Many activities in today's medical schools no longer have medical students' education as their central reason for existence. Faculty are hired primarily to provide clinical service or to make discoveries, with the role of educator of secondary importance. Budgeting in medical schools has not evolved in concert with these changing roles of faculty. The cost of medical students' education is still calculated as if all faculty were hired primarily to teach medical students and their other activities were to support this “central” mission. Most medical schools still mix revenues without regard to intent and cannot accurately determine costs because they confuse expenses with costs. At the University of Florida College of Medicine, a group of administrators, chairpersons, and faculty developed a budgeting process now called mission-based budgeting. This is a three-step process: (1) revenues are prospectively identified for each mission and then aligned with intended purposes; (2) faculty productivity, i.e., faculty effort and its quality, is measured for each of the missions; and (3) productivity is linked to the prospective budget for each mission. This process allows the institution to understand the intent of its revenues, to measure how productive its faculty are, to learn the true costs of its missions, to make wise investment decisions (subsidies), and to justify to various constituents its use of revenues. The authors describe this process, focusing particularly on methods used to develop a comprehensive database for assessment of faculty productivity in education.
Created Date: 12 July 1999; Completed Date: 12 July 1999; Revised Date: 18 December 2000
© 1999 Association of American Medical Colleges