March 14, 2016
One year ago, I charged a cross-campus workgroup of representatives from both the academic and administrative units with the task of formulating a strategy to simplify the financial management of our campus "core operating revenues" while maintaining the commitment of the highest financial stewardship to our stakeholders. By "core operating revenues" I am referring to the most unrestricted campus resources supporting core academic and institutional operations. Restricted funds such as externally sponsored research and designated funds such as health system, auxiliaries and other self-supporting enterprise are not affected by this effort.
Today, I am pleased to announce the Simplified Operating Funds Initiative (SOFI) is underway for implementation starting July 1, 2016. I am also pleased to announce that the UC Office of the President has established its own project team to partner with UC San Diego on the inter-system impacts and find collaborative solutions to meet the needs of both campus and UCOP.
The project objectives include: streamlining internal financial management practices; improving transparency of campus expenditures; and increasing the operating flexibility of academic and administrative leaders to help them innovate, invest, and diversify revenues. Moving budgets and expenditures of 60 funds into 2 funds will significantly accomplish these project objectives.
I fully recognize that successful implementation of SOFI depends upon the important collective effort from our campus financial and administrative staff. Project work requests with short timelines are being made of department staff right now, and competing with other priorities. This is a critical one-time investment of time that will pay future dividends, both for staff - with easier business transacting and reporting as well as development of cross-VC transferrable skills - and for the campus at large, helping ensure UC San Diego is on solid and sustainable financial footing.
Simplifying campus financial management is a positive step toward
enhancing financial sustainability through the efficient use of existing
revenue, a strategy in support of Goal 5 of the Strategic Plan. More
information can be found at the Simplified Operating Funds Initiative