Responsibility Centered Management


UA RCM Principles:

The steering committee adopted a set of 15 Guiding Principles and each sub-committee formulated and agreed upon their own guiding principles in order to begin articulating the components and recommendations for allocating revenue and expenses in their areas.

Responsibility Centered Units:

Responsibility Center Units, known as RCUs have been identified and defined by the Steering Committee. Under RCM, there are two basic types of units: revenue center units and service center units. The primary revenue center units are the colleges, in addition to auxiliary units, which earn their own revenues. Nonacademic support units – administration and institutional support groups, student support groups, and facilities costs – are service center units.

At the UA, RCUs are responsible for a particular function or functions within the University and are under the authority of one person (e.g., a dean or vice president). RCUs are responsible for all financial decisions as well as managing revenues, expenditures and fund balances and developing strategic and financial plans that align with the overall academic and University plans. 

Learning about RCM and budget models:

Responsibility Center Management, A Guide to Balancing Academic Entrepreneurship with Fiscal Responsibility , this book describes the many nuances and techniques institutions can use to implement RCM in this newly revised second edition. The authors explain that with the right design and active management, RCM can live up to its promises of clarifying roles and responsibilities between local and central units, coupling responsibility with authority, and linking cause and effect through revenue and indirect cost allocations. Along the way, RCM creates a new relationship between the chief business officer and provost. Because RCM allocates new authority and responsibility to provosts and their deans, the accountability line between them is crucial to academic and operational success managed by the chief business officer. By John R. Curry, Andrew L. Laws, Jon C. Strauss.

Links to other Universities

Other Universities have implemented or are implementing RCM or a similar budget structure at their institutions. Below are links to some of those universities' RCM sites.

RCM Web Sites: