Budget Office

The primary function of the Budget Office is to assist in the development, monitoring & execution of budgets for various College funds. These funds include Oneonta's State Core Operating budget (Rev Offset), the Dormitory Income Fund (DIFR), General Income Fund Reimbursable (IFR), Summer Session, and Tuition Overflow (SUTRA). We also assist with financial data analysis and reporting, for both internal and external purposes. The Budget Office frequently works with SUNY System Administration staff on budget planning and administration.

In addition, the Budget Office provides managerial information, guidance, and review regarding the allocation and use of College resources. Under the direction of the VP for Finance, we provide ongoing analysis of the College's financial status. The Budget Office reviews expenditure patterns, revenue estimates and personnel service funding requirements, as well as approves and processes all allocation transfers. Budget works closely with IFR account managers in developing their program budgets and monitoring operations throughout the year.

The Budget Office strives to offer efficient and effective service to our customers in the SUNY Oneonta Campus community in all of the functions listed above.

The mounting costs of responding to COVID-19 are certain to be unprecedented for the nation, state and our campus. To mitigate the pandemic’s impact on SUNY Oneonta’s finances, we are taking several temporary steps immediately.

Limiting Purchases

All purchases will require justification and approval, and will be allowed only to:

  • meet essential operating and educational requirements through the end of the current fiscal year, June 30;
  • prepare for essential operating and educational requirements for the next fiscal year, which will begin July 1, where a significant ordering lead time is required; and
  • respond further to COVID-19.

Examples of essential operating and educational requirements include contractual obligations, compliance requirements and other critical goods or services to meet operational or educational requirements where the failure to procure or pay would result in a critical disruption to campus operations or directly disrupt instruction.

Campus Supply Room purchases are not exempt from the criteria listed above. The Supply Room will review requisitions and forward any questions that arise to the Division of Finance and Administration for follow up with the submitting department and appropriate Cabinet-level officer.

Halting Use of Procurement Cards

Departmental procurement cards are now deactivated. All requests for purchases will go through the Office of Procurement and Travel. Attach to all purchase requisitions an Essential Spending Justification and Approval Form, with approval from the appropriate Cabinet-level officer.

Curtailing Travel

Travel is hereby limited to essential purposes. All travel request applications require approval from the appropriate Cabinet-level officer. The Division of Finance and Administration will decide whether to approve or deny such requests.

Centralizing Management

The Budget Office will now manage all account allocations and reduce currently available allocation balances. As essential purchases are approved, the Budget Office will restore allocations to the accounts that fund them. Unit-level allocation transfer requests will not be necessary.

Exceptions include only those funds that are not allocated within the campus’ operating budget. Such exceptions are few:

  • university-wide program allocations;
  • externally funded grants or gifts;
  • the SICAS Center; and
  • externally funded capital projects.

We expect these spending controls to continue through the end of the fiscal year. Their goal is to conserve resources while allowing the college to meet essential needs. Your support will help the college financially weather the pandemic. Thank you for your sacrifice and understanding during this challenging situation.

The mounting costs of responding to COVID-19 are certain to be unprecedented for the nation, state and our campus. To mitigate the pandemic’s impact on SUNY Oneonta’s finances, we are continuing and updating the spending control plan implemented earlier this spring. These controls are consistent with spending constraints required by SUNY and the state and have been approved by SUNY System Administration.

Limiting Purchases

Until further notice, all purchases will require justification and approval, and will be allowed only to:

  • meet essential operating and educational requirements;
  • respond further to COVID-19.

Examples of essential operating and educational requirements include existing contractual obligations, compliance requirements and other critical goods or services to meet operational or educational requirements where the failure to procure or pay would result in a critical disruption to campus operations or directly disrupt instruction.

Campus Supply Room purchases are not exempt from the criteria listed above. The Supply Room will review requisitions and forward any questions that arise to the Division of Finance and Administration for follow up with the submitting department and appropriate cabinet-level officer.

Halting Use of Procurement Cards

Departmental procurement cards will remain deactivated. Attach to all purchase requisitions an Essential Spending Justification and Approval Form, with approval from the appropriate cabinet-level officer. Requests for purchases will continue to be processed by the Office of Procurement and Travel. Final approval for purchases will be decided in the Division of Finance and Administration.

Curtailing Travel

All travel is hereby limited to essential purposes and dependent on state and federal travel restrictions. All travel request applications require approval from the appropriate cabinet-level officer. The Division of Finance and Administration will decide whether to approve or deny such requests.

