Many publicly funded education programs and organizations have developed business plans to enhance accountability. In the case of the Department of Dentistry at the University of Alberta, the main impetus for business planning was a persistent deficit in the annual operating fund since a merger of a stand-alone dental faculty with the Faculty of Medicine. The main challenges were to balance revenues with expenditures, to reduce expenditures without compromising quality of teaching, service delivery and research, to maintain adequate funding to ensure future competitiveness, and to repay the accumulated debt owed to the university. The business plan comprises key strategies in the areas of education, clinical practice and service, and research. One of the strategies for education was to start a BSc program in dental hygiene, which was accomplished in September 2000. In clinical practice, a key strategy was implementation of a clinic operations fee, which also occurred in September 2000. This student fee helps to offset the cost of clinical practice. In research, a key strategy has been to strengthen our emphasis on prevention technologies. In completing the business plan, we learned the importance of identifying clear goals and ensuring that the goals are reasonable and achievable; gaining access to high-quality data to support planning; and nurturing existing positive relationships with external stakeholders such as the provincial government and professional associations.
Business Planning for University Health Science Programs: A Case Study
• Michael Austin, BA, MHSA •
• Nadine Milos, PhD •
• G. Wayne Raborn, DDS, MS, FACD •
A b s t r a c t
MeSH Key Words: education, dental/trends; schools, dental/organization & administration
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