Service Centers are established when it is determined that a good or service is most effectively provided within the university, although the same good or service may be available commercially. The purpose of a Service Center is to control the cost of providing goods or services within the university.
To create a Service Center the department must first complete a cost study to make sure the proposed Service Center can be self supporting by generating revenues equal to its expenses. The university Office of Policy and Fiscal Analysis (OPFA) has dedicated resources to assist departments in preparation and approval of these cost studies.
The links below are to documents regarding policy, training, compliance and a base template model. We realize this template won’t fit all business plans so we encourage departments to contact us so we may walk you through the process and answer any questions that come up.
This policy provides guidelines for establishing, budgeting, costing, administering, and accounting for Service Centers and other operations regularly selling goods or services to university departments or activities.
Once a year OPFA conducts an introductory training to help departments acquaint themselves with the service center policy and cost study construction. This training helps departments acquaint themselves with the service center policy and cost study construction. The training is intended to be interactive and is not mandatory, but we encourage participation and questions. The attached document is an outline of that training and is updated each year with relevant changes prior to training.
This template is designed to offer a base model that should be sufficient for most basic business plans. It also can serve as an educational tool showing how costs should be allocated across different product offerings. This template will often not satisfy the needs for service centers with subsidies and/or member discounts. In those cases OPFA will work with you to construct a model that fits your specific needs.
These forms are needed for the operational component of setting up a service center. Once a cost study has been approved, OPFA will need departments to request a speed type, fill out a space survey and open a fund 72 if equipment depreciation will be collected. OPFA will be happy to walk you through this process as needed.