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Provost Albert Carnesale has created an advisory committee that will examine the budget proposals of the central administration's various departments.
Members say that the new committee, chaired by the provost himself, will allow for greater coordination within the central administration.
"It is my hope that the committee will develop an increasingly sophisticated understanding of how Central Administration resources are currently collected and spent," Carnesale told the Harvard Gazette.
The committee will also offer a fresh perspective on the budget, allowing the central administration to set priorities and spend accordingly, the provost said.
The committee met for the first time this month, Vice President for Administration N. Sally Zeckhauser said in an interview last week. The bulk of the committee's work will come next month, added Zeckhauser, who serves on the committee.
Vice President of Finance Allen J. Proctor '74 said in an interview yesterday that the committee will help integrate a central administration's highly decentralized budget process.
Proctor compared the current system--where the president reviews each department's budget separately--to a series of "stovepipes" that "shoot up" but never intersect.
Zeckhauser said that the committee will offer the faculty more interaction with the center than they normally experience.
Indeed, administrative deans from three faculties are serving on the committee alongside Carnesale, Proctor and Zeckhauser: Nancy L. Maull from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Joel C. Monell from the School of Education and John M. Deeley from the Medical School.
Proctor also said that the new committee will allow the central administration to devise a budget that more accurately reflects its priorities.
"The president [Neil L. Rudenstine] wants to get a sense of what we think our priorities are versus how we spend our money," Proctor said.
He said that many organizations-including allocate money for relatively unimportant appropriations. In particular, Proctor said, organizations spend more money than necessary on items that were formerly vital but have lost significance.
"[I hope] that the process will help us to make the best possible choices about how to allocate central resources in light of current financial realities," Carnesale told the Gazette.
Carnesale discussed the budget committee at last week's faculty meeting. At the time, he said that he foresees improvements in efficiency and information-sharing. He also said he expects a reduction in expenditures.
But Carnesale's last prediction jars with that of Proctor, who said yesterday that the new committee is "not necessarily intended to cut the size of the central administration."
"It's the [central administration] articulating its priorities, making it easier to communicate budget priorities to others," Proctor said. "It doesn't have a particular fiscal objective."
Carnesale declined to comment on the committee in a separate interview with The Crimson last week.
Proctor added that the new committee will allow the central administration to standardize definitions and treatment of various budgetary items.
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