Budget Planning and Administration
The annual budget process begins in late fall, when University administration discusses preliminary assumptions regarding next year’s budget with the Board of Trustees. In December and January, the Chancellor’s Cabinet reviews projected revenues and expenses and then decides the amount of funding to provide to each area. Once funding allocations have been established, 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 preparation of annual budget worksheets for each University department, and usually takes place in the month of February. After the budget worksheets are accumulated, the Budget Office posts departmental operating budgets into the PeopleSoft Financials system. The endowment portion of the budget is prepared separately by Treasury and added to the unrestricted program budget. Compensation expenses are developed through the salary planning system which is administered by Human Resources. Through the collective efforts and teamwork of the Budget Office, Treasury and Human Resources, the operating, endowment and compensation budgets are combined to create the final University budget. This budget is presented to the Board of Trustees for final approval at its spring meeting.
Once the final budget is approved, the Budget Office administers and manages it throughout the year to ensure that it continues to support the University’s mission. The Budget Office also oversees budget amendments and carryover requests.
Changes in business processes and academic programs create the need to amend departmental budgets during the fiscal year, and departments can request a budget amendment to reflect these changes. Mid-year budget amendments should be bottom line neutral, that is, in order to increase an expense budget, another expense budget must be decreased. Significant dollar amendments may require Vice Chancellor approval. Budget amendments are generally accumulated and posted on an as needed basis, but subject to work flow concerns. If you have a budget problem or need a budget amendment, please contact Kenneth Janak or Evie Richardson.
Departments which do not 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 Budget Office 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 showing the approved carryover balance as of the end of the prior fiscal year.
The approval process for spending carryover depends on the amount and purpose of the carryover budget to be spent:
- For operating expense carryover requests in excess of $1,500, you may request the carryover funds during the annual budget and planning process or during the fiscal year as the need arises. In either of these two cases, please submit your requests to your respective operating unit Vice Chancellor for approval and submission to the Budget Office. If approved by the Budget Office, 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 Budget Office be notified of the expenditure. Please notify Evie Richardson in the Budget Office of the carryover amount, and she will post the use of carryover to your operating budget for departmental budget tracking purposes. If you do not notify Evie of your intended use of carryover funds, your operating budget will not balance. The notification to the Budget Office is not an approval process, but is needed in order to ensure that the requested carryover funds appear in your operating budget reports to reflect a balanced operating budget.