Note 11 – Net Position
While on a system-wide basis the University has negative unrestricted net position, certain departments within the University maintain a positive unrestricted net position. Unrestricted net position is one component of the University’s financial statements, which represents the net position held by the collective units of the University as of June 30. Balances fluctuate throughout the year and are reported as of a point-in-time. The University designates unrestricted net position by their intended purpose. Unobligated funds are generally available for campus use or support of schools, colleges, departments, or units. These funds are generated by nonrecurring revenue surpluses (such as departmental share unspent indirect cost recoveries) or year-end balances resulting from lower than expected spending levels (such as vacancy savings from an unfilled position). Campus leadership holds these funds in general categories based on internal policy or intended use. Their designation may change in accordance with directives from leadership, including Regent directives. Obligated Funds are unrestricted net position that are obligated to specific projects or are held for contractual payments (such as faculty start-up).
University policy requires each campus provide the Regents prior to December 31 a detailed report on designated net position. This report enhances clarity and frequency of internal communications and provides context for Regent decisions on key budget items. These reports are available on the Regents’ website.
In Fiscal Year 2018, the University transferred $9,722,000 endowments from total restricted for nonexpendable net position to the CU Foundation pursuant to Regent policy and to promote administrative efficiency in stewarding University funds.
© Office of University Controller 2018