A New Budget Era

The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) is a multi-campus, land-grant, public research institution that educates students from around the world, supporting individuals and communities through integrated programs of teaching, research, and service. Penn State faces more internal and external challenges in a period of disruptive change across U.S. higher education. Students, their families, and state and federal entities are focused increasingly on the cost of a college education, calling for better financial controls to minimize tuition increases, create more budgetary transparency and maximize the return on every dollar spent.

To address these demands and challenges, Penn State must enter a new era in budget management, engaging in critical discussions about financial tools and processes that will help the university continue to achieve key institutional goals. Penn State’s current budget processes focus on short-term incremental changes, inhibiting long-term strategic decision-making and transparent, accurate financial reporting at all levels. These processes must evolve university-wide to meet current and emerging needs and expectations in conjunction with the implementation of a new enterprise financial management system (SIMBA) will enable better financial tracking, reporting, and forecasting.

The Penn State University Budget Office formed the Budget Executive Committee and four working groups to implement changes recommended by the Strategic Budget Task Force.