UMass Dartmouth follows the planning cycle implemented at the state level; both entities utilize a fiscal year that runs July 1st through June 30th. There are three major components of the budget that will be addressed during the planning phase of the budget cycle: revenue rates, personnel expense, and non-personnel expenses. The planning cycle for the upcoming fiscal year will start early into the new fiscal year when the Chancellor's cabinet will decide on the fiscal year's strategic priorities. Shortly after this meeting, Deans meet with the Provost to identify department staffing needs. This exercise will typically take place between late July and early August. Between August and early January much communication will take place between the budget office and field departments. Through these meetings and conversations many assumptions are developed in preparation of formulating an Operating Expense Performa. During this time frame, we will also begin discussion with departments to develop a rate structure that will be sent to the Board of Trustees.
If you were to come into the budget office in early January, you sense the eager anticipation as the team members await the Institutional Research Office enrollment projections for the upcoming year. Once we receive the enrollment projections, the requested rates are matched with the appropriate enrollment target and a preliminary operating revenue budget is conceived. This rate package is reviewed internally with the Chancellor and then forwarded to the President's Office for presentation and approval. Using the proposed rates, the strategic initiatives, and staffing levels, as well as assumptions developed in the President's Office, an operating package (revenues and expenditures) is compiled. The mandatory rates as well as the operating budget are reviewed and approved by the University Board of Trustees in early June.
Also at the end of January, beginning of February, we will start to receive communication regarding the level of state funding anticipated for the upcoming year. The state's budgeting process is a lengthy one. Several reviews (Governor's budget, House Ways and Means, Senate Ways and Means, Conference Committee) resulting in a final budget delivered to the Governor between June and July. The Governor then has 10 days to sign the document; during this time he may opt to veto some line items. Since the University receives state funds as part of the operating revenues, the state funding level is somewhat uncertain due to the lengthy state budgeting process right up to the opening of the new fiscal year.
There are many components and approvals that are required in the development of the University Budget, thus making for a lengthy year-long process. The Budget Office acts to coordinate, facilitate and communicate the process to all our community participants in an effort to produce a comprehensive and thoroughly vetted budget. A summary of the Budget Process and State Appropriation Timeline can be viewed by clicking the links provided below.
Budget Process Timelines
The University Budget process is a complex process that involves different variables from both internal and external sources. The process starts in mid-August of current fiscal year for the following fiscal year and is finalized with the release of the signed Governor's budget.
The Budget Office timeline outlines the major milestones within the internal budget process cycle and like the State Appropriation timeline it has some degree of variance in when events unfold within specific months.
The State Appropriation timeline is a generalized outline of the external budget process cycle and has some degree of variance in when events unfold within specific months.
Massachusetts Budget Process
From its inception as the Governor’s annual appropriation recommendations for Massachusetts and through amendments adopted in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, the annual budget goes through many permutations before finally becoming law.