Fiscal Year 2021: Process and Timeline

Our FY2021 budget plans—which encompassed 9 or 10 percent expense reductions—reflect a spirit of creativity, innovation and collaboration. Incorporating broad involvement and opportunities for input were integral to their development. Below, find more information about the principles, timeline, and participatory process used by each college and division. 


Throughout this year’s planning process, we adhered to our budget planning principles to ensure every decision aligns with UTSA’s mission, core values, identity, and strategic plans and destinations.

Learn more about budget planning principles and administrative costs.


Budget planning for fiscal year 2021 began in the spring semester, following initial cost-saving measures put into place for fiscal year 2020. Following a series of presentations from each area and a recommendation to the president by the Executive Resource Management Team, the final budget will be submitted to UT System in July. 

Fiscal Year 2021 Timeline

Learn more about the FY21 budget planning guidelines.

Participatory Activities

Colleges and divisions engaged in a collaborative process with their respective units to align and connect collective resources to deliver the university’s strategic mission. These collaborative activities included conversations with leadership, across divisions and between departments, with significant engagement at all levels.

Learn more about the participatory actions taken across the university.

The Office of the President developed strategies around budget setting focused on opportunities for administrative and shared services, particularly among the Office of Legal Affairs, the Office of Auditing and Consulting Services and Institutional Compliance and Risk Services.

Academic Affairs approached the budget planning process with an understanding that each college and vice provost division is part of an interdependent enterprise, leveraging resources from each area to achieve our overall mission. In doing so, we sought to preserve our competitive position, prioritizing those efforts with the highest impact and scalability and recognizing that determined, dedicated people are our greatest asset. Decision-making was guided by overarching values to prioritize the academic success and well-being of our students, and the strategic plan, academic missions and research enterprise of the university; to make fiscally sustainable decisions in support of organizational objectives; and to position ourselves to achieve our vision.

Each college/division engaged in an inclusive, transparent, data-informed and iterative process that was tailored to the department/unit level through regular engagement with department chairs and unit leaders. Data, financial information and ongoing guidance was provided by Academic Affairs Finance & Administration, Institution Research and Human Resources. Throughout the process, each college/division engaged in iterative discussions with ongoing opportunities for input and feedback, either by holding town halls or sharing information through other means of digital communications (e.g., website, email) or by engaging representative stakeholders in their discussions.

Business Affairs engaged in an inclusive process to generate out-of-the-box ideas and develop budget reduction strategies. Leadership engaged in one-on-one brainstorming sessions and held in-depth conversations with unit managers. A wide variety of stakeholders participated in discussions, including the Office of Legal Affairs, Human Resources Business Partners, consultants, and other internal and external peers. Strategy meetings were conducted between unit leaders and across divisions to identify resource sharing opportunities in order to continue providing core services while supporting the university’s academic and research enterprise.

Development & Alumni Relations engaged every member of its senior leadership team through weekly group and one-on-one meetings. Together, they identified necessary expense reductions across each department, and discussed strategies and plans to minimize impact on their core mission and services.

Inclusive Excellence engaged in an inclusive process to co-create a budget strategy that resulted in the least disruption to programming, while still delivering the university’s core values and mission. This participatory process involved holding individual and divisional meetings, assessing resources and impact, reviewing shared expenses, and forecasting both current and future initiatives and how they align with the future of higher education.

University Technology Solutions’ (UTS) budget reductions were achieved through a large-scale participatory process which involved identifying opportunities to improve efficiencies and decrease costs. At every stage, executive staff and key department members collaborated to eliminate potential impact on service and support delivery, to ensure that UTS continues to meet its mission and goals.

Led by the department's executive team, the Athletics leadership team and head coaches engaged in the development of the FY21 budget. Regular meetings were held to discuss guiding principles and strategies. Feedback was solicited and regular updates were provided. The head coaches and leadership team participated in revising original FY21 budgets, including adjustment to operations and scholarships.

Research, Economic Development and Knowledge Enterprise (REDKE) conducted a top-down analysis of resources and outcomes from previous fiscal years, integrated with a bottom-up, line-by-line assessment and validation of each program for effectiveness. These efforts were combined with input from all REDKE units for operational feedback, budget considerations and alternative solutions. Through a transparent and inclusive process, REDKE leadership held a series of 10 meetings with comprehensive budget discussions, 'what if' analysis, and worst-case versus best-case comparisons in order to reach a consensus-based budget structure.

To best balance continuity of key operations in support of institutional goals with a need to reduce expenditures, University Relations enlisted the contribution of all team members to inform budget recommendations. The Vice President gathered information from communications, marketing, community engagement and government relations teams, and reviewed other university divisions where workload and efforts could be shared to maintain progress towards UTSA destinations. The UR team made multiple suggestions for new approaches to communications and engagement efforts to maintain progress and keep UTSA’s brand growing in the digital environment.