September 19, 2010

University Names New Interim Budget Director

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Maureen Quartararo, director of administration for the University Budget Office, has been named interim director of the Budget Office until a replacement is found for Adriane Callinan.

“Right now, we’re closing up last year’s financial report,” Quartararo said. She also noted that she expects only “a few months” time before a permanent director is found.

Callinan now works in the budget department of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

The University budget department, like many administrative offices, is set to undergo heavy changes in the next several years, according to Quarataro.

“The University is studying a new budget model right now,” Quarataro said. “There’s going to be a lot of change in the next few years.”

While in her interim position, Quatararo will continue her job as director of administration, which she has held for the past three years. Quartaro noted that she primarily deals with metering out the budget for the provost and vice provost’s office.

Though the new budget model is still in talks, administrators have noted that it will be an overarching process that will potentially affect all aspects of the University. Budget streamlining has already taken place across all colleges, including changes in facilities maintenance, I.T. support and vendor changes.

The Budget Task Force report, released last year, also suggested pooling undergraduate tuition, as opposed to allowing each college to deal with their respective tuition intake. The pooled funds will then be redistributed accordingly across all seven colleges by the administration.

Additionally, the report recommends that the University switch to one budget model as opposed to the current four separate ones, aiming to preserve the school’s “entrepreneurial spirit.”

The budget was also discussed at several public forums last spring regarding the Reimagining Cornell process. Many administrators, including Provost Kent Fuchs, denied that a new budget model would aim to centralize power with the provost’s office, and emphasized that a redesign of the budget is necessary both for financial and administrative efficiency.

Original Author: Brendan Doyle