RCF Structure

I. Users

  1. Characteristics
    • RCFs are open for use by University of Oregon faculty, staff and student users, as well as community members, individuals affiliated with other universities or business entities authorized by the University.
    • Users not affiliated with the University of Oregon should contact the RCF Business Manager to obtain information on user requirements, to register to establish an authorized account, and to complete the use agreement.
  2. Internal & External Use
    • RCFs differ in the proportion of internal and external users, and as such, each RCF can have differing expectations regarding the priority of facility use between internal and external parties or among user types.
    • The specific rate for RCF use by internal and by external users must be stated and posted on the RCF website.
  3. Expectations of RCF Use
    • Users are expected to access or use the RCF equipment, services or expertise in a manner that comports with RCF procedures and expectations, and with university, state and federal policies.
      • RCFs can restrict access to certain user types.
      • Where training is required by university, state or federal policy, users must meet all training requirements before RCF use is permitted.
    • RCF users must have sufficient extant usable funds to support use of RCF products or services before they are procured from the RCF. Users are expected to manage their funds and resources properly so that RCF use does not result in fund overdraw.
      • Students are required to have their faculty mentor’s permission before using RCF facilities, if service usage will be recompensed with university funds, in order to ensure proper fund accounting.  In giving the student permission to utilize university funds for RCF use, the faculty member is responsible for the student’s charges, and is expected to give permission only when sufficient funds are available to the faculty member to recompense the RCF for use.
      • Units (primary is the unit that administers the faculty member’s sponsored account, secondary is the unit of the faculty member’s appointment home, if different) are responsible to support costs of RCF use in the unusual event of insufficient funds, and will be expected to make arrangements with the user for proper recompense to the RCF.
    • If a user does not adhere to RCF policies, access to the RCF can be revoked by the Director/Manager, Faculty Chair, or Associate Vice Presidents.

II. Faculty Advisory Committee (FAC)

  1. Membership
    • The Committee is composed of at least 3 faculty members who utilize the services provided by the RCF.
    • The FAC is created by canvasing identified users to provide recommendations for membership to the VPRI.  The Manager/Director works with existing committee members to canvas user group to fill vacant positions. Self-nominations to the Vice President will be accepted.
    • FAC Members are appointed by the Vice President for Research & Innovation (VPRI) for service of up to two consecutive, three year terms (staggered).
    • The Committee typically meets no less than once during each academic term.
  2. Responsibilities
    • Provide guidance and feedback to the Director/Manager and VPRI on RCF operational procedures.
    • Canvas or survey users to obtain feedback on the quality and utility of the current services and products
    • Advise on the development, or termination, of services or products to the Facility Director/Manager and VPRI,
    • Liaise with academic units and research Centers & Institutes
    • Assist in efforts to secure funds for RCF equipment, such as federal equipment grants, foundation or development efforts;
    • Provide input to the Director/Manager and VPRI on RCF rates and recommend changes in personnel or services to achieve the required “break even” budgeting.
    • Provide input in annual performance review process for RCF staff (to Director/Manager) and for RCF Director/Manager (to RFD and AVPR)
    • Contribute to the RCF forward business and operational planning to maximize impact
      • Work with the Director/Manager to ensure that updates to business and strategic plans are in line with users’ scientific needs in the annual operational planning process
    • Serve as a formal deliberative body to resolve disputes among users, or between users and RCF staff

Faculty Advisory Committee Meeting Schedule/Agenda

Mid October to Early November FAC meeting

  • Review accounting data from previous year for rate setting
  • Make recommendations about rate setting
  • Discuss and draft user survey

Mid-January to early February FAC meeting (no later than Feb 15)

  • Six month metrics for RCF reviewed
  • Confirm rates for following fiscal year
  • RCF personnel performance discussion and recommendations
  • User survey distributed

May FAC meeting

  • Review of user survey information
  • Strategic planning on service performance and needs
  • Review of usage, accounting of current year, and review business model for next fiscal year

