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Update on the Review of Current Allocation Model

August 19, 2014

Dear colleagues,

I hope you are enjoying the last few weeks of summer and are looking forward to welcoming students and faculty members back to campus!

As Sarah Thomas discussed in her spring all-staff meetings, one focus for the Harvard Library finance team has been to lead a review of the current allocation model. As we move into the next semester, I wanted to share progress we made this summer on the review, as well as immediate next steps.

The allocation model, which distributes some of the costs of the Harvard Library to Schools, was developed in preparation for the launch of the new Library organization in consultation with School leaders. In its report, the Library Implementation Working Group suggested that the model be reviewed within three years.

We kicked off the review earlier in 2014 with the assumption that changes to the model, if any, would take effect in 2016. A working group (Doug Gragg, Dan Hazen, David Osterbur, Lisa Schwallie and Scott Wicks) assessed the current model and suggested a framework for considering future models and drivers, which were discussed at a Library Leadership Team (LLT) meeting in June.

An allocation review group then began a review the current model and input from library directors. Its task is to either confirm or recommend possible changes. Members of the review group are Jen Dilts (CADM), Doug Gragg (HSD) John Haigh (HKS), Michael Kan (HSPH), Leslie Kirwan (FAS), Fran McCrossan (HLS), Rick Melnick (HBS), Amy Nostrand (CADM), Sarah Thomas and me.

The review group met several times over the summer to discuss the principles of the allocation model and potential drivers, including how different drivers impact the model. The group plans to reconvene in mid-fall, following a reforecast of the Library’s FY15 budget after the Q1 close to confirm allocation amounts, to determine whether the current model is the right one or if a new one is needed.

Please email me with any questions, and we will continue to provide updates as we make progress. 

Best regards,

Katie McGrath
Director of Administration and Finance
Harvard College Library/Harvard Library