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Responsibility Centered Management

This guide serves as a collection point for information pertaining to Responsibility Centered Management.

Critiques & Criticism

Adams, E. M. (1997). Rationality in the academy: Why responsibility center budgeting is a wrong step down the wrong road. Change, 29, 58-61.
    The introduction of Responsibility Center Budgeting (RCB) in universities undermines educational policy and further weakens their ability to combat the dominance of materialistic values. According to Edward L. Whalen in Responsibility Center Budgeting: An Approach to Decentralized Management for Institutions of Higher Education, RCB divides a university into a number of units, each of which is responsible for generating its own income and managing its own budgets. Educational policy should be governed mainly by the requirements of human enterprise, not just economic enterprise. What is more, a university should focus on what are commonly called “the arts and the sciences.” RCB forces income-producing courses, projects, and research to be emphasized over ones that serve the educational needs of students.

The Advisory Board Company. (2011). Implementing a responsibility center management budget model: Challenges and strategies.  
    Across contact institutions, the principal challenge in adopting an RCM budget model is balancing accounting precision with simplicity and predictability. Contacts encourage soliciting input from different stakeholders across the institution, often in the form of committees, in order to cultivate support for the RCM model. Contacts stress the importance of  being open to adjusting the budget model to better suit individual university needs. Contacts acknowledge that interdisciplinary work and cross-registration present challenges to the revenue allocation methodology, because it is difficult to precisely define the way revenue should be credited. In order to effectively manage the accounting tasks associated with the RCM model, contact institutions use a combination of simple spreadsheet documents and more sophisticated data management software, noting advantages for each approach.

Agostino, D. (1993). The impact of responsibility center management on communications departments. Journal of the Association for Communication Administration, (1), 23-26.
    This article discusses the impact of responsibility center management (RCM) on the communications departments in universities in the U.S. RCM has pointed out several problems with university fiscal planning which bear directly on communications programs. First, there is no budget provision for the planned replacement of expensive theater, telecommunications, or journalism equipment. Second, under RCM departments with auxiliary-type activities such as theater, a television station or student newspaper have difficulty taxing other credit-granting academic units for those contributions to community. The university needs these outreach and artistic activities to educate the students, to provide a cultural environment appealing to good scholars, and to strengthen those values embodied in the notion of a university. But RCM seems to leave these activities wholly in the external marketplace, often too small or too competitive a site.

Bugeja, M. J. (2012, May 29). Stamping out rubber-stamp collegiality. Chronicle of Higher Education.
    In the past year, public colleges and universities across the country have been shrinking degree programs and terminating personnel--including tenured professors--in an effort to cope with budget cuts in higher education. The situation is not confined to a handful of mismanaged public institutions, as in the past. It is a national phenomenon and the inevitable outcome of three trends that have been incubating now for a decade: (1) expanding curricula; (2) reduced legislative support; and (3) increased student debt. Academe needs a new budget model. But a model alone will not resolve the crisis as long as professors maintain a rubber-stamp culture that blithely expands course catalogs and degree programs. When budgets are stable, pedagogical expansion is not a problem. When budgets are unstable, administrators and trustees are forced to eliminate or consolidate programs to maintain overall quality and all-important academic rankings. But that expansion is the end of a long process of professorial niceties involving the creation of curricula. Faculty members, in part, are at fault for their willingness to approve too many new courses and degree programs without realistically assessing: (1) demand for the course or program; (2) impact on other programs in the institution (i.e., duplication); (3) complications involving scheduling and staffing; (4) effect on degree progress (especially four-year graduation rates); and (5) cost involving workload and personnel concerns. Administrators at the provost and presidential levels have unintentionally exacerbated the rubber-stamp culture by instituting budget models based on so-called responsibility-centered management (RCM). Promoted by the corporate world, RCM essentially operates on one concept: Reward revenue-generating activities, such as student credit hours. This author states that it is time to stamp out "rubber-stamp collegiality," and a good way to start is at the individual level. Professors should incorporate innovative or timely content in an existing course, such as a seminar or workshop, rather than propose new courses. Also, they should pretest demand for the course and document the students' interest for the department and college curriculum committees. In the end, a budget model that recognizes programs with timely graduation rates and rewards departments for streamlining the curriculum rather than for expanding it is needed. Professors can require fewer credits to earn a particular degree and give faculty senates and curriculum committees more power to avoid curricular duplication and expansion. Meanwhile, administrators, working in partnership with the senates and committees, can require "program responsibility statements," detailing the pedagogical territory of each department. All of that would go a long way toward ending course duplication across departments, reducing time to earn a degree (and thus, student debt loads), and restoring public faith in administrators' ability to manage state dollars wisely.

