Budget FAQs

01. What are the funding sources for the Graduate Center?

Funding for the Graduate Center is supported through both public and private sources, with the bulk of our funding coming from "tax-levy" funds provided by New York State and allocated by the CUNY Central Office.

Learn more about the Graduate Center's funding structure.

02. Is the Graduate Center a city or state entity?

The Graduate Center is a nonprofit state entity. However, unlike most other state entities with fiscal years of April 1 to March 31, our fiscal year runs from July 1 through June 30 of each year.

03. How is the Graduate Center's tax-levy budget developed?

The Graduate Center follows an incremental budget process and plans its annual budget based on institutional priorities as laid out in the GC Strategic Plan, departmental goals, and our state-funded budget allocation from CUNY.

Learn more about the budget planning process.

04. What is the Graduate Center’s tax-levy operating budget for this year?

The initial allocation for the Graduate Center's 2017-18 fiscal year tax-levy budget is $134,627,000. This number includes the budget allocation for the Advanced Science Research Center, which was joined to the GC in 2017.

This is a projected budget only. The final allocation may shift over the course of the year if budgetary priorities are adjusted or additional funds are received.

05. How are priorities established?

Each summer, the Budget Office meets with senior management to develop the annual GC budget request. This process is informed by GC senior management’s consultations with campus leaders following an annual review of institutional priorities as set forth in the Graduate Center’s strategic plan; in the Academic Report and Requests (ARR) provided by the academic units; city, state, and federal mandates; contractual requirements for personnel; and annual financial aid commitments. Upon receipt of the annual allocation, spending plans are established.

Learn more about the budget planning process.

06. How is the Graduate Center's budget managed?

The Graduate Center Budget Office is responsible for planning and allocating tax-levy funds, which make up the majority of the GC's funding, with input from GC departments and oversight from GC leadership.

Funds received through private sources are largely managed by the GC Related Entities.

07. What is the tax-levy budget timeline?

The Graduate Center plans its budget within the New York State and CUNY budget planning cycles. GC departmental budget requests are planned during the spring and submitted to GC leadership in July. Upon receiving the GC's funding allocation from New York State and CUNY Central in May/June, GC leadership will review departmental requests and consider overall institutional priorities to set the budget for the coming year. Departments are notified of their budget allocations in August.

Learn more about the GC budget planning process and timeline.

08. Where can I see my departmental budget?

Tax-levy OTPS budgets are entered in CUNYfirst for all departments to commence purchases for the fiscal year.

All departments are advised to adhere closely to their budget, especially when credit card purchases are made, since requests for supplemental OTPS allocations will not be honored during the fiscal year.

OTPS Department Budgets are grouped into five expense categories.

  • 80120 – Supplies and Materials   
  • 80121 – Travel
  • 80122 – Contractual Services
  • 80123 – Equipment Acquisition
  • 80124 – Fringe Benefits

09. Are there rules about how a department can use its budget allocations?

CUNY offers a helpful tool on what types of expenditures can be paid for with tax-levy funds. Please consult this schedule before authorizing any expenditures to ensure your department complies with the guidelines.

10. When should each department begin its budget planning?

Budget planning is an active process that goes on all year. One should always be reviewing goals and priorities and aligning those with available funding.

Nonacademic department budget requests should be submitted to the unit’s vice president by April.

Academic department requests are submitted as part of the Academic Report and Requests (ARR) due to the provost in June.

  • Academic departments request OTPS allocations for the upcoming fiscal year.
  • Requests for authorization for searches are needed well in advance to allow for a robust search and the securing of the funding. For example, in May 2018 (FY18) an executive officer might request approval to begin a search in fall 2018 (FY19) for a faculty hire to join the GC in fall 2019 (FY20).

Learn more about the budget planning timeline.

11. What tools are there for academic units to use to develop their budgets?

CUNYfirst offers real-time tracking of departmental budgets and spending.

Academic units use the Academic Report and Requests (ARR) for their budget requests.

Nonacademic units work with their vice presidents to develop budget planning tools that reflect the needs and functions of the operations.

12. Where can I get more information about CUNY's annual budget request to the state?

13. Where can I learn about the Graduate Center’s priorities?

The GC budget is developed to align with the priorities set forth in "Building for the Future: The Graduate Center Strategic Plan 2017-2022":

  1. Fostering and integrating communities of learning and research
  2. Building the theoretical and experimental sciences
  3. Advancing our public mission by increasing our impact
  4. Diversifying our resources and building institutional resilience

Learn more about our strategic plan.

14. How can I have a voice in the budget planning process?

Individual departments and offices begin discussing unit-level budgetary needs and goals during the spring semester. If you have specific suggestions or requests for funding within your unit, you should submit them to unit leadership during this time period for consideration. Note that your unit may have a unique process for developing a budget plan and you should follow instruction from your unit leaders if you would like to participate.

You are also welcome to submit any comments or questions you may have about the institutional planning process via our online form.

Please note that all budgetary decisions are made with many factors in mind, and ultimately must align with the institutional priorities laid out in the Graduate Center's strategic plan. Submission of a budget request does not guarantee that the request will be granted.