Budgeting in Higher Education

Annetta M. Gibson, Andrews University


Budgeting in Higher Education examines the budget process as faced by colleges and universities in what is an increasingly complex educational environment. The monograph is divided into two parts. The first part discusses the context of budgeting, including its definition, the environment, the personnel involved, and criticisms of the process. Also included in this section is a discussion of the relationship between the budget and strategic planning, and the pitfalls an organization will encounter as the budget process interacts with the people who must ultimately make the budget work. The second part discusses the budget process itself, including the development, implementation, and control of the budget. This section is not written for the controller or the chief accountant; it is written for the non-accountant who wishes to understand the “big picture” view of the process.

The conclusion summarizes the key points of both the budget context and the process. The appendices provide a summary of a number of possible budget models, guidelines for effective budgets, a brief discussion of a recent book which urges organizations to move beyond budgeting–or at least beyond its major pitfalls, and additional information on ratio and financial analysis.