Budget Overview and Basis
- The Community College of Rhode Island prepares and submits its annual budget request
to the Rhode Island Office of Postsecondary Council (OPC) for review and consolidation
with the budgets of URI, RIC and OPC itself. The comprehensive budget for Higher Education
is formally adopted by the Council for Higher Education and ultimately the Board of
- The budget formulation process begins with parameters as defined by the RI State Budget
Office as well as OPC. OPC guidelines are especially pertinent to any changes in Tuition
- The formulation of the college's budget is the responsibility of the Business Manager,
who reports to the Vice President for Business and Finance. The Business Manager is
responsible for the oversight and planning to ensure that the college expenditures
are consistent with forecasted revenues while aligning with the college's strategic
- The typical budget calendar is as follows:
- July - Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) is due to OPC. Projects submitted should be consistent
with the College's strategic facility and academic program goals while maintaining
the safety and security of existing facilities. This is developed in conjunction with
the vice president, the facilities managers and the college architect. The Facilities
and Finance (F&F) sub-committee of the Council review and forward recommendations
to full Council and ultimately the Board of Education.
- August - September – State Budget Office issues expenditure parameters for Cost of Living Adjustments
(COLA's) and fringe benefit changes as well as suggested state funding levels. OPC
issues guidelines relative to COLA's as well as tuition and fee parameters and Current
Service Level increases. This generates internal dialogue for designing budget submittal.
- Early September – submission of college budget to OPC for review and consolidation to form a system
budget request to the F&F, Council and Board.
- October 1st - System budget is due to RI State Budget Office. Hearings will be held by the Department
of Administration in November or December providing institutions an opportunity to
explain their Budget Request needs.
- February - Governor's Budget is released and submitted to General Assembly for the subsequent
fiscal year as well as recommendations for the supplemental changes to the working
- March - May – attend House Finance and Senate Finance hearings and field questions pertinent
to Budget Request.
- June – General Assembly passes Budget Article for the new fiscal year and adopts a supplemental
budget for the working fiscal year. The Legislative FTE position cap is also established
at this time.
- The college follows the State of Rhode Island’s fiscal year which runs from July 1st
through June 30th.
- CCRI is required to submit a balanced budget in which estimated revenues equal or
exceed estimated expenditures.
- The college’s operating budget uses modified accrual basis of accounting which states
that revenues are recognized in the accounting period they become available and measurable.
Expenditures are recognized in the accounting period that the fund liability was incurred.
Purchase Orders and other commitments use encumbrance accounting in order to record
the expenditure of funds in the proper fiscal year.
UNRESTRICTED REVENUES - funding that support the General Revenue budget of the college. These funds are
unrestricted in the sense that the college has a reasonable level of autonomy on how
they may be used to support the college's mission and goals; however, expenditures
must be legal and ethical within State of Rhode Island and Board of Education's policies
and guidelines. Primary sources of unrestricted revenues:
- State Appropriation- revenues legislated to the college by the General Assembly.
- Under current RI law, the Board of Governors cannot transfer these funds between institutions.
- Tuition and Fees- revenues generated by the institution through student enrollment.
- Student tuition and fee rates must be approved by the Board of Education. The General
Assembly does not have the authority to set these rates or to change recommendations
approved by the Board of Education. The level and distribution of student enrollment
and the distribution of students between full time and part-time strongly affect this
revenue stream and therefore the discretionary spending of the college.
- Indirect Cost Recovery- revenues resulting from federal student aid & grants
- These are revenues that derived from federal student aid options such as Pell grants
and college work study funds. Federal, state and private grants are also charged a
indirect cost rate, varying by type of grant and funding source. The revenues produced
are intended to offset administrative costs not directly attributable to the grant
project. The Bookstore is also charged an auxiliary indirect cost rate.
- Sales & Service of Educational Activities- primarily the result of fee-based programs housed in the CWCE division.
- These programs are designed to be self sufficient as well as contribute positively
to the college's overall budget and mission. Includes state programs such as those
mandated by the DMV like the Motorcycle Training, Commercial Driving and Driver's
Education as well as various court mandated programs. Workforce Training programs
such as CNA, Pharmacy and Vet Training etc. also contribute to this funding.
- Other Income- all other unrestricted revenue streams to the college
- Includes investment income, facility rental, as well as student placement & testing
RESTRICTED REVENUES - These are funds that are designated to the institution by a 3rd party for a specific
purpose and those funds can only be used for that purpose. This includes federal,
state and private grants, federal grants and scholarships, Driver's Education and
monies allocated for capital improvement through the RI Capital Asset Protection (RICAP)
- The College's Foundation and Alumni are also restricted funds but exist in a separate
tax entity outside of the college's direct purview.
- Student Clubs, Student Government and Athletics are a hybrid of unrestricted and restricted
monies. There is a distribution of Student Activity fees that is from an unrestricted
source of student fees. This is apportioned between Clubs and Government and Athletics
annually. Many of these entities also conduct fund raising activities which are restricted
in their expenditure intent to specific programs.
- AUXILIARY SERVICES - Board of Education policy classifies student support activities such as the Bookstore
and Dining as Auxiliary Enterprises. The Bookstore is a self-supporting entity that
generates profits that are earmarked specifically for auxiliary improvement and operations.
Dining at CCRI is currently a commissioned contract that generates nominal profit
but serves all four campuses.
- The General Assembly legislates the number of Full Time Equivalent (FTE) positions
that the college can have on the permanent, biweekly payroll in any given period.
The breakdown is as follows:
- Unrestricted (including Bookstore) 765.10
- 3rd Party (grant, fee based programs) 89.00
- Total: 854.10
- There is also legislation that does not permit the college to eliminate classified
employees (Merit law based) with non-classified or faculty slots (Board based).
- Since the college has more FTE's in its Table of Organization than the college has
approved state FTE's, these competing needs must be strategically balanced just like
any other budget resource.