Program Budgeting & Marginal Analysis

​​In January 2015, the Faculty began an exercise (PBMA) to find ongoing savings and revenue sources in order to reinvest in the Faculty’s strategic priorities, as well as address the projected deficit and ensure the Faculty’s budget remains sustainable for the long term.  


With significant financial pressures throughout the Faculty and across the university, in January of this year, we implemented PBMA to allow us to improve how we make decisions on the allocation of resources that reflect our organizational mandate and goals, as well as address the projected deficit and ensure the Faculty’s budget remains sustainable for the long term.  

For additional background on the PBMA framework, read the academic paper: "Allocating Limited Resources in a Time of Fiscal Constraints: A Priority Setting Case Study From Dalhousie University Faculty of Medicine​"


The PBMA project is divided into 3 p​hases:

Phase 1: Preparation/Orientation (January - May 2015 | Complete)

During Phase 1, the project team was established, and unit heads were engaged in order to shape the criteria, weighting scales and risk factors by which the proposals will be assessed.

In addition several orientation sessions were held in order to support academic and administrative unit heads in developing unit proposals as well as cross-cutting proposals that point the way towards new and more effective ways of working in the longer-term. Proposals are due during Phase 2 of the project.​​​

Phase 2: Proposal Development (June - August 2015 | Complete)

All academic and administrative unit heads were asked to assist in identifying cost savings and new revenue sources for 2016/17 by completing short form and long form proposals. Units are submitting proposals over the summer for adjudication by the Advisory Committee in September.

  • Short form proposal deadline: June 24, 2015
  • Long form proposal deadline: July 22, 2015​

Phase 3: Proposal Assessment and Implementation (September - October 2015)

Phase 3 of the PBMA project is set to begin in September 2015. Stay tuned for updates.​​​


Find answers to frequently asked questions​ about the PBMA project.​

Project Team

Project Sponsor:  

  • ​Dr. Dermot Kelleher, Dean (Dr. Fred Mikelberg, Vice Dean, in his absence)​​

Advisory Group: ​ ↑ ​Recommends decisions to the Sponsor​​

  • All Heads (21) and Dean’s Executive (9)
  • Representative from Research Centres/Institutes- (1 – Dr. Rob McMaster, VCHRI)
  • Representative from Regional Associate Deans: - (1 – Dr. Paul Winwood, UNBC)​
  • Staff representative – Rene Mrzljak
  • Student representative – Cynthia Min​

Task Group:  ​​↑ Prepare material for the advisory group

  • Dr. Catherine Backman, Department Head
  • Dr. Roger Brownsey, Department Head
  • Dr. Graydon Meneilly, Department Head
  • Dr. David Patrick, School Director
  • Dr. Howard Feldman, Dean's Executive
  • Michael Shakespeare, Dean's Executive
  • Dr. David Snadden, Dean's Executive

Operations Team:  ↑ ​Supports the task group and advisory group​

  • Academic Lead: Dr. George Mackie
  • Project Manager: David Cantrel
  • Senior Finance Director: Evie Mandel
  • External Advisors: Dr. Craig Mitton and Dr. Francois Dionne​​​​​​