III. Chair, Faculty Advisory Committee

  1. Characteristics
    • After soliciting nominations from the Committee members, the Chair is selected by the Vice President for Research & Innovation.
    • Term of service not to exceed two consecutive, three year terms.
  2. Responsibilities
    • Lead the FAC.
    • Work with FAC, Director/Manager, VPRI staff, and RCF staff towards a common vision and RCF operation.
    • Represent research and scientific needs of the faculty and FAC and regularly meet with the Director/Manager to provide ongoing guidance and feedback on RCF operational matters.
    • Liaise with VPRI on programmatic and administrative matters (reflected in the dotted reporting lines on the organizational chart)
    • Ensure users feedback on the quality and utility of the current equipment, services and products is incorporated into RCF strategic planning.
    • Lead or coordinate efforts to secure funds for RCF equipment.
    • Review monthly RCF usage with RCF Director/Manager.
    • Review RCF accounts quarterly with RCF Director/Manager & RFD.
    • After soliciting input from FAC, work with Director/Manager and VPRI to develop RCF rates and determining changes in personnel or services to achieve the required service center compliance budgeting.
    • Ensure FAC input is incorporated into annual performance review process for RCF staff (to Director/Manager) and for RCF Director/Manager (to RFD/AVPR).
    • Work with Director/Manager on the forward business and operational planning of RCF to maximize its impact
      • Assist the Director/Manager on updates to business and strategic plans and ensure they are in line with users’ scientific needs in the annual operational planning process


IV. RCF Director/Manager (or similarly situated designee appointed by the VPRI)

  1. Characteristics
    • Professional, experienced personnel with the requisite background, expertise, and experiences to administer RCF operations in a manner that facilitates outstanding research by faculty and is consistent with university business practices guided by state and federal regulations.
    • The appointment process of the Director/Manager is managed by VPRI with an AVPR serving as supervisor and hiring authority for this position.
    • Some RCFs, depending on size, need and history, may distribute the aforementioned duties of the Director/Manager among more than one staff person, for example, between a Director/Manager and an Associate Director, or among a Director/Manager and Service Leaders.  Each RCF Director/Manager shall maintain supplementary documentation describing these specific operational variations to be submitted with the other documents for annual review.
  2. Responsibilities:
    • Work with the Faculty Chair to operate the facility in a manner supporting the scientific mission and research activities of its users.
    • Establish relationships and grow RCF business with both university and external users (where appropriate).
    • Ensure the proper functioning of the facility and its equipment, services, and products.
    • Oversee and ensure the conduct of RCF activities by staff, students and users are of the highest quality and comports with federal, state and university policies.
    • Coordinate any teaching activities by RCF staff, with the assistance of the Chair if needed.
    • Supervise the work, and appraise the performance of, all RCF staff and students in the annual performance review process, taking into consideration the input from the FAC communicated by the Chair.
    • Conduct ongoing account review and operate the facility according to prudent financial practices consistent with federal, state and university policies (including those found on the BRP website pertaining to service center and recharge operations,  http://brp.uoregon.edu/node/39).
    • Establish a written, consistent routine method for tracking facility product and service usage.
    • Report usage information on a monthly basis to the Core Business Services personnel.
    • Coordinate with RCF Business Manager, FAC Chair,  in rate setting process
    • Maintain and update all RCF annual review materials, and submit them annually to the RFD.
    • Work directly with the RCF Business Manager, on all issues involving facility finances, including the following: budgeting, billing, ordering, and personnel appointments/human resources.

V. Research Core Business Services

Research Core Business Services (RCBS) provides financial and other business support to the RCF’s, enabling operation as a research service center/specialized service facility in a manner consistent with the federal regulations, including those described in OMB Circular A-21, as well as state and university policies, including for university service centers as described on UO’s Budget and Resource Planning website http://brp.uoregon.edu/node/39. Research Core Business Services utilize a shared distributed administrative service model that is costed proportionately to the RCF budgets, which allows consistent RCF administration, uniform access to administrative personnel with specific expertise, and optimization and minimization of administrative costs to any one RCF.

  1. Responsibilities
    • Develop a written document describing the specific accounting and billing procedures for each RCF.
    • Conduct space/facility management activities, such as liaising with Facilities Services and updating the space utilization information.
    • Work with the Director/Manager to ensure that all business practices are implemented according to university policy, state and federal regulations.
    • Prepare with the Director/Manger the RCF budgets and review them in an on-going basis with the Director/ Manager, Chair and RFD, no less than quarterly to assure service center compliance status as required by university policy.
    • Prepare the UO Service Center Rate Development Worksheet found on the UO Budget and Resource Planning website http://brp.uoregon.edu/node/39
    • Assist the Director/Manager in preparation of all required annual RCF review materials (see Appendix) and ensure they are submitted to the RFD in a timely fashion as a part of the rate setting process.
    • Distribute and review RCF budgets and expenditures annually with the FAC.


Research Core Facilities (RCF) Critical checkpoints and Fiscal Year processing deadlines


  • Fiscal Year begins
  • Review personnel FTE and labor distributions to ensure FTE and labor distribution accuracy
  • Review monthly invoice reports and account summaries (every month)


  • Carry forward Process Opens/Closes
  • Data available for Prior FY


  • Annual Report/Business plans due


  • Schedule Director only and Quarterly FAC meetings needed for rate setting requirements  Communicate dates to Research Core Business Services Manager and Budget Director


  • Collect data for rate setting ad budget draft review with assigned AVP and Core Business Staff
  • Review FY 15 estimated expense budget vs. actuals


  • Participate in cost exercise to determine next fiscal year estimated gap or surplus. Discuss central allocation with AVP and Core Business staff
  • University-wide Budget process opens

January and February

  • Meet with VPRI to review cost projections and finalize central allocation for next fiscal year
  • Lead Director only and Quarterly FAC meetings
  • Draft memos for VPRI Review. Allow two weeks for review at VPRI office.  One of the six categories below should be selected from this list for the subject line of the memo:
    • Notification of rate increase
    • Notification of partial rate increase
    • Notification of rate decrease
    • Notification of partial rate decrease
    • Notification of multiple rate changes
    • Notification of no rate changes
  • Performance Evaluations can start early


  • March 1 Deadline to send memo to community to notify rate expectations for next fiscal year.
  • Conduct Performance Evaluations for Director and core facility staff that are not on the classified schedule. Route to Research Core Business Services Manager.
  • Personnel actions must be finalized before March 30th and need allowance for two weeks of VPRI review
  • Beginning Budget Process Opens
  • Fiscal year clean up


  • Participate in Research Core Facility Merit Increase review and submit merit data to Business Manager and Budget Director
  • FAC canvases/surveys users on RCF services and equipment
  • Beginning Budget Process Closes


  • Lead Director only and Quarterly FAC meetings
  • Beginning Budget uploaded


  • End of FY processing and review of surplus or deficit with VPRI


VI. VPRI Oversight

  1. Associate Vice President for Research
    • RCF programmatic oversight is divided among the Associate Vice Presidents for Research (AVPR) on the basis of expertise, background, and interest.
    • Provides oversight, quality control, and guidance on programmatic affairs of all RCFs, and oversees the administration and operation of the RCFs.
    • After receiving input from the FAC communicated by the Chair, conducts the performance appraisal of the RCF Director/Manager.
    • Liaises to the community of users and serves as an administrative point of contact to ensure the RCF addresses the scientific needs of the researcher community.
    • Meets regularly with the Committee Chair to review the user feedback and provide recommendations to the Vice President for Research & Innovation on RCF programmatic matters through various means, including the annual business and strategic plan updates.
    • Provides overall recommendations to the Vice President for Research & Innovation on RCF programmatic matters.