As we have settled into our new roles at UCLA this past year, we have recognized a need for increased academic engagement in our campus’s approach to academic planning and budgeting projects and processes. From discussions with faculty and staff from units across campus, it is clear that there are opportunities to boost collaboration between the Office of the EVCP, Office of the CFO, Office of Academic Planning and Budget, UCLA College, professional schools, Academic Senate and administrative units that will help us provide greater transparency and better align budget and planning processes, methods and practices with our university’s institutional aims.
This need for increased collaboration is especially critical given the substantial changes now underway at UCLA, among them an expansion of enrollment in line with the UC 2030 goals, growth in our campus’s physical footprint, new budget obligations resulting from the recent academic employee contract agreements, changes to our technology and academic infrastructure, and changes to the amount of space available on campus as employees have increasingly been working remotely.
As one step towards this goal, this fall we created a new, temporary position of special assistant to the EVCP for academic planning and budget. This position, which will work in close partnership with the interim vice chancellor and chief financial officer, will be filled by Jeff Lewis, a professor of political science who has been at UCLA for more than 20 years. Professor Lewis has served as chair of his department, chair of the UCLA College Faculty Executive Committee, and a member of the Academic Senate’s Council on Planning and Budget, among other roles.
As special assistant, Professor Lewis will provide an additional faculty perspective on a number of projects underway to modernize and improve UCLA’s academic budgeting and resource allocation efforts.
The first project that Professor Lewis will focus on is the Bruin Budget Model — a revised framework for allocating funding from the central campus to academic and administrative units that is more transparent, more empowering of our schools and colleges, and more responsive to changing circumstances. While implementation of the model was postponed last year, we strongly believe that the adoption of the model remains critical to securing a healthy financial future for UCLA.
Professor Lewis has already convened a working group of faculty, staff and deans from across campus charged with developing recommendations for refining and implementing the Bruin Budget Model. The group’s focus will be on finalizing the initial version of the model for launch and developing a transition plan that addresses to the greatest extent possible the concerns of campus stakeholders. The group will provide recommendations for the implementation of the final budget model, and will help review and provide feedback on the model after launch to ensure it is serving our university well.
Professor Lewis is available if individuals or groups are interested in discussing his efforts. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We believe that smart adjustments to our resource allocation practices will be critical if UCLA is to maximize the use of our limited resources to develop effective academic programs for our students, maximize the power of our research, and deepen our global impact. Please join us in thanking Professor Lewis for playing a central part in this work, and thank you all for supporting this effort to ensure UCLA’s long-term success.
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost
Interim Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer