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Budget Call Process

UC Merced's budget call is a process designed to determine effective, sustainable financial plans for UC Merced’s schools and divisions. The process is designed to align resource allocations with the university’s strategic plan – a blueprint for growth, academic advancement, and diversity through the year 2031.

The process must be forward-thinking to enable proactive planning at the school and division levels in support of the strategic plan, while also conservative in its projections to ensure UC Merced is fiscally responsible.

Fiscal Year 2024-25 Budget Call Timeline


Jan. 22, 2024: Letter formally announcing budget call released. 

March 15: Divisions submit FY25 budget requests for one-time and permanent funding to Vice Chancellor for Planning and Budget and Chief Financial Officer Kurt Schnier and Associate Vice Chancellor for Financial Planning and Analysis Bianca Khanona. 

March 26-April 6: Interim Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Marjorie Zatz and VCPB/CFO Schnier meet with division leads (Vice and Associate Chancellors) to review budget requests. Divisions provide a presentation with the required budget call information (see below). 

 April 1-15: Interim EVC/Provost Zatz and VCPB/CFO Schnier develop a proposed budget allocation for FY25 for one-time and permanent funding. Proposal presented to campus leadership for feedback. Feedback reviewed and a final recommendation provided to Chancellor Muñoz.

April 30: Chancellor makes preliminary budget allocation decisions for one-time and permanent funding. All FY25 budget allocations are subject to Gov. Newsom’s budget decisions and UC Merced’s final enrollment projections. 

Questions to Address in Budget Call Presentations


  1. How has the unit/division demonstrated its commitment to equity, justice and inclusive excellence in the past and through current practices? 
  2. How have you allocated financial resources for the current fiscal year (FY24)? What is the breakdown of allocations for salary and non-salary expenses? Provide a budget overview of your division. Highlight any structural deficit in your division. What contributed to the deficit? What measures have been taken to address the deficit in FY24? 
  3. Think about your division’s mission, UC Merced’s strategic plan and how your unit is using resources. How are you balancing the needs of fiscal prudence and service delivery? Where have you achieved efficiencies? Are there areas in which you can save money and reallocate it to higher priority areas that align with the strategic plan? How much do you envision these efficiencies lowering your costs in FY24? 
  4. Explain how your division’s work advances the strategic plan. What goals, objectives and measures in the strategic plan are you targeting to support and advance for FY25? What consultation have you undertaken across divisions to ensure your sequencing of needs and alignment with the strategic plan are integrated? As relevant, explain below how your resource requests contribute to this goal. 
  5. What are your top three one-time and permanent funding resource requests for FY25? Why do these requests have a higher priority than other needs? How are they aligned with the Chancellor’s and EVC/Provost’s foci for next year (see below)? While you may include more ACE or temporary research staff requests, please limit those from enrollment funds to your top three requests. 
  6. If you are requesting funding for new undergraduate program development or for staff to support research from the funding sources identified above ($21M and $2.5M/four years), how does your request align with the additional criteria outlined above? If you are requesting funding to support new undergraduate program development, what is your timeline for the development of the program, existing faculty capacity to support the program, anticipated resources needs and projected enrollment at program maturity? 
  7. How do you make budget allocations in your division? How do you plan to provide budget transparency in your division? 

Given the limited funding that may be available in FY25 from enrollment-based funding, each division is asked to provide only their top three budget requests, except for requests made from ACE funding or the temporary research staff support funding.  

News & Updates


Jan. 22: FY 2024-25 Budget Call Letter Posted


Oct. 25: FY24 Budget Call Conclusion and Fiscal Conservation Measures

Feb. 6: FY 2023-24 Budget Call Letter Posted


July 18: State Budget Allocates Over $100 Million to UC Merced

July 14: Chancellor Provides 2022-23 Budget Call Update

March 24: Budget Updates: Salary Market Equity Program and Vacancy Holds

General Budget Call Schedule


  • Determine baseline budget levels for schools and divisions based on cost drivers
  • Develop preliminary budget estimates based on projected state budget and enrollment expectations for the upcoming year
  • Budget call submissions due from schools and division (late spring)
  • VC/CFO and EVC/Provost make recommendations to Chancellor


  • Governor finalizes state budget
  • University budget expectations updated
  • University budget estimates revised based on updated state allocations
  • If budgetary surpluses or deficits arise from prior year, funding additions or reductions are determined for schools and divisions
  • Final budgets provided to schools and divisions for upcoming fiscal year
  • Chancellor announces preliminary budgets for divisions and schools


  • Enrollment census complete
  • Budget implications determined. Surplus or deficit for current fiscal year determined
  • If there’s a surplus:
  • Review budget call prioritization from prior fiscal year (informed by strategic plan) and revisit unfunded priorities
  • If there’s a deficit:
  • Announce spending target reductions for fiscal year to Joint Council