Adopt governance, management and budgetary structures to enable the vision
Irish universities, like many universities in the western world, have traditionally been governed and managed by committees of peers, and sustained for the most part by exchequer funding.
However, the higher education environment is now significantly more competitive than in the past, sources of funding and activities have diversified and accountability to funders is now more formalised.
These factors necessitate that universities act in a more business-like manner. In many cases this has resulted in a more centralised or 'managerial' approach to the operation of universities. This approach sometimes fails to fully utilise the capabilities of leadership at unit level and the commitment and enterprise present within the organisation.
We will work to put in place appropriate governance, management and budgetary structures which strike a balance between devolved decision making and empowerment and appropriate central oversight and strategic direction. We will perform functions centrally when they are more effectively performed that way, and perform functions locally when that is the most effective approach. Recognising the critical importance of communications to support this objective, we will put in place appropriate communication structures that reflect and facilitate the dialogue required.
Equally, we will strive to put in place a fair and equitable mechanism to allocate budgetary resources to all of our units. It is of fundamental importance that units clearly understand their budgetary horizon in order to facilitate effective multi-annual planning.
Success will be measured through increased faculty and staff satisfaction with management, budgetary and administrative processes as determined through staff satisfaction surveys and an improvement in the ratio of direct and indirect costs in running the University.