Budget and Strategic Advisory Committee (BSAC)

Charge of the Budget and Strategic Advisory Committee (2021-22):

The President established the Budget and Strategic Advisory Committee to provide analysis, assessment and recommendations around the strategic issues facing the college both in the short and long term. The committee is further charged with the monitoring and analysis of institutional performance through key performance indicators, peer benchmarking, and external rankings in an effort to ensure institutional health and continued excellence.

BSAC will focus on the following three areas that involve the ongoing, annual operation and financial health of the college:

  • Annual operating budget development and multi-year projections/planning assumptions:  Advise on annual tuition increases, financial aid funding, student headcount and retention and graduation rate assumptions, salary pools for employees, and strategic investments.
  • Institutional Health: Monitor the BSAC KPI’s and recommend goals for improvement; monitor institutional performance against peers and competitors in a benchmarking portfolio; monitor and analyze institutional performance in external rankings and recommend goals for improvement.
  • Challenges and Opportunities: Understand the challenges and opportunities being faced by the college and advise on the development of medium-term and long-term financial planning.

The Budget and Strategic Advisory Committee will serve as a conduit between senior leadership and the Occidental community for matters related to institutional budget, strategic planning and performance, committed to transparent and consistent communication to the college community.

BSAC Membership, 2021-22


  • Amos Himmelstein, Chief Operating Officer and Vice President for Finance, Planning and Operations
  • Wendy Sternberg, Dean of the College and Vice President for Academic Affairs


  • Harry Elam, President
  • Sharla Fett, Robert Glass Cleland Professor of American History; American Studies Chair; Black Studies & GWSS Affiliated Faculty Member; Faculty Council President
  • Movindri Reddy, Professor, Diplomacy & World Affairs; SCOF Chair
  • Brandon Lehr, Associate Professor, Economics; Faculty Representative to the Budget & Finance Committee of the Board of Trustees
  • Salvador Fernandez, Professor of Spanish and French Studies; Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs
  • Ellie Findell, President, Associated Students of Occidental College (ASOC)
  • Braedon Hatt, Finance Director, Associated Students of Occidental College (ASOC)
  • Oswaldo Lopez, Assistant Director of Program Operations, Upward Bound
  • Marty Sharkey, Vice President, Communications & Institutional Initiatives
  • Barbara Gillett Valiente, Associate Vice President of Finance/Controller
  • Kristi Allen, Associate Vice President of Institutional Planning & Budget