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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.

News & Updates


March 9: Financial Transparency Town Hall. Co-hosted by interim Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer Kurt Schnier and Associate Vice Chancellor for Financial Planning and Analysis Bianca Khanona. See video and presentation slides (Single Sign-on required).

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


Oct. 26: Financial Transparency Town Hall video, presentation deck

July 25: Financial Transparency Town Hall video, presentation deck

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


Principles & Process


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 to revisit as needed
  • Accountable – Can measure progress
  • Fiscally Responsible – Uses limited resources efficiently

The university's schools and divisions 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.


Fiscal Year 2023-24 Budget Call Timeline


Feb. 6, 2023: Budget call formally announced via letter.

April 21: Divisions submit FY24 budget requests for one-time and permanent funding to Interim Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer (IVC/CFO) Kurt Schier and Associate Vice Chancellor for Planning and Analysis Bianca Khanona.

April 27 - May 7: Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Gregg Camfield and IVC/CFO meet with division leads (vice chancellors and associate chancellors) to review budget requests. Divisions provide a presentation of required budget information outlined in announcement letter.

May 8-26: EVC/Provost and IVC/CFO develop a proposed budget allocation for FY24 for one-time and permanent funding and present to university leaders for feedback. Feedback is reviewed and a final recommendation is presented to the Chancellor.

June 12: Chancellor makes preliminary FY24 budget allocation decisions for one-time and permanent funding. All allocations are subject to decisions from the California governor's office, as well as final UC Merced enrollment projections.

Note to school deans: This timeline was designed to complement the Academic Planning Process developed by the EVC/Provost's office. Divisional presentations will allow schools and departments to present key elements of budget requests included in the total request by Student Affairs.


Questions to Address in Budget Call Presentations


Divisions are asked to provide a document, and develop a PowerPoint presentation around it, that answers the following questions:

  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 your financial resources for the current fiscal year (FY23)? What is the breakdown of allocations for salary and non-salary expenses? Provide a budget overview of your division.
  3. Think about your division’s mission, UC Merced's strategic plan, and how your unit is using its resources. How are you balancing the needs for fiscal prudence and service delivery? 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 campus’ strategic plan? How much do you envision these efficiencies lowering your costs for FY24?
  4. Explain how your division’s work advances the strategic plan. What strategic planning goals, objectives and measures are you targeting to support and advance for the upcoming fiscal year (FY24)? As relevant, explain below how resource requests contribute to this goal.
  5. What consultation have you undertaken across divisions to ensure that your sequencing of needs, and alignment with the strategic plan, is integrated?
  6. How has your request been informed by recommendations provided by the strategic planning teams?
  7. What is your resource request, both one-time and permanent funding, for the upcoming fiscal year (FY24)? Why is this particular request a higher priority than your other needs? How is it aligned with the Chancellor’s and EVC/Provost’s foci for next year (see below)?
  8. If you are requesting funding to support either new undergraduate program development or for staff to support research from funding sources identified in the announcement letter (under Budget Call Preliminary Allocation), how is your request aligned with the additional criteria?
  9. 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?
  10. How do you make budget allocations within your division?
  11. How do you plan on providing budget transparency within your division?
  12. Highlight any existing structural deficit within your division. What has contributed to the deficit? What measures have been taken to address the deficit for FY24?

EVC/Provost and IVC/CFO will review with requestors PowerPoint and Excel templates to complete that summarize requests for one-time and permanent funding.

While preparing reports and presentations, requestors are to keep in mind the three funding priorities outlined by the Chancellor and EVC/Provost for F24 allocations:

  1. New undergraduate program development
  2. Operational support for research
  3. Operational support for enrollment growth


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


  • 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


  • 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