Mar 012009
Authors: Rick Miranda, Allison Dineen

We invite and encourage the CSU community to attend “Budget 101: A Primer to Participation in the Academic Budget Process.”

CSU is holding three public Budget 101 educational sessions today and tomorrow in the Lory Student Center where we (Rick Miranda and Allison Dineen) will present straightforward information that can help the campus and larger community understand CSU’s complex budget process. These overview sessions are intended for anyone who is interested in gaining a better understanding of the CSU budget and how it comes together every year.

It is our hope that this new educational program will allow the campus community to have more informed and active participation in the university’s year-round planning and budget process.

Given the state of our nation and Colorado’s economic outlook, there is an increased public interest in how state institutions — including CSU — allocate their funds.

Our hope for the Budget 101 meetings is to provide a clear understanding of the budget process that will give members of the CSU community the background and understanding needed to become more involved and ensure their voices are heard throughout the process.

Sessions of “Budget 101” are free and open to the public and will be held in the North Ballroom. Sessions are scheduled for:

Today from 3 to 4:30 p.m. and again from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

Tuesday from 9 to 10:30 a.m.

All three sessions provide the same information, including an overview of university finances and budgeting priorities. The sessions are designed to provide a solid base of information about the budget process for those interested in attending and participating in the university’s annual budget hearing, also open to the public and scheduled for March 11 at the Hilton Hotel just south of campus.

Each session will conclude with a question and answer session for attendees.

The Budget 101 sessions are designed to help people understand the general budget process and the many conflicting factors that shape how the university constructs its budget every year.

These sessions will not focus on the specific budget plans being developed for the remainder of this year or next — those details are covered in the annual budget hearings. Instead, Budget 101 is simply an opportunity for people who may not be familiar with institutional budgets to learn the terminology, regulations and processes that are used each year to determine how CSU allocates revenues and expenditures.

Also at the sessions, we will go over parts of the newly released Financial Accountability Report, which can be found online at

The report presents specific, non-subjective information regarding the university’s finances, including an overview and five-year history of total university revenues and expenditures. The information provided in the report is based on accounting records maintained in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and is consolidated into the annual audited financial statements of the CSU System.

To understand and be able to fully participate in the university’s budget process, it is helpful to know where to look for information, how to interpret the information presented and the right questions to ask.

The university’s budget is complicated, and these informational sessions will provide a basic understanding to help our community ask those tough, detailed questions and hold the institution accountable.

We hope you can join us at one of the three sessions today or Tuesday.

Rick Miranda is the interim provost of CSU and Allison Dineen is the vice president of finance. Letters and feedback can be sent to

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