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