Carlson, S. (2015, February 13). Colleges 'unleash the deans' with decentralized budgets. Chronicle of Higher Education 61, (22), A4-A6.
    The article discusses the use of the Responsibility Center Management (RCM) model for decentralized budgets by U.S. universities and colleges. Topics include the role of deans in an RCM budget process, the implementation of RCM as incentive-based budgeting at the University of Vermont (UVM), and a failed attempt to use RCM at Dominican University of California.

Deering, D. & Lang, D. W. (2017). Responsibility center budgeting and management "lite" in university finance. Planning for Higher Education 45, (3), 94-109.
    The article discusses why universities in the U.S. deploy RCB/RCM only partially despite its promise of revenue generation, cost reduction, and a host of other benefits. The University of Toronto and Queen's University reportedly deployed performance-based budgeting prior to the installation of RCB/RCM. The experience of the University of Michigan was similar to the experiences of Toronto and Queen's from performance-based budgeting to RCB/RCM for academic divisions and a few service units.

Deering, D. & Sá, C. (2018). Do corporate management tools inevitably corrupt the soul of the university? Evidence from the implementation of responsibility center budgeting. Tertiary Education & Management 24, (2), 115-127.
    The use of corporate management tools in universities has been widely critiqued in recent decades, as it is viewed as undermining academic goals and promoting marketization and corporatization. Responsibility center budgeting (RCB) is one popular management tool that has been decried as promoting market logics, internal competition and institutional fragmentation. This comparative case study investigated four North American universities that employed RCB for several years, to investigate the relationship between unit autonomy and coordination. Site visits and interviews with key informants were conducted at the four universities, supplemented by document analysis. The analysis identifies widely different experiences between two sets of universities. Findings show that the ability of the central administration to promote vertical coordination is critical to mitigating the adverse consequences of RCB.

Dick, R. C. (1992). Prospective impact of responsibility center budgeting on communication and theatre programs: view from a state supported university. Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association Chicago, IL. (ED351723). ERIC.
    In response to the nationwide trend toward increased financial pressures and growing demands by state legislatures for accountability, several large universities (including Indiana University) have adopted various forms of "responsibility center budgeting" (RCB), which has fiscal implications for programs in speech communication and related disciplines. In responsibility center budgeting, part or all of tuition and sponsored research revenues are returned to a unit in direct proportion to what is earned. The large service role assumed by speech communication programs cannot be taken for granted, especially if the units being serviced will have a fiscal incentive in the future to offer their own courses. When costs of equipment are passed along to faculty consumers, a new budgetary perspective is gained. If a strictly dollar-and-cents mentality were to drive RCB, and credit hours were the sole measure of productivity, then many classes in speech communication (and other courses requiring small class sizes), would be in trouble. RCB could put co-curricular or intercollegiate programs in jeopardy, particularly if a center director were placed in a desperate financial situation. The matter of off-campus offerings can be resolved by assigning full academic credit to the department. Overall, despite the potential pitfalls of RCB, the implementation of the system during the early developmental years at Indiana University Indianapolis has suggested that it has the potential to serve as a prototype for helping state-supported institutions successfully meet the fiscal challenge of the 1990s and beyond.

Dubeck, L. W. (1997). Beware higher ed's newest budget twist. Thought & Action 13, (1), 81-91.
    A new budgeting concept currently popular in colleges and universities, Responsibility Centered Management (RCM) holds that unit heads, who understand their operations best, should be given greater budgetary authority and responsibility. Experience with the system at Indiana University and several hypothetical cases suggest that RCM would place academic considerations in conflict with profit motives. Concerns about RCM are enumerated.

