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'Common Good Assessment' to replace recharge for certain services

By Dave Jones on December 15, 2015 in University

All across the campus you hear people ask, “Explain to me again, Why do we charge ourselves for our own services?” 

Well, starting Jan. 1, with the implementation of the Common Good Assessment, or CGA, the university (excluding the medical center) will end the practice of recharging for about a dozen services, including the following:

  • The substantial majority of voice and data services provided by Information and Educational Technology
  • Selected safety services, such as background checks, cash escorts and Aggie Host event staff
  • Room rental reservation fees for events supported by Conference and Event Services
  • Overhead on small capital projects and custodial service (direct labor and materials are not included)

A full list of the affected services is online. These services account for approximately $11 million in transactions annually that will no longer be paid for through the recharge mechanism.

“One of the key drivers of this initiative is to reduce the frustrations and barriers associated with recharges,” said Prasant Mohapatra, associate chancellor of Administrative Transformation and Reorganization, and co-chair of the Restructuring Recharge work group. “We found there’s no compelling reason to charge for services that are essential for the safe, effective and efficient conduct of university business.”

Instead, the cost of providing certain services will be recovered through an assessment on payroll expenses (contracts and grants are excluded).

Details of the assessment methodology and projected assessment amounts by unit at the dean and vice chancellor level are on the CGA website. Multiple assessment rates are necessary to offset the historically uneven consumption of overhead and safety services. And the various rates ensure that no unit — at the level of dean or vice chancellor — is better or worse off due to the transition from recharge to assessment.

As Vice Chancellor-Chief Financial Officer Dave Lawlor explained it in a November letter to the Council of Deans and Vice Chancellors: “The experience of individual departments and units may vary, and any unit-by-unit financial buffering will be at the discretion for the individual deans and vice chancellors.”

Not all recharges will go away, but the work group is continuing to review the existing recharges and will soon begin consultation with service providers and customers about services that seem likely candidates for this next phase.

More information is available on the CGA website. Or, contact your assistant dean or chief administrative officer.

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Media contact(s)

Dave Jones, Dateline, 530-752-6556, dljones@ucdavis.edu

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