Funding Commitments to Departments and Centers (Guidelines)

Date: March 15, 2016

Contact Office:
PO Box 800796
Charlottesville, VA 22908
Phone: 434-924-8425

Oversight Executive:
Chief Operating Officer
PO Box 800793
Charlottesville, VA 22908-0793
Phone: 434-297-7492

Applies to:
School of Medicine departments and centers (“centers”) that receive commitments of funding from the dean’s office.

Reason for the Guidelines:
These guidelines clarify how the dean’s office documents and delivers funds that it commits to departments and centers, including the terms that govern how the funds may be used, the duration of the commitment, and how remaining balances are managed.


  • Commitments from the dean’s office are intended as investments in the recruitment and retention of faculty and in the programs that support the School of Medicine’s tri-partite mission of education, research, and clinical service, and advance the School’s strategic plan.
  • The dean’s office negotiates commitments with individual department chairs and center directors primarily for the recruitment and retention of faculty, strategic programs, and/or investments (e.g., chair or director reappointment package, faculty retention funds).
  • Commitments may include Equipment Trust Funds (“ETF”) for equipment needs that meet the ETF program guidelines.
  • In general, committed funds may be used for minor and cosmetic space renovations but not for large scale space renovations and/or enhancements. Major space projects will be authorized and funded through other sources.
  • Commitments do not include funds the department or center receives from other dean’s office programs (e.g., research bridge funds, the pay-for-teaching model, payments to faculty for committee participation, medical education fellowships).
  • Funds provided for commitments cannot be used to establish endowments.
  • With the exception of ETF funds, dean’s office commitments are to be utilized within three years if the commitment is made for a faculty member or within five years if the commitment is made to a department chair or center director .
  • ETF commitments are to be utilized within to years
  • Uses and remaining balances of committed funds will be reviewed department and center annual reviews
  • The dean’s office will review remaining balances at the end of faculty member’s ,chair’s, or director’s appointment .The dean’s office will determine if any remaining balance will revert to the school of medicine or if the faculty member , department ,or center may carry the funds forward.


  • The finance office will prepare written documentation of the commitment for the deans signature
  • The finance office will provide the department or center with a copy of the signed commitment document and coordinate the creation of a project with the department
  • Finance may ask additional question about how the funds will be used(e.g., area of research ) in order to provide an appropriate source of funds.
  • The annual state ETF program requires that the  purchase of new, durable equipment items be delivered, installed, vendor invoiced, and the PO receipt entered, by May 15 of each fiscal year. Please anticipate at least
    months of lead time when considering an ETF purchase request and work with the school of medicine ETF coordinator on the purchase. More information on the ETF process can be found at
  • The finance office will review annually department and center needs on commitments during the budget process and will deliver funds on an as-needed basis.
  • The Clarity Commitments Module is the tool for managing funding commitments provided by the Dean’s office.

Related policies or guidelines:
Bridge Funding for Dean’s Office director Reports
Supports For Training Grant Proposals (guidelines)
ETF process:

Next Scheduled Review: February 2019

Revision History: This is the first version of these guidelines

Approved by:
Dean's signature

David S. Wilkes,MD