Using Decentralized Budget Principles to Enhance Operational Effectiveness

Using Decentralized Budget Principles to Enhance Operational Effectiveness

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Find the right decentralized budget model for your institution and learn critical considerations for implementation.

Early Bird Pricing Expires in:

Institutions across the country are exploring areas of potential growth to enhance sustainable revenue streams. A decentralized budget model can remove the historical layers of incremental budgeting, allowing institutions to shed behaviors that are no longer productive and instead focus on what’s important.  

Join us for this program to walk through many of the decisions you and your institution need to consider when adopting decentralized budget principles. Thanks to expert-led presentations, group discussions, and hands-on working sessions, you will leave this event better prepared to determine what your institution’s unique budget model should look like and how you can approach model development and implementation collaboratively. We will cover the following topics: 

  • Building a budget model based upon your specific institutional needs 
  • Making critical allocation decisions around expenses and revenues 
  • Selecting a process to foster greater transparency and engagement 
  • Engaging campus leaders to understand and manage their new budgetary responsibilities 

Throughout the program, there will be opportunities for individualized and small-group consulting with our expert speakers. Adopting decentralized budget principles takes a substantial amount time and thoughtful planning; we will help you better understand the principles and the full process from model design and development through implementation and scheduled revisions.   


Two Back to Back Events — Find the Right Level of Training for You 

Want to be better equipped to analyze the use of academic resources to inform decision-making? Check out our conference, Academic Resourcing Models for Evidence-Based Decision-Making, taking place between December 5 - 6 in San Antonio, TX, right after this program. You can save $400 by registering for both events.

If you have questions about these programs or which would best fit your needs, please reach out to Program Manager, Nick Pettetto help determine which program is best for you. 


Who Should Attend — Bring Your Team! 

This program is suitable for financial and academic leaders from institutions of all sizes who are considering strategies to cultivate more responsible decision making with stronger resource management. This course is designed for both decentralized budget novices and those already familiar with Responsibility Centered Management (RCM) models. The content of this training is intended to meet the needs of those who want to gain a deeper understanding of a new or modified model prior to implementation. 


Bring your team and save! 

Save over 15% when you register three or more colleagues. 


CPE Credits Available

  • 12 for main conference

Program Field of Study: Finance 
Delivery Method: Group-Live 
Prerequisites: None 
Program Level: Basic 

Follow Through With Success Coaching

Have you ever gone to a training only to find that you came back with great ideas but don’t have the time, support, or skills needed to make the changes?

Academic Impressions has produced thousands of trainings and we have learned that utilizing a coach after attending a conference helps provide accountability and bridges the training with the on-the-ground work of getting the job done.

As a result, we are now offering success coaching on select conferences.

  • Purchase this training + 3 one hour follow up success coaching calls
  • Work with an assigned coach who has extensive experience in higher ed.
  • Get individualized support to help you follow through on what you’ve learned.
  • Workshop your plans, run your ideas by someone and get additional help/practice.

To learn more, contact Patricia Sandler at or purchase the Premium Pass with success coaching below.


Wednesday, December 4, 2019

8:30 – 5:30 p.m. 

Your registration fee includes full access to all conference sessions and materials, breakfast, lunch, and access to the networking reception on Wednesday, breakfast on Thursday, as well as refreshments and snacks throughout the conference. 


What Makes a Budget Model Successful?

During this interactive hour, you will be prompted to identify areas where your budget model is working (or not). Through a series of exercises, you will explore the nature of the obstacles between you and your goals. This session will be pivotal for selecting a model that supports your institutional values.   



Panel Discussion: Why Institutions Have Chosen a Decentralized Budget Model

Our experts will discuss their transformation from an incremental to an incentivized budget model. You will hear perspectives from three institutions, including South Dakota State University, Iowa State University, and Syracuse University. You will learn more about their challenges and why they needed a change by exploring their processes, timelines, and results. Our experts will share: 

  • Key drivers for change 
  • What was working and not working with the original budget 
  • How they balanced the budget to equalize the have and the have nots 
  • How to reserve funds for strategic projects 



Budget Models Across the Spectrum

With the support of our expert, you will deepen your understanding of what budget models are available and why you would select one over another. Our facilitator will introduce you to the principles, then allow you an opportunity to work with peers to match budget models to the specific challenges and definitions of success.   



