Approach Implementation Resources Resource Planning & Allocation
What is MIRA?
MIRA is the Model for Incentive-based Resource Allocation also called responsibility centered management (RCM) at many institutions. It is a more transparent and decentralized form of financial planning than is UND’s traditional, incremental budgeting model.
Why did we change to a different budget model?
UND moved to MIRA after going through a four phase budget model redesign process. During that process, a decentralized approach to resource allocation was preferred. Having a model that assigns greater control over resource decisions to deans and directors was also important. The change was guided by 5 principles consistent with our core mission and values:
- Allow UND to focus on strategic priorities
- Promote transparency
- Improve efficiency
- Improve the quality of service provided by UND
- Allow growth initiatives to flourish
How does an incremental budget model compare to an incentive based budget?
- In incremental budget model, programs are funded based on the amount they received the previous year adjusted by any budget requests granted and/or any budget cuts made. These changes are incremental, based on the budget from the prior year. They are not based on activity only historical allocation.
- MIRA takes into consideration revenue changes from year to year due to enrollment changes, cost of instruction, demand, and other operational changes. The application of such allocations to both revenue distributions and cost assessment will provide transparency in the budget-setting process.
What is a Primary Unit?
Primary units are UND units that are focused on activities that in turn generate revenue, such as teaching courses, conducting research, running residence halls, etc. There are currently 21 primary units. Eight Academic Primary Units and thirteen Auxiliaries, Centers, and Institutes. The following is an alphabetic list of UND’s Primary Units.
Academic Primary Units
College of Arts & Sciences
College of Business & Public Affairs
College of Education & Human Development
College of Engineering & Mines
College of Nursing & Professional Disciplines
School of Aerospace Sciences
School of Law
School of Medicine & Health Sciences
Chester Fritz Auditorium
Children’s Learning Center
Office of Extended Learning-Auxiliary
Housing and Dining Services
Student Health Services
Centers & Institutes
Human Nutrition Center
- Academic Primary Units
What is a Service Unit?
Service Units are UND units whose primary focus is to provide services to Primary Units. There are five groups of service units called cost pools. Both types of units are equally important and work as a team in MIRA.
- Business Administration
- Operations/Information Services
- Academic Administration/Student Services
Who was involved steering this new budget model?
The Executive Budget Committee (EBC) steers decisions related to the budget model.
Does MIRA change the use of PeopleSoft Financial System?
No. You still develop fund/department level budgets to be uploaded in PeopleSoft Financials using the Budget Module launch for the annual budget process. You still run your monthly financial monitoring reports in PeopleSoft Financials. MIRA does not change that process. MIRA impacts the amount of spending authority a unit has available. MIRA is consolidating the funding information into one model statement for aid in planning and making financial decisions as a unit. MIRA does not break down to the department or program level.
How are sponsored revenue or grants & contracts handled in MIRA?
All revenues (including indirect cost recovery) for sponsored revenue (grants & contracts) flow to the unit that is awarded the grant & contract. Beyond the awarded amount and the indirect cost recovery, a portion of the state appropriation will be allocated to the unit generating the sponsored revenue. Since all of the revenue for the research activity is being allocated to the Primary Unit that generated it, the administrative costs associated with the activity is allocated to the Primary Unit through the Service Unit cost pools impacted by that research activity. For example, the Research cost pool budget is allocated to the unit generating research revenue as a percentage of total UND research. Refer to the MIRA Magnified page for more details.
How does MIRA encourage interdisciplinary academic collaboration?
The model allocates tuition dollars based on credit hour production. For undergraduate tuition credits, the tuition dollars are allocated to the college of instruction and the college of record. So both colleges involved share in the revenue. Graduate tuition goes directly to the college of record. Knowing how the revenue flows in MIRA allows for primary units to analyze the potential financial outcomes of collaboration. This data-driven approach encourages collaborations that are beneficial to all parties involved. Even if the revenue does not flow to the collaborating units through the MIRA calculations, memorandums of understanding can be used to transfer funds between collaborating units.
How does MIRA impact Auxiliaries and Centers?
MIRA is not a drastic change for most auxiliaries and centers. Auxiliaries and centers normally budgeted, received and managed their direct revenues and direct expenses. The main differences are the allocation of the service unit costs, participation fee, and subvention. This shift to a more fully costed model for these units increases transparency and provides information to the UND community related to these essential functions on the University.
Service Agreement FAQs
What is a Service agreement?
Service agreements outline what a Service Unit does. The service agreement also provides information on how these services can be requested and who is eligible to request those services. For those units with high demand, the service agreement also specifies how decisions are made to prioritize services. The service agreement also differentiates between core and premium services which help our primary units understand additional costs that services may require outside the allocation amount.
What is the difference between Core, Recharge and Premium services?
Core services are provided to the customers defined as a part of the allocated dollar amount for the service unit. Recharge is a mechanism to recover costs for services between one department and another based on a set rate. Premium services are those services offered to specific customers that require different levels of service outside of the core services. The premium services are defined between departments in a service level agreement.
I don’t think I’m receiving services that align with what is stated in the Service agreement. What do I do?
Contact the person listed for the unit and communicate your concerns.
How are Service agreements organized?
Service agreements are organized by cost pool and driver for the allocation. They are not representative of organizational or reporting structure.