This paper compares and contrasts different strategies to balance academic institutions’ operating budgets. Some strategies use economic theory to recommend a budgeting technique, others use management methods to cut cost, and some strategies use a management accounting approach to reach a balanced budget. Through the use of a simplified numerical example of a breakeven analysis model, this paper argues that excess capacity and high enrolment levels are needed for some proposed budget balancing recommendations to work. It also argues that low enrolment institutions and academic units need to be subsidized to keep their doors open.
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