Service Centers

Service Centers are units within Dartmouth divisions, departments or centers that charge for goods or services that directly support Dartmouth's research or academic mission and recover costs through charges to internal and external users.

Service Center Expectations

All Service Centers are expected to recover no more than the aggregate costs of their operations through charges to users.

All Service Centers must be able to demonstrate compliance with federal requirements, and cannot use fee structures that discriminate against federal or other funding sources.

All Service Centers must follow the steps outlined in the Service Center policy and its associated procedures for approval to initiate a Service Center and for ongoing review and reporting.

Additional Information

For questions or to request assistance with completing forms email: Financial Reports with the subject field: "Service Center" or email Susan Mockus.

Service Center Criteria

Information to determine if your operating unit needs to be set up as a Service Center:

Service Center

  • Must comply with Service Center Policy
  • An operating unit that provides goods or services primarily across the Dartmouth College community including sponsored projects. It charges users a fee retroactively based on a pre-approved rate and actual usage to recover some or all of the costs of those goods or services. It is not simply redistributing the cost of individual items or labor hours. Generally generates expenses in excess of $100,000 per year; have physical space specifically dedicated and assigned to their operation; are not classified as OIA - other institutional activity.
  • Examples: machine shops, analytical services, instrument and computer facilities, and large volume copy operations.

Recharge Center

  • Must comply with Service Center Policy
  • An operating unit or department that provides goods or services as a convenience to generally localized users within the internal Dartmouth College community. It charges users a fee retroactively based on actual usage and specific costs to recover some or all of the costs of those goods or services. Their budgeted expenses are generally less than $100,000 per year; and they do not have physical space specifically dedicated and assigned to their operation.
  • Examples: Charges for use of fax, and copy machines, classroom technology services, media production group, and networked backups.

Specialized Service Facilities

  • Must comply with Service Center Policy
  • An entity, as specifically defined in the federal government's Uniform Code that provides institutional services involving the use of complex or highly specialized facilities.
  • Examples: Wind tunnels and reactors.
  • There are currently no specialized service facilities at Dartmouth.

Auxiliary (not a Service Center)

  • An operating unit that furnishes goods or services to Dartmouth students, faculty, or staff. An auxiliary operation is managed as a self-supporting activity.
  • Examples: Residence halls, dining services, computer store, all retail operations or those that regularly transact with non-Dartmouth entities. They are expected generate revenue in excess or their expenses.

All Other (not a Service Center)

  • GL Chart Strings: A department that provides goods or services to internal Dartmouth users. These operations "pass through" the actual cost of product or service.
  • PTAEO/Grants: Follow existing OSP policy for cost transfer/simple reclass
  • Examples: Allocation of electricity bills, telephone bills. Redistribution of actual expense/cost of item or service.

Unallowable Costs

A cost identified in the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (Uniform Guidance Part 200.400) as non-reimbursable by the federal government. Federal unallowable costs must be excluded from recharge operations and service center user fees.  For examples and definitions of unallowable costs see Service Center Policy Appendix B: Unallowable Costs (pdf).

Additional information on allowable and unallowable expenses on sponsored research awards is available on the Office of Sponsored Projects website. For help determining whether a specific expense is allowable contact the Office of Sponsored Projects.

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