Presented to the Montana Board of Regents of Higher Education

November 18, 1999

Board of Regents: Patrick Davison (Chair); Ed Jasmin (Vice Chair); Jeremy Fritz; Lynn Hamilton; Richard Roehm; Margaret Thompson; Deborah Wetsit; Commissioner Richard Crofts; Hon. Marc Racicot

President, Montana State University: Michael Malone

Overview of Budget Development Process

MSU-Northern s (MSUN) annual operating budget is built with the involvement of representatives of all constituents groups at MSUN using budget requests from the entire campus community. The Chancellor relies heavily upon advice from the Budget Advisory Council in the process of approving the operating budget, which is submitted to the President. A core element in MSUN s Budget Model is to ensure a sufficient and efficient balance between FTE/students, which generate revenue, and FTE/faculty, which generates FTE/students. In the model, teaching costs are funded first and non-teaching costs are funded with remaining revenues.

Primary Participants in the Budget Development Process

Budget Advisory Council

To help formulate and guide the budgeting process, MSUN uses a Budget Advisory Council. The council serves as a representative body that provides advice on budget priorities. This inclusive process helps keep constituencies involved and informed on budget matters. Membership on the council includes representatives recommended for appointment by the following groups:

  • MSUN Associated Students
  • Faculty
  • Classified Staff
  • Administrative and Professional Staffs.

The Budget Advisory Council solicits budget requests from the campus community, prioritizes requests for funding, and recommends a balanced budget to the chancellor.

Planning Council

The MSUN Planning Council is a representative body of the same groups as the budget council. The Budget Advisory Council has agreed to utilize the MSUN Academic Master Plan, developed by the Planning Council, assembled using priorities ranked by the campus community.

Administrative Staff

This group includes all MSUN administrators who hold supervisory responsibilities. This group advises the Chancellor, Provost, and Fiscal Officer on staffing, general matters related to the budget and for all FTE/student projections and recommends priorities to the Budget council for funding.

Director of Fiscal Affairs

This position is responsible for coordinating the budget development process, preparing all budget documents, projecting FTE enrollment, projecting revenue, implementing the final budget and monitoring actual FTE, revenues and expenditures throughout the year.

Budget Development Schedule

The budget process is ongoing and takes place throughout the fiscal year. The fiscal year 2001 budget process is as follows:

November The administrative staff and budget advisory council will meet to review fall FTE/students and revenues for FY00, and to discuss emerging issues and/or strategic initiatives which may involve a fiscal impact fiscal year 2000 or 2001.

February Budget request forms are distributed to the entire university community.

March Budget requests are submitted to the Director of Fiscal Affairs

All requests are reviewed by the Director of Fiscal Affairs and assigned to one of the following categories:

Strategic Direction


Program Maintenance


Student Services


College Wide

March All staff is notified by the Director of Fiscal Affairs of the budget category to which they have been assigned.

March If budget requestors disagree with the category placement of their budget request, they can inform the Director of Fiscal Affairs of their intent to file an appeal.

March The Budget Council reviews all appeals and determines final placement of the appropriate category for each appealed budget request.

March The requests are then given to the following groups/councils to prioritize for funding:

Strategic Direction, reviewed by Budget Advisory Council

Facilities Modification, reviewed by Facilities Council

Program Maintenance /Instruction, reviewed by Chairs/Deans

Program Maintenance /Student Services, reviewed by Student Affairs Council

Program Maintenance /Admin Services, reviewed by Administrative Staff

  Program Maintenance /College Wide, reviewed by Budget Advisory Council

April Each group/council will submit their recommended prioritization of budget requests to the Director of Fiscal Affairs to prepare for the Budget Advisory Council.

April The Budget Advisory Council reviews recommendations and accepts or revises each committee s prioritization list.

May The Budget Advisory Council meet with the Chancellor to present its Recommended Budget. The Chancellor approves the Final Budget and notifies the University community of his decision.

June/July After final budget is known, budget administrators are notified as to which requests will be funded.

Initial Revenue Projection

At present, the following represents the University s projection of net revenues for the FY00/FY01 biennium.

Revenues Net of Fee Waivers:


FY 01

General Fund & Millage

$ 6,589,154

$ 6,727,940


$ (156,145)

$ (62,458)


$ 2,955,560

$ 3,007,060


$ 24,000

$ 24,000

Admissions & Late Fees

$ 25,000

$ 25,000


$ 21,000

$ 21,000


$ 9,458,569

$ 9,742,542

Projected Revenue Increase for FY01 Budget

$ 283,973

Initial Listing of Additional Obligations in FY01

At present, the following list represents the University s first rough draft listing and cost estimates of added obligations for FY01. Each of these must be verified in the future.

Title IV Requirement for Financial Aid

$ 12,000

Increased Employer Costs for Medical Insurance

$ 2,550

Faculty Pay Plan

$ 117,615

Classified Pay Plan

$ 52,737

Professional Pay Plan

$ 14,928


$ 48,100

Great Falls Faculty Position

$ 47,500

Administrative Pay Plan

$ 20,753

Utilities Cost Inflation & Retrofit Payments

$ 126,000


$ 442,183