A-Z Information and Glossary

Actual Budget

The budgeted expenses and revenues of the base year as adjusted to reflect the expenses and revenues experienced.

Agency Budget Request

The budget request prepared by state agencies, due to the Department of Budget and Management in September or October, that is based on an agency’s expected revenues and proposed expenditures as a result of the agency’s statutory and legislative mandates, goals and objectives, costs, and priorities.


Funds being distributed or expenditure limits established for an organizational unit. Also reflects any additional money that is collected within the current fiscal year.

Appropriated Positions

Synonymous with “authorized positions” (see below).


The amount of spending for a program authorized from specific funds to accommodate expenditures and/or incur obligations for a specific purpose and period of time; a formal advance approval of expenditure from designated resources available or estimated to be available.

Asking Budget

The Asking Budget is developed at the macro level. The University prepares a budget request, which then goes to USM, who in turn sends it to the Governor. The Governor makes adjustments and presents the budget to the Legislature. The Legislature reviews the budget and may make reductions (not additions) before approving it. Once approved, USM makes its final allocations back to all the campuses.

Authorized Positions

The number of full-time equivalent employees that may be employed at any one time on the regular State payroll. The number of authorized positions includes vacant positions. An agency may not exceed its total of authorized positions. Authorized positions for a given fiscal year are enumerated in that year’s budget. Only the State’s Board of Public Works may increase the number of authorized positions during the fiscal year.

Auxiliary Enterprises

An activity that furnishes a service to students, faculty, or staff and charges a fee directly related to, but not necessarily equal to the cost of the service. They are essential elements in support of the educational program, and are essentially self-supporting activities. The general public may be served incidentally by Auxiliary Enterprises.


State costs for employees. These expenditures include: retirement, health and welfare benefits, Worker’s Compensation, and many others.


A plan that specifies how resources, such as time and money, will be allocated and/or spent throughout the fiscal year (or any other particular time period). It is also a means of tracking whether or not these resources are effectively meeting the goals of the university.

Budget Amendment

At the State level, this is a proposal to change the dollar amount of an appropriation after the budget has been passed by the General Assembly. At the University level, this is any additions or reductions made to the budget since the original allocation.

Budget Bill

Presents the Governor’s allowance as a bill that will become the legally enacted budget after the General Assembly approves it, including any amendments.

Budget Book Appropriation

Reflects the Legislative appropriation plus or minus amendments approved during the fiscal year preceding the year of the budget submission. The amount appears in the annual Budget Books.

Budget Books

A series of volumes published each January that present the Governor’s allowance to the General Assembly for all appropriated programs in the budget as well as information on non-budgeted agencies.

Budget Cycle

A period of time in which a specific budget is affected, usually 12 months. See fiscal year.

Budget Unit

A department, board, commission, office, institution, or other unit of organization that has, under general law, an independent existence, and thus is authorized to receive and expend an appropriation. A department or agency may have one or more budget units in the Appropriations bill.

Capital Budget

Generally covers the building of new facilities and renovations of major facilities, with projects planned many years in advance. These funds are part of the State’s capital budget. By State law, the capital budget cannot be used for the operating budget or any other purpose.

Capital Expenditure

An expenditure for the acquisition or construction of buildings or other fixed assets, or for other tangible assets with a useful life of at least fifteen years.

College Budget Officers (CBO)

The College Budget Officers forum consists of the senior budget/finance officer from each of the 12 academic colleges and the major administrative units within the Division of Academic Affairs, as well as the Division of Research.

Contingent Salaries, Wages, and Fringe Benefits

Employees not in a state PIN (Position Identification Number) and hired on a contractual or temporary basis. All expenses associated with the temporary employee’s income are included in this grouping.


A formal agreement, with appropriate approvals, between the State and an independent contractor for outside vendor services or products.

Contractual Positions

The number of full-time equivalent employees working under employment contracts. Agencies generally use contractual employees for tasks of a limited duration or seasonal nature. Contractual employees are not eligible for most state fringe benefits.

Contractual Services

Services provided by a business, organization, or individual who is not a state employee such as: communication, printing, advertising, utilities, repairs, equipment rentals or lease/purchases, and professional services.

Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA)

Salary increases to reflect increases in the cost of living which are based on negotiations rather than merit or longevity.

Current Funds

Economic resources, expendable and set aside by the institution for carrying out the primary purposes of the institution, to be expended in the near term and used for operating purposes.

Current Restricted Funds

Funds that may be used by higher education institutions only for restricted purposes. These consist principally of research grants and donations for particular purposes (i.e., student aid).

Current Unrestricted Funds

Funds that may be used by higher education institutions without restriction. These consist principally of the State appropriation, tuition and student fees.

