Many of the financial forms needed by departments can be found at the website http://services.valdosta.edu/financial/forms/.The website http://services.valdosta.edu/financial/budgets/budgetinfo.html explains the budgeting process. For example, it states:The budget is the beginning and the end of the accounting process. It should prompt planning and enable evaluation. There are two distinct segments to the accounting process, one being the budget or intended expenditures and the second being the actual expenditures. The budget is a communication tool for making plans or needs known and evaluating progress toward stated goals. The purpose of fund accounting is to identify the sources of funds and assure specific, and sometimes restricted, uses for funds.
The total original Educational and General budget in fiscal 2000 was $104 million. Of this amount, approximately 18% came from student tuition and fees, 44% from direct state appropriations and 38% from sponsored or financial-aid sources. The largest sources of sponsored monies are federal and state loan and grant programs.
The university’s fiscal year begins July 1st and ends June 30th. Department heads should receive the proposed departmental budget before July 1. They also may receive separate budgets for funded activities, such as grants and contracts. They should immediately review the budget received. The three columns show the original budget of the previous fiscal year, and the proposed budget of the upcoming fiscal year. Shortly after the end of each month, the department receives the “Expenditures (Appropriations) Report” and the more detailed “Appropriations Ledger History Report.” Department should maintain their own spreadsheet of expenditures and encumbrances as checks on the monthly reports. Discrepancies should be reported promptly for timely resolutions. A sample departmental spreadsheet is available from the Dean’s office.
Reallocations of available funds from one budget line to another are through the budget amendment process. The forms and deadlines are available at http://services.valdosta.edu/financial/budgets/budgetinfo.html. If a department will not be able to expend all its funds, the department head should work with the Dean before the end of February, so that those funds can be amended to other departments.
The budget is divided into two sections, Personal Services and Non-Personal Services.
Personal Services includes faculty and staff positions, summer salaries, and student assistants. Budget lines are numbered. To reflect personnel changes in a particular budget line, that line will be split with letters, for example 6-A, 6-B, 6-C, showing the previous occupant of the position, the vacancy, and the new occupant of the position. Each budget line shows the name of the occupant, the type of contract (Fiscal is 1.00 EFT; Academic is 0.75 EFT), rank, degree, tenure status (T for tenured, N for not-tenured, but on tenure-track, X for non-tenure-track). Department heads should maintain a history of faculty positions by comparing the current budget to previous budgets
Summer salaries are part of the section of the budget labeled Personnel Services. As department heads develop the summer teaching schedule (usually late in the fall), they need to be aware of the funds available to the department and work closely with the Dean on the summer budget. (See section on Summer Teaching Policies.) Faculty are paid 10% of their academic-year salary for each three-credit hour summer course. Courses taught by department heads and directors do not count against a department’s or program’s summer budget because these administrators are on twelve-month contracts.
Salaries for part-time faculty are established by the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Current rates per three-hour courses are $1,200 for part-time faculty with a Master’s degree, $1,350 for part-time faculty with Specialist’s degrees, and $1,500 for part-time faculty with a Doctoral degree. All faculty must possess at least a Master’s degree and have at least eighteen semester hours in their field or a closely related field.
Faculty may be paid extra compensation for work above and beyond their normal responsibilities, such as teaching overloads or responsibilities under external grants. Extra compensation requires the approval of the department head, dean, and Vice President for Academic Affairs. The form may be found at http://services.valdosta.edu/busforms/compensate.htm.
The Faculty Handbook quotes the Regents’ policy on Outside Consulting Activities. When such activities occur during hours when the faculty or staff member has University responsibilities, prior written approval shall be obtained from the administrative supervisor. This written approval should be forwarded to the Office of the Academic Vice President for inclusion in the permanent file. Faculty should be aware that special written approval is needed when consulting activities are compensated by another state agency whether or not the consulting activities occur during hours of University responsibility. The procedure is given in the Faculty Handbook. The form may be found at http://services.valdosta.edu/busforms/agreement.htm.
Student assistants also are paid from Personal Services. Department heads need to calculate the number of hours that can be supported (available funds divided by the hourly rate, currently $5.15/hour) and schedule student assistants accordingly. See the website http://services.valdosta.edu/financial/budgets/sps.htm for procedures for student assistants. The remaining parts of the Personal section of the budget, dealing mostly with fringe benefits, are the responsibility of the Office of Business and Finance The Non-Personal Services part of the budget include sections Travel, Operating Supplies, and Equipment.
Mileage. The total amount of these two lines should equal the number of full-time faculty in the department (including full-time temporary faculty) times the travel allocation per faculty member, currently $300. If there is less than the expected amount in the travel budget, the department head should discuss the shortfall with the Dean. (See section on Travel Procedures.)
