The University Record, November 6, 1995


Editor's Note: This is one in a series of periodic columns on VCM (value centered management), the new approach to budgeting that will be implemented July 1, 1996. Questions are welcome from all Record readers, and should be sent to: Jane Elgass, 412 Maynard St. 1499; fax 764-7084; e-mail:; or Robert Holbrook in the Provost's Office, Room 3080, Fleming Administration Bldg.; 763-1282; fax 764-4546; e-mail:

 What effect will VCM have on non-academic departments that do not enroll students, (e.g., media units, etc.)?

 Decisions on the way VCM will affect units within a school, college or vice presidential area (research, student affairs, etc.) will be the responsibility of the dean or the vice president. The Michigan tradition of decentralized management will continue under VCM, so departments and other units within, for example, LS&A will be subject to the same college governance structure as in the past.

Many units on campus exist for the purpose of providing services to the campus community and earn little or no direct revenue from tuition or other sources. In the case of each of these units, their dean or vice president has been convinced that this service is of sufficient value to justify its cost. As we move to VCM there is no reason to believe that these services will be less valued, or that such a unit would suddenly be asked to cover its costs through direct charges to its customers.

It is likely that deans and vice presidents will differ in the way they manage their units under VCM, and only your own dean or vice president can provide you with a definitive answer to your important question.

 I've not seen evidence of a parallel system in place so far this year. Is it because there are only a few select departments participating in a pilot? I'd like to know how this parallel system works and why I have not received any documentation.

 The parallel system of accounts that will show 1995-96 in VCM terms is almost complete. We are not piloting only a few units, but will have data on the same basis for every school, college and vice presidential area. For the sake of simplicity, we will probably focus on the data for only one or two units in public presentations, but the data for all units will be available.

Since VCM does not mandate any changes within a school, college or vice presidential area, the data to be shared will relate to that level of aggregation. Units within a school, college or vice presidential area will have to seek information on their own situation directly from their own dean or vice president.