2.13: Faculty Participation in University Planning and Budgeting


To specify the nature and extent of faculty participation in University planning and budgeting activities, and the means by which faculty participation will be effected.

Policy Statement

The critical role of the faculty in the University, including its acknowledged responsibility for the curriculum, necessitates substantive faculty participation in planning and budgeting activities at all levels of the University.  This in turn requires that faculty will be provided, on a timely basis, with the information needed to understand and advise administrators on planning and budgetary matters. 

Faculty participation in planning and budgeting has been identified by the American Association of University Professors as an essential component of joint governance (See the AAUP’s statement on the matter, adopted in May 1972, and reconfirmed in April 1990).  Faculty participation stems from the faculty’s role in curriculum planning:  Faculty are best qualified to advise administrators regarding the initiation, structuring, staffing, and termination of academic programs, all of which have major budgetary implications.  Faculty participation in University planning and budgeting is also supported by prevailing “best practices” in organizational management:  Involving faculty in such matters increases their engagement with and commitment to the University, thereby improving faculty motivation and performance.

Notwithstanding these considerations, the faculty’s role in University planning and budgeting is subject to limits that are delineated herein.  In addition, the nature of the faculty’s participation and the means by which it should be achieved vary across organizational levels, from departmental to institutional.  These too are specified in the policy.


While faculty have been and should be centrally involved in the development of the University’s long-range strategic plan, the present policy is primarily concerned with the development of short-term (one year) plans and budgets, an activity that reoccurs annually.

Though it requires faculty to be involved in a wide range of university planning and budgeting activities, this policy does not apply to the determination of salaries, benefits, and other matters covered by the current “Master Agreement” between The UNI-United Faculty and The Board of Regents, State of Iowa.

Finally, while this policy encourages University administrators at all levels to give great weight and thoughtful consideration to faculty recommendations regarding planning and budgetary matters, it recognizes that administrators are ultimately responsible for making related decisions.  The faculty’s role is advisory, although administrators may choose to delegate certain decision making authority to faculty. 


Nature and Means of Faculty Participation

The “what” and “how” of faculty participation in planning and budgeting varies with the organizational level of that activity in the University.  The policy’s requirements for each level are as follows:

  • Department.  Faculty disciplinary expertise is most significant at this level.  Consequently, departmental faculty shall be involved in all planning and budgetary decisions regarding faculty positions and additions, changes to, and terminations of academic programs.  They should also participate in searches for faculty and other instructional staff, both in determining the disciplinary backgrounds and qualifications of desired candidates and in the recruiting and selection process.  Finally, faculty input should be included in the design and prioritization of other budgetary initiatives.  In all cases, faculty participation should, at a minimum, be effected through department meetings, scheduled to encourage attendance by all voting faculty.  If requested by a member of the faculty, votes shall be taken at these meetings to determine the faculty’s budgetary preferences and priorities.  The results of any such votes shall be transmitted to the College Dean and Senate.
  • College.  Faculty should participate in the development of college-level budgetary initiatives, and in the prioritization of initiatives forwarded from departments.  They should also have input into decisions by which faculty lines and other resources are allocated within a college.  This involvement shall be effected through meetings of College Senates, with the stipulation that such meetings must be well publicized so college faculty are able to attend or otherwise make their views known.  The Deans shall present their preliminary funding decisions to the College Senates, which may endorse them in full, in part, or may recommend other priorities.  The Dean’s recommendations, along with those of the College Senates, shall be transmitted to the Provost and UNI Faculty Senate.
  • Academic Affairs.  The UNI Faculty Senate will serve as the vehicle for faculty participation in planning and budgeting at this and higher levels of the University.  Once plans and budgetary requests from the colleges and other academic units have been collected by the Provost’s Office, they will be shared with the Senate, or its designated committee, which will offer its views on the desirability, feasibility, and priority of the proposals.  The Senate’s assessment will be discussed with the Provost in a consultative session to be held before the Academic Affairs’ budget request is forwarded to University administration.  The Provost shall present her/his preliminary funding decisions to the Senate, which may endorse them in full or in part, or may recommend other priorities.  The Provost’s recommendations, along with those of the Senate, shall be transmitted to the President.
  • University.  After budgetary requests have been collected from all divisions of the University, pertinent information will be provided to the UNI Faculty Senate.  Soon thereafter, the President and/or Senior Vice President for Administration and Financial Services shall meet in a consultative session with the UNI Faculty Senate to discuss major budgetary issues and priorities.  Input from the Senate should influence development of the University’s final budget proposal.  Once this proposal has reached the “near final” draft, it will be provided to the UNI Faculty Senate, which will be given the opportunity to comment on it, through a formal resolution, letter from the Senate Chair, or meeting between Senate and Administration representatives.

Major Budgetary “Events” 

In addition to being involved in the development of University plans and budgets, the faculty, through the UNI Faculty Senate, must also be involved when the University has to respond to major budgetary “events,” developments that result in significant positive or negative deviations from the current budget.  Examples of such “events” include:  unexpected cutbacks in state funding; significant enrollment increases or decreases; and large necessary, but unanticipated, expenditures. Thus, whenever the University experiences a large positive or negative deviation from its current budgetary plan, the Senate must be notified and included in the development of a response to that deviation.

UNI Faculty Senate, approved April 14, 2014; April 27, 2015
President’s Cabinet, approved October 6, 2014 / April 27, 2015
President and Executive Management Team, approved April 20, 2015 / April 27, 2015