Key Decisions to Build Your Decentralized Budget Model

There are multiple layers of decisions as you consider building or adjusting your budget model. Our experts will provide a roadmap for the key decisions they made in order to determine the revenue, expenses, and other allocations. This guidance will help you create a fair structure by learning to anticipate some of the most daunting and contentious accommodations. 



Consulting Time

You will have the opportunity to participate in an individualized or small group consulting session with one of our experts. Advanced preparation will be required to get the most out from this session. During this hour, you will have space to communicate your challenges and receive tailored guidance.   



Networking Reception

This informal reception is your chance to decompress, have some refreshments on us, and expand your network of connections. Our programs are intentionally designed for smaller groups, so this is a great time to catch-up with attendees and speakers whom you may not have connected with yet. 


Thursday, December 5, 2019

8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. 


Redistributing Revenue to Support the Mission

This hour will cover the essential elements of most incentive-based budgeting systems, especially those relying on Responsibility Centered Management (RCM) principles. You will learn how our speakers’ institutions have chosen to deal with these issues in order to fine-tune their revenue distributions. 



Piloting, Implementation, and Training Methods

You will learn several methods for piloting a new budget model. These methods will include the time-line, structure, iteration process, and most importantly, the accompanying training for unit leaders and key constituents to better understand and use the model in support of institutional goals. 



Panel: Collaboration with Faculty and Gaining the Support You Need

In a decentralized budget model, responsibility and decision-making go hand in hand, which requires a new level of engagement with the budgeting process. During this candid discussion, you will learn how to identify champions and partner with faculty and leadership from the start, to maximize internal collaboration and support.   



Action Planning and Wrap-Up

With the help of our planning tools provided in your workbook, you will have an opportunity to complete your preliminary action plan for when you return to campus.   

December 4 - 5, 2019

San Antonio, TX

Conference Hotel:

Grand Hyatt San Antonio
600 East Market Street
San Antonio, TX 78205

Room Rate: $189 + tax
Room Block Dates: The nights of December 3, 4 and 5, 2019.
Rate Available Until: November 13, 2019.

Please book early - rooms are limited and subject to availability.

Reserve Your Room: Please call 210.224.1234 and indicate that you are with the Academic Impressions group to receive the group rate.



Larry Goldstein

President, Campus Strategies, LLC,

His consulting interests cover a wide range of topics including higher education budgeting, strategic planning, and strategic resource allocation. He writes and speaks frequently on these and related topics. He is the author of A Guide to College and University Budgeting: Foundations for Institutional Effectiveness and has co-authored several publications, including Presidential Transitions.

Read Larry's full bio here.


Darin Wohlgemuth

Associate Teaching Professor and former Vice President for Budgeting and Planning, Iowa State University

From 2006 to 2019, Darin held a joint appointment with Enrollment Services and the Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost, Budget and Planning.  He leads the Enrollment Research Team, conducting research and analysis on a variety of enrollment issues, including pricing, budgeting, and strategic recruitment.

Read Darin's full bio here.

Holbeck, Mike_2017_web

Mike Holbeck

Associate Vice President of Finance and Budget, South Dakota State University

Mike’s current role includes university-wide financial modeling, policy development, and financial reporting and analysis. Over the last couple of years one of his major undertakings has been helping to lead the change from a historical incremental budget model to a new Decentralized Budget Model (DBM).

Read Mike's full bio here.

Discounted pricing is available for teams:
  • 1-2 people: full price
  • 3-4 people: 15% off each registration
  • 5-7 people: 20% off each registration
  • 8 + people: 25% off each registration


  • All presentation materials

  • Main Conference

  • Breakfast & Lunch

  • Networking Reception

  • 3 Follow Up
    Success Coaching Calls

  • -


Conference Pass

  • -

  • $1,395

    through Nov 15 $1,495

Premium Pass

  • $1,995

    through Nov 15 $2,095

Conference Pass

  • All presentation materials

  • Main Conference

  • Breakfast & Lunch

  • Networking Reception

  • $1,395

    through Nov 15 $1,495

Premium Pass

  • All presentation materials

  • Main Conference

  • Breakfast & Lunch

  • Networking Reception

  • 3 Follow Up Success Coaching Calls

  • $2,095

    through Nov 15 $2,195

To purchase options a-la-cart, please see below:

Questions About the Event?


Nick Pettet
Program Manager, Academic Impressions

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