Welcome from Tyler Forrest, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration
The quality of instruction and the value proposition of providing an excellent four-year student experience will necessitate continuing financial investments that align our budget with institutional strategic priorities. As we undertake the comprehensive planning and review of the 2021-22 UTC budget, I am pleased to report strong participation, empowered constituent engagement and focused commitment by all of our colleagues at the “grass-roots” level of the university. Having wide ranging conversations and in-depth discussions, data transparency, and collegial tension will help figure out key strategic plan metrics and essential areas for new and continuing investment. Our institutional spirit of collaborative planning, shared vision, and strategic alignment of resources only strengthens our thinking and resolve to enhance a culture of data driven assessment and outcomes based performance measures that deliver institutional effectiveness.
What is budgeting? In essence, this process allows for collaborative and transparent decisions that distribute resources to enable institutional actions. A “new normal” has emerged within the State of Tennessee for its higher education systems. The competitive nature of financial planning for FY 2021 and beyond will require our university to better align budgetary investments that continue to keep UTC performing at the highest levels under the State of Tennessee’s outcome based funding formula known as the Complete College Tennessee Act (CCTA), which is based primarily upon metric centered outcomes driven by student persistence and degree completion. Competitive public universities will focus attention upon peer assessed tuition and fees benchmarking, state political dynamics, state economic position, Drive to 55, Tennessee Promise and Community College partnerships, expansion of online education, marketing and brand recognition, philanthropy and fundraising, alternative revenue streams, and always in first position, academic excellence and accreditation of programs.
To accomplish our strategic goals, we need your input and involvement. Department heads and division leaders have been instructed to offer opportunities for feedback from their staffs on budget priorities within their respective areas. As each core unit completes this process, major priorities and goals will be carried forward within each division for further discussion until all major division heads will eventually bring forward comprehensive budget proposals for their areas.
To stimulate conversations in some specific areas, we invite you to read the budget planning documents. Then give us your thoughts. Please know that your comments can be submitted confidentially unless you choose to include your name on the submission form.