University of Washington Policy Directory

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*Formerly part of the University Handbook
Administrative Policy Statement
59.5



Policy on Sales of Goods and Services

(Approved by the President by authority of the Board of Regents, Standing Orders, Chapter 1)



1.  Introduction

The primary mission of the University is the creation and dissemination of knowledge. In carrying out this mission, it is often necessary for the University and its affiliated units to provide goods and services for fees which enhance, promote, or support its teaching, research, and public service functions. At the same time, the University must be mindful that when it provides goods and services for fees, it may be competing with local private businesses.

This policy has been developed to define the legitimate purposes under which sales of goods and services for fees may be approved, and to establish a mechanism to review such sales. Recognizing that the central mission of the University is providing instruction, research, and public service, this policy shall not apply to charges for instruction in its regular, extension, evening, or continuing education programs; services provided in the practicum aspects of its instructional and research programs; services for fees in its extracurricular or residential life programs, including residence halls, food services, athletic and recreational programs, and the performing arts programs.

2.  Policy on Sales of Goods and Services for Fees

The University of Washington may engage in the direct sale of goods and services to individuals, groups, or external agencies for fees only when those services or goods are directly and substantially related to the educational mission of the University. Charges for such goods and services shall be determined taking into account their full cost, including University overhead, as well as the competitive price of such items in the local community.

3.  Criteria

The direct sale of goods or services to faculty, staff, students, and patients for fees which are for the convenience of and in support of the broad educational mission of the University is distinctly different from sales to individuals or organizations external to the University. Therefore, different criteria have been established to evaluate requests for such sales programs.

a.   Criteria for Sales to Campus Community Members

Each of the following criteria shall be used in assessing the validity of providing goods or services to members of the campus community:

  • The goods or services are substantially and directly related to the University's instructional, research, or services mission.

  • Provision of the goods or services on campus represents a special convenience to and supports the campus community, or facilitates the extracurricular, public service, or residential life of the campus community.

  • The price or fee for the goods or services is established at such a level as to account for full costs, including University overhead.

  • Procedures are in place for ensuring that the goods or services are provided only to members of the campus holding valid identification.

b.   Criteria for Sales to the External Community

The University shall not engage in any sales activities solely for the purpose of raising revenue to support an educational or research activity if the goods or services sold are not directly and substantially related to the educational program.

Each of the following criteria shall be used in assessing the validity of providing goods or services to the external community.

  • The goods or services represent a resource which is directly related to a unit's educational mission, which is not commonly available or otherwise easily accessible, and for which there is a demand from the external community.

  • The price or fee of the goods or services is established to account for the full costs of the goods or services, including University overhead. The price of such items in the private marketplace shall be taken into account in establishing the price or fee.

4.  Review and Approval Procedures

Approval for the direct sale of any goods or services covered by this policy shall be vested in deans and vice presidents for the units under their authority. Before any sales project may be implemented, the unit proposing the project shall provide to the dean/vice president a request setting forth all pertinent information about the sales plan, and justification for such program addressing the elements of this policy and the stated evaluation criteria. The dean or vice president shall, if he/she approves the project, notify the Budget Office of said approval as a condition to the creation of a revenue budget, and provide the Budget Office with copies of the documentation supporting the request.

Each category of goods or services sold is to be considered individually so as to avoid the unplanned expansion of any sales program. All new categories of sales shall be justified to and reviewed by the dean/vice president in accord with this policy.

5.  Oversight

The Senior Vice President for Finance and Facilities is designated as the officer who shall be available to:

  • Resolve matters concerning the internal application of this policy. It is the role of the Budget Office to review requests from deans/vice presidents to establish revenue budgets. Should the Budget Office believe that the request is inconsistent with this policy, it shall refer the matter to the Senior Vice President for Finance and Facilities for final decision.

  • Address questions from members of the external community about specific sales programs.

  • Because sales of goods or services to other governmental agencies involve University-wide considerations, the Senior Vice President for Finance and Facilities shall review all proposed sales to other governmental agencies.

6.  Additional Information

For more further information contact the Budget Office:

May 1, 2002; RC, January 12, 2011; RC, January 27, 2014.