2011 TC Pressroom
Teachers College, Columbia University
Teachers College Columbia University

TC Media Center from the Office of External Affairs

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Steven Weinberg: TC’s Director of Budget and Planning

Steven Weinberg, who has been at TC for several weeks as the new Director of Budget and Planning, is animated when speaking about why he is here. "I came here because there is a great opportunity to make some very positive changes in an institution that is highly regarded in the academic community," he says.

Weinberg comes to TC from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey where he served as the Director of Budget and Finance since 1990. Prior to that, he held positions as the Deputy Director of Planning and the Director of Financial Management and Administration at the New Jersey Transit Corporation and the Urban Mass Transportation Administration, respectively. All in all, he has more than 22 years of experience working with colleges, universities, and government agencies.

In describing his goals at TC, Weinberg says that he wants to create an annual budgeting process that is both inclusive and informative. He emphasizes that annual budgeting "can only be successful if it is a collaborative effort."

Weinberg also sees his work encompassing budget planning that has a "forward looking timeline" of three to five years, which may call for making tough decisions. He says: "When you talk to people about budgeting for three to five years, many individuals are cynical and respond with ‘What are you going to do to me?' or ‘Where is the cut coming from?'"

But, as he adds, "That's not the way to look at long-range budgeting."

Weinberg explains that the value of looking, at least, at a three-year horizon in budgeting is that it allows an institution to take advantage of opportunities. "So when you plan," Weinberg says, "you're able to implement new initiatives in an effective manner."

The Director of Budgeting and Planning will also be involved in determining the right blend of investments for the College that address community needs such as improvements to the infrastructure and physical environment, investments to manage enrollment growth and/or financial aid.

"What I can tell you," he says, "is that the College's investment approach needs to be comprehensive." No matter what, Weinberg believes, "We have to think strategically, plan comprehensively, and then put together a formula that commits to investment that addresses the future needs of the College."

Referring to last year's college-wide process of developing its financial priorities, Weinberg says that TC has all sorts of flexibility and opportunities to address the inventory of College needs. "We have an endowment, we have a Capital Campaign with great promise and we have the financial strength to enter into the capital markets to raise cash cheaply."

Weinberg is convinced that the College can put together a very effective financial package to address many of its needs. "The fact that we have the three options makes for a very potent investment program."

He is happy to be at TC because it's "the right size" to accomplish more in the budgeting process. He calls TC an intimate environment and says, "I look forward to establishing closer and productive relationships with my colleagues."

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