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UC Merced 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 2030.

The budget call process follows these principles:

  • Transparency – Clear and easily understood
  • Predictable – Can be used reliably for future needs
  • Integrated – Connected with other campus processes
  • Adaptable – It is a “living” process that can be revisited as needed
  • Accountable – Can measure progress
  • Fiscally Responsible – Uses limited resources efficiently

The university's schools and division have been asked to develop a multi-year document that outlines the initiatives it plans to undertake to advance UC Merced’s goals as outlined in the strategic plan. These initiatives may address infrastructure that underpins the university goals or contribute directly to advancing a specific goal, objective or measure of the strategic plan.

Plans developed by the schools and divisions form the basis for resource requests in the budget call process. Each year, schools and divisions will be invited to revisit and extend their plans. It is anticipated that, on a rolling basis, the first two years of initiatives outlined in the plan will represent a prioritization/sequencing of work based on the priorities identified by the Chancellor and recommended by the EVC/Provost as part of the annual budget call.

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.

Budget Call News & Updates

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

Jan. 28: Fiscal Year 2022-23 Overview

Fiscal Year 2022-23 Budget Call Timeline

November 2021: Formal budget call announcement to schools and divisions.

Feb. 1 – April 14, 2022: EVC/Provost and CFO meet with the Academic Senate to discuss campus priorities.

April 15: Budget call requests for both one-time and permanent funding due from schools and divisions.

April 15 – April 29: EVC/Provost and CFO meet with division leads (Vice and Associate Chancellors) and strategic planning teams to review budget requests, with divisions presenting the required budget call information. 

May 2-13: EVC/Provost and CFO develop a proposed budget allocation, for both one-time and permanent funding, and present at the Senior Administrative Council. Feedback from the council is reviewed and a recommendation is provided to the Chancellor.

May 20: Chancellor makes budget allocation decisions for one-time and permanent funding.

Questions to Address in Budget Call Presentations

Each division or school is asked to develop a presentation that answers the following questions:

  1. How are you allocating financial resources for the current fiscal year (FY22)? What is the breakdown of allocations for salary and non-salary expenses? Provide a budget overview.
  2. How do you plan on providing budget transparency within your division or school? Think about your mission, the Strategic Plan, and how your unit is using its resources. How are you balancing the needs for fiscal prudence and service delivery?
  3. Explain how your work advances the Strategic Plan. What Strategic Plan goals, objectives and measures are you targeting to support and advance for the upcoming fiscal year (FY23)? As relevant, explain below how your resource requests contribute to this goal.
  4. What consultation have you undertaken across divisions to ensure your sequencing of needs and alignment with the Strategic Plan is integrated?
  5. What is your resource request, both one-time and permanent funding, for the upcoming fiscal year (FY23)? Why is this request a higher priority than your other needs?
  6. How is it aligned with the Chancellor’s and EVC/Provost’s foci for next year?
  7. Highlight any existing structural deficit. What has contributed to the deficit? What measures have been taken to address the deficit for FY23?
  8. Where have you been able to achieve efficiencies? Are there areas in which you can save money to reallocate to higher priority areas that align with the Strategic Plan? How much do you envision these efficiencies lowering your costs for FY23?
  9. What was your FY 21/22 budget call allocation? How was it allocated?
  10. Provide a list of all Chancellor-approved FTE/budget augmentations received since the FY22 budget call (total dollars and FTE).
  11. Describe any other budget augmentations received during FY22 and how they were allocated to support your division (e.g., state appropriations, gifts).

Annual Budget Call Schedule

Spring

  • 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)
  • Budget requests reviewed and prioritized by Joint Council
  • CFO and EVC/Provost make recommendations to Chancellor
  • Chancellor announces preliminary budgets for divisions and schools

Summer

  • 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

Fall

  • 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
  • Draft preliminary mid-year funding augmentation recommendation and circulate to Joint Council.
  • If there’s a deficit:
  • Announce spending target reductions for fiscal year to Joint Council