Guide to the Budget and Resources Advisory Committee Records

Collection Title: Budget and Resources Advisory Committee Records
Dates: 1970-1984
Identification: 4/5/5
Creator: Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.). Budget and Resources Advisory Committee
Extent: 5 Boxes
Language of Materials: English
Abstract: The BRAC records document the budget making process, especially during the years 1978/79 through 1980/81. Records include correspondence, reports, supporting documentation and general materials.
Acquisition Information: The bulk of the records were deposited with the Northwestern University Archives on August 24, 1983 (Accession #83-175) as the working files of John O. Ledyard, BRAC member (1978/79-1980/81). These files (3 linear feed) were arranged topically when accessioned. Of the original accession, approximately 1.8 linear feet were discarded or disbursed to the Northwestern University Archives General Files. Approximately .6 linear feet (one half-size AB) of general files were added to Accession #83-175 during processing.
Processing Information: Patricia Cloud, April 21, 1986.
Conditions Governing Access: None.
Repository: Northwestern University Archives
Deering Library, Room 110
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston, IL, 60208-2300
Phone: 847-491-3354

Biographical/Historical Information

The Budget and Resources Advisory Committee (BRAC) was created by a resolution on the Northwestern University Senate on May 21, 1970. It was intended to provide advice on budgetary matters to the university administration and to improve communication between the faculty and administration on such matters. The seven committee members were to be chosen by the General Faculty Committee and to serve for three year overlapping terms.

Through the charge of the Committee has remained the same since 1970, its method of deliberation has changed considerably and its influence has increased commensurately. For the first several years of its existence (1970 to 1976), BRAC was hampered by a lack of technical advice and by the unavailability of data crucial to budget deliberations. In 1976, a "BRAC adviser" from the Graduate School of Management was appointed to serve as technical consultant to both the Committee and the administration. In the same year BRAC gained access to the budget requests of the University deans and to the administration's "budget (computer) tapes" which permitted the Committee to begin genuine budget forecasting with the same data used by the University administration. Since that time, the BRAC reports have provided increasingly sophisticated critiques of the University Budgets and budget planning procedures.

In 1978, BRAC produced "Faculty Compensation at Northwestern," known as the "black and blue" report, which pointed to Northwestern University's slippage from seventh to fifteenth in the period 1971/1972 to 1976/1977 in national rankings of faculty compensation at major universities. The Committee recommended and in subsequent years continued to urge aggressive measures to return Northwestern to its former position.

BRAC was involved in the budget-making process during a time of financial crisis for Northwestern University, in the years 1977/78 through 1981/82, when for the first time since the Depression the university experienced budget deficits. These deficits grew from $1.4 million in 1977/78 to $9.5 million in 1981/82. As the result in part of stringent budget cutting measures, Northwestern emerged from the crisis in 1982/83, with a budget surplus of $1.4 million, and has since maintained a balanced budget.

Scope and Content

The Budget and Resources Advisory Committee Records comprise 1.8 linear feet in 4 and one half boxes. The Records are arranged in four subseries: General material, Correspondence, Reports, and Supporting Documents.

The BRAC records document the budget making process, especially during the years 1978/79 through 1980/81. The records include Committee Correspondence (1970-1983), which documents in particular the efforts of the faculty to prevent large jumps in tuition, or significant erosion of faculty salaries during Northwestern's financial crisis. Considerable material in this section is devoted to exchange between faculty and administrative representatives concerning possible changes in tuition, financial aid, and admissions. There are also reports received by BRAC concerning the budget process (1982), of particular interest being those from deans of the various schools, detailing present and projected budget needs. The records include extensive supporting documentation, including budget mock-ups and back-up materials (1978/19-1980/81).

Arrangement of Materials

The Records are arranged in four subseries: General material, Correspondence, Reports, and Supporting Documents. They are arranged chronologically within subseries.


Corporate Name

Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.)--Finance

Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.). Budget and Resources Advisory Committee


Universities and colleges--Illinois--Evanston--Finance

Container List / Contents

  • General Materials
    • General, 1971-1975Box 1, Folder 1
    • Meetings (announcements), 1971-1974Box 1, Folder 2
    • Minutes, 1975Box 1, Folder 3
    • Chairman's notes and drafts, 1979-1982Box 1, Folder 4
    • BRAC Reports, 1971-1985Box 1, Folder 5
        Note:  BRAC Reports are filed in NUA general files, Room 111A.
    • BRAC Reports (drafts), 1971-1982Box 1, Folder 6
  • Correspondence
    • Correspondence, 1970-1971Box 1, Folder 7
    • Correspondence, 1972-1974Box 1, Folder 8
    • Correspondence, 1976-1978Box 1, Folder 9
    • Correspondence, 1978-1979Box 1, Folder 10
    • Correspondence, 1979-1980Box 1, Folder 11
    • Correspondence, 1979-1980Box 2, Folder 1
    • Correspondence, 1979-1980Box 2, Folder 2
    • Correspondence, 1980-1981Box 2, Folder 3
    • Correspondence, 1980-1981Box 2, Folder 4
    • Correspondence, 1980-1981Box 2, Folder 5
    • Correspondence, 1980-1981Box 2, Folder 6
    • Correspondence, 1980-1981Box 2, Folder 7
    • Correspondence, 1981-1982Box 2, Folder 8
    • Correspondence, 1981-1982Box 3, Folder 1
    • Correspondence, 1982-1983Box 3, Folder 2
  • Reports
    • Consortium of Higher Education Report, 1982Box 3, Folder 3
    • Graduate School Reports, 1978-1982Box 3, Folder 4
    • Planning Task Force on Financial Aid, Student Body Size, and Quality Report, 1982Box 3, Folder 5
  • Supporting Documents
    • Budget Mock-up, 1979/80Box 3, Folder 6
    • Supporting Documents, pre-1977Box 3, Folder 7
    • Supporting Documents, 1979-1984Box 3, Folder 8
    • Supporting Documents, 1977-1978Box 3, Folder 9
    • Supporting Documents, 1978-1979Box 4, Folder 1
    • Supporting Documents, 1979-1980Box 4, Folder 2
    • Supporting Documents, 1980-1981Box 4, Folder 3
    • Supporting Documents, 1980-1981Box 4, Folder 4
    • Supporting Documents, 1981-1982Box 4, Folder 5
    • Supporting Documents, 1978-1979Box 4, Folder 6
    • Supporting Documents, 1981-1982Box 5, Folder 1
    • Supporting Documents, 1982-1983Box 5, Folder 2
    • Supporting Documents, 1983-1984Box 5, Folder 3