By Tim Cason, M.Ed., Consultant, TNG
Consistent with most institutional initiatives or offices, BITs have baseline operating expenses for items such as database management and technology (e.g., on-call phone). BITs also benefit from additional flexibility in funding that can be used for mandatory assessment fees, training, marketing and advertising, promotional items, retreats, professional development/memberships for BIT members, and/or outside consultations and reviews. When a BIT does not have a dedicated budget, BITs are likely to forego best practices with respect to engaging in educational and outreach efforts and making necessary referrals to external resources. Additionally, BIT members who operate a budget for their own functional area are often placed in a position of having to make decisions between necessary BIT training and needs specific to their own department.
Because BITs are comprised of professionals from various departments and offices, it is uncommon for a BIT to have a dedicated budget to support its work. Often, the office/department from which the BIT chair comes, such as the Dean of Students or Principal’s Office, is tasked with attempting to fulfill budgetary needs. Though not sustainable long-term, senior-level administrators may also be aware of and/or have access to one-time funding through a special allocations process focused on a related initiative, such as retention, that could support the BIT. If the institution has a case management office, the BIT may receive a regular budget allocation through that department.
Alternatively, smaller amounts of money from the offices that support or serve as members on the BIT (e.g., Housing and Residence Life, Police/Public Safety, Student Conduct, Counseling Services) can be combined to generate a budget. If funding is a concern when considering attending NABITA’s 2021 Annual Conference, consider asking each department that is represented on the BIT to contribute a small amount of money to a larger pot that can be used to cover the registration fee for members.
For more information regarding the 2021 Annual Conference, please click here.