The Critical Number
The Critical Number is defined as an operational or financial number that represents a weakness or vulnerability that, if not addressed and corrected, will negatively impact the overall performance and long-term security of the university. The Critical Number defines winning. It rallies people around a common goal and a focus on what’s most important and critical to the university's success. Our Critical Number has been identified as operating cash . This is the cash used to pay our bills (e.g., payroll, utilities, etc.). It is not tied to a particular use (unlike financial aid, restricted gifts, most construction). The household analogy would be your checking and savings accounts. Most organizations (and households) maintain a certain level of operating cash in reserve (savings). Our Critical Number can be impacted in a positive way by both increasing revenue and decreasing expenses. There are many ways to affect it--both directly and indirectly. It is possible that our Critical Number will change over time, but as long as we are operating at a deficit, it will be operating cash.
When the Critical Number is tied to a reward (Stake in the game) – the rules of The Game have been set. The Critical Number becomes the focus of The Game. You can learn more about the Critical Number in the Learning Resources > Get in the Game menu item to the left.
Click here for a chart of the current status of operating cash at MSSU including AY 15, 16, & 17. For a chart of the complete years AY 13, 14, & 15, click here. For a chart including the complete years AY 14, 15, & 16, click here. When viewing these charts, you must compare the same month over the years because the operating cash balance fluctuates throughout the academic year as tuition revenue comes in in September and February and scholarship money in January while expenses are fairly stable. The declining monthly balances of operating cash from year-to-year are of concern.