Reviewed by President's Cabinet: February 14, 2011
Reviewed by Council of Deans: April 14, 2011
The funded release mechanism is used at IUP to provide teaching release time for faculty involved in sponsored research. The Research Institute transfers sponsored program funds for salaries and benefits to the Office of Grants and Special Fund Accounting for state-salaried employees (typically, faculty) working on a sponsored project. This permits Grants and Special Fund to apply the release to the faculty member.
Alternate Workload Equivalents (AWE’s) and funded releases are the transactions used to recover the value of the salary and fringe benefits paid to state-funded faculty devoting effort to grants and contracts (staff assignments do not require AWE’s, but otherwise, the mechanism is the same). These are time-sensitive transactions treated as actual personnel appointments to the sponsored award. They are directly tied to the Research Institute’s effort certification process, which is mandated by the federal government.
Several problems have been identified that need to be rectified to ensure that IUP can collect all of the F&A (Indirect Costs) that it deserves. These problems include:
The following actions are recommended to address and correct the problems stated above. The recommendations are subdivided by the administering unit.
Scheduling of funded releases as specified in the approved project budget may not be changed without prior approval of the Dean.
To comply with federal guidelines set forth in OMB Circular A-21 and the Cost Accounting Standards, faculty release forms should be submitted by the dean to the Provost before the beginning of the effort. This is to ensure that the grant funds are actually available to pay for the release. In no case should the release be submitted more than two weeks after that effort has begun.
Upon receipt of the completed faculty release form from a vice president, Grants and Special Fund Accounting will:
The implementation of the recommendations in this document should result in a more responsive system that enables IUP to maximize the collection of F&A. It also helps the faculty better understand how much money they have in their grants, which is something the faculty have long been asking for.