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Communications Chargeback Policy | Policies | CSUSM

Communications Chargeback Policy

Definition: This policy governs the delivery of state-funded communications and marketing resources to units of the University that are self-supporting or are funded by other than state General Fund revenues. The policy also applies to units funded by the state General Fund in certain circumstances. The policy includes the areas of media relations, publications, and marketing, which are defined in the following paragraphs. Media Relations: Dealing with any news media, on or off campus, including but not limited to newspapers, magazines, newsletters and other print publications; radio and television stations, cable television programs, and other broadcast media; news related web sites, listserves and other internet based media. Publications: Involves the preparation of communications vehicles intended for receipt by on and off-campus target audiences. Includes, but is not limited to, print publications, broadcast programming, and internet information. Marketing: Involves "branding" the institution (as opposed to individual programs or units within the institution) through interrelated activities in publicity, public relations, advertising and promotion. Includes delivery by print, electronic and internet communications vehicles.
Authority: Executive Order 753: Allocation of Costs to Auxiliary Enterprises.
Scope: This policy applies to Cal State San Marcos, its auxiliary organizations and self-support units.
Responsible Division: University Advancement
Approval Date: 06/10/2005
Originally Implemented: 04/15/2002
Signature Page/PDF: View Communications Chargeback Policy Policy
Related Documents and Forms: Fee Schedule
Service Request Form



A. Operations in support of the institutional mission are supported by the State of California General Fund.

  1. Directing those resources to campus units that are independently funded is generally disallowed.
  2. This policy sets up a system of charges that shall be used when such units avail themselves of services performed by the Office of Communications and Marketing
    for the production of materials intended for use outside the academic mission.
  3. These charges may, from time to time, be amended with the concurrence of the Vice Presidents of Finance and Administrative Services and External Affairs.


A. Units not supported by General Fund revenues shall be charged for services provided by the Office of Communications and Marketing. (See attached fee schedule.)

  1. In cases involving major projects, units supported by the General Fund may also be charged.
  2. Such projects will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by the Director of Communications.

B. Some services, particularly in media relations, may be supplied without charge because they are deemed to be in the interest of the campus as a whole.

  1. Auxiliary organizations and self-support units will be charged after-the-fact for basic services as indicated below. For needs that are specific to the operation of the auxiliary organization or other self-support unit there will be an hourly charge.
  2. Charges will be negotiated on a case-by-case basis, as many activities are intertwined with those of the university and separation is difficult.

C. Units have the option of obtaining graphic design and marketing services outside the University. (Media relations services must be coordinated with Communications.)

  1. Units choosing to use the services of Communications and Marketing should complete the Office of Communications Service Request Form and bring it to a free consultation session.
  2. That meeting will determine the parameters of the job, including scope of work and time frame, and will result in an estimate provided to the client.


A. For projects undertaken at the hourly rate a free initial meeting will determine the parameters of the job and result in an estimate of the overall costs of the project.

  1. If communications and marketing proceeds with the project, the costs will be charged on an hourly basis for work actually performed, but will not exceed the initial maximum estimate. Thus the client might be charged less than the estimate but could not be charged more.
  2. Fees will be adjusted periodically to reflect salary and benefits costs.