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Thursday, May 23
The Indiana Daily Student

Provost discusses budget model at first BFC meeting

The Bloomington Faculty Council met for the first time this year Tuesday in the Indiana Memorial Union 

Its agenda included changes to the BFC bylaws and an overview of the budget system, Responsibility Centered Management.

The BFC Faculty President 
Cassidy Sugimoto was one of the first to welcome the new council.

“The people on this campus represent our greatest resource, and the BFC is an opportunity to come together as students, staff, faculty and administrators to both promote innovations on this campus and to sustain what makes this campus great,” Sugimoto said.

Professor David Fisher, chair of the Constitution and Rules Committee, then discussed the changes to the BFC bylaws regarding the representation of the University Graduate School.

The bylaw change will add the vice provost for Graduate Education and Health Sciences as a voting member of the BFC. The bylaw change also removes the dean of the University Graduate School as a voting member of the BFC, since it is a university-wide position and not a campus position.

“What we’re doing is we’re changing which one of these two people gets to be representative on this body from the person at the system level to the person at the campus level, which makes sense because all of our other administrative members are campus administrators rather than system administrators,” Fisher said.

Members discussed another BFC bylaw regarding the Creation, Reorganization, Elimination and Mergers of Academic Programs Policy, also known as the 
CREM Policy.

The bylaw change will add CREM as a standing committee.

This discussion was led by Professor John Paolillo, chair of the Faculty Affairs Committee.

“Standing committees have a special role in our governance structure, because they provide members of the Executive Committee, and that’s one of the things that this particular bylaws change addresses,” Paolillo said.

The BFC will vote on both of these bylaw changes at their next meeting Sept. 15.

The majority of the meeting was spent by Provost Lauren Robel discussing Responsibility Centered Management. IU was the first large, public research 
university to move to RCM in 1991.

RCM is a decentralized decision-making system for parts of the budget. RCM puts most budgetary decisions at the level of the school rather than the campus level.

“RCM does not go down below the school level,” Robel said. “So, what happens once we do this calculation at the campus level, within the schools, that’s a 
conversation within the schools.”

When asked why IU uses RCM, Robel said there are positives and negatives in all budget models.

“Budget models do not create pie,” Robel said. “They divide pie. All budget systems generate a list of positive and negatives. There is no perfect system.”

After questions and discussions, Robel concluded the purpose of discussing RCM during the meeting was to give everyone a better understanding of what it does.

“I think that the more people understand about the basics of the system the more you can focus on the things that you care about and not have it automatically default to ‘it’s RCM,’” Robel said. “It’s just a budget model.”

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