Fethke, G. C. & Policano, A. J. (2019). Centralized (CAM) versus decentralized budgeting (RCM) approaches in implementing public university strategy. Journal of Education Finance 45, (2), 172-197.
    This paper compares and critiques two budgeting models used at public universities: Central Administrative Management (CAM), and Resource Centered Management (RCM). These approaches represent alternative resource allocation methods: under CAM budgets are assigned centrally based primarily on allocation history, while RCM relies on decentralized rules and pricing mechanisms that react to current conditions. A primary question is: Do administrators possess the needed expertise and information to make informed budgetary decisions, or are decisions better executed in a decentralized manner, relying on "market-like" prices as guides? Effective budgetary frameworks display the following features: (1) transparency; (2) ease of implementation; (3) predictability; (4) responsiveness; (5) alignment of incentives; (6) minimal influence costs; (7) economic efficiency; (8) equity; (9) internalizing private benefits and costs; (10) internalizing public benefits and costs; and (11) increasing revenue/reducing costs. Our assessment is that CAM is preferred for its ease of implementation, predictability, perceived fairness, and conceptual if not actual ability to deal with public benefits and costs. RCM has the advantages of transparency, ability to respond to changes in the environment, incentive alignment, reduction of influence costs, economic efficiency, internalizing private benefits, increasing revenue, and reducing costs. Neither model performs effectively unless there is a carefully developed vision and mission that set priorities.

Franklin, B. (2007). The privatization of public university research libraries. portal: Libraries and the Academy 7, (4), 407-414.
    Are we witnessing the privatization of public university research libraries? There is convincing evidence that, in an era of decreasing state support for public higher education, public universities have begun to resemble private universities, particularly in their sources of revenue. A number of indicators demonstrate that public universities, like private universities, are increasingly dependent on tuition and fees, federal grants and contracts, private gifts, and revenues from auxiliary services. How has this shift in revenue sources affected public university research libraries? Are public university research libraries beginning to resemble private university research libraries in how they are funded as well? Preliminary findings suggest that public university research libraries may also be funded in ways increasingly similar to private university research libraries.

Goldstein, L. (2019). College and university budgeting: A guide for academics and other stakeholders (5th ed.). National Association of College and University Business Officers.
    Updated throughout to account for recent issues in budgeting, the fifth edition includes coverage of factors essential to the success of the budgeting process, including open communication with stakeholders, clear articulation of the budget to the strategic plan, budget implementation and monitoring process, and the role of technology.

Heath, R. (1993). Responsibility center budgeting: A review and commentary on the concept and the process. Journal of the Association for Communication Administration, (1), 1-10.
    This article focuses on the concept and the process of responsibility center budgeting. Academic publications, professional newsletters, convention conversations, E-mail, departmental bulletin boards, and hallway conversations at academic institutions are filled with voiced concerns about the future of higher education--specifically budgets related to academic and research program support. In tough times, innovation is essential. One innovation is responsibility center budgeting (RCB) which may empower faculty to feel confident that if they generate more income and lower costs for their colleges and universities they will be allowed to determine how those extra funds will be spent. Since faculty talent is the only service commodity that is for sale on campuses, RCB is a concept intended to encourage faculty members and academic officers to innovate to increase revenue and reduce costs. The motivation for this innovation is the opportunity to directly benefit from the rewards of their labor and thereby have more finances to strengthen their academic and research programs.

Kirp, D. L. (2003). The corporation of learning: Nonprofit higher education takes lessons from business. Research & Occasional Paper Series. CSHE.5.03. Research & Occasional Paper Series, University of California, Berkeley Center for Studies in Higher Education. 5. (ED503632). ERIC.
    This essay examines the ways in which nonprofit universities increasingly emulate businesses, focusing on two of the most direct forms of emulation: the creation of internal university markets at the University of Southern California through adoption of variants of resource center management (RCM) and the privatization of public higher education at the University of Virginia. (Contains 55 endnotes.)

Lang, D. W. (1999). A primer on responsibility centre budgeting and responsibility centre management. Professional File Winter 1999(17): 1-37. (ED445620). ERIC.
    This monograph is a "how-to" manual on responsibility center budgeting (RCB) and responsibility center management (RCM) in the context of Canadian and U.S. institutions. It explains how RCB/RCM works in practice and discusses some of the problems encountered in implementing this strategy at a number of Canadian and U.S. universities. The paper reviews the basic elements of RCB/RCM, which includes the calculation of all revenue generated by an academic unit, recalibrated periodically to ensure the reliability of cost information; the advantages of RCB/RCM in exposing costs that are often known but not recognized; the problems and disadvantages of RCB/RCM, including an institution's assumption that it has more knowledge of costs than it actually does have; how to install and costs of RCB/RCM, noting the need for a long-term commitment to the principles of RCB/RCM and a long-term understanding of markets and program costs; and the relationship of RCB/RCM to institutional plans and mission statements. In concluding the paper some RCB/RCM do's and don'ts are offered, along with a brief discussion of the future of RCB/RCM. A series of charts on central overhead model methodology, as well as financial worksheets are included. (Contains 36 book/journal references and 23 institutional reports on RCB/RCM.)

