State Budgeting for Higher Education in the United States as Reported for Fiscal Year 2007Report as inadecuate

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The Center for National University Finance and Management in Japan requested a study that would investigate the specifics of the higher education budgeting process in each of the states. Recognizing the value such a study would have for its members, the national association of State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO) created a survey tailored to fit the needs and interests of the SHEEO community as well as satisfy the requirements of the contract with the Center. The survey was intended to gather the details necessary to provide a greater understanding of the factors that most significantly affect decisions states make regarding their budgets. The survey of budgeting practices focused on fiscal year 2007. While budgeting procedures are generally stable, they have changed and continue to change over time. SHEEO gathered information relative to three key components of the higher education budgeting process: (1) Operating budget request, including components of requested funding and the respective roles of institutions, sectors, systems, and states; (2) Operating budget negotiations, in particular, the respective roles and interests of the governor, executive agencies, and legislature in determining appropriations; and (3) Operating budget allocations, primarily legal constraints, processes, and other factors affecting the allocation of appropriations across institutions. Survey results indicate that higher education budgeting practices are diverse, complex, and dynamic. No two states take exactly the same approach to the budgeting process. Each state aims to meet its own needs. Since no two states have the same needs, each state must develop a process that will best address its needs and goals. These processes are constantly evolving as conditions in the states change. Three appendices are included: (1) State Budgeting Processes Survey Instrument; (2) Catalog of Additional State References; and (3) State Summary. (Contains 2 footnotes, 2 figures and 14 tables.)

Descriptors: Higher Education, Budgeting, Interests, Foreign Countries, Colleges, Comparative Analysis, Educational Finance, Financial Support, National Surveys, State Aid, Government Role

State Higher Education Executive Officers. 3035 Center Green Suite 100, Boulder, CO 80301. Tel: 303-541-1600; Fax: 303-541-1639; e-mail: sheeo[at]; Web site:

Author: State Higher Education Executive Officers


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