Dedicated Funds

Funds collected from a specific revenue source that must be appropriated for a specific expenditure. An example is motor fuel tax funds, which must be constitutionally appropriated for programs related to providing and maintaining an adequate system of public roads and bridges.

Deficiency Appropriation

An appropriation for an expense in the current fiscal year that is not covered by the existing budget. Deficiency appropriations usually occur when workloads exceed projected amounts, new legislation requires expenditures not provided in the budget, or unanticipated needs arise.

Education and General State-Assisted

Education and General (E&G) expenses are recorded for all expenses that are not for Auxiliary Enterprises. They are normally categorized as instruction, research, public service, academic support, student services, institutional support, operation and maintenance of plant, and scholarships and fellowships.


A financial transaction which reserves funds for a specific purpose. Encumbrances become expenditures and liabilities only when the goods and services are actually received.

Endowment Funds

Funds, the principle of which a donor or other outside agency has stipulated, as a condition of the gift, remain intact (nonexpendable) in perpetuity, and that only the income from the investment of the fund may be expended.

Endowment Income

Yield, usually in the form of interest or dividends, which occurs as a result of investing the principal of an endowment fund. Capital gains and losses are not part of this.


Cash paid or to be paid for the purchase of an item or for a service performed.

Facilities Advisory Committee (FAC)

Advisory committee to the Facilities Council (FC) regarding projects to be included in the university’s facilities budgets.

Facilities Council (FC)

Oversees - at a high level - the use, maintenance, upgrade, and planning of the university’s facilities.

Federal Funds

Grants and other payments from the federal government that are expended through the University budget to fund various activities funded by the Federal Government. Such funds are subject to applicable federal laws and regulations. Before an agency can spend these funds, its budget must contain a Federal Fund Appropriation for at least the amount of funds to be spent.


Charges associated with using a particular service provided by the University to its students and employees. The charge generally recovers the cost of providing the service.

Fiscal Digest

Book published annually by July 1 that lists the appropriations enacted by the General Assembly in the State Budget for the new fiscal year. The Fiscal Digest also contains other budgetary information for the enacted budget.

Fiscal Notes

Analyzing the fiscal, economic, legal, and practical effects of legislation and State regulations and preparing the official fiscal estimates of proposed legislation.

Fiscal Year (FY)

The calendar on which the state operates for financial purposes. The University’s fiscal year begins on July 1 and ends on June 30. For example, fiscal year 2019 (FY 2019) begins on July 1, 2018 and continues until June 30, 2019.

Fringe Benefits

Benefits that are provided to state employees over and above their salaries as an inducement to employment. These benefits include retirement, health insurance, and employer Social Security contributions.

Full-Time Equivalent (FTE)

A method of calculating employment, workloads, enrollments or caseloads to adjust for part-time or part-year participation. For example, part-time or part-year employees are factored according to the share of a full 2,080-hour year during which they are employed. A seasonal employee who works twenty hours a week for one-half of the year would count as a 0.25 full-time equivalent.


A separate accounting entity, maintained for a particular purpose, for which transactions are subject to legal or administrative restrictions. This term is distinguished from "funding" or "funds," which usually refer to the amount of dollars contained in a fund.

Fund Balance

The net or cumulative revenues received in excess of expenditures for a given fund. Fund balances often result from (a) differences in the timing of budget appropriations, expenses, and revenues or (b) incurring lower expenditures than initially budgeted.

Fund Group

A grouping of funds of similar in nature such as Unrestricted Current Funds, restricted current funds, loan funds, endowment & similar funds, and plant funds.


The term used when employees are placed in a temporary non-duty, non-pay status for required budgetary reasons.

General Fund

The predominant fund for financing state government programs. The primary sources of revenue for the General Fund are the state income and sales tax revenue. The General Fund is a major funding source for higher education.

Governor's Allowance

The amount proposed by the Governor for a program or an item in the State budget. In most instances the General Assembly may subtract from but may not add to the allowance. Department of Budget and Management analysis informs the gubernatorial decision process that results in the amount included in the budget books, budget files and budget bill submitted to the General Assembly.

Grants and Contracts

Revenues from governmental agencies (federal, state, or local) received or made available from grants, contracts and cooperative agreements that are not considered contributions.

Indirect Cost Assessment (IDC)

An assessment charged to non-state and auxiliary enterprises activities to recover the cost of providing services that are not a direct-billed service (e.g., payroll processing).

Indirect Costs

Sponsored programs and other contracted activities, have an associated cost for facilities and administration. The university recovers indirect costs related to overhead from the sponsoring agency or organization.

