Real Estate, Space and Capital Committee

Why must any proposed equipment or space related expenditure over $5,000 be submitted for review to the Real Estate, Space and Capital Committee. Why is that the threshold, and how was that number established?

The $5,000 threshold was established by the Real Estate, Space and Capital Committee, and approved by the President and Executive Vice-Presidents. Equipment that costs over $5,000 is capitalized, so the review threshold will improve institutional oversight of capital spending. The Real Estate, Space and Capital Committee evaluates proposals for:

  • Consistency with the UTMB strategic mission
  • Success in the metrics that need to be met to support the UTMB mission
  • The impact these purchase decisions will have on our financial statements and financial reserves

Why are grant funded requests (often part of receiving the grant) required to undergo the same review process as other requests?

[Grant funded expenditures] frequently require expenditure of other institutional funds, or commitment of resources. The review process involves various stakeholders (e.g., Facilities, IS) to ensure that all “collateral expenditure” impacts of such investments are recognized and agreed to prospectively so that UTMB can fulfill the commitments made in the grant proposal. All grant proposals that have “collateral expenditure” impact are required to be submitted to the RESCC so that the expenditure review process occurs prior to submission. This avoids delays in proceeding with the project once notice of grant award is received.

Is there a way to fast track any of the requests (i.e. grant funded requests)?

The established process is to be used consistently throughout the organization. The best way to avoid delays is to plan ahead and obtain approvals/estimates prior to submitting a grant proposal or otherwise committing to an expenditure.

What if a faculty member receives a STAR Award and, based upon written guidelines of the award, MUST spend the funds within a certain amount of time on specific items or for specific reasons? How will that be considered throughout this process? And, does it need to go through the review process, given that STAR Awards are signed by the President?

STAR Awards will be handled in the same manner as any other grant, so that upon submission of the proposal for funding we are already aware of and prepared to fulfill the commitments made in the proposal. Again, this will prevent any delays following receipt of the award.

What happens if the Real Estate, Space and Capital Committee rejects my request? Is there an appeals process?

There is not a formal appeal process. If a proposal fails to gain RESCC approval, the reason for the “denial” will be communicated to the requestor. The proposal may then be revised and resubmitted for reconsideration.

Will “ad hoc” representatives be allowed to present to the committee? For example, if the SON wants to do something and needs someone there to advocate for them, can a subject matter expert be there to represent?

The monthly committee meeting has a full agenda, and all relevant information to support a proposal should be clearly articulated within the proposal to facilitate timely review and approval. All actions presented to the committee will have been reviewed and supported by the appropriate Executive Vice-President and Vice-President prior to review by the committee, and the Vice-Presidents in attendance will be able to represent their support of projects.