ERIC Number: ED370646
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
Who's in the Driver's Seat, the Budget or the Strategic Plan: Which Comes First?
In an era of diminishing public resources, community college departments need a budgetary system in which options are clearly spelled out, consequences projected, priorities delineated, and budget requests made that are functional and provide useful results. Unfortunately, few colleges and even fewer departments are developing and utilizing such systems. Department chairs, in their budgetary submissions, may do little more than roll over previous years' requests. Discussions with department chairs indicate that many institutions go through planning exercises designed to create documents rather than to produce useful changes in the organization. A well-developed strategic planning process includes input from all department members and stimulates dialogue on the departments' purpose. Moreover, it should be a structured process including the following six specific steps: (1) departmental values are clarified and a mission statement developed; (2) department strengths and weaknesses are analyzed; (3) key areas for attention are identified and goals developed for these areas; (4) specific operational plans are developed to accomplish those goals; (5) the plan is implemented; and (6) results are evaluated, leading to further plan development. Once priorities and actions have been developed, the budgetary process becomes simplified as departments merely request funds to accomplish the goals they have developed. Another advantage is that expectations between the administration and department become very clear when requests are based on thought-out plans. (KP)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented the International Conference for Community College Chairs and Deans (3rd, Phoenix, AZ, February 23-26, 1994).