The legal authority and operating control of the institution are clearly defined for the following areas within the institution’s governance structure: (Governing board control) fiscal stability of the institution

Compliance Judgment

X     In compliance     Partially compliant     Non-compliant


The responsibility for the university’s fiscal stability lies with the Board of Trustees [1], the President [2], the Chief Financial Officer of the University [3], and other administrative officers as appointed by the President as seen in the Bylaws of the Board of Trustees. The fiscal records of the University are subject to scrutiny by three sources: South Carolina State Budget Office, external auditor appointed by the Comptroller General’s office, and public review.

Roles of the Board, the President, and Other Administrative Officers

The Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustee’s obligations related to the fiscal stability of the University are derived from South Carolina Code of Laws Title 59-Chapter 133 [4] and are described specifically in the following sections of the Bylaws of the Board of Trustees:

  • To assure the effectiveness of comprehensive and mission-based institutional planning; to review, approve, and adopt plans for program development, financial strengthening, and capital and campus development; to assure the effective implementation of plans and to monitor the formation of short-term plans and decisions in the light of long-term goals for University development.
  • To review and approve the annual operating budget of the University; to regularly monitor the financial condition of the University and to establish plans, financial policies, and investment practices designed to assure the financial strength and stability of the University.
  • To assure the effectiveness of comprehensive planning for procurement of current and capital funds; to authorize the acceptance of major gifts and bequests in accordance with Board policies and public law.
  • To authorize the construction of new buildings and the major repair or renovation of existing buildings [5].


The Bylaws of the Board of Trustees provides that the Board of Trustees vest power in the President and assigns him with the following duties related to fiscal stability:

  • To assure the orderly management of fiscal and personnel affairs, the auxiliary enterprises of the University, and the maintenance and development of its financial and physical resources; to coordinate the preparation of the operating and capital budgets of the University and to submit proposed budgets to the Board of Trustees for its review and approval; to keep the Board fully informed of the financial condition of the University and concerning trends affecting the University’s financial stability and strength [6].

Chief Financial Officer (Vice President for Business Affairs) and Other Officers

The Bylaws of the Board of Trustees provides that the President appoints the Chief Financial Officer who assumes the following duties:

  • To be responsible for the collection of all income and revenues of the University, to maintain adequate records of all financial assets, liabilities, and transactions of all authorized appropriations, and to determine that funds expended pursuant thereto are properly accounted for.
  • To submit to the President and the Board of Trustees periodic and annual financial reports, to prepare such supplementary reports as may be necessary from time to time to keep the President and the Board of Trustees fully informed concerning the current financial condition of the University.
  • To submit to the President estimates of income and expense and to submit such information as may be necessary or useful to the President and the Board of Trustees in the determination of sound financial policy and plans and the adoption of current and capital budgets [7].

The University has ongoing budgets for general funds, auxiliaries, restricted and designated activities, and capital projects. With regards to the general funds budget the Vice President for Business Affairs ensures that the university budget is established using National Association of College and University Business Officers guidelines to classify departments into activity program areas for instruction, research, public service, academic support, student services, institutional support, facilities, and scholarships.

The President and Vice President for Business Affairs oversee the development of the annual budget by the Office of Financial Services. In preparing the budget for the succeeding year, the President, Provost, Vice Presidents, and the Assistant Vice President for Financial Services work throughout the spring on data review, analysis, and evaluation. Notes from that meeting are attached [8]. At the June meeting of the Board of Trustees, the Vice President for Business Affairs presents the annual budget for the following year to the Financial Affairs and Facilities Committee, a Board of Trustees committee [9]. The Financial Affairs and Facilities Committee must approve the annual university budget, and the Committee Chair presents it to the full Board of Trustees for ratification [10].

The following are examples of fiscal reports given to the Board of Trustees at various times during the year: Monthly Report – March 2017 [11]; Quarterly Report (includes faculty and staff headcount and FTE) [12]; Budget Summary Report for the proposed annual budget [13]; and Resolution for approval of the annual budget [14].

Internal and External Review

After approval by the Board of Trustees, the proposed university budget is sent to the Executive Budget Office of the South Carolina Department of Administration [15]. While the Budget Office has no approval authority for the budget proposal, it does ensure that it is in the proper format and checks for errors in reporting before the proposal is sent to the South Carolina Legislature.

Once the Legislature has determined the appropriations for the University, and the annual budgets for all departments are approved and implemented, budgets are closely monitored at two levels: (1) Department heads and their assistants, and (2) Office of Business Affairs offices. If there are insufficient funds in a budget line, the Office of Purchasing and Office of Accounting do not process purchase requests or disburse funds until a budget transfer is made to cover the requested transaction [16].

Unfunded requirements or budget resources that need to be reclassified are addressed by the Provost, administrative officers, Vice President for Business Affairs, and the President, as appropriate. The President and the Vice President for Business Affairs monitor the revenue and expenditure in general funds, auxiliaries, and in designated and restricted activities.

Each year a fiscal audit is conducted by an external auditing firm. The firm which is selected by the University must be approved by the State Auditor’s Office.

The Francis Marion University website hosts a series of fiscal reports required by and submitted to various state agencies on an annual basis [17]. These reports are available to anyone who visits the Francis Marion website.


  1. FMU Website, Board Bylaws
  2. FMU Website, Board Bylaws
  3. FMU Website, Board Bylaws
  4. SC Code of Laws Title 59-Chapter 133
  5. Bylaws of the Board of Trustees, Fiscal Responsibilities
  6. Bylaws of the Board of Trustees, The President
  7. Bylaws of the Board of Trustees, Chief Financial Officer
  8. Briefing Document for Preparation of Budget
  9. Resolution for Budget Approval 2017
  10. Board of Trustees Ratification of Annual Budget
  11. Monthly Fiscal Report
  12. Quarterly Fiscal Report
  13. Budget Summary Report for Annual Budget
  14. Resolution for Budget Approval 2017
  15. Executive Budget Office Website
  16. Budget Transfer Form
  17. FMU Website, Budget and Accountability Reports