Strategic Budgeting Process

Western's Strategic Budgeting Process is currently being revised based on input from the University Budget Committee and other stakeholders. We are moving towards a single, annual call for critical funding needs that are are aligned with the institution's strategic goals. 

Below we outline the steps in the current process beginning with the preparation of the university's operating budget, the annual Spring Budget Forum, and the steps before the Board of Trustee's approval of Western's Annual Operating Budget and State Operating Budget request.

FY Operating Budget Development (May)

Staff in Strategy, Management, and Budget monitors and analyzes the State Budget development throughout the Legislative Session. An analysis of the fiscal impacts is developed and posted online for each stage of the budget development. After the State Budget is signed by the Governor, SMB determines the fiscal outcomes and incorporates the impacts into a fiscal year projection model. 

Strategy, Management & Budget incorporates Cabinet's recommendations for new investments or reallocations into the fiscal year revenue and expenditure model to develop the WWU's Fiscal Year Operating Budget for the upcoming year.

Spring Budget Forum (May)

President Randhawa, Provost Brad Johnson, and Vice President Joyce Lopes present an update on the University's financial status, enrollment trends, outcome of the State's budget process, and plans for the next fiscal year's operating budget.

An overview of WWU's next budget request to the state will be presented to share the strategic approach for requesting new funding.

Board of Trustees Adopts Fiscal Year Operating Budget (June)

Strategy, Management & Budget presents the WWU Fiscal Year Operating Budget to the Board of Trustees at there June meeting. 

The new fiscal year budget goes into effect July 1, and divisions begin strategic planning following the adoption of the WWU Operating Budget by the Board of Trustees. 

Strategy, Management & Budget maintains university budgets in Western's financial systems and initiates a new fiscal year budget using the recurring budget from the previous fiscal year end and adds any new budget allocations. Division budget officers work with SMB to allocate budget based on the division's strategic budgeting processes.

State Budget Request Preparation (June/July)

During Cabinet's review of the proposed operating budget, they identify funding needs that align with institutional budget priorities or legislative interest. From these discussions, they recommend funding requests to submit to the State. The requests are referred to as decision packages when they are submitted to the State for consideration.

The Vice President of Business and Financial Affairs presents Cabinet's recommendation for decision package focus areas for approval before decision packages are developed.

Board of Trustees Approves State Budget Request Recommendations (August)

Strategy, Management & Budget works with subject matter experts and Western's Director of Government Relations to develop the packages that make up Western's request to the State for new budget allocations.

In even years, the State reviews two-year budget requests for funding and Western's biennium budget requests tend to be more expansive in these years. Supplemental Budget requests are submitted in odd years and are requests for funding for the second year of a biennium cycle.

Approval from the Board of Trustees is needed before decision packages can be developed. Decision packages may include requests that are critical to maintain and enhance Western's strengths, operational or maintenance funding necessary to operating the university facilities and infrastructure, or new initiatives developed in collaboration with legislators.

State Operating Budget Request Summitted (September)

Outcomes are known the following May.