Budget planning demystified

posted in: ET Update | 0

ET UpdateOur budget is built from program and department requests that committees, deans and vice presidents scrutinize before taking to Executive Team.

All that thought, conversation and effort put into unit planning culminates in meetings in February when ET develops the recommended budget for our next fiscal year. The budget is formally presented to the budget committee in April.

ET’s deliberations must always account for a number of uncertainties like What will state funding be? What tuition amount will we charge? What grants will be funded?

Our approach to begin the process is for each division of the college (Instruction and Student Services, College Support Services and College Advancement and President’s Office) to bring proposed budget adjustments to the ET table in early February based on funding scenarios and priorities.

For example, we read the legislative tea leaves and anticipate that state funding for community colleges might be $500 million, or $519 million or $535 million. Then we look at our funding requests and prioritize them based on alternate funding scenarios. So if the state comes in at $500 million, we may propose only investments that can be funded by cuts somewhere else in the budget. If the state comes in at $519 million, we might advocate investing in our first priority. If the funding is higher, we may back additional priority investments. Investments are made based on the budget principles for 2015-16.

These deliberations include far-ranging discussions of –

  • How circumstances are changing like declining enrollment, state funding formulas and government mandates
  • Philosophical positions on the role of community colleges in a changing world
  • Tough questions like will this change really attract more students or just move students around to different classes?

The dialogue is respectful, the cooperation is congenial and the desire to do what’s best for Chemeketa is strong.

For more information visit the Executive Team site on Employee Dashboard.