General Information

Type of Policy: 
Review Date: 
March 2017
Policy Owner: 
Budget, Planning and Administration
Contact Name: 
Jim Kirk
Contact Title: 
Exec Dir-Institute Budget Planning & Administration
Contact Email:
Reason for Policy: 

The function of the Georgia Tech Budget Office is to plan, prepare, maintain, monitor and report on all institutional budgets at Georgia Tech according to established Institutional and Board of Regents (BOR) policies. The Georgia Tech budget expresses the intentions of the Institute in terms of dollars. These intentions include a fiscal year (July 1 - June 30) plan for the Institute, which is reflected in the Annual (Original) Operating and Capital Budget. Any changes made during the fiscal year must be reflected through an amendment process.

The President of the Institute is held responsible by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia for planning and administering all programs and related budgets for the Institute. Administrative and planning responsibility for budgetary units within Georgia Tech is delegated by the President to the Provost, Senior Vice President, and Vice Presidents. It is further delegated to division heads, including deans and other division heads reporting directly to the President.

Policy Statement: 

The Budget Office is required to follow an established set of guidelines and policies set forth by the State of Georgia, the Board of Regents and the Institute. These are found in Section 702 of the Board of Regents policy manual. Key portions of the BOR policy are cited below.

Organization of Budget and Accounting Structure
Financial and budgetary procedure for the University System shall divide financing, accounting, and operation of fiscal affairs into two parts: first, educational and general programs, such as cost of instruction, research, public service, academic support, student services, institutional support, operation and maintenance of plant, and scholarships and fellowships, and such income as student fees, federal grants, endowment income, vocational funds income from sales, gifts, rentals, and other related items; and, second, auxiliary enterprises, such as dining halls, residence halls, and other related items. (Section 702)

Preparation of Operating Budgets
Each institution of the System shall prepare an operating budget for educational and general activities and an operating budget for auxiliary enterprises of the institution for the fiscal year within the limit of funds allocated plus estimated internal income of the institution. Operating budgets of separately incorporated athletic organizations are specifically excluded from this process, although the transfer of student fees to those separately incorporated organizations must be reflected as a single item in the budget submitted to the Chancellor (BR Minutes, 1946-47, pp. 214-15). (Section 702.02)

Budget Amendments
Institutions are authorized to amend their annual operating budgets without prior approval of the Board of Regents except that any amendment which exceeds $1 million and involves state general fund appropriations, auxiliary enterprise funds or student activity funds shall be submitted to the Board of Regents for approval. Prior Board of Regents approval shall not be required for any budget amendment involving special purpose state funds, non-state funds, or internal revenue sources. Institutions shall be required to report quarterly on all budget amendments to the Vice Chancellor for Fiscal Affairs and the Treasurer under procedures developed by his/her staff. The Chancellor or the Vice Chancellor for Fiscal Affairs and the Treasurer reserves the right to require prior approval of the budget amendments at any institution of the University System which he/she determines has failed to manage its budget within available resources or in a manner consistent with Board of Regents goals and priorities. Under these circumstances, the Chancellor or the Vice Chancellor for Fiscal Affairs and Treasurer may request the institution to develop a remediation plan to assure more appropriate decisions on future budget changes (BR Minutes, 1951-52, pp. 365-66; June, 1999, p. 17). (Section 702.3)

The consolidated operating budget for Georgia Tech includes Resident Instruction, Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI), Distance Learning and Professional Education (DLPE), Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), Economic Development Institute (EDI), Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access (CATEA), Auxiliary Services, and Student Services. The consolidated budget includes all the financial resources available to Georgia Tech during a given year. There is a separate budget for major capital projects. The budget for the academic core of the Institute, plus executive management and all general Institute support activities such as Library, Administration & Finance, Information Technology, Plant Operations, etc. is referred to as the "Resident Instruction Budget." See the next section for additional definitions pertaining to Georgia Tech budgets.

