Strategic Budgeting, Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions
Mission Enhancement Fund
Will outcome-based metrics–such as graduation rates or degrees conferred–be used as part of the allocation formula?

The Strategic Budgeting Initiative is designed to advance the University’s strategic goals. While consideration was given to including in outcome measures such as college-level graduation rates or degrees awarded in the budget model itself, doing so would have increased model complexity and could have led to unintended consequences. Hence, the proposed model incentivizes activities such as generating credit-hours, enrolling and advising students, and conducting sponsored programs that should be associated with the accomplishment of these other strategic goals.

Will present funding shortfalls and inequities be considered in determining future allocations?

(For purposes of answering this question – “present funding shortfalls” is defined as the difference between resources needed and resources provided to fulfill a college or school’s mission.)

One of the principal problems that Auburn’s Strategic Budgeting Model is designed to solve is potential funding shortfalls and inequities that have resulted from years of incremental budgeting. However, the approach being taken does not attempt to define the “right” amount of resources needed to fulfill each unit’s mission. Instead, the creation of a Mission Enhancement Fund, a central pool of resources for Senior Leadership, is being created so that a discussion can be held to identify where additional resources should be allocated to support mission-critical activities.

Are major equipment purchases part of the support received from Mission Enhancement Funds?

The Mission Enhancement Fund does not contain a pool of funding explicitly committed to major equipment purchases, but if the budget development process identifies such purchases as a strategic investment for the University’s benefit, funding could be committed for this purpose. It is likely that funds to purchase major equipment specific to any one college or school will need to be identified from unit reserves or from sponsors, though support from the Mission Enhancement Fund is not ruled out.

Are restricted funds (donor funds, advisory board dues, industry partnership support, sponsored activity funding, etc.) subject to the participation rate for the Mission Enhancement Fund?

One-time, annual and endowed gifts, as well as other sources of revenue processed by the Auburn University Foundation or the Office of Sponsored Programs and classified as restricted are NOT subject to the participation rate for the Mission Enhancement Fund.

Last updated: May 18, 2021