Last month, our union’s University Budget and Priorities Committee published a report about the RCM (Responsibility Center Management) budget system that—quoting directly from the university’s own five-year review of RCM—documented major flaws in a system our union has long criticized for the burdens it places on our departments and programs and its lack of accountability and transparency.
If you haven’t looked at “Reviewing the RCM Review” yet, we hope you will in these last few days before classes begin. We need to talk as a union about how we can challenge a budget system that damages Rutgers’ academic mission, so we’ll be holding a town hall meeting about RCM in early February. You can read the report online here and in a format for printout here.
The Budget Committee’s report is a “review of the review”: the five-year review of RCM ordered by President Holloway when he took office. Last June, a committee stacked with top administrators summed up the review’s damning conclusions in a 121-page report. Our members read that document and put together their own report, with extensive quotations from the administration’s review, to help us better understand how and why RCM is harmful to critical parts of our university.
Here are the six takeaways from “Reviewing the RCM Review”:
- RCM prioritizes revenue generation over the academic mission.
- RCM concentrates power in an unaccountable central administration.
- RCM imposes a metric-driven process that disguises administration control.
- RCM penalizes Camden and Newark by creating perpetual austerity.
- RCM discourages collaboration across disciplines and departments.
- RCM causes confusion and inefficiency.
The university’s five-year review makes dozens of recommendations for significant changes to RCM. We want to know from President Holloway what his administration is doing to implement those recommendations. In our contract campaign next semester, we’ll be organizing to implement our recommendations.
Thanks to our Budget Committee for this valuable resource for understanding a budget system that undermines our university’s mission of teaching, research, and service.
Becky and Todd
Rebecca Givan, President, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
Todd Wolfson, General Vice President, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
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