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A&S Budget Update: August 18, 2022

In recent months, the A&S Dean’s Office, Office and Planning and Budget, and Office of the Provost have worked together to review the resources available in A&S and to determine if they could be better deployed to meet the needs of our faculty and students.

Based on that work, we will be implementing important changes in the A&S budget this year. The most important changes include:

  • An increase in the permanent budget of A&S of more than $600K annually.
  • An increase in the travel budget available for each faculty member from $1600 to $3000, and faculty members will have more flexibility to use those resources to support conference travel or travel related to research needs.
  • Transition to a single faculty development (FD) account for each faculty member, instead of multiple FD, start-up, and research incentive accounts. We will improve the regular reporting on those account balances, and start-up funds will no longer expire.
  • Departmental operating budget reductions associated with COVID will be restored to academic department budgets.
  • Creation of a school-wide equipment replacement model and allocation of resources to support that schedule of replacement.
  • Simplification of budget processes and administration of budgets in many different ways.

More details about the changes to the budget can be found on this webpage. We look forward to discussing these changes, the timelines for implementation, and the opportunities they represent at upcoming meetings of A&S governance committees and the full faculty. If you have any questions in the meantime, please feel free to reach out to Cindy Glavas, director of A&S financial planning and operations at

We have an exciting year ahead with eleven searches for faculty colleagues across the School, which will bring our total number of tenured and tenure-track faculty to a record high next fall. The Dean’s Office will also begin conversations with faculty governance about how best to deploy the new resources that this work has identified. We look forward to working with you to implement these changes and to collaborate on A&S priorities for the future.

What prompted this work? What are the next steps? How can faculty be involved?

With a number of new people stepping into budget-related roles, both in the Dean’s Office and in the Office of Planning and Budget, we thought this would be a good time to look at the A&S budget and see if there were opportunities to both simplify processes and to free up more resources. A group of colleagues from both offices have been working for several months on this, and we timed our work to be ready to share at the start of the new academic year.

The work of this project was designed to identify what resources the school actually has. It did not include decisions about where to allocate new resources, with the exception of new funds identified by the Business and Finance Office for the purpose of increasing faculty travel budgets.

Now that there is a clear understanding of the A&S budget and available resources, Dean Cavenaugh looks forward to working with A&S faculty and governance structures to decide how best to spend those resources to support the school’s priorities.

Where did these new resources come from?

The bulk of these resources are monies that A&S already had. Based on a fresh review and working together, we were able to come up with more effective ways for these resources to be budgeted to support the school today, while also ensuring we have the budget to support future commitments.

Why are some of the accounts being centralized? Why aren't travel resources being left in departments?

Allocating money out to departments resulted in money being unspent in some departments each year, while other parts of A&S needed the money and did not have any left. Travel is a good example: some departments had a strict limit of $1600 per faculty member, while others allowed some faculty to go over the allocation if other faculty in the department were spending less. Centralizing these kinds of school-wide resources will help in two important ways — 1) it will be more equitable, because all faculty and departments will have equal access to resources, and 2) it will make more money available overall, because no money will remain unspent just because one department couldn’t use it.

Simplification is great, but will I have to ask the Dean's Office for money that I used to just spend within my department?

You won’t have to "ask" the Dean’s Office to use those funds or apply for them or track them at the departmental level. Administrative colleagues in your department will simply charge them to a different central account number. We will be providing guidance to departments and academic coordinators about how to access these central funds (such as travel), but the basic idea is that it will simply be charged to a single org.

I used to be able to spend more in travel if someone else in my department spent less. Under the new process, what should I do if I need more money?

By making the budget for travel school-wide, we will be able to extend that flexibility across the school — you won’t be limited by what your departmental colleagues are doing. If your conference presentation or research requires that you spend more than $3000 this year and you do not have other FD funds available to support this travel, reach out to the Dean’s Office, and we will work to make additional funds available to you if at all possible.

How will centralized travel budgets work? What if I don't use my full allotment; may I use it in a subsequent year?

You will simply charge your travel — up to $3000 — centrally. The process will be simple. You will not be able to carry over any un-used funds — and this is not a change.

By making the budget for travel school-wide, we will be able to extend flexibility across the school — if someone spends less in travel, someone else may be able to spend more. The goal is to make flexibility available across the school each year and support the travel needs of faculty in each year, recognizing that each faculty member’s needs will be a little different each year.

May I spend my travel budget for research-related travel, or is it only available for conferences? May I use travel funds to support more than one conference, if $3000 can support multiple trips, or is the limit one conference?

The travel allocation of $3000 for each faculty member is intended to support the travel related to your scholarly work. That could include attendance or presentation at a conference, or travel related to your research. There is no limit on the number of trips or conferences you can participate in within that $3000.

With new resources available, will A&S be able to hire more faculty?

This project has identified new resources. As part of our work together this year, we will determine as a school how best to use those resources — which could include new faculty lines.

A&S is doing 11 searches this year, which will bring our total of tenured and tenure track faculty to a new high when those colleagues join us next year. We are building on a great pattern of faculty hiring, and we will have opportunities to continue to grow the faculty with these resources if that is what we prioritize.

How will centralized supply budgets for summer researchers work? Will my student still have to submit a budget?

Student supplies for summer researchers will be charged to one central budget. If you are mentoring a student, you will simply charge the central account up to $500 for your student’s supplies. If the faculty decide that continuing to ask students to develop a supply budget is pedagogically valuable, that is absolutely fine to ask students to do so — but having that kind of budget or turning it in or tracking it won’t be required for the financial processes for spending the money.

I see that my department is supposed to spend restricted discretionary funds "first." Why is this important? What should we do if our department has other plans for those resources?

The A&S budget is comprised of unrestricted resources plus endowments and current use funds with varying kinds of restrictions. If we want to be able to use all of our money to support the things we want to do as a school, we have to spend the most restricted resources first. (It is also a requirement of Federal Accounting Standards). 

If we leave restricted money unspent — and we use unrestricted money for something that we could have used restricted dollars for — then we will not be able to use all of our A&S resources. It has the same effect as a budget reduction in the school.

Leaving donor restricted funds unspent also makes it harder for us to make the case to A&S supporters that we can benefit from their giving.

If your department has a plan for those resources and they won’t be spent this year — that is fine, just let the Dean’s Office know what that plan is. But we should be planning to spend the resources, not saving them for a rainy day. A&S will be stronger if we can use all of our resources to support our work. 

Will A&S budget processes change? Where should I go if I have questions?

The Dean’s Office will continue to work with shared governance in the School to review resource requests and consider resource allocations. We also aim to enhance collaboration with departments about their budget planning. The A&S Director of Financial Planning and Operations Cindy Glavas looks forward to meeting regularly with Department Chairs and Program Coordinators to understand needs and budget accordingly. If you have any questions, please reach out to Cindy Glavas, director of A&S financial planning and operations, at