Budget and Business Management
The chair has ultimate responsibility for daily oversight of the department budget. Overruns are not automatically covered elsewhere; the overage must be covered out of department funds the chair identifies as available for this purpose.
1. Ongoing Budget Management
Financial management is a year-round activity. Chairs (and, in some instances, Associate Chairs) are the only people in the department who have the authority to sign requests for spending the department’s budget (purchase orders, travel advances, student timesheet authorizations, etc.). Other department staff may be assigned responsibility for preparing various budget request forms, monitoring department expenditures, and the like. The fiscal year ends on June 30, and departments are then asked to reconcile any cost overages in July.
Your department budget can be found in Banner. To access on line assistance on performing a basic Budget Query, please go to the Finance Office.
If you can not sign on to Banner and find your reports, please contact the Business Office immediately, to be sure you have been authorized to access the reports and that you will receive the monthly updates. If you know your fund and organization codes (as well as your user id and pin) you can sign on and find your department’s budget for the current year (or for a number of prior years). The organization code identifies your department. The fund codes indicate the source of funding (e.g. unrestricted budget, endowed funds, research account or project fund). The account codes identify the type of expenditure ( e.g. copying, entertainment, instructional supplies, etc.). A list of the organization codes, funds, and of commonly used account numbers can be found on the Controller's website under "Forms and Documents". Some departments use a fourth code, program code, for recording details of which program used the funds.
The Business Office updates financial reports frequently. You may access them on-line at any time. Staff assistants who see these reports regularly may be most helpful for reading them. In addition, Chairs and other department members who are involved in budget management may request a meeting with appropriate staff in the Business Office to discuss any aspects of budgeting.
2. Annual Budgeting Process-deadlines in late fall and spring
The Chair and/or Assistant Chair prepare budget requests for the department. Chairs may meet, as a group, with the Dean, the Vice-President of Business and Finance, and the Budget Director before the budget process begins to discuss the all-college budget priorities.
Currently, the budget process has four stages at which departments may make requests.
(1.) In the late fall, the Capital Equipment Request is an opportunity for departments seeking capital equipment, including computers, to list the specific equipment and costs they desire. Department Chairs assign each item a priority. These requests are reviewed by both the Dean’s Office and the College Equipment Committee before recommendations are made to the President.
(2.) Increases or other changes in operating budget (unrestricted) funds may be requested during the winter budget process. In recent years there have been no across the board increases and no need to follow this step. Specific requests may be received as described in item 5 below. Departments that have learned to budget and track expenses by line items accurately, have a clear advantage in justifying increases over departments that can not demonstrate their current line-item expenses. This is also the time to make adjustments in your line item totals.
(3.) Normal operating budget is currently assumed to remain at previous year’s levels unless changed by the second step.
(4.) Usually in March, Chairs enter their recommendations for salary increases for staff, staying within college guidelines.
(5.) After the Board of Trustees approves a budget in early spring, the Budget Committee responds to proposals and allocates funds based on the amount available to meet all college needs.