(A new series on how our money works)
By Brent Gustafson, Finance Director
The annual operating budget for the College of Liberal Arts is approximately $250 million for the current fiscal year. While this is a really big number, the CLA budget can be broken down into two main sources of income and two main types of expenses: tuition and state appropriations, and personnel and cost pools (the charges from the University for a variety of indirect costs).
The largest single source of revenue to finance CLA operations comes from tuition--primarily undergraduate tuition ($177 million of budgeted tuition in FY 2013, 75% of collegiate revenue). Appropriations from the State of Minnesota to the University make up the second largest component of CLA's revenues ($45 million in FY 2013, 19% of budgeted revenue). State appropriations are allocated to colleges through the University's annual budget process, and this amount has varied over time, and has decreased in recent years due to reductions in state funding for the University.
Beyond these two sources of revenue, the college receives smaller--but still significant--amounts from external grants, donated funds, and student fees.
Not surprisingly, over half of the college's spending in any given year goes for salaries and benefits for employees, and this includes faculty, staff, and graduate assistants. And, obviously most of this spending is in academic units for faculty and teaching positions.