Posted by: zhak39 | March 6, 2010

Fees and Allocations

Just keep this phrase, fees and allocations, in mind.

There are a variety of funding streams in a public academic and research institution supported by different protocols.  State money is one and it is handled within a structure that determines how it can be spent and accounted for.  These rules differ for say charitable donations and research grants.  Because the protocols for the latter differ by the rules of the specific grants, the accounting folks for research money sometime take a proportion of the grant, Sicilian style, fari vagnari a pizzu, a dipping of the beak if you will, in order to pay for the process of accounting and reporting on the spending of this money.  This is called ‘fees and allocations.’


We have a small grant that has been carried on our books for about a year and the dean wants to use it to buy a piece of lab equipment.  He met with an administrator with contracts and grants to find out about their protocols and to see how much would be skimmed and how much we could actually spend.  He got an outline of their protocols then came to me to take care of the paperwork, the nuts and bolts, the requisitions and purchase orders.

“Actually they don’t take their F&A off the top.  Their F&A is taken after that purchase so when you figure out the cost of the equipment look at the difference and make sure there’s enough for the purchase and then give them their F&A.”

I don’t play poker for the simple reason that everything I think and feel is written directly on my face.

I wait.

I grit my back teeth together.

I really really try hard not to laugh out loud.


“Um, OK.  But before I do this, could you clarify?  Is it your F&A on the line or mine?  Because no one gets my F&A. Nuh-uh.”


  1. That sounded like an opening.

    I think he was asking you to “use all of your powers” to “make him an offer he can’t refuse.”

  2. I knew there was a reason he hired me.

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