Budget 1O1: Budget Cycles

The Budget 1O1 guides are intended to give an understanding of the San Francisco State University Budgeting System. Navigate the links to our guides below to learn more about San Francisco State's Budget.

Budget Cycles

There are three, interconnected, annual cycles which combine to make the full budget process:

Also known as the Governor's Budget process, the state's budget process begins in November of the year prior to the fiscal year for which the budget is to be enacted.

Timeine representation of the five phases of the budget planning process for the State of California

November: In the November of the prior fiscal year, CSU Trustees adopt the Operating Budget Request for submission to the Governor.

January: The Governor’s Budget is submitted to the Legislature.

February: The Legislative Analyst’s Office review of Governor’s Budget is published.

May: Revision to the Governor’s Budget is released.

June: The state budget is enacted.

Often called the CSU Budget process, the university system's budget process begins in May of the year prior to the fiscal year for which the budget is to be enacted.

Timeline representation of the seven phases of the budget planning process for the California State Univeristy system

May–June: In May and June of the prior year, the CSU System Budget Advisory Committee (SBAC) consult with CSU campus constituents.

August–September: The CSU Board of Trustees consult with the CSU presidents and SBAC on the budget.

October–November: The CSU Board of Trustees consult with CSU constituents and adopt the Operating Budget Request.

December–January: The CSU system and campuses review enrollment, and the governor submits the Governor’s Budget the Legislature.

February: The Legislative Analyst’s Office analyzes the Governor’s Budget and publishes their findings.

March–May: CSU system-wide groups brief the CSU constituents, and CSU Chancellor’s Office distributes preliminary budget information.

June: The State Budget is passed.

Our campus's budget planning process starts in December of the year prior to the fiscal year in which the budget will take effect.

Timeline representation of the four phases of the budget planning process for the San Francisco State University campus

December–February: Strategic Planning (Campus Budget Framework)

  • The president's cabinet and CFO Office review the campus expense projections and the enrollment plan, and the projected state allocation from CSU Operating Budget Request for the next fiscal year. Based on those estimates, the campus develops scenarios and share them with divisions as the temporary, multi-scenario budget targets.

February–March: Budget Preparation (campus units develop budget plans)

  • With temporary, enrollment and budget targets provided, the deans and/or vice presidents of each division work with their staffs to determine how to meet their temporary targets. A vice president may choose to meet temporary targets through the generation of new revenue and/or cost reductions.

April: Cabinet Budget Submission (begin meetings with the division/colleges/cabinets)

  • Once divisional budgets have been finalized and submitted to the deans and vice presidents of each division, they meet to discuss their plans, and the challenges and opportunities which their divisions face.
  • When budgets are submitted to the Budget Operations and Administration department and the CFO, the development of additional working scenarios may be required to account for any adjustments discussed at the meetings.
  • Additional working scenarios are to be completed by the time the May Revision to the Governor's Budget is communicated to the University by the Chancellors Office.

May–June: Budget Finalization (approval and upload)

  • Having gained perspective from their review of budget submissions and their meetings with division leaders, and with the final instruction received from the CO in the form of June Budget-Memo, the president, vice presidents and CFO then make final decisions about budget allocations for each division. Finalized budget allocations are released to each dean and vice president, who then use those targets to refine budgets for each department within their division. During this last step, the president, vice presidents and CFO also make strategic funding decisions that reflect campus priorities.

Combined California, CSU and University budget timelines

Circular representation of Budget office timeline comprised of nested and interlocked Governor, CSU and SFSU budget timelines

November (of the year prior to Fiscal Year being planned):

  • CSU Budget Request

December (of the year prior to Fiscal Year being planned):

  • SF State Campus Budget Framework


  • Governor's Budget Proposal


  • CSU negotiates with State


  • SF State Campus units develop Budget plans


  • Governor's Legislature Agreement


  • SF State begins budget meetings with Cabinets


  • Governor's Budget Revision


  • SF State Budget approved and finalized
  • SF State Budget department uploads Base Budget

Late June:

  • Governor signs final State Budget


  • CSU provides campus allocations


  • SF State uploads FIRMS Budget Submission to Chancellor's Office




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