To reaffirm the university’s long-standing policy of primary fiscal responsibility and accountability for extramural projects.
All faculty and staff who engage in or propose to engage in sponsored projects; all federal and non-federal sponsored projects.
The purpose of this policy is to reaffirm the university’s long-standing policy of primary fiscal responsibility and accountability for extramural projects in terms of:
In all cases, ultimate financial liability rests with the dean or director.
Even though sponsored project administration is a shared responsibility among principal investigators, department chairs, deans or directors, and Research and Sponsored Programs, the responsibility for promptly clearing budget overdrafts, especially at the end of a project rests with the dean or director. While this responsibility has been identified in the past and is the subject of the 1992 RSP Notice 93-3, the clearance of overdrafts has not always happened in a timely manner. Campus-wide administrative redesign initiatives have repeatedly identified delays in removing overdrafts and unallowable expenditures as a root cause of delays in submitting financial reports and invoices to sponsors, presenting accurate financial information to principal investigators, and closing out sponsored projects.
Delinquent or uncollectable payments from sponsors create situations where total expenditures exceed the number of receipts collected, both on federally and non-federally funded projects. In these cases, the principal investigator and other project staff are usually the first to become aware of either the sponsor’s potential dissatisfaction with project results or the sponsor’s financial difficulties. It is extremely important to minimize the financial damage when such facts are known. Spending should be stopped immediately and Research and Sponsored Programs should be notified through the dean or director’s office. While Research and Sponsored Programs, along with the Office of Legal Affairs, will make every effort to alleviate the difficulties, ultimate financial liability again rests with the dean/director.
Because of the negative consequences related to overdrafts, everyone, including principal investigators, department chairs, deans or directors, and Research and Sponsored Programs, is expected to cooperate in avoiding overdrafts and rectifying them in a timely manner should they occur. A list of existing and future tools available to facilitate the fiscal management of overdrafts can be found in Attachment A.
We appreciate the efforts by you, your staff, and principal investigators in your school or college to improve the management of extramural funds at UW–Madison. In order to maintain our current levels of fiscal autonomy, it is extremely important that we comply with the terms and conditions of extramural support, as well as the State of Wisconsin’s financial management requirements.
Research and Sponsored Programs will continue to provide dean's and director’s offices with the monthly overdrawn projects reports. We are also willing to assist you in obtaining any additional data and support needed to fulfill your financial management responsibilities. If you have any questions, please reach out the policy contact listed below.