Revised 1/11/07

BACKGROUND
The University’s cost-based accounting system assigns revenues and expenses to the revenue-producing units of the University, namely schools, colleges and auxiliary enterprises.  The purposes of this system are to enhance decision making by providing a better understanding of the economics of the various units and to provide incentives for improved economic performance that will ultimately lead to strengthening the academic resources of the University.  One type of expense which needs to be assigned is that of centralized computing resources usage.  This expense should be measured as part of the total costs of various University outputs and users should be able to explain consumption of this resource and be involved in its management.

DEFINITIONS
Accidental usage:  Usage by a novice causing a program to consume inordinate amounts of computing resources because of incorrect specification of one or more operands.  Accidental usage is not simple inefficient usage, such as someone might normally make when moving through “the learning curve” for the use of a particular product.

POLICY STATEMENT
Users of centralized computing resources will be charged for the costs of usage.

Administrative units will budget and be charged at the department level.

Academic units will budget and be charged at the individual, course/section, department, school or college level.

Student usage will be charged to academic units separately from other usage.  Charging (cost recovery) for usage of non-centralized computing resources is the responsibility of the “owning” organizational unit.

However, it is imperative the Controller’s Office review and approve all rates prior to their being used.  This is because certain costing principles for educational institutions, outlined in U.S. Office of Management and Budget circular A21, may need to be applied.

CURRENT IMPLEMENTATION
Actual costs are charged out monthly, against budget.  These charges for central facility usage appear in Object Code 4111.  Object code 4111 may not be used by schools or departments for any other purpose. Monthly reports from Information Technology, distributed shortly after each month end, provide detailed information.

Student Usage

At fiscal year end, each school or college’s original budget for Student Usage will be adjusted, through the subvention account, to adjust the unit’s a budget to agree with actual usage.  This process will be continued indefinitely.

Each month, Information Technology may review student usage on an exception basis.  Student accounts whose total usage charges have exceeded a threshold (one which indicates excessive use) may be reviewed.  If appropriate, the student will be interviewed.  The academic department chairman may be advised of the results of all such reviews performed on accounts charged to the department.

Administrative Usage

    At fiscal year end each administrative department’s original budget

    will be adjusted, through the subvention account, to adjust the budget

    to agree with actual usage.

Non-Student Academic Usage

    This category includes unfunded research usage.  At fiscal year end

    each college and school’s original budget will be adjusted,

    through the subvention account, to adjust the budget to agree with

    actual usage.

Funded Research Usage

    This type of usage is charged on a “hard dollar” basis.

 

Basic Principles

    There are four basic principles outlining the

    framework for costing administrative and non-student academic

    central facility computing usage.  These principles are:

    1.  Budget units are responsible (as a part of the regular budget

        process) to budget for computer utilization (gross dollar

        expense for central facility computer utilization).

    2.  Budget units are accountable for over utilization (usage

        beyond the budgeted for level) of central facility computer

        usage in a manner similar to other budget line items.

    3.  Once a fiscal year’s budget has been set, a budget unit’s

        savings of funds allocated to central facility computer usage

        (object code 4111) may only be used for that purpose.

    4.  Reallocation of central facility computer funds may be

        requested by the units in the following fiscal year,

        providing, of course, lower computer usage is projected by

        the budget unit.