Operating Budget PTAs - Definitions & Uses

Operating Budget PTAs - Definitions & Uses


The School of Humanities and Science (H&S) utilizes a standard set of Operating Budget projects for managing finances at the School level and to assist department and program administrators in managing the operations of their unit. The intent of the use of a standard set of Operating Budget projects and grouping is to maintain consistency and comparability among the School’s departments and programs, to enable the proper stewardship of the School’s financial resources, and to assist with accurate and timely reporting supporting planning and decision making.

The PTAs are also organized to facilitate fiscal year-end close, which is based on the authorized use of approved funding sources to fund the expenses of the Operating Budget.

  1. Operations are funded by ongoing funding allocations, mostly applicable Dean’s Office allocations. Operations can also be funded from department-controlled sources and may include one-time funding for one-time expenses.
  2. Grad Aid includes Grad Aid, TA/RA, and Graduate Student Incidentals and is funded mostly from applicable Dean’s Office allocations. Grad Aid can also be funded from department-controlled restricted sources.
  3. Non-Base funding typically comes from restricted and/or non-H&S sources and are usually unique to the unit.



Office Operations  

  • Most of the general-funded costs of administering a department or program
  • For the benefit of the many as opposed to a few
  • Staff salaries & benefits
  • Travel - for example, airfare, accommodations and food for seminar speakers, staff attending conferences or training
  • Capital and non-capital equipment
  • EM&S - for example, telecommunications, office supplies, postage, photocopying, water, food for department events, depreciation, teaching supplies, books and publications, repair and maintenance

Faculty Salaries  

  • Regular faculty salaries & benefits
  • Faculty on a retirement plan who have been recalled to teach at a 50% FTE
  • Departments provide sabbatical, leave, and buyout information

Other Teaching 

  • Separate from faculty salaries & benefits
  • Lecturer salaries & benefits
  • Replacement teaching salaries & benefits


  • All costs associated with commencement exercises and festivities
  • Tracked separately to allow reporting by Government Cost & Rate Studies
  • Examples include food, beverages, catering services, copier services, printing, flowers, diploma covers

Faculty Searches 

  • Travel - for example airfare, accommodations and food for candidates for each search
  • Faculty travel for search committee members to annual meetings to interview candidates
  • Meals with department faculty and graduate students during candidate visits
  • Advertising expenses


  • All computing equipment & software purchases
  • All computer maintenance costs
  • Computer supplies
  • Departmental networking expenses and servers

Health & Safety 

  • Used for expenses associated with art and science labs
  • All health and safety compliance and annual permit costs

Graduate Admissions

  • All expenses associated with graduate admissions
  • Travel expenses of prospective students such as airfare and accommodations
  • Food and entertainment
  • Photocopying services, postage, preparation of informational packets, etc.


  • Department and program discretionary account funded with “one-time” funding

Undergraduate Program  

  • Used to support undergraduate programs and initiatives
  • One-time funding mostly from the Stanford Fund “make-whole” allocation



Graduate Aid  

  • Fellowships
  • RA salaries
  • Tuition

Teaching Assistants 

  • TA salaries and tuition
  • Includes all TA’s (TA activities driven by both enrollment and degree requirements)

Graduate Aid Incidental 

  • Incidental expenses of graduate students including travel, materials

Graduate Aid Diversity

  • All costs qualified for the diversity allocation from the Dean’s Office



These PTAs are usually unique to the unit, are used in addition to the standard set of PTAs, and are usually funded by the department/program or from external sources.