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 Education.
- 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 and Fees.
- 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 plans.
- 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 fiscal year.
- 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 fees.
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) program.
- 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.