Business Management Institute

August 5–7, 2024

Santa Barbara, California

The Business Management Institute (BMI) is a learning and community-building experience built around a three-year/three-track model. It is designed to create connected cohorts of higher education professionals across regions, institutions, and professional expertise. 

BMI is a career-building experience with each track adding to your toolbox for today and tomorrow’s opportunities and knowledge. Prior participants identify BMI as a community with a sense of belonging that extends beyond the years of the program – that is – once a part of BMI, always a part of BMI.

If you seek unique learning experiences and opportunities to build your professional network, the vibrant community of BMI is for you.

Registration will open by March 2024 and more information will be posted in the coming months.

We hope you will join WACUBO at the 2024 Business Management Institute, August 5-7 at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Learn more and register today!


2024 Registration Rates Until 5/30 After 5/30
Member  $1,195 $1,295
Non-Member  $1,495  $1,495


Participants have the option of campus housing or hotel accommodations in the vicinity of the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). Campus housing is at the Manzanita Village or the Sierra Madre Apartments located one mile from campus.

Pricing varies according to single or double occupancy and the number of nights reserved.

Hotel accommodations are also available at USCB in Goleta, CA, just a few miles from Santa Barbara.

Background Story

The Business Management Institute has been a signature program of WACUBO for more than 65 years. Since its inception, BMI has been located at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Although the location has not changed, the BMI program experienced a few shifts through the decades. BMI began as a six-day program that opened Sunday evening and closed Friday. In 2020 and 2021, we pivoted to the Virtual BMI Campus Experience. After 10 years of the Sunday-Thursday format and three years of the COVID-19 environment, BMI once again turned the corner. In 2023, BMI moved to a three-year, three-track format and hosts participants Monday-Wednesday. WACUBO is excited to continue this format in 2024.

Planning Story

We asked BMI Participants for their thoughts on the BMI format. The feedback reflected the changes in the higher education workplace and shifts in lifestyle preferences. We identified common themes:

  1. Giving up a Sunday to travel is not desirable
  2. Attending a five-day event (Sunday evening through Thursday morning) is no longer feasible given schedules and workplace staffing issues
  3. Committing to four tracks (years) is challenging for individuals and their institutions
  4. Distinguishing the difference in content and learning between Tracks 1 & 2 has been confusing to potential participants 

Should You Attend?

If you are working in higher education areas of administration or finance, you should attend BMI. Participants include, but are not limited to people working in:

  • Central Administration
  • Academic Units
  • Accounting or Finance
  • Auxiliary Services
  • Budget or Planning
  • Risk Management
  • Institutional Management
  • Human Resources
  • Facilities
  • Procurement
  • Safety and Security

What Will You Learn? 

BMI content is designed to provide participants with a combination of courses on current issues, practical solutions, and personal development. To provide this broad perspective, each course you take may not be specifically related to your field, but it will give you a foundation for future opportunities. Remember, BMI is a career-building experience, not a skill-specific workshop. Our objectives are for you to:

  • Gain a broader perspective of higher education business administration
  • Discuss the latest issues and topics in higher education
  • Learn how other institutions deal with common issues across higher education
  • Develop professional relationships with colleagues from other institutions
  • Prepare for your next opportunity

How Do You Choose a Track?

The ideal approach to BMI is to experience all tracks, building your learning and your network one summer at a time. We understand this is not always possible or practical, so we allow flexibility in track selection, while still wanting you to have the full BMI experience. Due to the cohort nature of BMI, moving across tracks in a single year is not possible.

Track 1 - Intro to BMI: Track 1 is designed to strengthen your knowledge in a broad cross-section of topics. There will be courses in the practical areas of finance and administration such as budgeting and risk management, as well as courses that provide a broader perspective of working across a campus. Rounding out your learning experience are courses in human resources and personal development. Courses that further develop your interpersonal skills and navigate the workplace are included. 

Track 2 - Case Studies: Track 2 is the BMI Case Study year. Each participant prepares a case study on an issue or project to share in small group conversations. Peers in the small group offer their perspectives on one another’s case study. It is a unique and safe place to seek and receive advice and assistance. Each small group has a facilitator who is an experienced professional in higher education. The curriculum also includes lessons in leadership, organizational development, and broader campus topics.

Track 3 - Strategic Planning: Track 3 is focused on strategic planning in higher education in a workshop format that engages everyone in moving through a planning process. There are broad perspectives to be learned by everyone and small group activities to bring home the purpose and value of planning. There are also courses to increase your knowledge of working across the whole university system and further develop your leadership capacity.

All Tracks: Each attendee joins one General Session and participates in peer learning and connecting conversation opportunities. The intense classroom days give way to cool evenings with fun and relaxing events, including a picnic at the beach to unwind and make more connections with other participants. New this year, all participants are included in the Pre-BMI Virtual Welcome Event to Get You Ready for your in-person BMI experience - Schedule-at-a-Glance coming soon!

BMI is a proven WACUBO professional development experience. On a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest, when asked, 94% of your colleagues indicated they were satisfied or very satisfied with their BMI experience.

CPE Credits

The Western Association of College and University Business Officers (WACUBO) is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website:

Learn More

For general questions about BMI, contact Jeanette Perez at [email protected] OR Betsy Clark at [email protected].

For online registration questions or issues for BMI, contact the WACUBO Office at [email protected] or (206) 209-5267