Building a More Strategic Budget for Your Academic Department Webcast Recording



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Learn how to re-examine your budgeting process to help you better align resources with your strategic goals. This webcast will provide building blocks for approaching a strategic departmental budget, regardless of the model you are using. Throughout the training, you will walk through key ways to strengthen your budget model, including how you can better:

  • Analyze direct and indirect academic costs
  • Align your departmental and institutional goals
  • Understand the contribution of your department using non-financial measures
  • Explore best practices in resource allocation
  • Build fiscal accountability within your department

Sample Budget Worksheets and Models

Included in your registration are a number of resources to help you build a strategic budget, including:

  • Planning models
  • Budget worksheet
  • New program business model
  • Action planning template
  • Recommended readings

Who Should Attend

This program is best suited for those who build and track academic departmental budgets. Possible roles include:

  • Departmental budget directors
  • Department chairs and faculty
  • Finance professionals (new to higher ed)
  • Deans and department heads
  • Other chief academic administrators

Learning Outcome

After participating in this online training, you will be able to take a more strategic approach to budgeting within your department.  


  • Strengthening your budgetary model
    • Challenging traditional modes of budget development
    • Aligning institutional and departmental goals
  • Aligning your department activities with your institution’s strategic priorities
    • Developing actionable objectives around departmental goals
    • Conducting historical analysis of departmental resource allocation
    • Identifying gaps for resource allocation adjustment
  • Building a strategic departmental budget model
    • Considering fixed and variable departmental costs
    • Assessing and evaluating budgetary priorities (sample walk through)
  • Key takeaways and resources to enhance your strategic approach


Robert Knight, Vice President, Finance and Operations, University of Northern British Columbia

As Vice President, Robert Knight’s portfolio includes finance, human resources, facilities, information technology, procurement, and security and safety for all students, faculty and staff of the University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George, British Columbia.

Robert has extensive experience in senior administration and finance roles at academic institutions. Before coming to UNBC in April 2016, Robert served as the principal administrative and financial officer for the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development at New York University, managing the central administrative operations of the school, including human resources, budget and finance, information technology, and space allocation and facilities.

Prior to going to NYU in 2010, he served as associate dean for finance and administration at Case Western Reserve University’s School of Engineering and at its Weatherhead School of Management. He has also served as assistant vice chancellor for finance and administration at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and financial planning and budget director at Oberlin College.


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