“Requests for Authority to Travel” should be submitted at least ten days before the proposed travel. It is particularly important for faculty members to specify how classes will be covered. “Requests for Authority to Travel” are available at http://services.valdosta.edu/financial/forms/; however, at this time the Travel Office accepts only two-part forms.
Faculty members can have their registrations for professional meetings pre-paid. The form is available at http://services.valdosta.edu/financial/forms. Registration fees are paid from budget line -72735, rather than from Travel.
State employees traveling on official business in Georgia are exempt from the Georgia Hotel/Motel tax (but not other taxes). The Hotel/Motel Tax Exemption form http://services.valdosta.edu/financial/forms/motel.gif should be printed out beforehand, signed, and furnished to the hotel/motel at the time of check-in.
A “Travel Expense Statement” should be filed shortly after the completion of travel in any case and within the announced deadline for travel near the end of the fiscal year. Travel expense forms may be found at http://services.valdosta.edu/financial/forms/ “Travel Expense Statement” http://services.valdosta.edu/busforms/travel_expense.htm for page 1 and Automobile Mileage Record http://services.valdosta.edu/busforms/autoexpense.htm for page 2. A mileage chart for the state of Georgia is available at http://services.valdosta.edu/financial/forms/mileage.jpg
Reimbursement for travel of candidates and consultants requires filing both a “Travel Expense Statement” and a “Request for Payment of Consultant/Independent Contractor” (Per Diem form). The latter may be found at http://services.valdosta.edu/financial/forms/
Operating Supplies are funds for the operation of the department and are divided into several categories. Department heads are responsible for seeing that expenditures do not exceed the available funds. Available funds should be expended for the purposes intended. Department heads need to project expenditures so that the funds are expended by the end of the fiscal year (June 30).
Departments and other accounts may be issued a VISA Purchasing Card. Departmental secretaries and other authorized users may charge expenditures on the Purchasing Card. See http://services.valdosta.edu/financial/budgets/accpayable.html for a description of the Purchasing Card policy. Users must save receipts and records of transactions to verify monthly statements. A sample completed form is available from the Dean’s office.
Items whose cost is in excess of the limits on a Purchasing Card (currently $1,000 per item or $2,500 per transaction) must be requisitioned through a “Purchase Request” before purchase or a “Check Request.” See http://services.valdosta.edu/financial/budgets/check_request.htm for the appropriate procedures. The “Purchase Request” is multi-part and not currently available on-line. Purchasers should specify the item as exactly as possible and provide names of potential vendors. If possible, department heads and directors should attach descriptions from catalogs and/or price quotations from vendors. Toward the end of each fiscal year, the Division of Business and Finance announces a series of deadlines for purchases of different kinds and amounts. Department heads and directors must adhere to these deadlines! Unexpended funds revert to the state of Georgia at the end of the fiscal year.
VSU bases departmental library budgets on a formula that is partially enrollment driven. In fall semester, the Director of the Odum Library notifies departments of funds available for acquisitions. Any additions or deletions of periodicals are effective the following July 1, the beginning of the next fiscal year. All library funds must be expended by the announced deadline, usually toward the end of February. Library contingency funds are available for new programs and for special projects. Applications for thesefunds are due in fall semester.
Departments may have one or more accounts with the VSU Foundation. Foundation accounts may be viewed at http://www.valdosta.edu/vsu/dept/adv/financial/qbpage1.html. Accounts may be discretionary accounts (for any legal expenditure), scholarship accounts (for departmental or other scholarships), or designated accounts (for spending in accord with the wishes of the donors). Reimbursements for expenditures are made by memo request (with receipts) to the VSU Foundation. Departmental scholars for the following academic year are chosen by an appropriate departmental committee and furnished to the Dean in the spring.
The website of the Office of Grants and Contracts, http://www.valdosta.edu/ospra/, provides information about procedures for grants and contracts. Faculty members should confer with their department heads early in the grant-preparation process. Before a grant is submitted to an external agency, a “Proposal Sign-Off Sheet” (“goldenrod form”), not available on-line, must be submitted with the grant for approval by all levels of administration. On the back of the form is space for institutional commitments. Here the Principle Investigator and Department Head must spell out in detail all commitments (matching funds, load reassignments, space, etc.) that the institution would be called upon to furnish if the grant is funded. Five (5) working days are needed by the Office of Grants and Contracts for full review and sign off. For more information on grants and contracts, see the Principle Investigator’s Handbook, available at http://www.valdosta.edu/grants/pbook.shtml