Streamlining Processes

To the degree possible, submit all forms to the Procurement and Travel Office via email and attach an email thread documenting your approval by the appropriate supervisor(s). “Sign” all forms electronically or type your name on the signature line. This two-factor approval, by form and email, will take the place of written signatures during this temporary process.

Centralizing Management

The Budget Office will now manage all account allocations. As essential purchases are approved in the current fiscal year, the Budget Office will restore allocations to the accounts that fund them. Unit-level allocation transfer requests will not be necessary.

University-Wide Program Funding

Previous exceptions for university-wide program allocations no longer apply. SUNY System Administration has developed guidelines for these programs and shared these guidelines with campus program managers. If you are a manager of university-wide funds and have questions, please email the Budget Office.

These spending controls will continue through the coming fiscal year. We understand the stress that the current public health and financial crisis are creating for all of you and we appreciate the efforts made so far in controlling our campus’ spending. Our reduced spending not only generates savings for the campus to help us weather the pandemic but also supports the overall effort by SUNY and the state of New York to reduce and save. These are challenging times, but you have risen to the occasion!

Thank you for your sacrifice and understanding during this challenging situation.

Overview

The costs of responding to COVID-19 and the related economic impact have been unprecedented for the nation, state and our campus. As a state-operated campus, the current condition of the New York State budget affects our campus’s ability to spend, even if there is revenue coming in or a cash balance in a campus account or fund. The State’s Division of Budget has capped SUNY’s spending authority with quarterly limits, which means we must restrain our spending at the campus level as well. This applies to all funds that are appropriated through the NYS budget process, including tuition, student fees, residence hall operations, and other general campus revenue. Financial activity that is funded through our affiliated organizations such as the College Foundation, Research Foundation, and Oneonta Auxiliary Services (OAS) are not state-appropriated.

Additionally, although we don’t yet know the extent of any permanent cuts to state tax support in the SUNY or campus budget, planned state tax support distributions from the State to SUNY for April and May have been withheld. This amounts to $5.0 million for SUNY Oneonta. It is unknown if or when any portion of this state tax support will be received in the future.

Required Actions

As a result of these conditions, the spending controls now in place will continue for the next year. Changes in these protocols will be dependent on financial conditions at the state and SUNY level.

In order to help the campus plan for spending within the limits imposed by the state, the Budget Office is collecting essential spending plans for student temporary services, other-than personnel services (OTPS) and campus supply room, mail, printing and automotive recharges for the period of July – December 2020. This will help identify our needs at the institutional level and will better inform our communications with SUNY regarding campus spending plans.

In the attached templates, please provide an estimate of your department’s line-item spending needs for the period of July – December 2020, indicating briefly why the item is essential. Do not include “business as usual” spending, and do not include new initiative proposals or spending requests. Please only include spending necessary to meet essential educational and operating requirements, or to respond to COVID-19. Examples of essential educational and operating requirements include existing contractual obligations, compliance requirements and other critical goods or services where the failure to procure or pay would directly disrupt instruction or would result in a critical disruption to campus operations.

Consider some of the following guardrails:

  • eliminate discretionary spending
  • limit travel/professional development to essential purposes only
  • include only necessary contractual obligations, consider what contracts can be deferred
  • forego equipment replacements – only failing, essential equipment replacements will be considered
  • defer memberships, consulting services, and other contracted services where possible
  • reduce supplies costs – check with other offices to see if they have supplies to share
  • reduce printing and related costs

Process and Timeline

Departmental spending plans captured in these templates will require approvals through supervisory levels up to and including the cabinet-level administrator. The cabinet level administrator must submit all approved plans to the Budget Office (budget@oneonta.edu) by July 10, 2020. Keep in mind, divisional deadlines will need to be considered so that all cabinet-member approved plans can be submitted to the Budget Office by July 10. Please consult with your division’s leadership about internal deadlines.

Once all plans are received and reviewed in Finance and Administration, approved plans will be shared with all submitting departments. The plans will be used to help establish initial budget allocations for the first half of the year and will be used to assist in the review of essential spending requisitions as they are submitted over the next several months.

In the fall, budget conditions will be evaluated, and a similar process will be undertaken to collect essential spending plans for the second half of our fiscal year, January – June 2021.

Your assistance, and the additive work involved in this process, is very much appreciated. Should you have questions regarding the process and/or templates, please contact the Budget Office. Budget Office contact information for various purposes is provided in the Instructions tab of the template package.

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