The purpose of this planning to budget process is to promote trust between faculty, staff, students and administrators. Also to make the budget process transparent and to prevent “backroom deals.”
A Brief Description of the Required Documents:
The College Strategic Master Plan states the priorities of the college and gives the strategies for success and the intended outcomes.
The Educational Master Plan states the educational plans and priorities and links the College Strategic Master Plan, the Technology Master Plan and the Long Range Facilities Master Plan Update.
The Program Review process (online) is a concise yet comprehensive online system and is is a self study that addresses the issues that each department deems important. It states the goals and action plans of the department for the next six years, and states how the goal and plans tie into, and support, the college’s Strategic Master Plan and the Educational Master Plan. Also, all requests for funding must match at least one departmental goal and action plan.
The Annual Plans are done by each department or division each year. They are used to request funding beyond last year’s budget allocation. They must state exactly what is needed and why, what will be accomplished, what the expected cost will be, what the funding source may be, whether it is a one time cost or an ongoing cost, and all requests are prioritized and categorized by the department as survival, maintenance or growth.
Collecting and Using Data:
Connecting planning to the budget is a data driven process which requires all participants to share data and information in a timely and open fashion. The college researcher and the office of institutional effectiveness provides the bulk of the data collection work. Data from the last three years is considered in the following areas: section count, enrollment, wait lists (if applicable), success rates, and labor market demand (for the vocational programs only). These data are analyzed by looking at the areas of success and asking how and why they are a success and how it can be duplicated and by looking at areas that need improvement and asking exactly what needs to be done and how best to do it.
Goals to Action Plans:
All goals must be student oriented, with measurable outcomes, and general enough to include many ways to attain them. They cannot be attaining an item or hiring a person for the department. All goals must be clearly aligned with the college Strategic Master Plan and the Educational Master Plan. All Action Plans must state exactly what is to be done, how the goal is to be attained, what is needed to attain the goal, what are the expected outcomes and how can the effect of the action plan be measured.
The process starts with each department’s creation of its Annual Unit Plan.
The Inter Departmental Work Group or IDWIG is a way of organizing all academic departments and divisions at LACC. There are five academic affairs deans who head five distinct IDWIGs. They meet at least once a month with the chairs (and any interested faculty) of the departments and divisions within their IDWIG. Once the departments have drafted their Annual Unit Plans, each IDWIG meets and prioritizes their budget requests by determining which department’s request should be that IDWIG’s number one priority. This is not a popularity contest, nor should it have to do with department size nor FTES generation. Rather, this should be a process to find the IDWIG’s top priority, and then its second and so on.
The EPC Budget Allocation Subcommittee Prioritizes:
This subcommittee meets with each IDWIG Dean and the Chairs of the IDWIG. The dean is given fifteen minutes to explain the IDWIG’s priorities and the Chairs are given five minutes each, if needed, to provide any information not provided by the IDWIG dean. Chairs should only present those items appearing on the IDWIG priority list; items not appearing on the priority should not be discussed. After each presentation, the subcommittee discusses how each request fits into one of four priority lists and after all IDWIGs are heard from, the subcommittee meets to compile its priority lists for approval by the EPC.
The full EPC confirms the priorities list.
The VP of Academic Affairs reviews and makes adjustments in formatting the list and related background for presentation to the Shared Governance Committee’s Budget Subcommittee.
The Shared Governance Committee – Budget Allocation sub committee prioritizes requests from Academic Affairs, Administrative Services, Student Services and the president’s office. The meetings are open to the public and all discussions and deliberations can only be done by the committee-as-a-whole. Decisions are made only after all presenters have explained their budget requests.
The Sub Committee forwards its recommendations to the Shared Governance Committee (SGC) for approval. This is forwarded to the President.
The President makes the final decisions and both the Senate and the AFT membership continue discussions on it and begin to prepare for a new budget cycle.