UR Curious is back! We asked readers to send in their questions about the University of Richmond. We picked five of them, and our reporters have found the answers for you. One question and answer will be published each day this week. Read the other stories in the series here. And keep being curious.

It happens to the best of us. You forgot about the basketball game, and as you’re walking to your car, you notice that the lot is exceptionally full. A sense of dread overtakes you as you approach your vehicle. 

Then you see it: a white rectangular slip of paper with a red header and the word VIOLATION. 

But what happens to the money that you hand over in response to that parking ticket, you ask?

“Money collected from parking fines is combined with other income, including tuition,” Mark Detterick, the senior associate vice president for finance and administration, wrote in an email. “Those monies are allocated to three categories – compensation, operating expenses and campus facilities. The allocation percentages have changed little in the past 10 years.”

About 59 percent of this money is allocated to compensation, or the payment of faculty and staff members, Detterick said. Roughly 29 percent goes to operating expenses, and about 13 percent is directed to campus facilities.

Detterick has previously explained the allocation method to The Collegian.

Each September, university leaders begin to examine and update the allocation method in an annual budget-setting process, Detterick has said. The members of the budget office work with a university staff advisory council committee — the Planning and Priorities Committee — to examine the budget and its allocation.

This committee is comprised of students, faculty members and staff members and aims to shape institutional priorities for UR and develop a resource allocation method that is consistent with these priorities. University priorities are excellence, access and affordability, enhanced alumni engagement and several others.

“Parking fines bring in about $230,000, or approximately 0.07% of the total budget,” Detterick wrote.

Junior Bella Brown said she had gotten multiple tickets. She thought parking ticket fines probably went to the parking office or possibly the University Police Department.

“I think that’s kind of pointless,” she said about the ticket fines going to general income.

Sophomore Peter Somboonsong thought about the potential of parking ticket fines as part of university income.

“I think it’s funding other students’ tuitions,” he said.

Senior David Shaw took a neutral view. 

“I suppose I don’t see anything inherently wrong with that,” Shaw said. “I’d be open to someone else pointing out other, more useful places for that money to go, but just off the top of my head I don’t see an issue.”

Contact news writer Katherine Schulte at katherine.schulte@richmond.edu.