Strategic Priority Incentive Funding (SPIF) and Capital Budget Request Procedure
Strategic Priority Incentive Funding (SPIF) and Capital Budget Request funding is intended to support strategic initiatives that further the College’s mission, goals, and objectives as outlined in its strategic plan.
Requesting SPIF and Capital funds
SPIF and Capital funds are requested during the institutional budget process. Requests for such funds must be included in the annual unit plan and submitted via Strategic Planning Online (SPOL). Requests must be accompanied by the attachment: SPIF SUBMISSION BACKGROUND (which can be uploaded in SPOL in the Notes Window in the Enhanced Budget-Non-Forecasted Detail section) with a detailed description of the proposed initiative that addresses the following items:
- Proposing unit and name of contact person
- Title of the proposed initiative
- Requested funds ($), and budget if applicable, which includes any operational financial needs in subsequent years
- Executive summary
- Background information regarding the proposed initiative
- Explanations addressing the following evaluation criteria:
- In what way does the proposed initiative serve to advance one or more major strategic goals?
- How will this initiative be measured? What is the target to be met? How will Ramapo advance as a result of this target?
- What is the potential/expectation of the proposed initiative to generate revenue?
- Was funding allocated previously to this initiative, a related initiative, or another initiative by this unit/proposer? Explain, if applicable, and provide an assessment of the impact of previous funding.
- Will the proposed initiative require future funding beyond the current request? If applicable, is there a commitment for the additional funding and what will be the sources thereof?
- If applicable has Facilities, Capital Planning, and/or ITS been consulted regarding the proposed initiative? Include the project location and contact person.
Assessment Criteria and Approval Process
SPIF and Capital Budget Requests are assessed based on multiple criteria, including the following:
- Significance in advancing the Strategic Plan
- Impact to campus
- Impact to the College’s financial position, e.g. total cost of the initiative or revenue generating potential
- Time-line of the initiative including future personnel and financial costs
- Assessment plan
- Effectiveness of previous funding as determined by measurable outcome(s)
In addition, Capital Budget Requests will be evaluated based on the above criteria, as well as the following criteria:
- Environmental health and safety
- Compliance mandates
- Asset protection
- Critical maintenance
- Cost savings or avoidance
The initial evaluation of requests against the criteria is conducted by the Strategic Resources Advisory Board (SRAB). SRAB then forwards its recommendations to the Institutional Effectiveness Council which balances the recommendations against the availability of resources and overall institutional effectiveness. IEC’s findings are advanced to the President’s Cabinet for final decision-making.
Application for SPIF or Capital Budget Requests
SPIF requests should be unique in nature, strategic, and not part of everyday operational business. Projects shall advance one or more of the goals and objectives of Ramapo’s strategic plan. SPIF funds may be used for a wide variety of projects including, but not limited to: implementing a new system; curricular innovation; program development; net-revenue generating projects; marketing materials; software licenses; specialized computer terminals; support for faculty/student research; or, funding ideas that will help the college operate more effectively and efficiently. Examples of items that are generally ineligible for SPIF funding are new positions (must be requested through the Position Review Committee – PRC), money for food, events, travel, etc.
Applications for Capital Budget Requests are for projects that advance one or more of the goals and objectives of Ramapo’s Strategic Plan. Capital funds may be used for renovation, modification, repair or replacement, and new installation. Examples of this category of work include, but are not limited to: floor or carpet replacement; large scale painting projects; installation of new equipment; replacement of specialized equipment; change of use of a facility; renovation of academic spaces such as classrooms and labs; critical infrastructure; doors; exterior lights; athletic field enhancements; academic models, etc.; or, funding ideas that will help the College operate more effectively and efficiently.
Multiple applications for SPIF and/or Capital funds in one or more years are possible. The re-submission of a request that was denied in an earlier year is possible.
Budgets depend on the magnitude of the proposed initiative. In general, SPIF and Capital funds are intended to fund major strategic initiatives of college-wide relevance rather than small projects.
In exceptional cases SPIF can be used to fund multi-year projects. A request for a multi-year project must be broken down into annual phases with milestones of accomplishments and annual assessments. The continuation of funding beyond one year is dependent on positive evaluations and the availability of a budget, and must be requested each fiscal year.
SPIF Funding Timetable
The exact timeline for the SPIF application process is communicated by the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Planning (OIEP) at the beginning of each spring semester.
Generally, applications are due in late February, the Strategic Resources Allocations Board (SRAB) will evaluate the submissions in March and submit its recommendations to the Institutional Effectiveness Council (IEC) which will present its findings to the President’s Cabinet in April.
The Cabinet will communicate decisions regarding SPIF and Capital Budget Requests to the IEC once the College’s Budget has been approved by the Board of Trustees. The Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Planning (OIEP) will then inform applicants shortly thereafter and will provide detailed information about the allocation process. Funds will be available at the start of the new fiscal year, July 1.
As SPIF funds relate to operational items, they generally must be spent in the fiscal year they were issued and must be processed no later than June 14 in the fiscal year received. If a SPIF initiative cannot be completed within that time-frame, “unspent” funds will not roll forward.
Capital Funding Timetable
If a Capital Budget Request is approved, the unit/division head should meet with staff in the Offices of Facilities and/or Capital Planning to implement the project. If feasible, the staff in the Offices of Facilities and/or Capital Planning will put a project timeline together and will take the steps necessary to get the project completed. Approval of a capital request should not be treated as a guarantee that the request can be completed within the fiscal year. Capital requests will likely require modifications.
Assessment and Reporting
Requesting units must assess how SPIF or capital funds advanced the Strategic Plan. Information must be reported in SPOL under “Effectiveness of SPIF and/or Capital in Advancing Strategic Goals and Outcomes”. A post-assessment will be conducted by OIEP and presented to the IEC as an independent assessment of how the SPIF award was effective in advancing the College’s strategic plan. OIEP will also provide IEC with an explanation for any approved but unused SPIF and Capital funds. The IEC will review the assessment and explanations and, if applicable, issue additional findings to accompany its report to the President’s Cabinet.
Questions regarding SPIF and Capital Budget requests should be directed to the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Planning.