As we continue our efforts to go “Back to Basics” with our financial and operational management at UCF, we added a component around campus engagement. Either myself, members of my team, or subject-matter experts from around campus have been sharing key themes that undergird our financial operations with colleagues and students. In recent meetings we described the funding categories of the university as the “Colors of Money.”

It was a revelation for some and a refresher for others. As we are going through our change management efforts, it is prudent to use this month’s CFO update to share the information.

The university’s budget for fiscal year 2022 is approximately $2.2 billion. However, when that total is categorized into the different “Colors of Money” it creates a dynamic view of our operations and provides insights into why some units and divisions can operate in different ways although we are “One UCF.”

The budget is categorized as follows:

  1. Local Funds: $839 million
  2. Education and General (Main Campus): $654 million
  3. Contracts and Grants: $320 million
  4. Auxiliary Enterprises: $306 million
  5. Education and General (College of Medicine): $47 million
  6. Education and General (FCSUA): $9 million
  7. Faculty Practice Plan: $8 million
Gerald Hector, Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance at UCF
Gerald Hector, Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance

Local Funds are our largest component of funding. It includes several departments and restrictions on use. Approximately $728 million or 87% of the total is for all sources of student financial aid. That includes Title IV, Bright Futures, Scholarships, and state-mandated waivers of tuition and fees. Student Athletic Fees is the second largest component at $74 million or 9%. They cover all athletic-related activities that students are entitled to participate in and attend here on campus. The Student Activity Fees is the third-largest amount at $20 million or 2.3%. These fees cover the operations of Student Government and other student-related activities.

Other Local Funds that are immaterial in nature are Technology Fees, and Campus Concessions (vending machines). These amounts are typically less than 2% of the total Local Funds allocation within the budget.

Education and General (Main Campus) provides the funding necessary to carry out our operations. They are restricted to operating activities for educational purposes including general instruction, research, public service, plant operations and maintenance, student services, libraries, administrative support, and other enrollment-related operations. These funds cannot be utilized for any other purpose. They are comprised of funds from student tuition and fees, and state appropriations (general revenues and lottery). Unspent E&G funds roll over into “carryforward” at the end of each year, and they no longer are eligible for recurring expenditures. They can be utilized for “once off” expenditures that are non-recurring (e.g. a special educational project).

Contracts and Grants are funds usually restricted by purpose and time (in the case of private grants). Most of the university’s research activities are funded within this category of revenues each year. The Office of Research oversees the administration of these funds and works with faculty, staff and researchers to ensure they are spent within established guidelines from federal, state and private entities. These funds cannot be utilized for our general operations.

Auxiliary Enterprises are the “business” functions of the university. They generate their own revenues and expenses through entrepreneurial activities. The Bookstore, Housing, Parking and Transportation, and Dining are all examples. These funds are not utilized for Educational and General operations; however, they do pay a fee to central functions for service rendered on their behalf for payroll, accounts payable, custodial services, etc. They are formed with the intention of supporting the university, but in instances where debt-financed activities have occurred, their “net” is restricted and stays within their operations. For example, Housing has debt on some of our residence halls, all activities for housing remain with housing until the bonds are paid off.

Education and General (College of Medicine) is like the Education and General funds for the Main Campus. The core operations of the facilities at Lake Nona are covered from this category of funding each year.

Education and General for FCUSA (Florida Center for Students with Unique Abilities) follows the same rules and regulations as Education and General for both the Main Campus and the College of Medicine. The main programmatic expenditure for this program is scholarships for deserving students.

An overarching tenet we should understand is that these various colors of money, coupled with their restrictions by state statute and donor restrictions, must be followed at all times. Therefore, costs for functions will fit into one of these categories. As we continue to look at the efforts around Knight Vision (WorkDay, Adaptive Planning and SET), we can see the connection between ensuring that the allocation of resources is prudent and impactful. We also need to ensure that as we build future budgets, we are trying to reduce duplication of effort, eliminate redundancy in our systems, and to simultaneously try to find new sources of revenue that provide greater flexibility. The revenue sources that will give us the most flexibility are unrestricted fundraising and greater Auxiliary Revenues net operations.

This budget categorization does not include our Direct Support Organizations (DSOs). We will cover those in a subsequent update as we continue with our efforts to educate the campus on our operations.

In next month’s article, we will speak about the new budget model and how it brings greater transparency to our budgeting process, while providing insights into resource allocations going forward.

CFO Gerald Hector and members of his team will host “The Colors of Money,” the next installment of his “Dollars and $ense” webinar series, on March 4 from noon to 1:30 p.m. The webinar is open to all and can be joined here: