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K-State Today

November 7, 2023

Launching review of the university’s budget model

Submitted by the Office of the Vice President for Administration and Finance

Dear colleagues,

Today, I am writing to announce that we are beginning a review of the university's budget model. The call for operational excellence within the Next-Gen K-State strategic plan provides the perfect opportunity for us to review our budget model, refine our allocation strategies and ensure they align with the university's goals.

In 2017, the university began to modernize our budgeting and resource allocation practices. In 2018, we launched a new hybrid responsibility-centered management, or RCM, budget model. It shifted us from a traditional incremental model to a performance- and incentives-based allocation method. When the RCM model was implemented, we committed to periodic reviews of the model to determine what adjustments were needed.

As we embark on this effort, we are working to secure the services of an external consultant to guide the review process and ensure that we incorporate best practice resource allocation methodologies. The goals of the review will be to design a budget model that supports the imperatives of Next-Gen K-State, incentivize research and interdisciplinary activities, continue to encourage enrollment growth, provide greater financial accountability and transparency, and preserve mission-critical activities. 

We have established a core budget model review team, as well as a steering committee. The core team will provide project oversight and determine key decisions affecting the overall design of the model. Joining me on the committee are:

  • Richard Linton, president.
  • Debbie Mercer, interim provost and executive vice president and dean of the College of Education.
  • Marshall Stewart, senior vice president and chief of staff.
  • David Rosowsky, vice president for research.
  • Matt O'Keefe, dean of the Carl R. Ice College of Engineering.
  • Alysia Starkey, dean and chief executive officer of K-State Salina.

The steering committee will work with the selected vendor throughout the review process and will be instrumental in developing recommendations for adjustments. I will co-chair the committee with Matt O'Keefe, dean of the Carl R. Ice College of Engineering. Other members include:

  • Chris Culbertson, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
  • Wendi Nicholson, executive director of student health and well-being services.
  • Andy Bennett, professor and head of the department of mathematics, representative for Faculty Senate.
  • Brad Behnke, interim dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences.
  • Susan Metzger, director of strategic interdisciplinary program development; director of the Kansas Center for Agricultural Resources and the Environment and the Kansas Water Resources Institute.
  • Hans Coetzee, associate dean for research and graduate programs.
  • Alysia Starkey, dean and chief executive officer of K-State Salina.
  • Gabe Roberts, representative for the Student Governing Association.

Becca Zecha, assistant vice president for budget planning and shared services, will provide overall project management and coordination. Also assisting with the project will be Eric Higgins, professor in the College of Business Administration; Stephanie McDowell, associate director of the Budget Office; and Shannon Fox, budget/fiscal officer for the College of Education. 

Stakeholder sessions will be scheduled throughout the review period to capture additional feedback from the campus community. 

Work on the budget model review will continue throughout the winter and spring semesters with a recommended model to be presented in late spring 2024. We anticipate that the new recommended model will be shadowed for fiscal year 2025 so units can understand how it will function in comparison to the existing budget model.

While this is an aggressive timeline for such a complex endeavor that has major implications for our university, it is important that we make the needed adjustments to allow us to progress toward our Next-Gen K-State goals.

Updates on the model review process will be published in future K-State Today articles. More information about the effort is available on the budget model review website.


Ethan Erickson
Vice president for administration and finance

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