The advantages of thoughtful, well-structured strategic planning and decentralized budgeting are numerous. But they bring different and sometimes conflicting perspectives to high-stakes discussions within the institution. By recognizing and preparing for these tensions, the odds increase that their potential benefits will not be eroded or eclipsed by distractions or destructive forces and they can work in harmony to help an institution accomplish its goals in an increasingly challenging environment. The author considers specific tensions and conflicts and draws on the experience of a flagship public university to suggest ways to manage these tensions and reap the benefits of both approaches.
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