The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Annual Budget Process Overview

The campus operates on a July 1st to June 30th fiscal year.  Revenue operations submit budgets five months before the start of the fiscal year, beginning a process that culminates in Board of Trustee approval in June.   All other fee increases need to be approved by the Budget Office before the new fiscal year begins.  In contrast, the unrestricted undesignated budget, comprised primarily of state funds and mandatory student fee revenue, is not finalized until early in the fiscal year after the state appropriation has been allocated and actual enrollment data is available.   Departments funded by central campus funds generally begin the fiscal year with the same budget as received in the previous year.  Depending upon the overall budget situation of the campus, increases or reductions to budgets normally occur early in the fiscal year.  Departments, schools and colleges are required to provide year-end projections at mid-year to support updates to campus operating budgets.  Departments also provide explanations of prior year balances and activity to the Budget Office in the fall for the previous fiscal year-end.

Most administrative and academic departments have a mixture of unrestricted, restricted, and revenue based funds as described below.  Restricted funds are primarily grants, gifts, and endowment income where budget periods and restrictions are set by outside entities.

The Budget Office presents summary information about the campus operating budget on the Budget Office website. Training on budget and finance topics is provided by Budget and Controller’s Office staff through Workplace Learning and Development (WL&D) to interested parties.

Requesting Additional Funds

The Budget Office works during the fiscal year to forecast the financial resources available for the next budget year.  Considered in this planning are the resources required to support mandatory costs such as bargained salary increases, utilities and debt service, and to support core initiatives such as financial aid.  In FY16 the campus put in place a more transparent and decentralized budget process.   This comprehensive process begins in the fall/winter with strategic planning for the coming budget year for schools/colleges and administrative units.  Ensuing discussions in the winter/spring shape budget plans for each unit, and these plans may include allocation of new resources, where available, and/or reallocation of existing resources between or within the units.  As such, requests for additional funding must be coordinated at the executive area (Provost, Vice Chancellor) whether these requests are made during the budget planning process or during the fiscal year.  

Campus' Major Sources of Revenue

The campus displays its revenue from both All Funds’ and General Funds’ perspectives. All Funds includes state appropriation, tuition and fee income, revenue operations, grants and contracts, and restricted gifts.  General Funds are a subset of All Funds data and include state appropriation, tuition and mandatory fees, indirect cost recoveries and other unrestricted sources.  General Funds provide the primary source of revenue for the campus’ base budget that sustains the faculty and provides the primary support for teaching and some of the support for the institution’s research enterprise.  State appropriation funds approximately 35% of the general funds revenue base while mandatory student fees comprise another 57%.  On an All Funds basis the state appropriation (20%) and mandatory student fees (33%) are a much smaller portion of All Funds revenue.  Revenue operations (28%) and direct revenue from Grants and Contracts (10%) are included in the All Funds view and comprise a large share of campus revenue.

Campus' Major Expenditure Categories

The campus operating budget presents expenditures by how the funds will be used.  On an All Funds basis Instruction (32%) and Research (9%) comprise more than one-third of the cost. Operation and maintenance of the physical plant – including depreciation -- makes up another 16% of total spending and approximately 18% of spending is for auxiliary enterprises. 13% of the budget is dedicated to financial aid. The remaining 12% of the budget is spent on Public Service, Academic Support, Student Services, and Institutional Support.

What are the Different Campus Funding Sources?

Unrestricted: Funds received for which no stipulation was made by the donor or other external agency as to the purposes for which they should be expended, except for the limitations imposed by law and by the budget. The resources in this group are used for the purpose of performing the primary missions of the institution – instruction, research and public service. This includes any unit concerned directly with the operation and support of the educational program. All of the following are classified as current unrestricted funds:

1. General Operations - Funds used to support the general operational needs of the University. Sources include:

  • State Funds: Funds appropriated by the State Legislature.
  • General Operating Funds (GOF): Funds generated from revenue sources such as the Tuition and Mandatory Student Fees, Trust Fund Interest and Administrative Overhead.

2. Revenue-Based - Funds established for activities that are fully or partially supported through fees or charges for products or services. Revenue-based operations include:

  • Auxiliaries: An operation providing services external, but contributing to, the basic academic mission of the university. Auxiliaries are managed as self-supporting activities through revenue generated from either student fees or the sale of goods or services to the campus community. Some examples of auxiliary operations on this campus are Residence Halls and Family Housing, Student Health, and Boarding Halls.
  • Student Fee: An operation that provides services to students for various educational and ancillary purposes. These operations are primarily student supported through fees that may be either mandatory or non-mandatory. Some examples of student fee operations include Fine Arts Center, Computer, Career Services, and Student Activities.
  • Sales and Service: An operation established for the purpose of providing goods and services to the University community and, in certain limited circumstances, the general public. Some examples of sales and services operations are Geology Microprobe, Central Mail, Research Support Services, and the Communications Disorders Clinic.

