FACULTY START-UP ALLOCATIONS
POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
All new tenure-track faculty members are provided an office desktop or laptop computer system to support access to basic computing applications. Additional start-up allocations may be negotiated to support professional activities and the establishment of specialized research facilities. These additional allocations are the shared responsibility of departments, academic colleges, the Division of Research and Economic Development, and the Office of the Provost. Major start-up contributions by the Division of Research and Economic Development and the Office of the Provost are made only in those cases for which significant grant activity potential is clearly demonstrated. A major start-up allocation also requires the development of a Shared Risk and Responsibility Agreement, which in some cases will include a cost-recovery plan. The definition of "major start-up allocation" and details to be included in a Shared Risk and Responsibility Agreement are described later in this document.
With the exception of the office desktop or laptop computer allocation, all start-up allocations must be negotiated and the details included in the new faculty member's contract. This negotiation process includes the following phases:
- Development by the department of an expected start-up allocation list and cost estimates
- Negotiations between department chair and Dean regarding departmental contributions to the start-up package;
- Negotiations among the Dean, Vice President for Research and Economic Development, and the Provost regarding non-departmental contributions to the start-up package;
- For major start-up allocations, development of a Shared Risk and Responsibility Agreement
- Negotiations with the faculty candidate.
Since negotiations may require several iterations among all the parties involved, it is essential that the recruiting schedule developed by the department provide for sufficient time for these negotiations. This is particularly critical in those cases that require the development of a Shared Risk and Responsibility Agreement. Start-up allocations must be clearly specified as part of the new faculty member's contract.
There are three categories of start-up allocations:
1. Basic Start-Up Allocation: Desktop or Laptop Computer System
New faculty members are provided an office desktop or laptop computer system to be selected from several predefined configurations. These systems are configured with a standard set of software. Allocation of these systems is provided through the University's centrally coordinated, desktop program. Policies and procedures related to allocation of a desktop or laptop system appear in Section A below.
2. Enhanced Start-Up Allocation
Any start-up package that requests less than a $15,000 contribution of non-departmental funds falls into this category. The department and college, working with the Division of Research and Economic Development, have primary financial responsibility for start-up allocations in this category. These allocations include, but are not limited to, the following:
- enhancements to the basic office computer hardware and software;
- printers, scanners, and other peripheral devices;
- computer workstation hardware and software;
- research lab equipment and materials;
- personnel support;
- professional development activities.
At the beginning of the recruiting process, the department will provide the college with an estimated start-up package for each position. For allocations involving computing equipment, the policies and procedures appearing in Section B must be followed. It is the responsibility of the collegiate unit to verify that the appropriate approvals have been secured for computing equipment configurations before approving a start-up package. Approval forms appear in Section B.
3. Major Start-Up Allocation
Any start-up package requiring a contribution of $15,000 or more of non-departmental funds is considered a major allocation. A start-up allocation in this category is viewed as a significant institutional investment. This investment cannot be made in haste, and therefore, the recruitment process should be structured to provide sufficient time for negotiations and planning. In some cases, a portion of the start-up funds provided by the Division of Research and Economic Development and the Office of the Provost may be considered a loan to the department with repayment expectations. Policies and procedures related to major start-up allocations are given in Section C.
Section A: Office Desktop or Laptop Computer System Policies and Procedures
Information for Faculty Contract
The following language will be included in each new faculty member's Appointment Letter.
"You may choose a basic office computer from among four predefined configurations: PC desktop, PC laptop, Macintosh desktop, or Macintosh laptop. Your system will be configured with a standard set of software."
Enhancements to Office Desktop or Laptop System
Enhancements to the basic office computer hardware and software as well as peripheral devices such as printers and scanners are not part of the basic desktop or laptop configuration. Costs of these enhancements are either covered by the Department or need to be negotiated with the College as separate start-up allocations. Refer to the section on "Enhanced Start-Up Allocations."
Procedures for Delivery and Installation
To facilitate prompt delivery and installation of a new faculty member's office system, the Department Chair should complete the following steps as soon as possible after a new faculty member has signed his or her contract.
- Designate a Department Contact to serve as a liaison with the ITS staff to arrange for the delivery and installation of the system.
