Budget Model Planning

Message from the President

”Since arriving on campus in May 2017, I have heard many comments about our current budget processes. Specifically, faculty, staff, and administrators have consistently shared that our centralized, incremental model does not sufficiently encourage academic innovation and ensure institutional accountability. The Strategic Planning Committee heard similar comments during the process of developing our proposed strategic plan.

”In response to this input, the committee has proposed that we develop an 'incentive-based budget model that aligns our human and financial resources with our strategic priorities and encourages innovation and effective resource management.'”

Rationale and Planning Process

Ball State will work with Huron Consulting Group Inc. to develop a new budget model that will align with the new strategic plan.

In doing so, this initiative will achieve the following goals:

  1. Promote student success, stimulate strategic growth, encourage innovation and entrepreneurship, and support institutional excellence.
  2. Create “desired future state” policies and practices for budget development and management.
  3. Help to allocate funds in a manner that aligns with the University’s core mission and strategic priorities.


The timeline below outlines an 18- to 24-month transition for Ball State to implement a new budget.

The objective of this phase is to develop a clear understanding of the current state and redesign goals in order to better facilitate the financial modeling discussions that will be part of Phase II.

During this phase, Huron will take an iterative approach to develop a pro forma budget model using actuals financial data from Ball State’s most recently audited financial statements.

Huron will meet with a multitude of stakeholders across the campus community to generate support for a new, agreed-upon budget model.

Phase 4: Infrastructure Development

This phase occurs once the framework for a new budget model has been developed and a decision has been made to move forward with implementation.

This phase provides crucial time to develop supporting infrastructure to operationalize the budget model. It is recommended that the University integrate additional data periods into the new model to assess financial trends over time.

Additionally, developing and implementing tools, reports, and governance structures to support the model and continuing to build awareness and understanding on the new methodology will enhance the ability for the University to operationalize the model and prepare for the parallel process.

Ball state anticipates that this phase will occur over a four-month period and may extend into the 5th phase.

Phase 5: Parallel Process

During the parallel process, the current incremental budget model is used, while the new incentive-based budget model is run in parallel.

The purpose of this process is to assess the impacts that decisions have on the new model and provide a window with which to make minor adjustments to the model to address any unforeseen consequences. Having a year to transition to a new model allows leadership (both academic and administrative) to be better prepared for the true go-live for the new model.

Ball State anticipates that this phase will occur over a 12-month period.

Documents and Materials

As part of ongoing efforts for communication on this important initiative, we will have presentations and reports. These documents will be available online throughout this process.

Case Studies

As initial brainstorm sessions occur, consider visiting the websites of other universities that have undergone or are undergoing budget redesigns.

Give Your Feedback

If you have thoughts or questions that you’d like to share about the redesign of our budget model, please email us.