The Employee Recognition Committee of Staff Senate would like to congratulate the Budget Office for the March 2003 Department of the Month award.
Staffed by the three "J's" - Jean Mattson, Jo Ann Ludden, and Jan Mitchell - the Budget Office prepares and monitors the annual operating budget for the University. The Budget Office identifies accounts in a "line-item" budget format in which the focus in on departmental expenditures for specific purposes or objects.
The Budget Office prepares the UNK Budget Request documents to the University of Nebraska and the Nebraska State Legislature for funding of continuation and expanded program needs. The Budget Request provides historical expenditure information and estimates the proposed expenditures and proposed means of funding to meet the operating plan for the University. The Budget Office oversees the collaboration and implementation of U-wide projects for improved budget/business processes.
In March the Budget Office helps the University begin the budget process but notifying department chairs and directors to prepare the individual department budget requests. The process continues through May when the Legislature approves the University budget. To be a competitive institution, it is necessary to have accurate data for review and analysis and that means managing and monitoring a tremendous amount of detail during this budget process.
During the recent budget shortfall and cuts, the Budget Office has had to respond to numerous requests for special budgetary plans. As different proposals for reducing the UNK budget are made, the Budget Office must then put the dollars to those proposals, often on a short notice. The work can involve providing responses to Legislative requests for historical information as well as campus requests for specific department information.
The UNK Budget Office has taken the lead in deploying a report that projects salary commitments by cost object. This provides a new management tool for departments to determine budget status and vacancy savings. Under way is the development of additional detail on the report to project benefit commitments by cost object.
Because of the dedication to students, to colleagues, and to the wider UNK community, the University of Nebraska at Kearney is pleased to name the Budget Office as the Department of the Month for March 2003.