Summit set to discuss budget
By Louis Caldera
The classic business definition of strategy is “patterns of resource allocation.” Put another way it can be phrased as a question: what budget choices will help us make UNM the kind of university we want it to be?
With the conclusion of the 2004 Legislative Session, our annual budget-setting process now begins in earnest. Decisions about tuition and fees, compensation and other major resource allocations will have to be made in the next few weeks, in order for the university to submit its 2004-05 budget to the Commission on Higher Education by May 1. Therefore, in order to explore the key issues and challenges that go to the heart of UNM’s mission as New Mexico’s flagship research university, we are convening a Budget Summit to be held in Rodey Theatre, on Thursday, April 1, at 3 p.m.
I invite you to participate in this Summit in several ways. First, I urge you to take advantage of the information at the summit Web site, http://www.unm.edu/summit/index.html, which also links directly to the university home page. There you will find a full description of the process, along with materials that provide the broad outlines of UNM’s current budget situation and the particular challenges we face. Please read them and consider carefully the issues they present.
Second, I ask you to share your thoughts about these budget issues with any of the groups that have been invited to make a presentation at the Summit, or to post brief observations on the electronic bulletin board on the Web site. The formal statements of the groups will be posted there as well in the next few days. By March 22, the Web site will also contain a number of “budget scenarios,” to be based in part on input.
Finally, I invite all who are interested to be present on April 1 at the actual Budget Summit itself. The Summit will provide an opportunity to examine and discuss the budget scenarios, and to engage in an exchange of perspectives on the relationship between UNM’s budget choices and its strategic priorities. The summary from this meeting will go the UNM Planning Council, the Executive Cabinet and the Board of Regents to help in their deliberations.
Please take seriously this opportunity to be involved as university citizens entrusted with looking out for the best interests of the institution. I anticipate a robust dialogue within our community about the decisions we face and how they will define UNM’s future.