department menu

Chapter 1

CSUSM Corporation Office of Sponsored Projects - Principal Investigator/Project Director Manual

Chapter 1:  What is CSUSM Corporation?

Mission Statement

CSUSM Corporation provides support, service and opportunity to advance the goals of the University. Through its commercial operations, sponsored project services, business and financial services and other entrepreneurial operations,  CSUSM Corporation generates and manages additional resources and assets in support of the University's existing and emerging programs.

Why CSUSM Corporation is Here

The CSUSM Corporation was chartered in early 1990 as a non-profit, public benefit corporation, formed to operate in support of the University.  It was organized to serve and assist the University by providing or administering certain auxiliary business operations:   bookstore, food service operations, conferences and workshops, grants, contracts, campus programs, gifts, and scholarship programs.  CSUSM Corporation administers grants, contracts, research projects, and other externally-funded programs.  CSUSM Corporation funds are derived from revenue generated by its enterprises and from overhead costs from the projects and programs it administers.  The University has charged CSUSM Corporation with the responsibility to be financially self-sufficient.  CSUSM Corporation strives in its endeavors to balance its need for self-support resources with its mission to serve the University community.

A Board of Directors, consisting of a student member, a faculty member, an alumni member, campus administrators, and members of the surrounding community, governs CSUSM Corporation.  The Board of Directors oversees the activities of the corporation in accordance with the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws, appropriate State of California codes, and policy directives of the CSU Board of Trustees and campus administration.  The principal function of the Board of Directors is to establish policies and guide the corporation in achieving its objectives.  The CSUSM Corporation Executive Director manages the daily operations of the organization and reports to the CSUSM Corporation Board of Directors.

CSUSM Corporation provides the following services:

  • banking services
  • budget control and reporting
  • campus programs monitoring and financial reporting
  • check preparation (A/P)
  • collection services (A/R)
  • contract preparation and review
  • expenditure controls (authorized purchase through purchase order control)
  • food service, bookstore and childcare service contracting
  • Sponsored Projects administration
  • grants proposal services
  • funding based on sponsored project awards
  • human resources management, including benefits contracting and administration
  • insurance policies administration with comprehensive liability coverage
  • scholarship processing
  • monthly bank reconciliation
  • on-line account access
  • office supplies (check stock, mailing, billing, etc.)
  • payroll services
  • purchasing assistance
  • risk management services
  • staff support for accounting- related matters
  • state and federal compliance audits
  • workers' compensation program administration
Campus Programs

CSUSM Corporation provides fiscal and other management services for a broad range of university-related activities.  These campus programs augment the educational programs of the University.  Funding is provided primarily through gifts and donations to the University or by fees charged for conferences, events or services.

Campus programs include activities relating to the university faculty and staff, and official on-campus organizations.  One example is Grant Proposal Seed Money (GPSM) funding awarded to faculty by the CSUSM Office of Graduate Studies and Research.

Some programs also have substantial interaction with individuals, corporations, and organizations in the local community.  Examples of these programs are the Alumni Association and the “I’m Going to College” Project.

Sponsored Projects

A significant portion of CSUSM Corporation's annual fiscal activity involves Sponsored Projects awarded by governmental, nonprofit, corporate and private sponsors for the conduct of research and educational projects, i.e. sponsored projects.

CSUSM Corporation, through the Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP), provides pre-award support and proposal preparation, grant and contract administration, funding based on awards, accounting services, on-line financial reports, sponsor invoicing, human resources services, payroll, and equipment inventory.  CSUSM Corporation is audited annually for its Sponsored Projects activities.

The OSP pre-award support offers assistance in finding sources of funding for research and special programs; guidance with budget preparation including calculation of salary costs, benefits, operating expenses, and indirect costs; coordination and preparation of the proposal package; and assistance with obtaining appropriate internal approvals prior to proposal submission.

Throughout the duration of a project, the CSUSM Corporation OSP provides assistance to project administrators to ensure that applicable regulations are followed and expenditures conform to the sponsor’s guidelines.  OSP staff may also act as liaisons between the project and the sponsoring agency and assist with administrative support to the project personnel.