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Operating Budget Allocation Model (OBAM) Introduction

After working for several years under an incremental budget model, the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh will be implementing a new budget model.  This implementation is currently paused due to enrollment declines and the financial conditions created as a result of COVID-19. The Operating Budget Allocation Model (OBAM) aspires to efficiently, transparently, and rationally serve the academic mission set forth by UW System and UW Oshkosh. OBAM’s activity-based hybrid model will allow for transparency of fund distribution, provide incentives for units who generate new funds, and lead the campus into larger discussions and analysis on how we fund campus units. The new model also emphasizes allocating resources based on metrics, which align with the University’s mission, values, and goals.

All aspects of OBAM are outlined in the Budget Model Manual. You can find the manual, in it’s entirety below.

Budget Model Goals

  • Establish incentives for innovative activity leading to revenue generation
  • Establish incentives to manage scarce resources
  • Include mechanisms to encourage inter-unit collaborations
  • Improve the operating budget allocation process by presenting financial data in clear, consistent, and transparent formats so the campus community can understand the financial condition of the university
  • Improve budgetary understanding to improve budget forecasting and financial planning
  • Ensure that colleges/units and central administration each maintain savings and strategic funds to support the college/unit and university mission
  • Simplify budgetary operations

OBAM’s Purview

OBAM’s purview is from the Chancellor to College/Unit level. Budget structures below dean and dean-equivalent levels are not in OBAM’s direct purview. While subjacent budget layers would likely benefit from a budget structure that efficiently meshes with OBAM, choosing to do so (or not) remains the prerogative of the Dean or Director.

OBAM Schematic

The flow of OBAM is depicted as follows: