Asynchronous Exercise #2: Reduction in Force / Budget And HR Implications of Funding Shortfalls
Bloomberg University must reduce their budget reduction of $6,500,000 for next year, representing about 6% of this year’s state allocation, caused by the expected loss of foreign student enrollment next semester.
You and your cabinet members must decide, position by position, who will be fired or not rehired, constrained by the faculty governance rules regarding tenure, the collective bargaining rules derived from the agreed upon labor relations contracts, and civil service rules and regulations, which have been simplified for the exercise. You may also wish to include revenue enhancements, limited to 1% of the state budget allocation, but you must support your belief that revenue can be increased.
A major focus of the exercise will be to ensure that you calculate reductions more or less accurately (however, this is not a math quiz) and to determine how you and your fellow cabinet members make your choices with respect to what you are told about the college, its academic programs, strategic plan, the results of student and employee satisfaction surveys, a concise income and expense budget, tuition, fee, and revenue budget, some academic metrics comparing your college data for two years with data averaged from among a group of peer institutions, and some enrollment management data. Your goals and values will shine brightly as a result of your decisions. This will not be a pretty exercise, but it will give you a taste of how decisions are made in bad times.
The documents include:
1) A detailed payroll for the institution, w/o names. Payroll is organized by “major purposes” such as Instruction, Instructional Support, Adult and Continuing Education, Library, Student Services, General Administration, General Institutional Services, and Maintenance and Operations. Within each category are individual departments where appropriate (e.g.: payroll, budgeting, etc. for GAs; while library has only one department).
• As we did on the first day of class, you may move the departments around at your pleasure to suit the way you and your team members’ role-playing cabinet members choose. For example, if you want Registrar to report to the Provost you may move it and all related expenses to Instructional Support from Student Services. This will enable you to visualize the area you are responsible for, and make recommendations accordingly.
2) A concise budget showing collapsed expenses for people you pay and things you buy.
3) Enrollment management data on incoming students (demographic, testing results, etc.)
4) A survey of student attitudes about your college compared to answers from peer institutions
5) Your tuition and fee income showing who pays what along with other revenue sources
6) Some academic metrics that are used by accrediting agencies, rating and ranking organizations, etc. to track your progress and compare you to peers.
7) A general overview of Bloomberg University of the college, including its Mission statement, academic program offerings, degrees granted, majors/minors and department listings.
8) A brief version of the Bloomberg University’s Strategic Plan.
How your team will decide what to reduce, or to increase, will speak to the limits of administrative flexibility, consensual decision making, collaborative problem solving, and leadership.