Resource Management Model

Iowa State University utilizes a decentralized financial management model for the development of its annual operating budgets. The Resource Management Model, a responsibility-centered and incentive-driven approach to financial planning and management, is utilized for the development of the university's General University Fund operating budget.

Developing A Good Resource Management Model

The principles below were used to guide the development of the Resource Management Model.


The successful model should:

  • incorporate incentives that reward high-quality programs
  • link funding and costs to the responsibilities and performance of units
  • distribute revenues in a manner that is transparent and informed by data
  • attribute the cost of central administrative and support services to units that benefit from those services
  • engage campus in setting priorities for investing resources
  • work effectively during years of funding growth and decline
  • increase flexibility and improve ability to conduct multi-year financial planning


The model should not:

  • drive decisions, but should inform decisions
  • create internal competition
  • create emphasis on quantity over quality
  • cause priorities to be driven by money
  • erode institutional culture

Beardshear Hall
Beardshear Hall

The development and implementation of the model is considered successful if:

  • measurable progress is made on the university's strategic plan
  • university leadership has adequate resources to make strategic decisions and reward quality
  • the general quality of the university's academic programs are enhanced, or at least maintained
  • student enrollment targets are met and tuition revenues are maximized
  • the university experiences growth in sponsored funding and indirect cost recovery revenue
  • administrative and support services are provided efficiently while maintaining a high level of quality