Budget & Financial Planning
The office of Budget and Financial Planning supports the strategic goals and objectives of the University by providing budgetary and fiscal management services with integrity and professionalism.
Responsibilities of the office include:
- Assisting University administration, department heads, and budget managers in the collaborative development of annual operating budgets and financial plans.
- Maintaining long-range financial models to support strategic planning, decision making, and the effective allocation of resources for operational, personnel, and capital needs.
- Producing accurate and timely financial analyses and reports.
Budget Planning & Administration
The office of Budget and Financial Planning works collectively with Financial Services and Human Resources to combine the detailed operating, endowment, and compensation budgets resulting in the comprehensive University budget that is presented to the Board of Trustees for final approval at its spring meeting.
The University’s Operating Budget is developed based on a fiscally prudent planning approach and allows for contingencies related to unforeseen economic challenges. The annual budget is based on input received from key university units throughout the preceding fiscal year including:
- Reasonable enrollment projections
- Tuition rate and financial aid discount for first-year class
- Endowment payout
- Auxiliary revenue
Budget managers are supplied with year-to-date results for the current budget year and actual results for the prior budget year to help inform them about next year’s budget requests.
President’s Cabinet begins considering high-level assumptions for the following year’s budget and deliberates how best to allocate resources in support of the University’s mission.
University’s administration presents a recommended tuition rate for the following academic year to the Fiscal Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees for approval at its fall meeting.
President’s Cabinet reviews projected revenues and expenses and decides the amount of funding to provide each area. Funding allocations are communicated to the Vice Chancellor units.
The annual line-item budget is prepared using multiple separate processes that are then combined into one final budget. The unrestricted program portion of the process is developed through the preparation of annual budget worksheets for each University department which are posted into the PeopleSoft Financials system. The endowment portion of the budget is prepared separately by Endowment Accounting and added to the unrestricted program budget. Compensation expenses are developed through the salary planning system which is administered by Human Resources.
The proposed budget is presented to the Board of Trustees for final approval at its spring meeting.
Once the final budget is approved, the office of Budget and Financial Planning administers and manages it throughout the year to ensure that it continues to support the University’s mission. Our office also oversees budget amendments and carryover requests.
Departmental budget amendments may be requested when business processes and academic programs change. To increase an expense budget mid-year, another expense must be decreased to maintain bottom-line neutral amendments.
Significant dollar amendments may require Vice-Chancellor approval. Budget amendments are generally accumulated and posted on an as-needed basis but are subject to workflow concerns. The last day to submit a budget amendment request is December 31st of each year. If you have a budget problem or need a budget amendment, please contact the office of Budget and Financial Planning.
Departments that don’t spend their entire budget in a fiscal year may retain the unspent portion as carryover into future years to fund one-time operating expenses. Compensation accounts, however, are not included in the carryover calculation, nor can carryover be used to fund compensation expenses.
After the accounting records for the fiscal year are finalized and the year-end audit is completed, the office of Budget and Financial Planning will calculate the carryover balances for each department. You will be notified when the calculations are complete so that you can view a budget carryover report for your department.
The approval process for spending carryover depends on the amount and purpose of the carryover budget to be spent:
- For operating expense carryover requests over $1,500, you may request the carryover funds during the annual budget and planning process or during the fiscal year as the need arises. Please submit your requests to your respective operating unit Vice-Chancellor for approval and submission to the office of Budget and Financial Planning. If approved by the office of Budget and Financial Planning, the request will be reserved for use by the requesting unit and loaded into your departmental budget.
- The use of carryover funds for (a) operating expenses of $1,500 or less, or (b) capital purposes (the acquisition of long-lived assets costing $10,000 or more) require only that the office of Budget and Financial Planning be notified of the expenditure. Please notify the office of Budget and Financial Planning of the carryover amount, and they will post the use of carryover to your operating budget for departmental budget tracking purposes. If you do not notify the office of Budget and Financial Planning of your intended use of carryover funds, your operating budget will not balance.
The notification to the office of Budget and Financial Planning is not an approval process but is needed to ensure that the requested carryover funds appear in your operating budget reports to reflect a balanced operating budget.