Institutional Support

Comprised of expenses for central executive-level activities concerned with management and long-range planning for the entire institution. It includes executive management, fiscal operations, general administration and logistical services, public relations and development, and administrative computing support.


Includes activities that are part of the institution’s instructional program. Expenses for credit and noncredit courses, remedial and tutorial instruction, and regular, special, and extension sessions are included.

Lapsed Funds

Uncommitted funds that remain in an appropriation account at the close of a fiscal year. They are returned to the fund from which they were originally appropriated or allocated.

Mandatory Transfers

Transfers used to move funds as required by a third party (external to the University). Examples of Mandatory Transfers include debt service payments, required institutional matching on financial aid and/or student loan programs, and the transfer of funds to or from an endowment as required by the endowment agreement.

Miscellaneous Sources

All sources of current funds revenue not included in other classifications.

Non-Mandatory Transfers

Transfers used to move unrestricted funds from one fund to another at the discretion of administrative management. Non-mandatory transfers can serve various purposes, such as, funding the renovation or construction of fixed assets, increasing the amount of financial aid available to students through voluntary additions to the loan fund, or transferring funds to or from a quasi-endowment fund.

Operating Budget

Finances the ongoing activities of the University. Generally includes all of the regular unrestricted income available to the institution plus those restricted funds that are earmarked for instructional activities and department support. Activities included in the operating budget are the basic expenses of departments, for example, personnel and day-to-day operating costs, student services, libraries, campus operations and maintenance, development, and the unrestricted portion of endowment income, gifts, and student aid.

Operating Expenditure

Expenses of ongoing operations of the University and other expenditures that do not result in a tangible fixed asset with a useful life of at least fifteen years.


An authorized job slot. Since a position may or may not be filled, a position is not equivalent to an employee.

Private Gifts and Grants

Revenues from private donors for which no legal consideration is involved and from private contracts for specific goods and services provided to the funder as stipulation for receipt of the funds.

Quasi-Endowment Funds

Funds that are treated as an endowment for investment purposes, but are not legally restricted as such. The principal of a quasi-endowment fund may be liquidated.


Funds received as repayment for the cost of work, service(s) performed, or any other expenditures made on behalf of another unit or department.


Funds expended for activities specifically organized to produce research outcomes and commissioned by an agency either external to the institution or separately budgeted by an organizational unit within the institution.


A portion of net assets that are intentionally accrued for contingencies, such as unexpected funding shortfalls that must be addressed in order to ensure the continuation of operation. Reserves are non-operating and as such are not set aside for a specific purpose or for a routine use.

Restricted Funds

Funds generated by external sources that established limitations or stipulations placed on the use of the funds. Sources of funds are federal grants and contracts, state grants and special appropriations, and gifts and grants from private sources, and restricted distributions from endowments.


A financial transaction that records new funds received by the institution.


The balance of an appropriation or authorization that is remaining after the close of a specific time period that are returned to the original source of the appropriation or authorization.

Revised Budget

Base budget with permanent and temporary budget changes applied. The revisions can be adjustments from one spending category to another within a department budget, changes such as salary increase funding, or the addition of one-time funds.

State Appropriations

Unrestricted revenue received for current operations from, or made available to the institution by, legislative acts or the local taxing authority (the state of Maryland). This category does not include government grants and contracts. Also referred to as general funds.

State Funded Capital Projects

Projects that are financed from general funds allocated from the State of Maryland budget to individual institutions. These funds are not required to be repaid to the State by the University. Projects eligible for funding from the state include academic and academic support buildings, administrative buildings, infrastructure, and utility improvements.

Student Services

Expenses for activities with the primary purpose of contributing to emotional and physical well-being of students as well as their intellectual, cultural, and social development outside the context of the formal instructional program. Included in this category are student activities, cultural events, intramural athletics, student organizations, counseling and career guidance, student aid administration, and offices of enrollment management and student health services.

System Funded Capital Projects

System funded capital projects are financed through the sale of auxiliary bonds by USM. The debt service of these bonds, typically a 20 year amortization period, is paid for by the institution through auxiliary revenue sources, including student fees. Projects that are eligible for funding through this financing method include dining halls, student unions, recreation facilities, parking facilities and the renovation of residence halls.

Tuition and Fees

Includes all tuition and fees assessed (net of refunds and discounts) for educational purposes.

Unrestricted Funds

Resources provided to the institution with no restrictions on their use.

Working Budget

The current year budget which applies to all revenues and expenses of the fiscal year which has been approved by the legislature and/or amended by the Department of Budget and Management. This is a recording of the final budget at the micro-level – all the way down to account, type of expense, and the person (if salaries).