Georgia Tech Executive Summary

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As the field of sponsored research administration has evolved over the years, the functional and service units that fulfill the various roles and responsibilities have also changed to reflect the resources available and the institution’s priorities. Universities across the country have experienced increased funding that has shaped the structure of their financial management operations. While in previous years it was sufficient for the post-award financial management of sponsored programs to be housed in the departments and colleges, new organizational structures have emerged as a way of accommodating the increased workload. One institution, the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) employs the Traditional Structure of Research…show more content…
(Appendix B) This paper analyzes these organizational structures’ ability to meet their customer service and audit management needs. Lastly, an ideal model will be offered and presented as a way to provide strong and efficient financial management of sponsored projects. According to the National Science Foundation, Georgia Tech ranked fifteenth in the country for R&D expenditures during fiscal year 2014, with $512,015,000 in federally-funded research. The Office of Grants and Contracts Accounting manages the post-award activities for the institute and reports to the Executive Vice President for Administration and Finance. The organizational chart in Appendix C highlights the functions of this office. Project accounting, cost accounting, and compliance activities are broken up into teams with their own Directors, demonstrating the university’s commitment to providing adequate resources to these topics. This model appears to provide opportunities for specialization of skills and knowledge, balanced distribution of workload, and the imperative checks and balances. GT’s example of a traditional model reflects the university’s emphasis on customer service. Looking at project…show more content…
The Vice Provost and Dean of Research, affectionately referred to as DoR, at Stanford University has the tremendous responsibility of overseeing both the Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) for pre-award activities and the office for Sponsored Receivables Management (SRM) for post-award/financial functions. The breakdown of the SRM assignment, shown in Appendix D, looks similar to that of Georgia Tech. There is a Director that oversees the operations and Accounting Managers leading teams of several Research Accountants. In this way, the financial management of Stanford’s sponsored projects likely mirrors that of Georgia Tech. The two universities may experience the same strengths and weaknesses though they employ different structure models. Still, the hierarchy presents an additional set of benefits and shortcomings. The DoR unifies the efforts of the university, ensuring that all research activities present with a singular voice. This singular voice resonates throughout the lifecycle of an award; the consistency and communication likely has a positive impact on customer service. Having a key understanding of the roles and responsibilities of each office that reports up to him or her, the DoR of Stanford University can eliminate unnecessary duplication of efforts, thus maximizing the institution’s use of
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