If you have questions about Responsibility Centered Management, now is the time to start talking with the leadership of your unit about how implementation of the University's new budget model may affect your unit.
In December, deans, department heads and directors attended an RCM open house where a draft model of RCM was introduced. Since then, several RCM workshops have been held to provide deans, associate and assistant deans, as well as budget and finance officers from all colleges and vice presidential units, with hands-on training for using the model.
Various members of the RCM steering committee have also been guest speakers during regular meetings with deans, Responsibility Unit Business Officers, and the UA's Strategic Planning & Budget Advisory Committee to gather feedback on the draft model. Most recently, several RCM topics were discussed with college department heads and directors during a Heads Luncheon on March 9, during a panel discussion featuring several members of the RCM steering committee.
What do all these initiatives have in common? Communication about RCM.
I would like to encourage each and every one of you with questions about RCM to speak with your unit head, director, dean or vice president to seek answers and a better understanding of how RCM may affect your area. Your unit leadership is your most valuable resource when it comes to questions or concerns related to RCM's implementation.
As the UA transitions from its incremental budget model, it is crucial to understand that RCM is simply an accounting tool. In and of itself, it provides no values, no winners, no losers and no biases. What RCM does do is provide transparency for how funds flow through the University.
RCM is all about demonstrating how funds flow between colleges and administrative support units within the overall University budget. In essence, it is a restatement of our budget that maps our dollars in a way we can more clearly understand.
Ultimately, the way funds flow from colleges to departments is at the discretion of the dean of the college. Department heads must engage with their deans to understand what the college's plans are for the future and how RCM will work in each college.
With a more transparent budgeting process, the main goal is to motivate colleges and their departments to seek more creative, innovative ways to enhance their revenue streams, embracing the entrepreneurial spirit that the UA has become known for. Likewise, support units will need to be accountable for effectiveness and efficiency. In light of state funding cuts, this spirit is even more important for the UA to continue its operations as a premier research institution.
RCM is not about every unit for itself. It's about working collectively on a University-wide level to produce better outcomes and achieve Never Settle goals.
We will continue to communicate about our progress on finalizing the RCM budget tool, and one of the next venues for this discussion will be a session at the 2015 UAccess Symposium on April 28 in the North Ballroom of the Student Union Memorial Center and online.
University of Arizona faculty and staff can get an overview of RCM and prepare for the implementation process during the 1 p.m. session "Responsibility-Centered Management (RCM): Our New Budget Model," presented by Lisa Rulney, RCM steering committee member and assistant dean of finance and administration in the College of Engineering. During the RCM session, attendees will learn about the guiding principles the RCM Steering Committee used to formulate recommendations for the UA's model, the difference between an RCM budget and an incremental budget, and the methods for allocating revenue and expenses in our RCM model. This session will also introduce attendees to the RCM forecasting tool, as well as strategies for navigating the UAccess Analytics RCM dashboards. You can register for the session in advance here.
To ensure the RCM model is a success at the UA, we need each and every stakeholder on board. If you have questions about how RCM might affect your area and how you can help prepare for a smooth transition, let's start the conversation now.
For more information about RCM, visit rcm.arizona.edu.