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Information Services. The JCPSG case study UMSLG Summer Residential Meeting 7- 8 July 2005. TRAC and fEC. Why and What?. Principles. Publicly funded research should be fully funded by public funds

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information services

Information Services

The JCPSG case study

UMSLGSummer Residential Meeting

7- 8 July 2005


TRAC and fEC

Why and What?

  • Publicly funded research should be fully funded by public funds
  • Universities should know their own costs, price for sustainability and plan for reinvestment
  • Public money is for public good only
  • TRAC - costing of teaching, research & all other activities
  • In operation in HEIs for a few years at School level
  • Aims to identify the full economic cost (fEC) of activities
  • From Sept ’05 funding from Research Councils based on fEC
  • Major ‘central’ costs – estates & IS
what is fec
What is fEC?
  • fEC is the full cost of undertaking an activity
  • fEC includes all direct costs and indirect costs such as space, central services and a contribution to the University’s infrastructure
  • fEC is the same regardless of sponsor
  • Creates a distinction between cost and price
  • Objective is to ensure sustainability
  • “An institution is being managed on a sustainable basis if, taking one year with another, it is recovering its full economic costs across its activities as a whole, and is investing in its infrastructure (physical, human, and intellectual) at a rate adequate to maintain its future productive capacity appropriate to the needs of its strategic plan and students, sponsors and other customer requirements.”(TRAC Volume III, A1 para 51)
  • Thus resources must be identified to meet the full costs in the long run:
    • Direct, indirect, maintenance, cost of capital & investment
    • Areas of cross subsidy and transparency for decision making

Information Services

The University of ReadingJCPSG good practice case study

the project
The project

Development of a methodology for the treatment of Information Services costs within the Transparency Review

  • Project leader – Annette Haworth, Director of Information Services
  • Project officer – Roger Jones
approach to the study
Approach to the study
  • Analysis of centrally provided IS resources to identify usage patterns
  • Total University IS resources and demand – include data from finance, facilities, HR and student services
  • Develop allocation model(s)
  • Assess implications & lessons for Reading
reading background
Reading - Background
  • Study based on 2002/03 data
  • Schools - 23 in 4 Faculties Students - 11,400 FTEAcademic Staff - 1,560 FTE (1,284 in Schools)
  • Three sites in Reading with two main campuses
  • Information Services (IS) at Reading include: - IT Services (ITS) - Library - Museums & Collections Services
  • IS - total cost £8.9M (= 6.4% of total income) - 207 FTE (all grades)
is usage pattern
IS usage pattern
  • School average usage per FTE student ranges widely  considerable imbalance
  • Imbalance in availability and resources partly due to: - School/department location - Student profile (self funding; FT v PT; mix of UG, PGT, PGR) - Predominately “9-5 culture”
  • Enabled identification of some important IS issues facing the University and its Schools
relative use of services by user type
Relative use of services by user type

Service UG PGT PGR Staff

Library:Library lending 1 1.6 1.4 0.7Use of e-sources 1 2.2 8.0 5.6

ITS:e-mails sent/received 1 3.9 6.2 18.8Web use 1 4.6 9.8 11.0e-mail server storage 1 2.1 5.9 8.6Home directory storage 1 2.6 12.7 9.2PC laboratory usage 1 1.7 1.1 0.2

total university is resource
Total University IS resource
  • Need to understand total University resources devoted to IS, not only the ISD (Directorate) spend
  • Considerable (but highly variable) proportion of resourcing is from School funds
  • Analysed ‘central’ data prior to meeting with Schools
development of costing models
Development of costing models
  • Models not directly tied to management structure:- PC labs treated separately from other ITS costs- E-source costs of library service modelled with general IT costs- Library archives & special collections included with museums
  • 4 models – 1 for each group of services: - PC labs - General IT services (incl. e-sources) - General library service (excl. e-sources) - Museums, archives & special collections
the models
The models
  • Alternative models considered for each – 14 for library and 12 for ITS costs
  • Target – to match allocations to usage
  • Allocations based on staff & student FTEs
  • Adjusted for some elements of direct spend by Schools
  • Constructed to enable cost of IS for staff, taught and research students for each School to be identified
its cost models
ITS cost models

Weighting for PC labs: - UG = 1 - allocated to teaching - PGT = 1.5 - allocated to teaching - PGR = 1 - allocated to research

  • Weightings for general ITS (incl. e-sources): - UG = 1 - allocated to teaching - PGT = 3 - allocated to teaching - PGR = 8 - allocated to research - Academic staff = 11 - allocation to T, R & O based on time analysis

andSchools weighted by HEFCE multiple

library cost model
Library cost model
  • Actual Library allotment to Schools for books (T) and journals (R) allocated direct to Schools
  • Weightings for library (excl e-sources): - UG = 1 - allocated to teaching - PGT = 1.5 - allocated to teaching - PGR = 1.5 - allocated to research - Academic staff = 0.7 - allocation to T, R & O based on time analysis
  • Low staff weighting reflects declining use of physical resource, increasing use of e-sources
allocation of museums archives special collections costs
Allocation of museums, archives & special collections costs
  • About 10 per cent of usage is by members of the University
  • Analysis of usage data, combined with managers knowledge, used to allocate costs to Schools and apportion between Teaching and Research
  • 90 per cent of costs allocated to “Other”
impact of new model
Impact of new model

Comparison of existing & new modelsExisting New Teaching 64% 58% Research 25% 30% Other 11% 12%

  • Change in allocation to FacultiesTeaching Research Arts & Humanities -20% +15% Economic & Social Sciences -6% -3% Life Sciences -6% +17% Science -5% +38% TOTAL -10% +20%

Varies from School to School within Faculties

benefits of the study
Benefits of the study
  • Analysis identified total resource devoted to provision of IS in the University – c£12m+ v. £8.9m for transparency
  • Has influenced allocation of resources in 2004/05 budget exercise
  • Identified issues to be addressed in developing IS in the University
    • Also compared performance with other HEIs through use of SCONUL and UCISA survey data
  • Derived detailed IS costs per FTE by School – can be used for costing research projects
the future
The Future
  • Project helped to give a better understanding of IS provision and use in the University
  • Future planning being aided by project findings
  • Input into 3 year planning and budget cycle
  • Will need to re-validate the weightings at intervals
  • Systems needed to improve collection of usage data
further information
Further Information
  • See JCPSG web site section on Costing & Pricing – Good Practice for downloads of the Reading case study & a consolidated report:
  • Core slides from this presentation are at:
  • Further detail of this project can be obtained by contacting:
    • Information Management and Policy Services, Reading University at


    • Roger Jones at
information services27

Information Services

The JCPSG case study

UMSLGSummer Residential Meeting

7- 8 July 2005