- Complete Desktop or Laptop System for New Faculty Member Request Form
Section B: Enhanced Start-Up Allocations Involving Computer Equipment Policies and Procedures
The following policies apply to the acquisition of computing equipment that involves a non-departmental funding allocation.
All configurations and cost estimates for the following equipment must receive the written approval of the ITS Desktop Support Manager:
- Desktop and laptop computer hardware and software as well as associated peripherals such as printers and scanners;
- Enhancements to basic desktop and laptop configurations;
- Computer workstation hardware and software.
The purpose of this requirement is to ensure that all desktop, laptop and workstation equipment acquired by the University is adequately configured and meets the University's technical support standards (form below). The ITS Desktop Support Manager will coordinate the purchase/lease and installation of all hardware and software.
Exception to this Policy
There are a few departments that have considerable expertise and experience with computer hardware and software acquisition and support. With the approval of their College Dean, these departments may request a waiver from this requirement from ITS. When a department has this waiver, the non-departmental fund allocation will be released to the department after a formal quote has been reviewed and approved by ITS.
To initiate the development of configuration and cost estimates for desktop, laptop, or workstation hardware and software, the Department Contact should communicate with the Technology Support Center (TSC) in one of the following ways:
- Contact the TSC via live chat
- Call 2-0999 and indicate that you wish to be contacted by an ITS Desktop Management staff member regarding "Enhanced Faculty Start-Up" equipment.
Since timely responses are essential in negotiating start-up packages with faculty candidates, these requests will be given high priority by the TSC staff. The department contact should work with the assigned ITS Desktop Management staff member to develop equipment configurations and costs and complete the Enhanced Start-Up Allocations Involving Computing Equipment Configurations and Cost Estimates Approval Form.
Section C: Major Start-up Allocations Policies and Procedures
Since a start-up allocation in this category is considered a significant institutional investment, the potential risks and benefits of this investment must be clearly identified as part of the recruitment and hiring process. To ensure proper consideration, a start-up allocation in this category requires a Shared Risk and Responsibility Agreement among the department, the college, the Division of Research and Economic Development, and the Office of the Provost.
The Vice President for Research and Economic Development assumes primary responsibility for assembling the Shared Risk and Responsibility Agreement. This Agreement will have the following components:
1. A detailed description of start-up requirements and associated costs (e.g. equipment, space renovations) that is developed by the department and approved by the college.
2. The contribution amount(s) of each area and the year(s) in which the contribution is expected to be made.
3. If required, a cost-recovery plan developed by the department together with the faculty candidate and approved by the college dean, the Vice President for Research and Economic Development and the Provost that details the expected grant activity and grant awards. This plan will include the following:
- projections for grant activity (e.g. proposal development, submission);
- potential grant agencies and an overview description of the type of research projects for which funding will be requested;
- a financial plan, which includes estimates of grant awards and a cost-recovery timeline for the contributions of the academic college, Division of Research and Economic Development and Office of the Provost, based upon expected grant submissions and awards of the faculty candidate.
4. If required, a cost-recovery plan that addresses the situation in which the faculty candidate is not successful in securing sufficient grant funds to cover the investment costs.
Prior to inviting any candidates to campus interviews for a particular position, the department will develop start-up allocation projections to be approved by the Provost, Vice President for Research and Economic Development, and the college dean. The following are the steps to be completed:
1. At the beginning of the recruiting process, the department will provide the college with an estimated start-up package.
2. The department chair and college dean will meet to determine the estimated amount of departmental contributions to the start-up package.
3. The Provost, Vice President for Research and Economic Development and college dean will meet to develop the estimated amount of their contributions to the start-up package.
Procedures for Developing a Cost Recovery Plan
1. Using the Cost-Recovery Timeline Template, the department will draft a projected cost-recovery timeline based upon expected levels of grant activity associated with the position. This draft will be forwarded to the college dean who will take it to the Vice President for Research and Economic Development, and the Provost for consideration. This step is repeated until a plan is accepted.
2. When the actual cost of the start-up package becomes known, the department will revise the projected cost-recovery timeline. The department will incorporate the cost-recovery timeline into a full cost recovery plan, and submit the cost recovery plan to the college dean who will take it to the Vice Provost for Research and the Provost for consideration. This step is repeated until a plan is accepted.
3. Each year the Vice Provost for Research will convene a meeting of the college dean and department chair to review the progress made on the cost recovery plan.
Last Updated: 03/13