ASUO's Annual Budget Process
Each year, ASUO manages a process by which the budget requests of each I-Fee funded unit is evaluated and adjusted for the next fiscal year. Budget recommendations are determined in committee hearings, and committee recommendations are voted on by Student Senate. The ASUO President has authority to approve or veto Senate’s recommended budget. Once compiled, ASUO’s I-Fee recommendation then passes to the University President and the UO Board of Trustees for final approval.
I-Fee funded units with questions about the budget process should reach out to ASUO Finance for support and assistance.
Establishing the Incidental Fee
Generally, ASUO begins to work on the Incidental Fund budget at the start of Fall Term. This process takes several months, and must be wrapped up and ready for presentation to the UO President approximately three weeks before the March Board of Trustees Meeting.
- The ASUO President, ASUO Finance Director, Senate President, and Summer Senate Chair establish the budget timeline. This reference document contains important budget process deadlines for all Incidental Fee Funded Units.
- All I-Fund Officers attend the ASUO Finance Retreat, a one-day training held on a Saturday.
- Student Senate and the ASUO President determine their financial priorities.
- The Finance Committees meet to determine their leadership and to establish "TAG's" — I-Fee Funded Units under their committee's jurisdiction to whom an individual committee member will maintain communication.
- Each finance committee will be required to submit a benchmark request to Senate. A benchmark is an estimated budget for the committee for the next fiscal year. To inform the benchmark process, several committees collect estimates from the I-Fee Funded Units under their jurisdiction.
- Any budget recommendation prepared by the Executive must be submitted to Senate.
- Officers from the Executive and the Legislative Branch work on any revisions to the Stipend Model.
- Budget Request Packets are circulated to all I-Fee Funded Units.
- Any Stipend Model changes are finalized, and must be passed by Senate/approved by the ASUO President, and ratified by Constitution Court.
- Committee TAGs work with their respective I-Fee Funded Units to gain knowledge of their budgets, to relay the committee’s funding priorities and to assist with completion of their budget request. TAGs bring budget information back to their committees for discussion.
- Requests from I-Fee Funded Units that do not fit the financial priorities of the committee/Senate/Executive are discussed by officers, with units invited in as appropriate.
- All I-Fee Funded Units turn in their budget requests by the required deadline.
- PFC, DFC, and ACFC may begin to conduct budget hearings (public meetings in which preliminary budget decisions for each I-Fee Funded unit are voted on by the committee).
- Late in the month, enrollment and fee revenue estimates are provided to ASUO by the University President (or designee, typically this is the Vice President of Student Life).
- EMUB TAGs are invited to attend EMU Administration’s budget meetings with EMU Departments.
- PFC, DFC, ACFC, and EMUB budget hearings take place regularly, often daily, throughout the month.
- The last week of budget hearings is set aside for potential appeals as well as any budgets which the committee wishes to re-examine (recall).
- At the conclusion of budget hearings, each of the finance committees submits a detailed budget recommendation to Senate.
- Senators have one week to review the budget requests of each committee.
- Senate meets on either the first or second Saturday (depending on the date when the recommendation is due to the UO President) in order to vote on the ASUO Incidental Fund Budget Recommendation for the next fiscal year.
- Once passed, the I-Fund Budget Recommendation goes to the ASUO President for approval or veto.
- If triggered, the veto process is outlined in the ASUO Constitution and in the Incidental Fund Authorization Policy.
- Once approved by the ASUO President, the I-Fund Budget Recommendation is put together by the SGES Assistant Director of Finance and Business Operations and presented to the ASUO President for their signature and for transmittal to the UO President.
- If the UO President approves, the recommendation is then forwarded to the Board of Trustees for their consideration.
- The Board of Trustees meets and considers the I-fund Budget Proposal. If passed, the budget is final and goes into effect on July 1.
- ASUO Officers communicate the finalization of the budget with the I-Fee Funded Units to whom they are a tag.
Recommending the Amount of the I-Fee
Throughout the budget process, particularly during discussions about budget priorities, ASUO Officers deliberate the amount of any I-Fee increase (or decrease). Enrollment and fee revenue estimates are the most prominent variables in this discussion. Per the timeline above, typically these figures are provided to ASUO in late November.
If enrollment estimates include a projected increase in student enrollment, the current I-Fee amount will produce a larger revenue stream going forward. Provided expenditures aren’t dramatically increasing, a minimal increase in the I-Fee may be sufficient to cover the expenses for the next year.
Once the enrollment and fee revenue estimates arrive, ASUO Officers use a common spreadsheet to input potential fee and cost scenarios in order to inform their discussions about budget priorities.
There is a 5% statutory maximum increase in the Incidental Fee amount from one year to the next. Any request in excess of 5% requires the review and approval of the Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Committee (HECC).