Budget Glossary


A budget is an estimate of income and planned expenditure during a fiscal year. The Graduate Center budget serves as a framework to ensure the goals and priorities of the GC can be supported with available resources.

Academic Report and Requests (ARR)

The Academic Report and Requests (ARR) form is used by the Office of the Provost and Executive Officers (EOs) of the GC's academic programs to assist in prioritizing and planning for funding requirements to support future development within each program. EOs are encouraged to use the form as a guide to discuss needs and goals with program faculty and, as appropriate, students.

The ARR process takes place during the spring semester, with completed ARRs due to the Office of the Provost by June.

View a sample draft of the ARR.

Incremental Budgeting

An incremental budget is a budget prepared using a previous period's budget or actual performance as a basis with incremental amounts added for the new budget period.

Incremental budgeting helps to provide financial stability and consistency from year to year, while allowing for strategic adjustments to be made based on institutional priorities.

Operating Budget

The operating budget includes salaries, supplies, equipment, travel, and other activities required to carry out our day-to-day operations at the Graduate Center.


Budget Certificates

A budget certificate is an allocation of appropriated funds provided from New York State.

Expense Type: PS

PS expenses, or Personnel Services, cover payroll for Graduate Center faculty, staff, and administration.

Approximately 75-80% of the annual tax-levy funding is allocated to PS expenses.

Expense Type: OTPS

"OTPS" stands for "Other Than Personnel Services". This expense category covers a variety of operating costs that are unrelated to payroll such as office supplies, equipment, software and licensing, travel, contractual obligations, stipends for student fellows, and more.

Funding Source: Tax-Levy

The primary source of public funding, referred to as "tax-levy" funds, is provided by New York State and allocated annually by CUNY Central. These funds are primarily allocated to PS expenses.

Funding Source: Capital Projects

Capital projects are long-term investments requiring relatively large sums of funding to improve or maintain a capital asset, such as a building. The funding typically comes from government entities, including the New York State Bonded projects, the New York City Council, and the Borough President’s office, and is specifically designated for such projects.

There are strict guidelines in place for using these funds, which means capital funding cannot be applied to other opportunities, such as student support. It’s also important to note that while the Graduate Center identifies capital projects and secures the funding, once a project is funded we work in collaboration with CUNY’s Facility Planning, Construction, and Management Office, which manages the execution of such projects, and subsequent agencies as needed.

Because capital funding is unavailable for general allocation, these funds are not included in annual expense reporting.

Learn more about capital projects at the GC.

Funding Source: Private Philanthropy

Philanthropic support of the Graduate Center comes in the form of private donations from individuals or organizations. Approximately 85-90% of our philanthropic support is restricted, meaning that funds can only be spent in accordance with the donor’s wishes.

Fundraising totals may also fluctuate from year to year based on the dates that commitments are made and gifts are received.

Learn more about philanthropic support of the GC.

Funding Source: Auxiliary Services

Auxiliary services at the Graduate Center generate revenue primarily through space rentals, conference services, and catering fees associated with events.

Funding Source: Grants and Sponsored Research

Funding for research projects may be acquired in the form of grants, sponsorships, awards, or fellowships.

These funds must be used to support their intended research projects and are unavailable to other expenses.

Spending Categories

Spending categories are used to classify the nature of each unit receiving a portion of the GC's tax-levy funds. The industry-standard functional categories of expense used at the GC are:

  • Academic Support
  • Fellowship Support
  • General Administration
  • Instruction
  • Research
  • Student Services

Spending Category: Academic Support

Expenses in the "academic support" category fund services and resources in support of academic programs and learning, such as the GC library and classroom technology/audio-visual equipment.

Spending Category: Fellowship Support

The primary expenses attributed to "fellowship support" are allocated to faculty teaching support, student stipends, financial aid, and assistance programs.

Spending Category: General Administration

Expenses in the "general administration" category support administrative/business units including the Office of the President, Office of the VP and Provost, Human Resources, Public Affairs, the Business Office, Facilities Services, Public Safety, and Information Technology.

Spending Category: Instruction

Expenses in the "instruction" category are attributed to academic programs and departments.

Spending Category: Research

Units in the "research" category are typically centers and institutes, most of which are primarily supported by private philanthropy and grants. Faculty travel expenses also fall under this category.

Spending Category: Student Services

Expenses in the "student services" category are attributed to departments such as Admissions, the Registrar, Student Affairs, and the Wellness Center.