Lazerson, M. (1997). RCM & higher education. Change 29, (2), 40-61.
    A special section on Responsibility Center Management (RCM) and higher education. Articles discuss fiscal reform at the University of California, Los Angeles; a departmentally based system of RCM at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis; and why RCM is a wrong step.

Lovrinic, J. G., et al. (1993). Developing an economic model: How one midwestern university is approaching cost control. Business Officer, 27, 34-38.
    Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis developed an economic model for resource allocation in its dental school and undergraduate business administration program, using responsibility centered management and total quality management techniques. The evolution, design, results, and limitations of the model are discussed.

Meisinger, R. J. (1994). College and university budgeting: An introduction for faculty and academic administrators (2nd ed.). National Association of College and University Business Officers.
    Developed and edited by the National Association of College and University Business Officers' (NACUBO's) Accounting Principles Council, this guidebook, written by highly experienced, seasoned college and university leaders, is designed to help readers make sense of today's world and provide the right tools to make the right decisions.

Myers, G. M. (2019). Responsibility center budgeting as a mechanism to deal with academic moral hazard. Canadian Journal of Higher Education, 49(3), 13-23.
    Universities face inherent informational asymmetries. These make university budgeting prone to various challenges including moral hazard. The last forty years has seen some large research- intensive universities move from centralized incremental budgeting to decentralized Responsibility Center Budgeting (RCB). It is assumed that a faculty chooses a level of costly effort in generating revenue for the university. The level of faculty effort is not observable by the central administration. When there is no revenue uncertainty or when the faculty is not risk averse, pure RCB is best from the perspective of the administration. The intuition is that pure RCB fully aligns financial responsibility with academic authority, that is, it makes the faculty the residual claimant. Once the faculty is risk averse, partial RCB is optimal. Partial RCB provides a balance between providing the right incentives to the faculty and the university reducing the revenue risk faced by the faculty.

Pappone, D. J. (2016). Financing public higher education: The impact of responsibility center management on a public research university. [Doctoral dissertation, University of Minnesota]. ProQuest LLC.
    To explore the impacts on public universities of implementing an incentive-based budgeting system, this dissertation focuses on one university's extensive experience with Responsibility Center Management. The financial and non-financial impacts of Responsibility Center Management will be considered by examining the extent to which commonly held beliefs about Responsibility Center Management are supported by empirical data. Interviews with twenty-one key leaders at the University of Minnesota are the primary data source for understanding the extent to which actual experience supports common beliefs about Responsibility Center Management. Review of financial and other quantitative data, as well as internal documents, also inform the investigation. Responsibility Center Management is found to have a multitude of impacts on the finances and culture of an institution, and interpretation of these impacts is often dependent on one's philosophical views on public higher education. By understanding the actual outcomes and potential pitfalls associated with Responsibility Center Management, university leaders are better informed as they navigate the challenging road ahead for public higher education. 

Randel, D. M. (2012). The market made me do it. Liberal Education 98, (3), 6-13.
    Higher education is not only about money. At whatever appropriate cost as borne by whomever, it is supposed to provide life-long value to the students and to society. Yet some critics now complain that in the current system, with its rising costs, students are not in general learning much if anything, and there is a good deal of data to suggest that many college students work rather little and are guided in the main by social rather than academic concerns. Whose fault is that? Once again, the faculty is often assigned the blame. If only the faculty cared more about their students and less about their research, all would be well, say the critics. Higher education exists in a very competitive market for the talent of both faculty and students. Yet a familiar complaint about colleges and universities is that they do not know their customers and respond to their wishes. Colleges and universities have changed steadily in response to the wishes and inclinations of students and their parents, often in ways that are then lamented by the critics who claim that higher education costs too much and that students are not learning anything. The institutions that have built elaborate recreational facilities and food courts and other amenities so often complained about by the critics have built them not because the faculty or even most administrators thought them essential to an education of high quality. They have built these things because the market has demanded them and has been willing to pay for them to some degree. The faculty, meanwhile, faced with a good many students (and some of their parents) who complain about their grades and who relentlessly choose courses with little assigned reading and no assigned writing, may very well come to feel that the rewards for doing research and debating it with their colleagues are somewhat greater than for teaching undergraduates. The author contends that the allocation of resources must be based first and foremost on an institution's own values and not on the values of an imagined marketplace or of magazine and newspaper editors in faraway cities and countries or even, in many respects, on the preferences of eighteen-year-olds and their parents. In this respect, so-called responsibility centered management--in which each academic or nonacademic unit of the institution is thought of as a profit (or loss) center, and resources are allocated to the most "profitable" based on student demand or the ability to generate resources from outside the institution--leaves values, properly so called, and educational principle entirely on the margins. It will not always be easy to resist certain political and economic pressures or the pressures of popular culture that one ought to resist. But when it is not possible to resist them, it should not be because nobody knows that they ought to be resisted in light of one's values. This will require individual and institutional courage of a kind that the nation desperately needs. People's national life is at stake.

