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Research Administrators CouncilHow to Live “Within” 90 Days Presenters: Jill Fournier, Leslie Levine February 27, 2007
Recent Emphasis on Topic • April 3, 2006 – Memo sent to Deans & Associate Deans from Mark Kamlet & Deb Moon re: “place renewed emphasis on compliance and timely financial management” – Memo also noted that “the University Cost Transfer Policy, found at http://www.cmu.edu/policies/documents/CostTrans.html, requires that cost transfers be completed within 90 days of the original transaction.” • April 13, 2006 – Presentation to RAC regarding Cost Transfer for Sponsored Awards – see RAC web site for presentation
Meeting the Challenge – Where Things Stand • Campus has generally risen to the challenge. • There has been significant reduction in cost transfer requests • RAC and SPA are collaborating to identify corrective action/area for improvement even when transfer is allowed • Concerns and issues nonetheless arise. A group recently discussed the topic generally. • The purpose of this presentation is to share with you the thoughts of that group and to solicit your input. • Such input will help to define areas for follow up
Possible Areas for Followup • Cost transfer justifications text • Late receipt of notice of grant awards (including subcontract from prime awardee) - Early center request - Award extension request • PI articulation of intended personnel activity • Award notices
Possible follow up example • Cost transfer justifications text is said not to be adequate; the administrator has submitted the form a couple of times already (“Just tell me what to say.”) • Discussion points: - No “canned” text may be provided. - Cost transfer justification text should provide address to 3 questions: (a) Why was the charge “placed” as it was originally? (b) Why is the charge now requested to be moved? (c) Why is the charge appropriately transferred to the new “placement”? • Item(s) to consider: should CMU form instructions be updated with such preparation “prompts” as these?
Possible follow up example • Early cost centers • Discussion points: There is no CMU written direction/advice/suggestion regarding early cost centers. There are some awards for which early centers are less advisable then others. There is wide variability of understanding at least among department research administrators regarding the circumstances under which an early cost center may be “helpful” or ill advised. • Item(s) to consider: convene a working group (with representation from departments, OSP and SPA) to develop guidance on early center establishment (e.g., not advised for procurement arrangements unless contract terms include allowance for early charges) and items for consideration by the department)
Feedback, Questions, Concerns • We’re seeking your feedback and suggestions on this topic. • Questions? Concerns?