The budget planning process for the University of New Mexico will get started much sooner and involve more stakeholders the next fiscal year. It is an effort to avoid some of the last minute crunch that often occurs between when the State Legislative session ends and the University’s budget approval is required.

In his report to the Board of Regents at the June meeting, President Robert G. Frank outlined some suggestions on ways to begin critical discussions much earlier in the budget process. 

“We remain committed to increasing collaboration, transparency and inclusiveness for the entire budget process,” Frank said. “These changes will help us do that by bringing everyone into the discussion before the deadline pressure hits.”

New Budget Planning Timeline
One goal is to look ahead by creating a four-year planning budget that would be presented to the Regents in September. It will provide an overarching structure to guide financial decisions, but still leave opportunities for modifications to meet the needs of each budget cycle. Following this September meeting, the administration will provide a series of monthly budget updates to the Regents and other university stakeholders.

In October, a special Regents meeting will be convened to discuss budget priorities and preliminary revenue estimates. Based on these discussions, the Budget Leadership Team (BLT) will refine existing budget priorities and develop a high-level budget framework for presentation to the Regents in December.  Also in December, the BLT will begin reviewing  Student Fee Review Board (SRFB) and differential tuition recommendations.

Initial Institutional and General (I&G) revenue scenarios will be introduced into the process by January, just before the State Legislative session begins. Throughout February, Results Oriented Management (ROM) performance metrics will be reviewed and cost effectiveness goals put into place. So by March, when the Regents consider adjusting tuition/fees and compensation, they will have a much more inclusive picture of the University’s needs and priorities. The Regents can then approve the consolidated budget in May as usual.

The idea for this new planning approach developed after the current budget cycle this past spring. The recently approved budget for FY15 that begins July 1 includes an increase of $13.1 million from the University’s state appropriation. The new funding is spread across main campus, the Health Science Center and all branches. Revenue increased by 2.3 percent over the previous year. The total budget for FY15 is almost $2.6 billion.

The State approved a 1.5 percent compensation increase based on the rate of Institutional and General (I&G) salaries, or approximately 60 percent. Funding compensation in this way provided funding for a less than one percent raise for faculty and staff. UNM supplemented the amount with other new state funding and internal reallocations through the new Results Oriented Management (ROM) budgeting model to fund salary increases of 3 percent for faculty and 2.5 percent for staff for the budget year beginning July 1.

For a more detailed budget, visit: FY15 UNM budget.