The Future of Manhattan College’s Budget

By Mack Olmsted, Asst. Production Editor 

The Manhattan College budgeting committee has new goals in mind for the 2022-2023 academic year.

Matthew McManness, the vice president for finance and administration, coordinates the development of the college’s operating budget and explained the budgeting process to the Quadrangle. 

 The College has an integrated planning and budget model driven by an annual process and timeline that ends with the review and subsequent approval of the budget each fiscal year, which begins in June, he said.

To start, the committee goes through a grass-roots process that starts with the departmental cost center managers and ends with recommendations from the vice presidents through a reporting system called Taskstream. 

The college tracks the budget through an Enterprise Resource Planning system, which is partly dedicated to tracking the college’s spending. The major revenue sources for the college are tuition and fees, room and board, academic grants, endowment, income, scholarships, non-credit program revenues and auxiliary services.

Further, each department has their own process that they utilize to make various budget requests, this may be a small team or individual based on the size of the department. Based on the nature of the department, resources are allocated to support the mission and role of the department.

             Each department has a staff and discretionary spending allocated to it based on prior year budgets and priorities as well as the strategic plan. Every department has a specific budget manager, which is typically the head of the operation. 

       All the managers put in budgets for their areas, and then the Provost revises them all and ranks them in the overall budget request for academic affairs.

Senior civil engineering major and vice president of finance for the Student Government Association (SGA), Samantha Miraglia, stated in an email how the budgets are created for clubs each academic year.

“The budgets for each club are determined based on the financial need for the events the clubs would like to hold and evaluation of past events/budget use within the club. The amounts are constantly changing based on circumstance,” Miraglia wrote. 

The budgeting committee plans strategically and accordingly based on the records they have from past years and what they expect their income to be. Financial capacity also plays a large role in the decisions they make for the college.

McManness explained the outcome from this year’s financial capacity.

 “The college’s financial capacity was heavily impacted during the COVID years. The current budget results, given our freshman enrollment, indicates we have maintained our budgeted goal but not exceeded it this year,” McManness wrote. 

Manhattan College took a financial toll during the pandemic, but now that more restrictions are being lifted nationwide the vision for MC is shifting. Provost William Clyde shared how MC is benefitting now that we are closer to a semblance of a post-COVID era. 

“During COVID there certainly were budget items that aren’t being utilized anymore. For instance, we were having COVID testing at campus all the time, that was a cost,” Clyde said.  “There were wipes and cleaning supplies all around, there were lots of costs. We had a team just dedicated to run our One Manhattan program, so we had a bunch of costs that we incurred, and the faculty needed resources too, so there were a lot of additional costs for the couple of years of COVID, but now that we’re pulling out of COVID, a lot of those costs are going away.”

The budgeting committee puts a lot of thought into what they are distributing the funds into. Every year the committee has a new and different idea in mind on what aspect of the college they should focus on. Clyde shared what the committee’s goals for this academic year are with the Quadrangle. 

“The biggest thing that’s being emphasized this year is trying to make improvements to the residence halls. That’s the place where a lot of money is being spent. But I would say in general, we’ve spent a lot of money on facilities, trying to improve facilities in many different ways. Just all around campus, there will be lots of improvements,” Clyde said. 

McManness shared the budgeting committee’s view on the importance of student life on campus, and how they wish to improve experiences for the community.

“There are many primary priorities for the College’s operating budget in the current year,” McManness wrote. Our primary goals are to enhance the student experience through improvements in our operations, making sure we have fulfilled our commitment to students by allocating resources to the highest priorities such as the right staff levels, and investing in the college’s facilities to improve the quality of student life on campus.”