budget/inventory office door

Budget Process & Tools

State Budget Process

In accordance with Article III, Section 52 of Maryland’s Constitution, the Governor of the State of Maryland establishes the basis for State spending. The Department of Budget Management (DBM) helps the Governor by managing and administering state funds and resources.   

The allocation of funds and resources is typically decided during the legislative session held sometime between January and April. At this time bills, guidelines and regulations are also proposed, discussed, and decided on. These decisions inform how we move forward and provide us with the financial guidelines and mandates for the year.

The University System of Maryland (USM) was created in 1988 to help support the Institutions of Higher Education within the state. With leadership from the Board of Regents, the USM office works directly with DBM and public universities to coordinate academic programs, long-range planning and resource management, private fund raising and financial stewardship.

Annual Budgeting Timeline

The state budgeting timeline is set by DBM. This process drives our internal budgeting process. The Salisbury University Budget Office works directly with USM during the annual budgeting process.

August - September

  1. SU provides a final report on actual spending from the former year.
  2. The “working budget” is updated using current enrollment data.
  3. SU provides an estimated budget for the following year using a USM driven incremental formula.

 March – May

  1. The internal budget process is run at SU.
    a. Departments and Schools forecast revenue and expenses in order for the SU Budget Office to assemble accurate working budgets.

May - June

  1. The Legislative Sessions come to an end and the BOR meets.
  2. SU receives notice of changes, guidelines and mandates along with our allocated state funding.

June – July

  1. The SU Budget Office factors in all information from the state as well as the current enrollment data and pushes information back to departments and schools as needed.
  2. By July 1, active working budgets are distributed to departments and schools.

December – February

  1. The SU Budget Office factors in all changes in enrollment to forecast year end.

The Salisbury University Budget Process

Our internal budget process has been enhanced to increase flexibility, visibility, and collaboration between the SU Budget Office and SU Budget Administrators in order to prepare us for any state mandates after the conclusion of the legislative session. In order to ensure resources are better allocated based on current need and budget type, we have continued the strategic shift away from divisional budget allotments (Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, Administration & Finance, etc.). The SU Budget Office has worked diligently to design tools for departments/schools that help forecast costs and provide data for informed decision making. These tools help us reconceptualize our approach while limiting the logistical changes in in our current budgeting system, PeopleSoft.

To provide guidance around resource allocation and spending in FY25, the Salisbury University Investment Priorities were developed. These priorities support the Salisbury Seven and give us a road map for budget development in this cycle.

  • Invest in initiatives that indicate a strong return on investment by attracting, recruiting and retaining first year, graduate and transfer students, including but not limited to high-impact practices, high quality teaching, and new academic programs that educate students in areas with high workforce needs.
  • Invest in initiatives that close the graduation gaps for students eligible for need-based financial aid, as well as students from underrepresented backgrounds.
  • Invest in equity, access, and inclusion initiatives that create a greater sense of welcome and belonging for all students and employees.
  • Invest in comprehensive student support services, including but not limited to academic advising, counseling, career services, and tutoring programs.
  • Invest in marketing that targets prospective students, highlighting what makes SU unique, including sharpening our social media strategy.
  • Invest in the recruitment, retention, and recognition of SU’s hard working faculty and staff; improving our communication strategies; and streamlining our processes and procedures.
  • Invest in initiatives that will strengthen our institutional identity, further engage our alumni network, and increase our fundraising abilities.

The transition away from divisional budget allotments has allowed us to focus on the unique differences between budget types and ensures a fresh evaluation of expenses occurs during the budgeting cycle. Currently, our budgeting process is structured around framework developed for three different types of budgets:

  1. Academic Schools: These budgets will rely on school/college-specific data like enrollment information and course schedules, and will follow their own strategic financial plans for the year as determined by the Dean of each school and college. Each financial plan specifically supports SU’s educational mission and academic excellence.
  2. Administrative Departments: These budgets encompass many of our essential administrative services. Budgets in this area typically have a higher percentage of fixed costs and variable forecasting abilities. As we aim to optimize operations and enhance collaboration across campus, the Budget Office is pre-populating the PeopleSoft budgets after analyzing historical spending over the last 10 years. All pre-populated information can be altered as budgets are worked on.
  3. Auxiliary Services: These budgets are highly complex and unique due to the revenue-generating activities and services that support our core mission but operate on a more self-sustaining basis (though not always). Because each auxiliary department operates very differently, the Budget Office must work with each area individually to develop tools and strategies to ensure financial accountability and data informed decision-making.

The budget process runs from March – May. To kick off the process, departments and schools should discuss and develop a financial plan for the coming year by considering the investment priorities and by using area specific data to inform decisions.

After successfully engaging with your department/school specific process, budget data for the next year will be entered into our current budget system in the exact same way as it was last year. That is, the Budget Office will provide a budget template that include budgeted and actual expenses for the last two fiscal years by account code to assist in the formulation of the new fiscal year budget. After reviewing the budget template and other information gathered during this process, departments/school budget admin should submit a proposed budget for the coming year.

Budget templates should reflect realistic budget needs and meet the following requirements:

  1. With the decline in enrollment, funds will continue to be tight and therefore require detailed justification for each line item requested.
  2. As we continue to gauge accurate budgets and optimize resources, we request that no shifts be made during the coming year between Labor (01/02) and Non-Labor (03).

This means, when budget templates are turned in, they should be as accurately forecasted as possible.

There are two levels of budget access in PeopleSoft; budget entry and budget approval. The individuals with budget entry access can only enter budget information into the templates for approval.  The individuals with budget approval access can enter and/or modify the budget information and approve what was submitted. Once the budget template is complete, it will route to the head of the department or school, then the VP of the division for review and approval before coming to the Budget Office.

Budget templates will be sent back if adjustments need to be made.