This article originally appeared in The South End's Winter 2019 Back to School print edition.

Wayne State’s budget steering committee is scheduled to finalize the responsibility center management based budget model Dec. 15. The RCM budget model is expected to go live Oct. 1, 2020.

The new budget model, which WSU announced in fall 2017, is a decentralized approach, that moves budget management from central administration to individual schools and colleges — giving deans control over their respective college’s budget and students a greater voice in university spending.

“This is a complete model, it is not a final model yet,” said Jeff Bolton, assistant vice president of the Office of University Budget. “We want to make sure we have feedback. Even though we’ve included so many different people from across campus in the building of the model, we continue to look for feedback and we continue to want to make sure this model is what’s going to work best for the university.”

This project is led by Bolton and administered by nine committees and task forces that are made up of over 50 faculty members from various colleges and departments.

“I believe that all of our colleges are represented by at least one representative,” said Bolton.

The RCM model will replace the incremental budget model that the university previously utilized, which created the budget plan based on the previous year’s results. According to the university, the previous budget plan had a disconnect between expected expenditures and actual spending.

After the RCM model’s finalization, the Training Task Force will instruct individual colleges on how it will work. The training will consist of an interactive presentation and guide aimed to get faculty confident and familiar with RCM methodology, terminology and concepts, Bolton said.

“The goal is definitely to try and continue to incentivize cost efficiencies and reduce spending on the expense side using every dollar wisely, which I believe this does,” Bolton said. “The other side is then obviously revenue growth and that’s something that RCM focuses on.”


Ken Narita is The South End's general assignment reporter. He can reached at ken.au.narita@gmail.com.