Appropriation is used to describe the amount of funding received from or "appropriated" by the State to be used for a specific purpose. Ferris receives appropriations from the State of Michigan for general operations, designated programs (such as the King/Chavez/Parks programs funding), and for physical construction or maintenance.
Appropriation for Operations is that amount appropriated by the State to be used for the general operation of Ferris State University - an authorization granted by the constitution or the legislature to make expenditures and to incur obligations for a specific purpose. An appropriation is usually limited in amount and as to the time when it may be expended, normally calendar year or fiscal year. In the case of Michigan, October 1 to September 30.
Capital appropriations are those funds provided for a specific physical plant related project. Capital and operating appropriations each must be used for the specific purpose for which funds were provided. Funds may not be transferred between capital and operating appropriations.
Function of expense is a State codification system that prescribes how Michigan's State universities will account for and report on the spending of the University. These functions are described briefly as follows:
- Instruction -- This functional category includes all costs associated with direct classroom instruction: faculty, department heads, support staff, general supplies and expense, instructional equipment, and part-time wages expended by instructional departments.
- Research -- All research activity organized to produce research outcomes. Currently, all research at Ferris is classified as Individual Project Research.
- Public Service -- Activities established primarily to provide instructional and non-instructional services beneficial to groups external to the institution (e.g., Latino Business/Economic Development Center or Academic Service Learning).
- Academic Support -- Academic administration (deans' offices), library, museums and galleries, audio visual services, academic computing, course and curriculum development, faculty development, and faculty advisory groups.
- Student Services -- Social and cultural development, counseling and career guidance, financial aid administration, admissions and records, deans of students, preparatory and adult education, and intramurals.
- Institutional Support -- President's Office, Vice Presidents, centralized planning, fiscal operations, central administrative support, such as administrative data processing, space management, personnel, purchasing, transportation, public safety, community relations including alumni, public affairs, and commencement.
- Mandatory Transfers -- Money paid out on long-term bonding and grant commitments for physical facilities - federal financial aid match monies.
- Plant Operations -- Administration of physical plant, custodial, engineering, and maintenance services, insurance, preventative and deferred maintenance.
- Student Assistance (Financial Aid) -- All University supported grants to students.
- Intercollegiate Athletics -- Athletics program operations. Athletic scholarships are reported within the Student Assistance category.
A fund represents a distinct phase of the activities of a unit and the fund is controlled by a self-balancing group of accounts in which all of the financial transactions of the particular phase are recorded. For instance, the General Fund is established to account for the general educational and related support activities of the University. The fund groups within which Ferris accounts for all fiscal transactions are prescribed by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB). These fund groups include: general, designated, expendable restricted, endowment, student loan, plant, auxiliary, and agency. Descriptions of each of these fund groups follow.
General Fund -- The General Fund accounts for those transactions related to academic and instructional programs and their administrations, student services, operation and maintenance of the general plant and scholarships. This fund receives its main support from state appropriations and student tuition and fees.
Designated Fund -- The Designated Fund accounts for special project activities designated by the Board of Trustees from available revenue sources. Among these revenue sources are noncredit workshops, investment income, and unrestricted gifts and grants.
Auxiliary Activities Fund -- This fund accounts for those activities that are maintained with revenue derived from their own operations (self-supporting). The main sources of revenue are room and board charges for student housing.
Expendable Restricted Fund -- This fund accounts for private support from individuals, industry and foundations, as well as contracts and grants from federal and state governments for educational and general purposes. As implied by the fund name, these monies are restricted in their use by the various donors and sponsors.
Student Loan Fund -- This fund provides students with the means to help meet their financial obligations as they obtain a college education. The major sources of revenue are private gifts and government grants.
Foundation -- Holds University endowment and funds functioning as endowments.
Plant Fund -- The Plant Fund consists of four separate divisions. The Unexpended Appropriations division is used for recording assets available for new construction or major repairs/replacement projects. The Reserve for Maintenance and Replacement division represents assets held for renewal and replacement of facilities and equipment. The Reserve for Debt Service division represents assets for the servicing of outstanding debt obligations. The Physical Properties division represents the University's investment in land, land improvements, buildings and equipment.
Agency Fund -- The Agency Fund represents funds held in custody for others. The fund includes amounts withheld from payrolls and amounts held in custody for students and University related organizations.