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Friday, May 17
The Indiana Daily Student


Provost’s office builds funding sources

The Strategic Plan won’t be anything but a set of goals if there isn’t any money to put its initiatives into action.

The plan has a financial pool of various funding resources behind it, most public of which is the Provost Fund.

“Historically, the funds have been used for campus-level initiatives and priorities,” Vice Provost M.A. Venkataramanan said.

The Provost Fund has existed since the 1990s. It is base funding that is disbursed to the College of Arts and Sciences and other IU schools as a percentage of IU’s annual budget process.

“For instance, last year the majority of Provost funding went to the College and schools to support career services and online education initiatives,” Venkataramanan said.

The fund is currently worth about $11 million, Executive Vice President and Provost Lauren Robel said in an interview last Monday.

The fund hasn’t been used strategically in the past but on a case-by-case basis, Robel said.

“I want to put those funds squarely behind this plan,” she said.

The Provost Fund will only be a fraction of the money behind this plan, and not all of the objectives will require funding, Venkataramanan said.

“Some objectives and action steps will be accomplished through rethinking or reallocating resources at the campus level,” he said. “The Provost has already asked her vice provosts to begin thinking through implementation steps for the objectives and actions steps for which they are responsible.”

This will lead the Strategic Plan into the next phase of determining resources,
priorities and timeliness, Venkataramanan said.

External grants will be another resource for funding, he said. And it’s one of the plan’s “grand challenges” to attract grants from both government and private entities.

“The Provost believes strongly that there will be outside support for a significant number of the proposed initiatives,” Venkataramanan said.

For larger projects such as funding an Arts and Humanities center, he said, the Provost plans to use existing campus resources and strengths combined with external resources.

There isn’t a budget for the plan yet, Venkataramanan said.

That will begin after the draft has been finalized, which will be soon after the public comment period ends March 19.

“The Provost specifically charged the committees with coming up with visionary ideas,” Venkataramanan said. “She did not want financial considerations or current organizational structures and systems to constrain the vision or the creativity.”

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