strategic plan goal 7 generate and steward financial resources

Increase funding and improve resource allocation to fuel growth through better alignment of internal priorities and external funding opportunities, through funding diversification and through application of financial best practices.

Becoming a national public research university will require significantly more funding. Our current vision is bigger than our current budget, which is significantly below aspirant R1 universities’ budgets — a result of lower tuition revenues, less state funding (than the average R1 university) and higher student support needs. Our expansive vision requires monetizing our strategy so that we generate higher recurring revenues that we can reinvest to finance our goals and to further increase our funding. Our aim is to increase our funding to levels commensurate with other nationally recognized public research (R1) universities.


Tuition & Fees.

Our objective is to work with the state to balance increases in tuition and fees with other institutional priorities, taking into consideration the broader portfolio of revenue streams, enrollment goals, the cost of attendance compared to competitive institutions and the value of a UofM degree. Current enrollment and recruitment pressures and rising academic standards will likely limit the potential of tuition and fees, as currently structured, to boost funding in the short-term.


State Government Funding.

Our objective is to maximize state funding through better understanding of, and alignment with, metrics in the state’s funding formulas. Currently, the State of Tennessee directly provides about 30% of our total funding. We appreciate this generous funding, which is above the national average for universities. However, for planning purposes, our aim is to achieve more year-to-year stability in state funding. A second aim is to effect an increase in state funding to median R1 state levels.


Support from Memphis and Surrounding Region.

Our objective is to work closely with the City of Memphis, Shelby/Jackson/Madison County and other local and regional entities to increase and sustain community support for our University. The University of Memphis is the City’s University. We are thankful for the funding and in-kind support we have received from the communities where we reside, most notably the use of sports venues. As stated elsewhere in the Strategic Plan, our goal is to continue to expand and deepen our partnerships with local governments and with community organizations to improve our community. Our aim is to continue to build on our success in winning community grants and securing community-sponsored research.


External Research Funding.

Our objective is to maximize extramural research funding, especially federal funding (e.g., NSF, NIH), but to also seek more support from local government, corporations, foundations and non-profits and better align internal research investment with external funding priorities. External Research Funding is discussed in Goal 4 – Strengthen Research Enterprise.



Our objective is to better inform, engage and marshal our supporters — especially alumni and local companies — to achieve lasting and mutually beneficial stakeholder affiliation with the University of Memphis. Our development efforts have improved and are improving, but much more and faster improvement is needed. We must achieve higher, sustained annual giving, especially to fund many more need-based scholarships and many more endowed chairs and professorships in furtherance of our important affordability and faculty compensation objectives.


Revenue Diversification.

Our objective is to seek new sources of revenue that provide funding diversification and create new opportunities for our graduates, research, partners and stakeholders. New sources of revenue have the potential of providing significant funding to the University and have the advantage of lowering our funding risks through portfolio diversification. Particularly appealing are new revenue streams that also help us meet other non-revenue goals, such as providing internships.


Capturing Internal Efficiencies.

Our objective is to perform a comprehensive and periodic review of existing programs to identify and realize efficiencies to allow redeployment of resources to higher need/impact opportunities. Goal 6 – Exemplify Operational Excellence discussed several objectives and actions that have the potential to capture efficiencies, but many of these initiatives and activities require time and sometimes investment to produce material results. Goal 2 – Create Opportunities to Succeed included an objective “Optimized Degree Program Mix and Emphasis” that provides the best opportunity to quickly free up substantial funding by rationalizing the University’s portfolio of degree programs to eliminate underperforming, undersubscribed degree programs. Over the long-term, rising academic standards will likely result in lower student support costs, further releasing funds for reallocation.


Resource Allocation Model.

Our objective is to overhaul the resource allocation model to better align provision of funds with external funding drivers; and to maximize transparency, fiscal discipline, consistency, accountability and performance. Our current budgeting model has served useful purposes in providing needed transparency around colleges’ performance and forcing tough discussion about resource allocation. However, it has not achieved its primary objectives of a significant reallocation of resources (to areas of highest impact) and advancing financial accountability. The current model also does not align well with the state’s outcomes-based funding metrics (or more generally with external drivers — e.g., workforce demands), so that boosted state funding resulting from a college’s actions do not flow through (even partially) to the college.


Fiscal Discipline.

Our objective is to continue to adopt best practices in the financial management of our University. Key future financial objectives are to align our financial management actions with the University’s strategy and to infuse financial discipline (e.g., an emphasis on ROI) throughout campus. Important principles of fiscal discipline include transparency, accountability and consistency. Education is essential. Administrators, faculty and staff require training on the fundamentals of University financing, including understanding the basics of outcome-based funding. Training should also include instruction in the essentials of business case development, including providing University-specific financial/budgeting tools and templates.

Goal 7

Historical Data Targets
Fall 2018 Fall 2019 Fall 2020 Fall 2021 Fall 2022 Fall 2023 Fall 2024 Fall 2025 Fall 2026 Fall 2027
State Support^ $110.8 M $115.4 M $123.3 M $123.7 M $133.5 M $150.9 M $165.3 M $181.9 M $200.1 M $220.1 M
Advancement: FY 2018 FY 2019 FY 2020 FY 2021 FY 2022 FY 2023 FY 2024 FY 2025 FY 2026 FY 2027
Alumni Giving Rate 7.7% 5.7% 5.5% 5.6% 4.9% 5% 5.75% 6.5% 7.25% 7.75%
Annual Giving [in millions] $25.0 M $40.8 M $33.7 M $36.7 M $54.5 M $35 M $75 M $75 M $70 M $70 M
Market value of endowment [in millions] $216.2 M $223.4 M $220.8 M $284.0 M $256.5 M $277.1 M $319 M $363.3 M $405.3 M $449.8 M
Alumni Donor Count 5,543 5,735 5,273 6,024 5,869 10,725 11,261 11,824 12,415 13,036
Revenue from Other Sources ($) - corporate ed, cont ed, etc.^ $1.9 M $2.1 M $2.1 M $2.3 M $2.4 M $2.7 M $3.1 M $3.5 M $4 M $4.2 M
Expenditures Per Student FTE (instructional) $8,762 $8,940 $8,400 $8,164 $8,569 $8,700 $8,909 $9,100 $9,300 $9,400

^ = Represents number of dollars rounded to nearest hundred thousandth

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