Rutherford, A. & Rabovsky, T. (2018). Does the motivation for market‐based reform matter? The case of responsibility‐centered management. Public Administration Review 78, (4), 626-639.
    Organizational theorists have long examined the implications of market‐oriented policies for public agencies. Current research often aims to understand the effects of policies imposed on organizations by external stakeholder groups, but few studies have attempted to gain a better understanding of what mechanisms cause agencies to select into these strategies. The purpose of this article is to understand, first, which factors make an organization more likely to adopt a decentralized, market‐based budgeting system—termed “responsibility‐centered management (RCM)—and, second, whether this type of system has implications for organizational performance. Using data on doctorate‐granting public and private nonprofit four‐year universities in the United States, the authors find that mission, resource dependence, and state party control influence the take‐up of RCM. In terms of effects, RCM creates winners for graduation rates (white students) and degree production (science, technology, engineering, and math departments), which raises questions of equity across groups.

Shannon, P. (2019). Responsibility centered management (RCM) and online social work education: Navigating a changing financial landscape. Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration 22, (1), 1-5.
    Online programs are often viewed as a cost-efficient strategy for increasing revenue for shrinking university budgets but this may not be an accurate assessment. Responsibility Centered Management (RCM) is a budgeting model that is purported to increase efficient delivery of academic programs. As RCM budgeting models have been embraced, many universities have launched online education programs. The Department of Social Work has experienced both successes and challenges with implementing an online MSW program under an RCM model. The Online MSW program has been deemed a success by faculty, students, and the University at large. The purpose of this paper is to share the strategies used in the development, implementation, and management of an online MSW program and provide some general guiding principles for new and existing programs. 

Smolka, A. J., Halushka, P. V., & Garrett-Mayer, E. (2015). The faculty costs to educate a biomedical sciences graduate student. CBE - Life Sciences Education, 14(1).
    Academic medical centers nationwide face numerous fiscal challenges resulting from implementation of restructured healthcare delivery models, contracting state support for higher education, and increased competition for federal and other sources of biomedical research funding. In pursuing greater accountability and transparency in its fiscal operations, the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) has implemented a responsibility centers management budgetary model, which requires all MUSC colleges to be eventually self-sustaining financially. Graduate schools in the biomedical sciences are particularly vulnerable in the face of these challenges, depending traditionally as they do on financial support from training grant tuition, occasional medical school tuition and medical practice plan revenues, graduate college--based revenue-generating programs, and faculty payment of PhD tuition. The revenue streams are often insufficient to support PhD training programs, and supplemental financial support is required from the institution. In the context of a college of graduate studies, estimates of the cost of educating a graduate student become a significant necessity. This study presents a readily applicable model of empirically estimating the faculty salary costs that may provide a basis for budgetary planning that will help to sustain a biomedical sciences graduate school's commitment to its teaching, research, and service mission goals. The authors have included a supplemental materials article.

Stocum, D. L. &  Rooney, P. M. (1997). Responding to resource constraints A departmentally based system of responsibility center management. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning 29(5): 50-57.
    A number of universities have implemented Responsibility Center Management (RCM), a financial management system that decentralizes fiscal authority and responsibility. RCM gives significant financial decision-making powers to individual academic units in a university, and the income, growth, and development of these units depends on their ability to regulate costs while providing high-quality, good-value academic programs. An important feature of RCM is the flexibility it affords deans in moving funds from one category to another, according to need. If RCM is left to operate without limits, however, academic programs can be driven purely by financial entrepreneurship. The history of a departmentally based system of RCM at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis is discussed.

