Your department is provided with an operating budget (10-0000-dept code) for each fiscal year, which runs from July 1 to June 30. As department chair, you are the manager of this budget. Many chairs enlist the aid of the department assistant in the regular oversight of the budget. In addition, many departments have endowed funds (24-xxxx-dept code) or gift funds (27-xxxx-dept code) available to spend. Contact Linda Thornton (lthornton@carleton.edu) in the Business Office to gain access to information about potential endowed or gift funds in your department.

Types of Budgets

The Operating Budget consists of three types of funds that are not interchangeable:

  • fungible budget
  • faculty entertaining students
  • student work

The Fungible Budget is comprised of funds for five categories of expenses:

  • professional services
  • supplies
  • equipment
  • travel
  • other

This budget is termed “fungible” because, as chair, you are free to use funds originally budgeted for one of those five categories for an expense in any of the other four. In essence, it is this bottom-line fungible budget that you have to work with to cover any and all non-compensation operating expenses for your department. Examples of the kinds of expenses that fall into each category are shown below.

  • Professional Services (52xx): honorariums, officials, trainers, event workers, independent contractors
  • Supplies (53xx): printing, office supplies, lab supplies, subscriptions, campus copying/duplicating
  • Equipment (54xx): equipment repair, equipment purchases, equipment rental, equipment service contracts, capital purchases
  • Travel (58xx): employee travel, student travel, professional development, speaker travel
  • Other (59xx): meetings and entertainment, membership fees, telephone charges, services, public relations, room and board, other.

Faculty Entertaining Students budgets are allocated in line 5997. These funds are distributed yearly and are intended to support interactions with students. These funds are not a fungible part of your operating budget and do not carry over from year to year.

Student Work is divided into term work and break work. These funds are not a part of your operating budget and do not carry over from year to year.

  • Terms (5140). Your department is allocated a certain number of hours for student work that is performed during the three academic terms. Departments occasionally find that they are unable to use all of the student term work hours they are allotted. Unused funding in this category cannot be redirected to cover expenses in the fungible budget categories of your operating budget (supplies, equipment, etc.), but can be shifted to pay for student work during breaks. This year, the term hourly rate is $9.75.
  • Breaks (5130). Your department may have a small budget to support student work during breaks. Again, unused funding in this category cannot be redirected to cover expenses in the fungible-budget categories of your operating budget (supplies, equipment, etc.), but can be shifted to pay for student work during terms. This year the break hourly rate is $9.75 plus FICA.

Endowed funds

Endowed funds that may be allocated to your department are available via an annual draw on the endowment. Once those funds have been withdrawn and placed into a budget account (24-xxxx-dept code) for the department’s use, they are no longer being invested or earning income for the college. These funds provide the greatest benefit to the college and fulfill our fiduciary responsibility to the donor if they are regularly used. Therefore, your best management of these funds is to be aware of their restrictions and to spend them to the greatest extent possible. Contact the Business Office to obtain information about restrictions and balances in endowed funds that are available to your department. You should also be in contact with Stewardship in order to make reports to the donor, if necessary.

Gift funds

Gift funds (27-xxxx-dept code) are one-time gifts or grants that may have been awarded to your department. Your best management of these funds is to spend them according to the donor or grant agreement. Contact the Business Office to obtain information about restrictions and balances in gift or grant funds that are available to your department. You should also be in contact with Stewardship or Corporate and Foundation Relations in order to make reports to the donor or granting agency.


A carryover system, which applies to fungible budget categories only, was established in 1998 to provide flexibility and encourage prudent management of College budgets. Under this system, positive year-end balances are carried forward into the next budget year. The Treasurer's division supports the principle of department/program carryovers, but does not guarantee them.

Carryover balances are generally calculated and announced after the College financial statements have been audited in early fall. The carryover object code is 5250; it will be listed as “0” (zero) until after the audit is complete. Before the carryovers are officially posted, you can estimate your expected carryover by looking at the budget balance from the previous fiscal year. Be sure to exclude balances from student work (51xx) and faculty entertaining students (5997) when you make this estimate. Negative year-end balances are not allowed and must be repaid by other departments in our division. Such cases should be avoided.

Managing Your Budget

Department expense reports are available on the web. They are accessible at any time of day from any computer with web access. The report you see reflects payments and purchase orders from July 1 to the previous day. The reports include summary and details of actual, budgeted (by general categories), encumbrances (items ordered on a College purchase order), and available amounts. The web tool allows you to select some or all expense categories. Purchases by your departmental credit card are included in the above report amounts in detail. The details of those purchases are also available for your Wells Fargo purchasing card each month, where you can modify the specific account to be charged prior to payment.

How is the Budget Determined?

The College operating budget is constructed by the Treasurer’s office, in consultation with the Budget Committee. On an annual basis, the Budget Committee will make a budgetary recommendation to the College Council. Once approved by College Council, it is recommended to the Board of Trustees for approval in February. The College budget includes all three portions of your operating budget: fungible budget, faculty entertaining students and student work.

Fungible Budgets for the division are managed by Associate Dean Gretchen Hofmeister.

You should use one of your early fall department meetings to consult faculty and staff in your department about plans for the next year. Consideration should be given to:

  • new equipment needs,
  • curricular changes, and
  • department recruiting

If budget pressures arise during the year, please call Associate Dean Gretchen Hofmeister for consultation or assistance.

Faculty Entertaining Students budget is determined by the Dean of the College according to the number of eligible faculty members in each department.

Student Work Budgets are managed by the Budget Director, in consultation with the Associate Deans. In February or March, you will receive information via email from the Vice President and Treasurer’s office with instructions for submitting Student Work budget requests. Requests are submitted electronically by completing the Budget Request Form.

Please include any explanation or justification for your budget either in the space provided in the Budget Request Form, or in a separate letter if additional explanation is necessary.

Budget Reports Online

You should periodically review your department budget during the year. By comparing the current fiscal year with previous fiscal years, you can evaluate whether your departmental spending patterns are consistent from year to year and anticipate budget shortfalls.

If you haven’t already, take a minute to go to the Hub website and pull up this year’s budget for your department. The 2017-18 budget will be viewable after July 1.

  • From the Carleton Homepage, enter the Faculty/Staff section. Then click on The Hub Information Access section: For Employees (benefits, budgets, and more). Log in with your Carleton password. Under Budgeting, choose budget manager reports.

You are now at the budget manager page.

  • You can choose which year you wish to view
  • Choose whether you want detailed information or a summary, or a side-by-side comparison of a given fiscal year with the previous fiscal year. If you choose the summary report, you can click on links within the report to obtain more detailed information for a given set of transactions.
  • Under the “Funds” column, choose “10 – Current Operations” for your operating budget. (Or choose 24-xxxx-dept code for endowed funds or 27-xxxx-dept code for gift funds.)
  • Under the “Departments” column, choose which budget you'd like to review (your PDA will also be on the list)
  • Choose all or some of the sub-class codes. It is recommended that you choose sub-class codes 49 and 52-59. Do not include Student Employment (sub-class code 51) if you wish to view only your fungible budget.
  • You can view the results online or in an Excel file

Your operating budget will be comprised of the following Expense Codes:

  • 51xx – Student Employment
  • 52xx – Professional Services (includes carryover funds which are determined in early fall)
  • 53XX – Supplies
  • 54XX - Equipment
  • 58XX - Travel
  • 59XX – Other

If you experience problems viewing your budget reports, please contact Karl Symons (x4471) in the Business Office.

If you have other questions about your budget(s), please contact the Associate Dean of the College Office at x4301.