A Joint Message on Budget ReSTART

November 4, 2021

We want to share with you an update on the Budget ReSTART initiative as well as next steps. Most significantly, Chancellor Patrick Gallagher approved the model to go forward, meaning Responsibility Centers (RCs) can begin a parallel budget process during the current fiscal year, with the goal of implementing the model for the Fiscal Year 2023 budget.

Five Things to Know About Budget ReSTART (Revenue Sharing to Accelerate Responsive Transformation). Here are five questions and answers about the new model, the parallel process, and next steps.

1. What’s different about the new model compared to the current one?

When fully implemented, Budget ReSTART de-centralizes budget authority by transferring it from central administration to individual schools. Responsibility Center (RC) leadership will have more control of revenue generation which will better enable them to fund strategic priorities based on the Plan for Pitt. Furthermore, the model provides transparency to the school’s leadership on support services and costs and creates incentives to generate revenue, achieve cost efficiencies, and support and collaborate on strategic and research initiatives.

2. Who provided input and feedback to develop the new budget model?

The model has been in development for nearly a year, and staff from the Office of the Provost and the Office of the Senior Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer received significant input including:

  • Focus group meetings with 40 RCs
  • 13 Steering Committee meetings to develop the model structure
  • 50+ meetings with deans, regional campus presidents, and RC directors of administration
  • A retreat with all deans and regional campus presidents
  • 15+ briefings with key stakeholder groups: Council of Deans, Staff Council, Budget & Planning Community of Practice, Senate Budget Policy Committee, University Planning and Budget Committee, Operations Council, Directors of Administration, Senior Leadership and the Board of Trustees

This was a highly iterative and collaborative process. Feedback from these meetings was incorporated to refine the model, which will ultimately help RCs to deliver on the University’s mission and strategic plan.

3. Where can I find more information about Budget ReSTART?

A one-page executive summary can be found on the CFO Partners SharePoint site and provides an overview of Budget ReSTART. You can use this to familiarize yourself and others in your RC the benefits of the new model to Pitt and how the model will work.

Additionally, a Budget ReSTART Training and Resource Guide will soon be available on the CFO Partners SharePoint site. This guide will provide an overview on the model, information on how it was developed, and details about the structure and how it will be used by RCs across the University. It also will answer some frequently asked questions and include a glossary of terms.

4. How can I get more information about what my budget will look like under the new model?

The offices of the SVC/CFO and Provost have developed an FY 2020 ReSTART income statement for Primary RCs that includes subtotal/total formulas along with a widget rate calculation. Click here to access the Budget ReSTART Microsoft Teams page to download your Primary RC’s Excel spreadsheet. This should assist you in early planning efforts with your Planning and Budgeting Committees until the FY 2023 Budget Formulation Guidance is issued in early December.

This is the same income statement that was previously shared at the deans’ retreat and during meetings with individual deans. It also includes formulas to help you run early budget scenarios. The widget rate sheet helps you calculate incremental revenue or expense for various scenarios (i.e., adding credit hours, hiring more people, or moving into new space).

Training sessions on using the income statement are forthcoming.

5. What else can I expect?

Additional materials, resources, and training are under development. A Community of Practice meeting will be held next week that will provide you with training and offer opportunities for questions. A presentation deck also is under development that you and your RC leadership can use to familiarize faculty and staff within your respective RC about the new model. Additionally, members of the Provost’s and SVC/CFO’s offices will be available to answer questions and support you in making this transition.

If you have questions about Budget ReSTART, please contact Cassie Brenner, ReSTART project director.

Thank you for your ongoing support. We look forward to continuing to work with you to deliver the mission of this great University.

Hail to Pitt!
Ann E. Cudd, Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor
Hari Sastry, Senior Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer

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