University at Buffalo Crest.

Policy Information

Date Established: 12/1/1998
Date Last Updated: 1/1/2012
Responsible Office:
Financial Management
Responsible Executive:
Vice President for Finance and Administration

Policy Contents

General University Service Fee (GUSF)


A General University Service Fee (GUSF) is charged on revenue deposited in State IFR, UBF, RF, or CDS accounts.

Policy Statement

The General University Service Fee is assessed on all funds generated through the use of university faculty or staff time and/or use of university facilities as outlined in the Disclosure of All Funds Policy. GUSF is a flat rate fee charged on external revenue deposited into Income Fund Reimbursable (IFR), University at Buffalo Foundation (UBF), Research Foundation (RF), or Campus Dining and Shops (CDS) accounts. Transfers of revenue between funding sources will not be assessed GUSF.  

Certain external revenue is subject to other fees. GUSF will not be assessed on the following types of revenue as this would result in a fee being assessed twice:   

  • Sponsored projects administered by the RF and UBF when a Facility and Administrative (F&A) fee is assessed
  • Dormitory Income Fund Reimbursable (DIFR) and apartment revenues include administrative, maintenance, and operation components, therefore GUSF is not assessed
  • Revenue from affiliated external entities where an agency service fee exists
  • Gift revenues are subject to a gift fee, therefore GUSF is not assessed  

GUSF Subsidies

Entrepreneurial Activities

University members are encouraged to develop new revenue generating programs. If the revenue generated by the program is not sufficient to cover GUSF, the university may feel that financial support is warranted. Based on the benefit to the university, a subsidy may be provided by an individual unit, school/college, and/or the university Internal Financial Plan. The service fee will not be waived in lieu of a subsidy.

Third Party Revenue

All deposits related to third party revenue will be assessed GUSF. However, a third party contractual agreement may require the university to remit the full amount of revenue received from specified activities (e.g., ticket sales) to the third party. Resource Planning will review third party agreements, and if appropriate, provide funding for the GUSF assessment on third party restricted revenue from the university Internal Financial Plan. Departments must provide appropriate documentation to Resource Planning for review.  


The General University Service Fee (GUSF) was established in 1999 to replace the various administrative, maintenance, and operation fees assessed on IFR, UBF, RF, and CDS account activity. Prior to implementation of the GUSF Policy, there was no consistency in rates, exemptions, or waivers across funding sources.


This policy applies to external revenue deposited to IFR, UBF, RF, and CDS accounts.


Disclosure Policy

Requires any and all funds derived from or related to sponsored programs, projects, activities, and services which involve university employees in the course of their university duties, or which involve the use of university equipment or facilities to be deposited and expended through an account administered by the RF, UBF, CDS, or the university itself (IFR accounts).

Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Rate

An overhead rate, calculated as a percentage of the direct costs of sponsored projects, used to reimburse the university for the infrastructure support costs associated with sponsored research and other sponsored projects.

External Revenue

Revenue received from any source other than the RF, UBF, or State University of New York (SUNY).

Gift Revenues

Include funds voluntarily given by a source external to the university for which no goods or services were provided.

Restricted Revenue

Funds collected on behalf of a third party that must be remitted to the third party in full, in accordance with the terms of a contract.

Sponsored Projects

Sponsored projects:

  • Are supported primarily by an outside sponsor
  • Are conducted over a specified period of time
  • Obligate the university for the performance of specified services or the delivery of specified work products
  • Are conducted in or on university owned or controlled facilities or involve the use of university personnel in the course of their university duties

Third Party Revenue

External revenue generated through a contractual agreement.



  • Deposit cash receipts into an IFR, UBF, RF, or CDS account.
  • Submit a request to Resource Planning to include a commitment for GUSF assessed on restricted revenue in the university financial plan, when applicable. 

Business Offices (Financial Management, Sponsored Projects Services, UBF, and CDS)

  • Assess GUSF on external revenue deposits.

Resource Planning

  • Review departmental restricted revenue documentation.


Deposit Process

Deposit all cash receipts in accordance with State, RF, UBF, and CDS deposit procedures.

Subsidy Requests

Departments may submit requests, on a monthly basis, for GUSF assessed on restricted revenue to Resource Planning. Documentation should include:

  • Copy of the third party agreement
  • Total revenue received for ticket sales, services, and facilities
  • GUSF assessments
  • Amounts reimbursed to third parties

Resource Planning will review documentation, and if appropriate, add a commitment for GUSF to the university Internal Financial Plan.

Contact Information

Contact An Expert
Contact Phone Email
Associate Vice President and Controller - Beth Corry

Related Information

University Links


Policy Revision History
September 2014 Updated Academic Planning and Budget department name to reflect the current name of Resource Planning.
January 2012 Revised to eliminate GUSF waivers.

General University Service Fee Rate History

GUSF Rate History
Time Period Rate
July 1, 1998 to June 30, 2010   7%
July 1, 2010 to Oct. 31, 2011 10%
November 1, 2011 to present   13%

Presidential Approval

Signed by President Satish K. Tripathi

Satish K. Tripathi, President