CALS Strategic Intent Three

Be the most effective, efficient, responsive, flexible, and financially sustainable college on campus

Current situation and gap between current situation and desired solution:
Currently the college is working on a business model that worked in the 1990s and early 2000s but is not optimal today. We need to reassess how we work with people (internally and externally), our cost structures, and how we use technology.
Strategies (numbered) and actions (bulleted)

  1. Maintain sound, efficient, effective and financially responsible college management.
    • Use Activity-based Accounting  principles throughout college and operate CALS, and all units, within budget authority.
    • Maintain the minimum administration and bureaucracy.
    • Have similar administrative support structures in each unit.
    • Ensure that all peripheral unit business offices deliver the same level of service at the best level of competence in the university.
    • Standardize unit annual review format to be primarily objective.
    • Minimize bureaucracy, busy work and maintain appropriate infrastructure.
    • All service staff will focus on success and accountability rather than regulation and policing.
    • Maintain appropriate business function infrastructure to efficiently complete work in compliant way.
    • Minimize investment in depreciating assets and maximize investment in people.
    • Measure what we need to manage and only that.
    • Every unit will have a "living" strategic plan in the same format that has clear goals, strategies, actions, responsibilities, inputs and metrics.
    • Maintain 5-year predictive budget model for CALS.
    • Maintain 3-year predictive budget model for academic units.
    • Begin capital projects only once funding is in place.
    • All units with debt to CALS will have a debt management plan and pay debts back.
  2. Decisions and accountability are to be as close to the point of delivery as possible.
    • Administrative heads will be selected and assessed on their leadership and management performance and motivation.
    • Focus scarce Development resources into units that have philanthropic potential and make development a standard part of unit leaders' jobs. 
    • Make delivering on the college's share of the UA Never Settle plan and ABOR metrics the college's responsibility, not the units; this allows the units to focus on differential delivery based on their nationally recognized strengths and aspirations.
  3. Deliver only in strategically critical and/or exceptional areas that are regionally important and globally relevant and where we either are national leaders or could be.
    • Build strategic partnerships and alliances with other public entities as well as private industry rather than transactional relationships.
    • Dean will solicit advice from unit heads, ADs and shared governance leadership before annual budgeting.


2017 Update:
For an update on this strategic intent, please read Associate Dean Jeffrey Ratje's May 15, 2017 memo, Progress towards financial strategic goal.


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