Policy Terms: 
  • Account (was Object Code)
    A detailed identifier for classifying expenditures. For example, supplies, equipment, health insurance, wages, etc.
  • Allocation
    The process of distributing funds to the campus. Separate processes are used to allocate the funds from the different sources. Resident Instruction funding is usually placed in a unit's budget and forms the base budget for the new year. Additional funds added to the base are called "new workload" funds. Generally, the base budget plus new workload form the budget for the next year.
  • Auxiliary Enterprises
    Operations that support the mission of the institute by providing essential services to students, faculty and staff, including food service, housing, and parking. Fees support these operations. Auxiliary Enterprises are considered self-supporting and therefore do not receive an allocation from the State.
  • B Units
    Other organized activities at Georgia Tech with separate appropriations in the State of Georgia budget. These are: Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI), Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) and Enterprise Innovation Institute (EII).
  • Budget
    The annual financial plan of the Institute. With the approval of the Board of Regents, the Institute adopts the Original Budget in July of each fiscal year and subsequently approves an amended budget each month. The amended budget must be approved quarterly by the Board of Regents.
  • Budget Amendment
    The process that campus units use to update their Original Budgets. The process involves, but is not limited to, the re-distribution of funds between accounts, function and sources of funds, additions or reductions of funds, or changes in personal services status, such as position changes, title changes, and resignations. According to Board of Regents policy, “any expansion in operations that would necessitate an increase in the budget shall be submitted to the Board for approval before any obligation is incurred…”
  • Capital Budget
    Budget established to account for funds used in the acquisition, construction, renewal or replacement of new or existing physical properties or land.
  • Departmental Sales and Services
    Revenues collected on behalf of a specific program to be used solely for that program, such as a copy fee charged by the Library.
  • Education and General
    All of the Institute’s operating budget with the exception of Auxiliary Enterprises; excludes major capital expenditures.
  • Expenditure Budget
    That part of the budget where the funds will be spent.
  • Fiscal Year
    Twelve-month period that is the basis for the budget and financial statements: July 1 through June 30 for State of Georgia entities.
  • FTE (Full Time Equivalent)
    The effort a person works in a fiscal year expressed in a percent. “FTE” is used to equalize effort expended for personal services by the Institute. For example, a person who works fulltime for twelve months is 1.00 FTE; a person working half time for twelve is .50 FTE. An academic faculty member who works full-time for the fall and spring semesters is .75 FTE.
  • Fund
    Accounting and budgeting entity with its own set of self-balancing accounts. The funds are established on the basis of Generally Accepted Accounting Practices and state law. Operating budgets are included as “current funds.” The Institute’s core functions are included in the major fund category “Resident Instruction.”
  • Group Position
    Personal services budget line that contain more than one non-permanent position, such as graduate students, student assistants, and summer faculty.
  • Internal Revenue
    Revenue derived primarily from tuition and fee income and recoveries of indirect costs from research conducted at Georgia Tech. (Other revenues included in this category are miscellaneous student fees, gifts and grants, sales and services of departments, and any other sources.
  • Lottery
    Special allocations from the State that are funded from the State lottery. These funds are designated and limited in use and must be separately identifiable.
  • Non-Personal Services
    A grouping of project numbers not related to salaries and fringe benefits. These categories include travel, supplies, and books/equipment.
  • Operating Budget
    The "Resident Instruction Budget," together with the “‘B”’ Unit Budgets and the Auxiliary Enterprises, are referred to as the "Operating Budget." It includes all the financial resources available to Georgia Tech for educational, general, research, and auxiliary activities during a given fiscal year. The operating budget, also known as “total current funds,” excludes major capital expenditures.
  • Original Budget
    The budget beginning July 1st of the fiscal year, which must be approved by the Board of Regents.
  • Personal Services
    A grouping of project numbers directly related to salaries, wages and fringe benefits.
  • Program / Function
    A classification of expenditures specifying a major service or program. The program categories as defined by U.S. Department of Education, Instruction, Research, Institutional Support, Public Service, Operation of Plant, Student Services, Academic Support, and Fellowships and Scholarships.
  • Project ID
    For Georgia Tech accounting, the lowest level identifier where funds are budgeted or expended.
  • Research Consortium
    Special allocations from the Board of Regents. These funds are designated for a specific program, such as Georgia’s Traditional Industries, and must be separately identifiable.
  • Resident Instruction Budget
    The budget for the academic core of the Institute that includes academic units plus executive management and all general Institute support activities. The “B” Units, Auxiliary Enterprises, and Student Activities are excluded from Resident Instruction.
  • Revenue Budgets (Sources of Funding)
    There are several sources of revenue for the Institute’s operating budget:
    1. State Appropriations
    2. Internal Revenue
    3. Sponsored Operations
    4. Departmental Sales and Services
    5. Special Funding Initiatives
    6. Research Consortium
    Sponsored Operations includes funding from the Georgia Tech Research Corporation (GTRC) and Georgia Tech Foundation (GTF), two affiliate organizations.
  • Special Funding Initiative (SFI)
    Special allocations from the Chancellor’s Office. These funds are designated for a specific program and also must be separately identifiable. An example is GT Savannah or CEISMIC.
  • Sponsored Operations
    Revenue from sponsor reimbursement of direct and indirect costs of sponsored research, instruction, and other institutional activities funded through Grants and Contracts.
  • State Appropriation
    An authorization by the Legislature to a state entity to spend from public funds, a special sum of money for a fiscal year. For higher education appropriations are made to the Board of Regents for allocation to institutions.
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