Provost Letter

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Text from the June 22, 2016 letter by Deba Dutta, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Diversity to the Committee charged with the responsibility for the Cash Management Project. NOTE: Since this letter was written, the name of the project has been changed from Cash Management Project to Funds Management Project.

In our continued efforts to provide high quality programs in instruction, research and engagement, we are often challenged by the constraints of our financial resources—revenues, expenditures and cash balances. In particular, cash balances and carryforwards when viewed through the local prism of a College, or the Provost’s office, or the University can be interpreted differently with respect to the flexibility and support provided to each stakeholder in carrying out its core mission. There is a need to arrive at a common understanding. Furthermore, it is important that we develop a set of guidelines for responsibly managing cash balances in all areas reporting to the Provost. This is the overall focus of the Cashs Management Project (CMP) which will be chaired by Assistant Provost Connie Lapinskas.

Your committee should consider, but not necessarily be limited to, the following domain of work:

  1. A clear definition of cash balance. And, a clear definition of carry forward, obligated and unobligated.
  2. Guidelines for obligated carryforward that includes time horizon, recommended spend down, necessary approvals, monitoring methods and any exceptions to the above.
  3. Guidelines for unobligated carryforward that includes allowable percentage of annual operating budget, recommended spend down, necessary approvals, monitoring methods and any exceptions.

I anticipate that the CMP committee will consider multiple strategies that are appropriate for managing cash resources in creative ways to support the diverse academic units at Purdue. These strategies should address both current and future cash balances. The recommendations of the CMP should embed accountability, transparency and be fiscally sound.

I expect that the CMP committee will reach out to colleagues in other areas of the institution who can provide expertise and assist with your work as needed. Input from deans, department heads, directors of financial affairs and relevant personnel in the Treasurer’s office will be critical to the success of the CMP and its implementation. Therefore, I ask that you place communication as a top priority in your work.

The CMP committee should complete its work and present a set of recommendations and implementation plans to me no later than February 10, 2017. Connie Lapinskas will provide interim reports to me, to the Academic Deans Council and to other stakeholders as necessary throughout the duration of the project.

I wish to express my deep gratitude to all of you for your willingness to participate in this very important project. The CMP outcomes will have significant impact on the operations of all academic units, both in the immediate term and in the future, and ultimately bear on Purdue’s ability to enhance academic excellence.

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