Business Officer, the monthly flagship magazine published by the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) in Washington, D.C., recently published a series of articles featuring some of American University’s efforts to maintain sound finances. AU’s methods are especially noteworthy, as the university not only remained unscathed during the Great Recession of the past few years, but in fact made a significant investment to move forward with its new Strategic Plan.
The articles focus on the work the university does to stay ahead of the curve of unanticipated and future crises. In particular, they note AU’s pilot project for application of the Baldrige/Excellence in Higher Education (EHE) model that employs a “think-tank” approach to improve budget and finance processes by creating a sense of urgency to motivate improvements in process and practice. As a result of the pilot, AU currently has 26 individual projects prioritized for implementation, eight of which are in progress and expected to be implemented during academic year 2011-2012.
“Our plans for AU’s future are ambitious and hold tremendous opportunity for progress,” says CFO Don Myers. “Improvements to our budget and finance processes resulting from this initiative will strengthen the foundation necessary to make that vision a reality. Recognition from NACUBO and business officers around the country offers further validation for our efforts.”
By utilizing the EHE model, AU also is advancing our Strategic Plan’s goals for innovation and high performance by exploring ways to improve budget and finance processes; identify strengths and areas for improvement’ consider exemplary practices; and adopt best practices that could be presented to – and applied potentially by – other institutions.
To learn more about the pilot project and AU’s application of the EHE model, be sure to read the Business Officer articles.