Strauss, J. C., et al. (2002). Responsibility center management: Lessons from 25 years of decentralized management. (ED469330). ERIC.
    Decentralization of authority is a natural act in universities, but decentralization of responsibility is not. A problem faced by universities is the decoupling of academic authority from financial responsibility. The solution proposed in this book for the coupling is Responsibility Center Management (RCM), also called Revenue Responsibility Budgeting (RRB). RCM attempts to couple decisions with their consequences by making a fundamental trade: ownership of revenues for financial responsibility, including the indirect costs of programs. Since its evolution 25 years ago, RCM has met with mixed success. This book explores how well it is working, contrasting the promise of RCM with its performance. The history and current state of RCM confirm, in part, the early claims of efficiency and effectiveness, but the criticisms and lessons learned make very clear that formal decentralized management requires never-ending vigilance to assure that the fundamental incentives are not being subverted. The chapters are: (1) "Introduction"; (2) "Principles"; (3) "Budgeting and Planning"; (4) "Guidelines"; (5) "Details"; (6) "Answering the Critics"; (7) "Promise and Performance"; (8) "Lessons Learned"; and (9) "Conclusions." (Contains 14 references.)

West, J. A., et al. (1997). RCM as a catalyst. Business Officer 31(2): 24-28.
    A study by the National Association of College and University Business Officers surveyed member institutions (n=235) about the use and effectiveness of responsibility center management (RCM) on campus. Results indicate private colleges are more likely to use RCM. Major areas of concern include organizational structure, financial information for decision making, external interference, and attempts to beat the system.

Willett, M. S. (2013). Effects of an incentive based budgeting system on institutional performance indicators: An exploratory longitudinal case study of a public university. [Doctoral dissertation, Indiana University]. ProQuest LLC.
    The purpose of this exploratory longitudinal case study was to examine how the implementation of an Incentive Based Budgeting (IBB) system (i.e., Responsibility-Centered Management [RCM]) affected selected institutional performance indicators at the campus level and two comparable schools at a large Mid-Western public University. The value of addressing this problem was in applying the theory that an IBB system can lead to measurable changes in outcomes. The theoretical constructs that guide RCM, and that are consistent with experiences within an RCM environment, drive the outcomes from its implementation. These outcomes can lead to modifications in the implementation of RCM, or the perceived expectations of RCM, providing useful information to budget administrators. Performance indicators identified by the literature were referenced with measurable IBB outcomes. Longitudinal performance data were analyzed over a 23-year period at the flagship campus and two comparable schools within the campus system. Analysis of the data revealed significant differences between multiple pre- and post-RCM performance indicators as well as significant trending for other selected performance indicators. The main findings suggest that in most instances the application of the RCM model produced the expected results to address student needs and services. RCM had a significant measurable effect at the campus level illustrated by increases in financial assistance per student, increased funds for quality instruction and decreased teaching loads. Findings for the two comparable schools examined indicates that the application of the RCM model impacted the schools in similar ways with the exception of a significant difference between post-RCM performance indicators for total credit hours and total operating expense. These findings indicate that RCM facilitated increased total credit hour growth as well as total operating expenses post-RCM implementation for one of the schools. These differences were attributable to a shift in market interest impacting both schools. The implications of this study are important for higher education budget administrators that implement, or are considering implementing, an IBB system. These findings should be of interest to administrators when considering the selection and use of measurable institutional performance indicators as a means for assessing outcomes or in institutional decision-making. 

Wilms, W. W., Teruya, C. & Walpole, M. (1997). Fiscal reform at UCLA: The clash of accountability and academic freedom. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning 29(5): 40-49.
    The attempt to fix the multimillion-dollar shortfalls of the 1990s in UCLA resulted in a clash between accountability and academic freedom. The shortfalls made it necessary to implement significant cuts in operating budgets, and the resulting conflict between the administration and the faculty revealed the framework of the powerful academic subculture usually submerged beneath the surface of everyday activities. A number of budget reductions between 1991 and 1993 proved to be insufficient, and Chancellor Charles E. Young and his staff introduced a program in 1994 to push decisions concerning revenues and costs down to individual academic and administrative units. This model, which was based heavily on the philosophy of Responsibility Center Management that was being enforced in a number of other universities, caused faculty members to worry that harsh business practices would irrevocably alter university life. The history of fiscal reform at UCLA is discussed in detail.