University Budget Office
The University Budget Office provides leadership, guidance, and service excellence in planning and oversight of the University's budget to support the MSU mission of learning, discovery, and engagement.
We assist the University's leaders by providing objective, accurate, and timely data, analysis, and expertise to inform decision-making and resource allocation in alignment with the MSU Strategic Plan.
The planning and development of all University fund budgets is ongoing and monitored on a regular basis by budget/fiscal officers and management. While the standard approach has been to increase budgets by the approved pay plan, inflationary adjustments and approved enhancements, MSU now has a Strategic Plan to guide its overall direction. Going forward, the budget planning process will also include performance funding metrics focused toward retention rates, undergraduate and graduate degrees & certificates awarded, and research expenditures.
Budgeting for the MUS begins approximately a year before a biennial legislative session and involves regular discussions between the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education, the Governor’s Budget Office and Montana legislators. The budget/fiscal officers of the MUS follow an established budget calendar to guide discussions of MUS strategic initiatives to be addressed during the next biennium: new costs, inflationary adjustments, etc. Once MUS officers have developed and submitted draft budgets for each campus of the University System, work with the Legislative Fiscal Division and the Governor’s Budget Office begins. The current funding model is based on the institutional base level funding plus inflationary factors allowing the individual campuses to maintain a base-level of funding in the face of expected declining numbers of high school graduates.
Trending & Analysis
Five to ten years of common data sets are routinely extracted from the operating system and analyzed. Trends are interpreted and the information is summarized in a professional format, adding notes where applicable to provide clarity to the report(s). Budget Office staff meets with constituents to discuss reports and provide follow-up when needed. These efforts guide leaders in sound decision-making and wise stewardship of resources and strategic investments.
In order to monitor revenues and expenditures, a number of management reports are run on a monthly basis and shared with executives and budget/fiscal officers. Support and guidance is provided in resolving any issues or discrepancies.