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Information for Departments > Budgeting and Resource Availability: Department budgets

With our open budget process, it is important that all department faculty members are involved in the preparation of a department budget. Department budget requests are due to the dean's office sometime in February (a specific date will be announced) and department minutes where the budget was discussed must be attached to the request. Department chairs are guided by materials and information prepared by the LA&S Director of Business Operations, including Excel files, that are used for budget preparation. The Office of the Dean uses information provided by departments for its budget request presentation to the Provost.

The following provides a basic explanation of the state budget categories that cover personnel, other than personal service (OTPS) and recharge expenses:

PERSONAL SERVICE-REGULAR (PSR) - budgeted salaries for all regular state employees. These accounts are managed exclusively by the Office of the Dean and Provost.

PERSONAL SERVICE-TEMPORARY (PST) - includes allocation for instructional and graduate and undergraduate student temporary service employees. These accounts are managed by departments in consultation with the Dean's office.

PERSONAL SERVICE-TEMPORARY/INSTRUCTIONAL (PST-I) - this allocation is based on projections submitted to the Dean's office by departments during the annual budget process and supports expenses related to courses taught by adjunct instructors and other related instructional services. Allocations are based on several criteria including (but not limited to) changes in regular personnel (i.e., sabbaticals, leaves, retirements, etc.), enrollment demands, new or revised curricula and/or programs, and release time.

PERSONAL SERVICE-TEMPORARY/STUDENTS (PST-S) - this allocation is based on projections submitted by departments during the annual budget process and is more commonly referred to as Student Temporary Service (STS). Student Temporary Service allocations are determined on an as needed basis. Allocations are usually based on the availability of funds and a review of demand within the department to provide administrative and research support for delivering programs and supporting faculty. Student Temporary Service is not the same as Student Work Study (described below).

Student Temporary Service appointment forms are available from the Payroll and Financial Aid offices. Application instructions must be followed carefully in order not to delay a student's ability to be paid. NO STUDENT SHOULD WORK PRIOR TO BEING FORMALLY APPOINTED TO THE STUDENT TEMPORARY SERVICE PAYROLL. NO EXCEPTIONS.

OTHER THAN PERSONAL SERVICE (OTPS) - this category encompasses several subcategories, which are designated to cover other than personnel expenses. These include "supplies," "travel," "other supplies and equipment (including contractual services),"and "equipment." A brief definition of each subcategory follows:

  • Supplies: paper, printer cartridges, computer discs and/or CDs, stationary, pens, consumable lab supplies (e.g., glassware, chemicals, videotapes), etc.
  • Travel: lodging accommodations, mileage reimbursement, air fare, train/bus tickets, etc. Refer to the SUNY New Paltz Travel Policy for specific information regarding requesting a reimbursement of travel expenses.
  • Other S&E: consultant/lecturer reimbursement, equipment service contracts (i.e., copier, microscope) conference registrations, payments made to vendors, and shipping and handling charges.
  • Equipment: Computers, printers, desks, chairs, etc.

It is a good idea to check your budget periodically online via the SUNY Central SMRT system. To do this you must get clearance and a password from your supervisor. It is recommended that both the department chair and secretary get clearance. It is important to keep careful departmental records of spending, however, since Albany records generally lag several weeks behind department activity. Departmental accounting records are particularly useful when tracking problems and initiating journal transfers during fiscal year-end closeout. Please note that you should check purchase requisitions against the final purchase order amount (and adjust department records) since prices, as well as shipping and handling, can change in the purchasing process. Note: You will not be able to access information from this site without appropriate security clearance.

Part-Time Budget
It is crucial that you carefully plan the number of part-time sections you will need covered for the coming school year. Don't forget to include covering sections for those in your department who will be on sabbatical.

Signatory Authorization
Signatory authorization records are maintained by Administrative Affairs offices (i.e., Purchasing, Accounts Payable, Payroll, Administrative Services). Upon appointment to the position of department chair, a new authorization card is obtained and submitted to update records maintained by Administrative Affairs. The Dean's office initiates and approves departmental authorization. The LA&S Dean or designee is authorized to approve purchase requisitions and other documents in the absence of a department chair or an emergency.

Time Sheets: Every effort should be made to have time sheets verified and signed within departments. Only in an emergency will a designee of the Dean's office sign off on time sheets (this includes work study and student temporary service time sheets).

Paycheck pick up: Authorization to sign for a department's payroll is managed by the department. Departments should regularly update these signature cards (available from Administrative Services). Each department should have at least two (2) people designated and on file to sign for paychecks. Usually this includes the department secretary and chair. An individual employee may pick up his/her own paycheck or direct deposit stub, however, only individuals listed on the department's authorization card can pick up a department's collective payroll.

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