Budget season update from Lisa Merola-Grimm

February 25, 2022

The budget season is in full swing! We kicked off the FY23 budget season with the opening of the Yale Budgeting Tool to the schools and units on January 15, 2022. This is no easy task, as it takes weeks of preparation to build unit targets (by budget planning unit), central loads for endowment income (by fund), facilities and utilities charges (by building), Yale Health charges (by school), interest & amortization charges (by project), and several other items to be ready for the opening. For the FY23 budget, we have 49 budget planning units:

Fiscal 2022 Budget Planning Unit Hierarchy

At the end of February, all units are required to submit their final FY23 proposals. During March and April, units present their budgets to the Budget Advisory Group. This group includes five tenured faculty members in addition to Scott Strobel, Provost; Jack Callahan, Senior Vice President for Operations; Steve Murphy, Vice President for Finance; and other senior administrators. This group meets with every school and unit to understand their budget proposals and makes recommendations that the Provost will present to the Corporation Finance Committee for approval in June. This year, the Corporation Finance Committee will vote on the budget on June 10, 2022.  All staff members of Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) attend their schools/units budget presentations and meet with the lead administrators, in advance, to prep for these meetings.

Concurrently, my team also works on the capital budget for the university. The capital budget is comprised of projects the university intends to undertake, driven by the academic priorities for teaching, research, and related activities. It is based on a projection of major capital projects (individual projects with an estimated total cost of greater than $4 million) and “capital buckets” (i.e., multiple capital projects less than $4 million each).  This process runs from February through March and is presented to the Corporation Finance Committee for approval on April 8, 2022. 

As you can imagine, pulling together the university’s operating budget, over $4.6 billion, and the university’s capital budget, over $0.5 billion, are enormous tasks. It takes teamwork with Business Operations staff in schools and units, the Controller’s Office, the Facilities team, the YBT team, Procurement, and the Financial Planning & Analysis staff. I am so proud of the team we have, and I am grateful for their commitment and dedication. We have added two new analysts to our team, and we are finally at full staff since July 2021. Please help me welcome Anthony Naples, who joins us from the Office of Fiscal Analysis at the State of Connecticut, and Alena Shepard, who joins us from Guardian Jet, LLC. Both started in February, and I can speak for my entire department in that we are excited they are here, and they are both off to a great start.    

In closing, I want to reiterate my gratitude to my whole team, for not only the work they do, but how they do their work: with determination, pride, and integrity.