| 03.18.2018

Allocate to operate — Provost presents the Program Prioritization plan, expresses need for input on ranking critiques

The University of Idaho is seeking new ways to better use resources and achieve its goals to grow and develop.

At Tuesday’s Faculty Senate meeting, Provost and Executive Vice President John Wiencek gave a presentation on the university’s Program Prioritization plan. The plan will help the university better allocate direct funds and resources to areas that have high-priority needs, Wiencek said.

“Basically, Program Prioritization is a process by which academic institutions assess and prioritize programs, departments and services in order to ensure that they’re making the best use of resources,” Wiencek said.

The program, put together on behalf of the Institutional Planning and Effectiveness Committee (IPEC) will help the university grow as a whole and better distribute funds, Wiencek said. The program was developed in response to the State Board of Education’s requirement that, on a yearly basis, every state university in Idaho have a prioritization program to report on.

Wiencek said there are many resources that will help reallocate the money.

“Some may come from increased tuition revenue from enrollment growth and other sources of revenue like gifts,” Wiencek said. “But some of the revenue must come from the university itself.”

The university cannot move large sums of money at once and, to help with this, Wiencek said the money will be taken in smaller increments and distributed to high-priority regions when necessary.

A fundamental part of the program prioritization plan is position control, Wiencek said. This is the system that determines whether the funds are available, due to the vacated position, will be used to refill that position or be reallocated. He said a vacancy occurs when someone leaves their position, such as when they retire.

Based on a set of criteria, Wiencek said the UI academic and sports departments will be ranked into separate quintiles, which will determine their priority.

Wiencek said there are five quintiles, which will organize the departments based on priority. Quintile one means the department is able to refill their vacant position with their funds and quintile five means all funds are reallocated. This is all set up in order to help determine where funds should be allocated the most, Wiencek said

The critique in which departments are ranked is not finalized, as the two workgroups assigned to draft the criteria are searching for UI’s input.

Wiencek said IPEC will examine what the UI community has to say about the critique and notify the workgroups on any suggestions they had on changing the criteria.

“We’ve got a lot of the basic pieces in place, but we need input on how evaluations are done and that was one of the critiques that was loud and clear during the last process,” Wiencek said.

Savannah Cardon can be reached at arg-news@uidaho.edu or on Twitter @savannahlcardon

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