Restricted: Funds expendable for operating purposes but restricted by donors or outside agencies as to the specific purpose for which they may be expended. All of the following are classified as current restricted funds:

  • Grants and Contracts
  • Gifts
  • Federal Appropriations
  • Special State Appropriations

Revenue Operations Defined

Revenue operations are established for activities that are fully or partially supported through fees or charges for products or services. All revenue generated by these activities must be expended for the purpose for which the operation was established and must comply with the policies and regulations that govern the use of University funds. There are three types of revenue operations: auxiliary operations, student fee operations, and sales and service operations. See additional information on revenue operations.

Managing the Budget Processes

Each executive area has an executive financial officer (EFO) responsible for that area’s budget processes. Major budgetary units and colleges may also have employees who assist in managing the mechanics of the budget process. Check with your executive area EFO on the specific procedures for managing budgets in your department.

  Executive Area

Executive Financial Officer (EFO)

Phone #

 Academic Affairs & Provost’s Office

Amy Stout



Sean Quinn


 Chancellor’s Office

Rolanda Burney


 VC Admin and Finance

Ruth Yanka


 VC Office of Information Technologies

Teri Delude


 VC Research and Engagement

Lisa Wegiel


 VC Student Affairs & Campus Life

Eddie Hull


 VC University Advancement

David Markland


 VC University Relations

Sue Lorow








Explaining base funds versus non-base funds

General Funds budgets are typically allocated to departments as either base funds or non-base funds. Base funds will recur in the budget annually on a long-term basis. Non-base funds are one-time allocations which are not included in the succeeding year’s budget. Some programs funded for just a few years are allocated funds as quasi base.

Presidential Awards Faculty Grants

The President’s Office often awards promising research or curriculum ventures which are received by the Budget Office and allocated as GOF funds to a chartfield string (e.g. account) under the control of the faculty recipient. The funds are usually received in the Budget Office in July and then distributed as soon as possible to faculty recipients.

What is PeopleSoft?

The PeopleSoft System is an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system which integrates data and processes of the institution into one unified electronic system. The University implemented financial and human resource modules to support our business functions and improve their efficiencies. In the financial arena, the University utilizes PeopleSoft to support general ledger, accounts payable, asset, grant, and post-award functions. The Human Resource modules are used to support payroll, benefits, time and labor functions. PeopleSoft gives users the ability to access financial and human resource data from their desk top.

What is Summit Reporting?

Summit is a web-based, interactive reporting tool for financial data. The tool provides timely information on budgets, expenditures, encumbrances and balances for both sponsored and non-sponsored activity. Summit also provides important “at-a-glance” financial and demographic information, such as, days remaining for a grant and payroll detail by employee. As an interactive tool, it gives users the flexibility to view information at a summarized level and to drill down to individual transactions. Summit is intended to be intuitive, easy to navigate and to improve decision making and performance monitoring.

How to report fraudulent activity

Anyone who believes fraud has occurred should contact either the campus Controller, Vice-Chancellor, Chancellor and/or directly the University Auditor’s Office or the Campus Police Department. Employees are protected under Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 149, section 185, from retaliatory actions by their employer.

Fraudulent acts include:

  • Embezzlement, misappropriation or other financial irregularities
  • Forgery or alteration of documents (checks, time sheets, contractor agreements, purchase orders, other financial documents, electronic files)
  • Improprieties in the handling or reporting of money or financial transactions
  • Misappropriation of funds, securities, supplies, inventory, or any other asset (including furniture, fixtures or equipment)
  • Authorizing or receiving payment for goods not received or services not performed
  • Authorizing or receiving payments for hours not worked

The fraud policy is distributed annually to all employees.

What to do if contacted about an audit of financial data

The Controller’s Office coordinates all site visits and the preparation of responses to written requests for financial information. Occasionally an auditor or investigator may request information or a review of financial data, programs or facilities without prior notice.  These individuals should be referred to the Controller’s Office (5-0806) or OGCA (5-0698) before providing information or access to campus data or facilities.

Processing Campus Gifts

Private gifts from outside donors are charged an assessment to help fund campus development operations.  The Development Office is responsible for coordinating donor solicitations and gift processing.

Administration & Finance Websites