Allocating Central Administration Costs to Separately Appropriated Units

Topics: Budget Models and Cost Allocations, Budgeting, Administration and Finance, Administrative Service Delivery Models

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All land-grant institutions maintain separately appropriated units, such as a cooperative extension, that typically receive administrative services from the main campus. This report analyzes how institutions calculate the amount of money that these units must pay for centrally provided services (e.g., human resource management, maintenance, procurement). It identifies various cost allocation methodologies, examines how institutions ensure that allocations are equitable, and highlights common challenges associated with the process. It also describes interactions between main campus budget staff, service providers, and unit business managers during the allocation process.

Research Questions

  • How do institutions calculate the amount of money that separately appropriated units pay for central administrative support?
  • How do administrators ensure that the calculation produces a fair distribution of fiscal resources across the institution?
  • What differences exist in funding contributions across separately appropriated units?
  • Who ensures the implementation of the funding contribution process within each unit?