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Glossary of Terms

Glossary of Terms

Academic Support   

Centrally organized academic activities that support instruction and research, such as libraries, computer centers, museums, and galleries.

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Account  

Within Banner, this code designates the “What” of how the money is being spent. VSU uses six character codes for account controls and five character codes for revenue and expenditures.

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Appropriation  

Governmental appropriations include those monies received from or made available to an institution through acts of a legislative body.

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Auxiliary Enterprises  

An Auxiliary Enterprise is an entity which exists to furnish goods or services to the students, faculty, or staff, and which charges a fee that is directly related to, although not necessarily equal to, the cost of the service. This classification is based upon the nature of the service being provided and the client served and not the “self-supporting” aspect of the activity. 

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Banner 

Banner is a software application developed specifically for higher education institutions and serves as VSU’s official automated system.  Banner maintains student, alumni, financial and personnel data. It consists of integrated systems that allow for interaction, real time information, and ease of use. 

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Budget  

A budget is a quantitative expression of a plan for a defined period of time. It may include planned revenues, resource quantities, costs and expenses, assets, and liabilities. It expresses strategic plans of business units, organizations, activities or events in measurable terms.   A budget helps to aid the planning of actual operations within the scope of revenue, expenditures and debt.

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Budget Modification 

The Budget Modification document is created to move or establish funds within or between an index/org.  It is also the formal process for the movement of budgets within or between indexes/orgs that must be approved by the Account Manager prior to submittal to the Budget Office for processing.

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Chart of Accounts  

Each Banner fund is established based on codes that identify the funding source/destination, the organization within the university with control and responsibility for the fund, and a program code to identify how expenditures in that fund are expected to contribute to one of the major programmatic areas. Then for each transaction in the fund, an account code is utilized to describe the revenue or expenditure category.

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Comprehensive Fee (Comp Fee) 

A mandatory non-E&G fee charged to all full-time students. Fee revenue supports the following Auxiliary Enterprise programs such as Intercollegiate and Intramural Athletics, Student Health Services, Campus Security, Athletics Operational and Maintenance, Foster Hall Operations, Student Transportation, Student Activities, Campus Radio Station, Campus Improvement Reserve Fund, Maintenance on Non-E&G Facilities, and the Trojan Card.

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Cooperative Extension and Agricultural Research Services   

Public service non-instructional activities established by an institution in cooperative efforts with outside agencies (e.g., agricultural extension, urban extension).  VSU is a land grant institution with CEARS, Agency 234, as its Extension and Agricultural Research organization.

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Debt Service  

The amount of principal and interest owed on borrowed monies.

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E&G  

Educational and General is a term used to describe all operations related to the institution’s educational objectives. All activities associated with instruction, research, public service, academic support, student services, institutional support, and operation and maintenance of plant are included in this classification.

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Encumbrance 

Commitments incurred where the goods and services have not yet been received.  These commitments may be made via purchase orders, contracts, future salaries, projected printing and telecommunication costs.  The commitment is fulfilled when the goods and/or service are received and the payment is made in full.

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Fees  

Revenue collected for specific programs and/or activities. Examples include the Technology and Infrastructure Fee, Comprehensive Fee, Capital-Outlay Fee (nonresident students only), Debt Service Fee, Application Fee, Late Registration Fee, Orientation Fee, etc.

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Fiscal Year  

A fiscal year is a 12 month accounting period.  The Commonwealth of Virginia’s fiscal year begins July 1, 20xx and ends June 30, 20xx.  When referring to a fiscal year use the year that it ends.  Example, FY2014 covers the period July 1, 2013 thru June 30, 2014.

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Fixed Assets 

A long term asset such as a building, land, equipment, etc. that holds significant financial value.  Not readily converted into cash.

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Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) 

A method of calculating employment and enrollment to adjust for part-time or part-year participation. For classified personnel, one FTE equals 2,080 hours per year. Part-time and part-year employees are expressed as a proportion of a full FTE based on the number of hours worked.

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Fund 

Banner designates Fund as the “Where is the money coming from?”  This is a six character code that identifies a set of accounts and identifies ownership.   Examples of fund codes include Current Unrestricted Fund, Current Restricted, Foundation, and Loan.

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General Fund 

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

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Index 

Within Banner, this code is a user defined value for a set of FOAPAL elements (Fund, Organization, Account, Program, Activity, Location) that acts as a shortcut for data entry by the user. 

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Indirect Cost 

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. Expenditures or costs that are not readily identifiable with a particular project or activity, but nevertheless are necessary to the general operation of the university and the conduct of its activities are considered indirect cost.  

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Indirect Cost Rate

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. A cost study is conducted periodically to develop the indirect cost rate.

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Indirect Cost Recoveries 

In accordance with the Appropriations Act, Section 4-2, 03c, indirect cost recoveries for all institutions of higher educational shall be appropriated and used according to the following provisions:
A. 70% shall be retained by VSU as an appropriation of funds by the General Assembly for the conduct and enhancement of research and research-related requirements.
B. 30% shall be transferred to the educational and general revenues of the institution.
C. In addition, VSU may retain 100% of the indirect cost recoveries related to research grants and contract levels in excess of levels authorized in Part 1 of the Appropriation Act.

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Institutional Support

Centrally organized administrative activities that serve all functional areas.  Includes presidents offices, long-range planning, legal and fiscal services, purchasing, printing, public relations, university development, human resources, accounting, and institutional research.

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Instruction  

Departmental instruction (all faculty, including adjuncts and part-time faculty), and departmental-based administration (department heads and support staff).  Academic administrators whose time is primarily administrative (deans) are included within institutional support.  Includes faculty time for individual research.

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Maintenance and Operation  

General maintenance and repair, building and grounds management.  Includes utilities, property insurance, and fire protection.

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Non-general Fund (NGF)

All sources of revenue other than the General Fund. For example: federal appropriations, tuition and fees, gifts, grants and contracts.

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Operating Budget 

The Commonwealth has two types of budgets, an operating budget and a capital budget. The annual operating budget guides the University's everyday activities. The operating budget reflects spending related to ongoing operations of programs, services, and activities.

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Operating Expense 

Payments for general expenses, contractual services, printing, communication, travel, data processing, equipment, and other expenses occurring in the regular operations of a program.

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Organization 

Within Banner, this is a four character code that identifies a unit of budgetary responsibility and/or departments within an institution.  It is normally used to define “Who” spends the money.

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Program   

Within in Banner, this is a six character code that identifies a function and enables the institution to establish a method of classifying transactions across organizations and accounts.  It designates “Why” the money is being spent.  Examples of program codes include Instruction, Research and Plant Operations, Academic Support, Student Services, and Research.

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Public Service  

Organized activities explicitly designed to serve the public.  May include agricultural extension services, university schools, and contracted services for state and local governments.

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Research  

Includes all 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 organization unit within the institution.

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Revenue 

Revenue is any addition to cash or other current assets which does not increase any liability or reserve and does not represent the recovery or reimbursement of expenditure.

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Sponsored Programs 

"Activities of the university that are financed through external funds that support various instructional, research, and public service functions of the institution." These arrangements make the university "a service provider to the client" (CUBA, 2000). Normally, these activities involve basic or applied research activities and have a contracted deliverable.

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Student Financial Assistance  

State program code to classify "monies given in the form of outright grants and trainee stipends to individuals enrolled in official courses, either for credit or not: (Chart of Accounts, 1990).

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Student Services 

Administrative and support services oriented to support of students.  Includes admissions and registrar’s offices, as well as student activities, placement and counseling centers, and supplemental support services.  Includes student health centers and athletics that are not revenue-generating activities.

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