A budget can be a hard piece of text to read, but not impossible. Blackburn College’s budget, as some students were unaware, is freely available to the students of Blackburn’s campus. All a student needs to do is get on any computer owned by Blackburn, go to “This PC,” and then to the Blackburn files that are shared on these computers. It’s in a folder and a student will be able to access the budget. It is available in both a Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel document.
According to Vice President for Administration and Finance Steve Morris, the budget can be hard to understand if the reader is unfamiliar with budgets. He went on to say in an email, “[A] brief summary is that our operational budget is measured by operating revenue less operating expenses and depreciation, plus proceeds (releases) from other non-operational funds referred to as temporarily restricted and restricted funds.” Operating revenue is money generated by an organization’s main business activities, operating expenses are expenses that are generated through an organization’s main business activities and depreciation is the reduction of value of assets through time. Morris said that the goal of Blackburn’s budget, as of most budgets, is to make a profit beyond annual expenses.
While some students are well-versed in these types of budgets, junior accounting major Elijah Meyer said that students who understand club budgets, such as the club’s president or treasurer, will still have a hard time understanding the school’s budget due to the amount of information presented. The school’s budget is decided when “65 department heads submit their operating budget to their Cabinet representative and the Business Office for compilation and review by the President’s Cabinet, Budget and Facilities Committees before presenting the summarized and detailed institutional budget to the Planning Committee before a recommendation is made to the President,” according to Morris. He went on to say that the meeting to decide the annual budget is held every October, and meetings regarding club budgets, through the Student Senate, are allowed for any “student, faculty, or staff member” to attend. Through those meetings, many students may be able to better understand how these budgets are formatted and created.