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Fiscal year 2021-22 budget update

June 22, 2021

Cardinal Update News Newsletters

The university budget for fiscal year 2022 was adopted by the board at their May 2021 meeting and includes investments in many areas critical to Saint Mary’s progress to achieving the objectives set forth in the strategic plan, Building a Future Full of Hope 2025. This announcement outlines significant funding decisions as well as new technical elements incorporated in the new fiscal year’s budget.

While university operations are planned to have a deficit of $2.5 million in fiscal year 2022, which will be funded by excess endowment draw, it is imperative to make judicious commitments now which will preserve the quality and enhance the relevance of Saint Mary’s to our students, faculty, and larger community. In addition to funding strategic initiatives and supporting core infrastructure (as outlined below), the budget also contains operating contingencies to allow for real-time adjustments as circumstances may dictate.

The key fiscal year 2022 budget initiatives funded are:

  • Restoration of a full 6.5% university contribution to the pension program, effective July 1, 2021.
  • A salary raise pool for employees, including adjunct faculty, anticipated to be effective Jan. 1, 2022. (Details to be finalized this fall.)
  • Support for new academic programs, including:
    • three professional certificates (global human resources and two in cybersecurity)
    • development of two new bachelor’s completion programs (applied psychology and social work)
    • a four-year undergraduate degree in pre-licensure nursing
    • the transition of the M.S. in Nurse Anesthesia to a doctoral level program
  • Infrastructure investments, including:
    • Faculty professional development, especially in the area of online course delivery
    • Support of academic programs, including library resources, lab safety management, and further deployment of planned learning management system functionality
    • Expansion of student services, especially for the Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs population
    • Reallocation of resources to bolster in-house coordination of brand and program marketing

As noted over the previous several months to many different leadership groups, Saint Mary’s is in the process of moving to a new budget methodology, a modified form of a responsibility center management model. This will better support the university’s strategic initiatives by incentivizing beneficial growth. More information will be forthcoming in late October when we begin development of the fiscal year 2022-23 budget draft.

The most immediate and visible effect is a change in budget timeline. Contrasting with prior years where the university budget was not finalized until after fall enrollment census data was available, as noted above, the board of trustees adopted a university budget for fiscal year 2022 prior to the start of the fiscal year (June 1, 2021). This will be the budget timeline moving forward to better facilitate annual and longer-term planning.

Subsequent to the board of trustee action in May, departmental budgets for fiscal year 2022 have now been loaded. They reflect approved reallocations, updates to personnel rosters and university-wide expenses, as well as new allocations for strategically aligned departmental requests approved during the fiscal year 2022 budget cycle. Unit leaders with budget access privileges are encouraged to review their area budgets via the online report available through the faculty/staff portal or through management viewer. Please note, that while operating contingencies now afford some buffer, significant fluctuations in enrollment may require additional adjustments to departmental budgets.

New budget elements that will affect and be visible to applicable units:

  • Academic Investment Fund (“AIF”) allocations: These temporary allocations generally provide seed-money for new program launches, and funding will be replenished by tuition revenue as programs grow to maturity. The allocations will be reviewed and adjusted as necessary on an annual basis, and, if applicable, converted to ongoing budget allocations with the provost’s approval.
    • AIF budget allocations will appear in new Accounts 7090 (for personnel) and 7999 (for non-personnel items).
    • Transactions funded by AIF allocations should not occur on Accounts 7090 or 7999, but rather on the natural expense account which most closely matches the nature of the expenditure.
  • One-time (1x) allocations: To support temporary special purpose expenditures, such as time-limited initiatives or purchases of certain equipment. In general, these allocations will be zeroed out in the next fiscal year.
    • Allocations will appear, as applicable, in Accounts 7095 (1x Personnel costs) and 7997 (1x Non Personnel costs).
    • Transactions funded by AIF allocations should not occur on Accounts 7095 or 7997, but rather on the natural expense account which most closely matches the nature of the expenditure.