Dartmouth community,

As co-chairs of the Budget Committee, this is our second message to the community regarding Dartmouth’s finances, our “Strategic Budget Reduction and Investment” (SBRI) effort. In this note, we provide a brief overview of the process for the next few months, and suggestions for how you can provide input. As you know, we are charged, collectively, with identifying $50 million in fiscal year 2011 and another $50 million for fiscal year 2012 in potential expense reductions and new revenues.

We are pleased that so many of you joined President Jim Yong Kim for his December 1 presentation on Dartmouth’s financials. More than 500 people attended in person on campus, while more than 3,000 watched the event live through our website and DarTV. We apologize to those who experienced technical difficulties with the webcast. A video of the full presentation with questions and answers, as well as a PDF of the slides, is available on the budget website. 

The goal for our Strategic Budget Reduction and Investment effort is to make sure that Dartmouth continues to excel at accomplishing its mission, as we invest in our vision to achieve global leadership in higher education.

Our Process

This is an all-Dartmouth approach -- inclusive of Arts & Sciences, Tuck School of Business, Thayer School of Engineering, and Dartmouth Medical School, as well as central administrative services, including the auxiliaries. Today, we have posted an organization chart that is a diagram of the process, and below is the narrative description. In brief:

The Board of Trustees approves the budget and its spending and revenue actions. Ultimately, the budget is the manifestation of the use of Dartmouth’s resources. This is the Board’s fiduciary responsibility.

President Kim prepares and presents the budget recommendation to the Board of Trustees. This is a comprehensive set of recommendations that includes all operating and capital spending, and revenue projections including endowment performance, tuition, and other fees. These recommendations will include spending reductions, as well as proposals for investment.

The Budget Committee prepares a range of recommendations for review by President Kim and the Board of Trustees. The Budget Committee’s role includes coordinating the development of proposals and analyses; advising on the impact, feasibility, and priority of projects; and providing oversight to facilitate implementation of key initiatives. The Budget Committee will be the main driver of our SBRI effort.

The Budget Committee will be in close contact with four key groups:

* The Committee on Priorities (CPR), made up of faculty members from Arts and Sciences, Tuck, Thayer and Medical School

* The President’s Administrative Forum (PAF), with over 150 members

* The Student Budget Advisory Committee (SBAC), named by the undergraduate Student Assembly; and

* The Graduate Student Senate (GSS). We intend to have periodic meetings with each of these groups.

For the budget and program work that involves specific divisions, departments, and schools, the Budget Committee will be working directly with the leaders of these entities.

For the budget and program work that involves entities across Dartmouth, the Budget Committee has organized three subcommittees:

- Program Management Team (PMT) provides a team of people who will coordinate, support, and help carry out projects from idea to implementation. The PMT will work closely with individual project leaders to provide assistance for managing projects, tools and analyses for determining feasibility, and best industry practices in order to ensure each project’s success. All new suggestions and comments also will be reviewed by this team.

- Administrative Restructuring Team (ART) provides the overall coordination and development of processes that are designed to streamline and increase efficiency of administrative and operating processes that take place in departments and programs across Dartmouth. Presently, this work includes IT, HR, Finance, Facilities, and Communications. We will use a process re-engineering approach, with the twin goals of increasing savings and improving services.

- Academic Committee on Opportunities and Issues (ACOI) will lead on development and analysis of initiatives that impact academic programs, such as changes in the academic calendar, degree requirements, or enrollments. It will also focus on new programs such as new combined degree programs, new graduate programs, and other programmatic investments.

Beginning in January 2010, the Budget Committee will review initial recommendations to be presented to the Board on February 6 and 7, and other recommendations to be presented to the Board on April 10 and 11. We expect to put into practice new savings initiatives, and new revenue and key investment measures when the President and the Board review and approve major recommendations.

How to provide input?

Many of you have asked, “How can I participate, or contribute to this effort?” Please share your suggestions through our budget website. You have sent nearly 700 comments and suggestions in response to President Kim’s Nov. 7 request for your input. We are now reviewing your ideas and will refer them to the appropriate subcommittee or division. Summaries are posted at:

Please also share your thoughts and suggestions with colleagues and department and divisional leaders.

In closing

We continue to be genuinely impressed with the thoughtfulness, ingenuity, and passion of our colleagues and all members of the Dartmouth community as we tackle this challenge. While there are difficult choices ahead, we are confident that from the coming together of this collective wisdom and energy will emerge a stronger Dartmouth.


Last Updated: 9/24/13