Activity Based Budgeting

The University of Washington fully implemented an activity based budgeting (ABB) system at the beginning of the 2013 fiscal year. ABB is a method of budgeting in which the activities that incur costs in every functional area are accounted for, analyzed, and then linked to the mission and strategic goals of the institution. The full costs of programs and services are then more transparent and available to help with planning, budgeting and decision making. 
ABB was implemented with a promise to revisit its underlying methodologies and distributions in five years (FY18). Hence, in October 2015, the ABB Committee gathered to evaluate the current  model, understand its functionalities and brainstorm a range of topics that will fall into scope as ABB is evaluated for possible changes. The agenda and minutes from the first meeting held in october provides more detail about the current members and the purpose of the meeting.
Though the Committee is yet to be fully convened and officially charged with ABB Phase II work, planning for this effort is underway. Faculty subcommittees were charged with investigating four areas of academic life that are imperfectly address by the current budget model. Committee charge letters are available for review below: 
  1. The Faculty Council on Academic Standards is reviewing educational collaboration, with a focus on joint courses/degrees and new academic initiatives. 
  2. The Faculty Council on Research is considering whether ABB affects collaboration in research
  3. The Faculty Council on Teaching and Learning is investigating the current treatment of summer quarter as an Educational Outreach endeavor and exploring related implications on faculty salaries and research.
  4. The Graduate School Council is discussing cross-college hiring of graduate students and graduate student waivers.

Each of these committees is expected to provide recommendations to the ABB committee by the end of Autumn Quarter 2015. The ABB committee will work with faculty and the Board of Deans and Chancellors to contemplate, where necessary, recommendations from these committees during the upcoming ABB Phase II process.

Calculating Tuition Revenue under ABB

The FY16 ABB Tuition Distribution Model provides unit-level detail for FY12 through FY16.
For more general information, there is one PowerPoint presentation designed to provide a basic overview of the distribution of tuition revenue under ABB and another that was created to meet the more specific needs of unit administrators. In addition, the ABB Tuition Revenue Distribution Manual provides a more detailed, technical explanation of how tuition revenue is projected and how the distribution calculations are made (Reference Document - Waiver Budget Numbers)
A brief detailing aspects of the full implementation of ABB is available here.
The October 2014 internal audit report on ABB is available here.

Final ABB Report and Decision Summaries

This report was submitted to the President and Provost in October 2011. The full report can be downloaded, as can the component parts. If changes are made to the decision packages, the revised versions will be available here.

FY12 Setting the Baseline

The Setting the Baseline document includes the information relevant to determining the FY2012 baseline. There are seven pages in this document:
  • Page 1 shows the Regents' budget. Following pages tie to this budget.
  • Page 2 shows the FY2012 baseline for all units. The first three columns show the FY12 budget using the traditional perspective. Columns four through nine show the components of the budget within the ABB framework.
  • Page 3 provides summary detail of the FY2012 baseline budget.
  • Page 4 shows the Distribution of 70 percent of 2011-12 net operating fee revenue to each school or college from each tuition category.
  • Page 5 shows the projected 2011-12 Tuition Revenue from each tuition group.
  • Page 6 provides the distribution of Student Credit Hours (SCH) from each tuition group generated by each school or college.
  • Page 7 provides the distribution of major enrollments (for graduate and professional students) and degree majors (for undergraduates) generated by each school or college.


Earlier ABB Materials


Experiences at Other Universities