ERIC Number: EJ885240
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Centralizing a University's Financial Decision Making
Zeppos, Nicholas S.
Trusteeship, v18 n3 p14-19 May-Jun 2010
To get a feel for the last time Vanderbilt University confronted economic volatility and stress similar to what U.S. colleges and universities have experienced over the past two years, the author carefully reviewed his predecessors' notes. His conclusion: the early 1930s. That was the last time a chancellor at Vanderbilt University detailed similar discussions of large cost cuts and drops in endowment value, amid widespread national unemployment. Today, large U.S. universities have grown much more complex than they were in the '30s, exacerbating the current challenges posed by the tough economy and tight credit markets. In this article, the author discusses the creation of a strong, centralized financial structure at Vanderbilt University. A more focused and centralized finance operation can help to ensure that a large, complex university operates collaboratively to identify financial risks and opportunities. With a decentralized finance operation, the president or chancellor can wind up as the de facto chief financial officer. One of the chief benefits of the new centralized financial operation at Vanderbilt University is a better grasp of where the university is taking in revenue--and exactly where it has invested funds.
Descriptors: Universities, Medical Schools, Educational Finance, Administrative Organization, Organizational Change, Centralization, Institutional Mission, Fiscal Capacity, Resource Allocation, Sustainable Development, Systems Approach, Money Management, Data, Decision Making
Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges. 1 Dupont Circle Suite 400, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-356-6317; Tel: 202-296-8400; Fax: 202-223-7053; Web site: http://www.agb.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Tennessee