Are Those Extensions?

As we draw nearer to the implementation of the Super Circular, our friends at NCURA continue to put out some very helpful vlogs (video logs) on some of the highlighted changes.  There is a new rule for indirect cost rate negotiations, in fact, that now allows a one-time, four-year extension on current negotiated rates.  This is governed by section 200.414 (linked, for your reading pleasure); you can check out the short NCURA video here:



The possibility of a rate extension theoretically saves universities (and other entities) time and negotiation resources by allowing for the postponement of the process.  Of course, the costs associated with the preparation of the proposal for the extension itself are other other consideration factors. What is your opinion on the effect of this change; will it save administrative burden as intended?  We’d love to hear your thoughts!

You’re Certifiable

It’s that time of year again: effort reporting and certification is upon us.  Wayne State relies upon effort reporting for faculty and staff on grants to confirm that salaries and wages charged to sponsored projects are reasonable for the agreements in place and the actual work performed.  Without effort reporting and certification compliance, financial penalties and expenditure disallowances could result.


In order to help navigate the effort certification system, the folks at CLAS put together some very helpful materials:


And for further reading on the process itself, check out SPA’s effort reporting page.  If you have any difficulty with the system or figuring out who needs to certify whom, RAS has been there and can offer guidance!

Lunatic Fringe

Our friends in Sponsored Program Administration recently announced adjustments to the fringe benefit rates, based on the amendment to our Federal Rate Agreement.  These changes are effective today (10/1/14); here are the highlights, in case you missed them:


  1. There are now only four fringe rate categories (reduced from the previous six).
  2. Employee classes are allocated by new role/function definitions.
  3. The “premium” rate that was previously applied to certain designated funds has been eliminated.


These changes will impact the charges to non-General Fund funds, depending on the categorical mix of employees that are charged to those funds.  A schedule showing the “old” and “new” rates by employee class was provided by the Associate Vice President for Fiscal Operations and Controller (Jim Barbret), and is accessible here.


Mr. Barbret has indicated that the Fiscal Operations website will be updated as soon as the updated rate agreement is in hand.  Gail Ryan, Assistant Vice President for SPA, has also offered to answer any questions that you may have.  And, as always, RAS is here to help as well!