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The process of developing and implementing a budget is among the most important and least understood responsibilities of deans. When done properly, the budget will move the school toward its goals and promote its mission. When done improperly, the budget will waste the limited resources of the school.

This essay first considers the First Principle of Budgets for deans, then discusses procedural issues in developing a successful budget, and finally reviews a number of specific budget issues that law schools face.