Interim Provost Tracy introduces values-based budget model at forum

By Amelia Orwick

Interim Provost Tim Tracy hosted an open forum to discuss the new financial model at the Biopharmaceutical Building on Friday afternoon.

Tracy is overseeing the transition from an incremental budget to an incentive-based model.

According to Tracy’s presentation, not only will revenues be distributed to colleges and units based on known formulas, but colleges and units will have the opportunity to access centrally held strategic investment funds.

Benefits of the new model include promotion of entrepreneurship, alignment of revenues and costs, and facilitation of conversations about priorities, Tracy reported.

In considering the new model, Tracy reiterated the importance of focusing on “metrics of student success,” which include collaboration, diversity/inclusivity and innovation and entrepreneurship.

Tracy also shared a short list of other universities that have used value-based models to assure the audience that UK is not the first.

“You’ll notice that they are a variety of different types of universities,” Tracy said.

Other land-grant institutions that have implemented similar models include Purdue, Ohio State and Auburn.

Tracy admitted that there will be bumps in the road during the beginning stages of implementation.

“We won’t get it perfect,” Tracy said. “We will course correct as we need to course correct.”

One faculty member questioned the set of skills that will be required of faculty and staff members for the new model to work effectively.

“This is going to require something a little different because you’re going to be thinking a lot more like a business,” Tracy said.

In recent weeks, graduate students have also expressed concern for the direction in which the university is headed and for their own well-being.

In response to a question about tuition, most specifically for graduate students, Tracy responded by saying, “The one that’s going to take a little more thought and that we’re beginning to walk through … the graduate tuition question.”

There will be another opportunity for faculty, staff and students to address this issue and others at the second open forum in the Lexmark Room of the Main Building on Monday at 1 p.m.