t is time once
again to begin planning for the upcoming year. One of the tools we
use to help us plan for our expenditures is the annual budget for
both operations and capital. The budgeting process involves
administrators and faculty alike, and ultimately the budget is
approved by the Board of Directors at their April meeting.
This letter is intended for all budget
managers, and it details the budget process for the upcoming year.
Each budget manager is responsible for submitting a 12-month budget
request for the departments that he or she oversees.
The budget requests should be completed by
using a series of excel spreadsheets which you will receive as email
attachments. To assist you in determining your operating needs for
the next year you will receive, through campus mail, monthly
spending detail for the prior two years and the current year.
Please see below detailed steps for completing your budget request
for the 2005 – 2006 fiscal year. Do not hesitate to let me know if
you have any questions on this process, or if you need any
Step 1 Review prior spending and budgets
Review your departmental spending for the
current and past two years. Determine if this level of spending is
expected for next year, or if there were unusual circumstances that
have occurred. If you know the cost for a particular area will go
up or down, please adjust your numbers accordingly.
In most cases, you should plan for your
non-salary expenses to remain very similar to the current year
budget amounts. If you are planning more than a 3 % increase for any
one line item, please provide a narrative on the third tab of the
excel budget workbook explaining in detail, the reason for the
If you are proposing something significantly
different than current year spending, a business case should be
(See below for Business Case.)
Step 2 Determine next year’s request for
operating expenses, provide detail
Enter, by month, your requested budget amounts
in the first tab of the excel workbook. You will notice two areas on
the spreadsheet; Discretionary and Non-discretionary. Only the
Discretionary area will need to be completed by you, so please leave
the salary and benefit lines blank. Salaries will be budgeted with
the advice and consent of the Area Vice Presidents and Human
Also, do not enter requests for capital
items on this spreadsheet. A capital item is typically a physical
item that would generally be utilized longer than one year, and cost
over $2,000 (however, we do consider personal computers to be
capital as well). It could also be a major repair that extends the
life of a physical item. Some examples of capital purchases are:
computers, equipment, furniture, software, carpeting, etc. For
capital requests, please see Step 3, below.
Use the account numbers that have been provided
for you on the spreadsheet. Many of the account numbers that we
used three years ago have been terminated. If you think you need an
account number that is not on the spreadsheet, please contact Kim
Beaner to make sure it is a valid number before adding it to your
spreadsheet. Let the spreadsheet do the math for you. Do not type
anything in the colored Total cells.
Provide detail for projected expenditures for
all non-recurring and non-routine line items on Tab 2 of the
workbook. For example, if you are requesting funds for Travel, or
Staff Training, specifically list the planned activities and
estimated cost of the various components - Trip for X in
Another example would be Special Events.
Tab 2 in the workbook should be used to help
you compile the most accurate budget numbers as possible.
Requests with inadequate detail will be identified as low priority
funding requests that may not be funded.
Step 3 Capital Requests
Tab 4 in the spreadsheet should be used for any
capital requests. Please complete the form as indicated, providing
a description of the requested item, estimated cost, time frame it
is desired, other departments that may be affected, and the reason
it is needed. Also, provide any possible alternatives. For
example, another action that could be taken or item that could be
used for a certain time period if funding is not available in the
Once your requests have been submitted to me, I
will enlist the help of Bill Bartell for IT requests and Rod Voeller
for facility requests. They will lend their expertise as to the
pricing and feasibility where necessary, and present them in a
combined format to the Cabinet for consideration.
Please remember, if you believe you have any
capital needs for next fiscal year, you must go through this
process. If a capital item does not get approved in this manner, it
will not be placed on the budget, and spending may not be approved
until a future year, or may not be approved at all.
Step 4 Submit requests
Forward the completed spreadsheets to me via
email no later than February 28, 2005. Kim and I will compile
the information and present it to the Cabinet by the middle of
March. The Cabinet will compare the requests to the initial
targets. At this time the Area Vice Presidents may schedule
meetings with the budget managers to discuss the requests.
Throughout this process the Cabinet will be in consultation with the
Budget Taskforce. Our goal is to finalize the budget by April 1 for
approval at the April Board meeting.
As stated above in Step 1, if your request is
significantly different than this current year, a business case
should be prepared and presented along with the request. The
business case should be a brief narrative (1 page) that includes the
How the University benefits by either:
Expanding the mission – explain how
Improving effectiveness in process – explain how
Increasing efficiency – explain how
What are possible consequences of not spending the money
What are the risks to the plan – what could go wrong
What possible revenues could be generated, or what existing
could be cut to fund this request
What alternative plans have been considered
Timing of revenue and expenditures
Again, if you have any questions on the
budgeting process, please do not hesitate to ask.