Washington State University
Executive Policy #17
EXECUTIVE POLICY MANUAL
Approved by Board of Regents, November 20, 1987
Policy on Sales of Goods and Services
Washington State University, as the state's land grant institution,
is directed to pursue the tripartite mission of instruction, research, and
public service to the people of the state of Washington. In carrying out
this mission, it is often necessary for the University and its affiliated
units to provide goods and services for fees which enhance, promote, or
support its instruction, research, and public service functions. However,
the University must be mindful that when it makes provision of goods and
services for fees, it may be competing with local private businesses.
This policy has been developed to define the legitimate purposes under which
sales of goods and services for fees may be approved, and to establish a
mechanism to review such sales.
Washington State University may engage in the direct sale of
goods and services to individuals, groups, or external agencies for fees
only when those services or goods are directly and substantially related
to the educational mission of the University. Charges for goods and services
shall be determined taking into account their full direct and indirect costs,
including University overhead, and the price of such items in the private
There are three distinct categories of sales transactions which
occur at the University: (1) internal University interdepartmental transactions
of goods and services necessary to the maintenance of the educational mission
of the University; (2) sales of goods and services to faculty, staff, and
students which are for the convenience of and in support of the broad educational
mission of the University; and (3) sales to persons or organizations external
to the University. The unique nature of each of these kinds of transactions
makes it appropriate to use different criteria in evaluating requests for
each type of sales program.
Noncash Transactions by Interdepartmental Requisition and Invoice
These internal noncash transaction of official University business
between units, departments, and offices, necessary to meet the teaching,
research, and service mission of the University, shall be governed by the
University regulations on budget, accounting, and auditing which apply to
Criteria for Sales to the Campus Community
Each of the following criteria shall be used in assessing the
validity of providing goods and services for charge to the students, faculty,
staff, and other members of the University community:
Criteria for Sales to the External Community
- The good and service is substantially and directly related to the
University's instructional, research, or public service mission.
- Provision of the good or service on campus represents a special convenience
to and supports the campus community or facilitates the extracurricular,
public service, or residential life of the campus community.
- The price or fee for the good or service is established at such a
level as to account for the full direct and indirect cost, including University
- Procedures are in place for ensuring that goods or services are provided
only to members of the University community.
The University shall not engage in any sales activity solely
for the purpose of raising revenue to support an educational or research
activity if the goods or services sold are not directly and substantially
related to the educational program.
Each of the following criteria shall be used in assessing the validity of
providing goods and services to the external community:
- The good or service represents a resource which is directly related
to the unit's educational OR RESEARCH mission, which is not commonly available
in the private marketplace, and for which there is a demand from the external
- The price or fee of the good or service is established to account
for the full direct and indirect cost of the good or service, including
University overhead. The price of such items in the private marketplace
shall be considered in establishing the price or fee.
- The sales activity shall not be solely due to excess capacity within
the University or any of its constituent units or departments.
Recognizing that the central mission of the University is the
provision of instruction, research, and public service, this policy shall
not apply to charges for instruction in its regular, extension, evening,
or continuing educational programs; services provided in the practicum aspects
of its instruction and research programs; services for fees in its extracurricular
or residential life programs, including residence halls, food and lodging
services, Alumni Association programs, athletic and recreational programs,
and performing arts programs.
It is recommended that separate and specific policies and guidelines for
bookstore operations shall be established by the Board of Directors of the
Students Book Corporation, in consultation with the University administration
and the WSU-Pullman Chamber of Commerce Community Relations Forum.
The WSU-Pullman Chamber of Commerce Community Relations Forum may recommend
special exclusions, exemptions, or allowances for University sales or service
programs or activities which are a community tradition or which provide
a unique benefit to the community. These exclusions, exemptions, or allowances
are to be provided by the University on a case-by-case basis, only upon
such recommendation by the Forum, and will be listed as addendums to this
policy. The Community Relations Forum may retract recommendations for such
exclusions, exemptions, or allowances granted in this manner as it deems
Final approval for the sale of any good or service not excluded
from this policy shall be vested in the Executive Director, Business Services/Controller.
Before any service center or sales project may be implemented, the
unit proposing the center or project shall provide to the Executive Director, Business
Services/Controller a request setting forth all pertinent information
about the center or project and the justification for such a program, specifically
addressing the elements of this policy and the stated evaluation criteria.
Each category of goods and services sold is to be considered separately
to avoid the unplanned expansion of any sales program. All new categories
of sales shall be justified to and reviewed by the Executive Director, Business
Services/Controller in accordance with this policy.
The Assistant Vice President for Business and Finance shall resolve any disputes or other
matters concerning the internal application of this policy.
All current service centers and sales programs not excluded from this policy
shall be evaluated by the Deans and Vice Presidents for the units under
their direct authority, following the procedure for review stated above.
The Deans and Vice Presidents shall report the findings for units under
their direct authority to the Executive Director, Business Services/Controller
not later than six months after the effective date of the adoption of this
Each existing service center and sales program not excluded from this policy
shall be periodically reviewed and evaluated for conformance with this policy,
upon a schedule to be determined by the Executive Director, Business Services/Controller.
The WSU-Pullman Chamber of Commerce Community Relations Forum
or its successor made up of representatives of the community and the University
will exist to receive and address questions and concerns from members of
the external community about specific University sales programs, and/or
refer these concerns to the Vice President of Business and Finance for response.
The Community Relations Forum will be charged with the review of this policy
to determine its effectiveness in reducing University competition with private
enterprise in the community and with making recommendations to the Vice
President of Business and Finance for changes or improvements in the policy.
The following exclusions to the Policy on the Sales of Goods
and Services have been recommended by the Community Relations Forum and
approved by the Board of Regents:
- Ferdinand's (retail dairy products, including Cougar Gold cheese).
- The concept of the Washington State University Research and Technology
Park as an interim land use real estate development. Individual Washington
State University departments located in the Park will, however, conform
to this policy.
The Washington State University-Pullman Chamber of Commerce
Community Relations Forum began its meetings in the summer of 1986 with
the general goal of improving communication between the University and the
local business community and the specific objective of recommending to the
University a draft policy on the sales of goods and services. New state
law (SSB 5688) requires consultation between the local business community
and the University on the implementation of such a policy by the University.
The Community Relations Forum, endorsed by the Pullman Chamber of Commerce
and Washington State University, is the primary liaison and consultative
body for the implementation of this policy. However, broader community awareness
and consultation was desired by the Forum and encouraged prior to the enactment
of this policy.
A series of working meetings was held by members of the Community Relations
Forum to develop the draft policy. The first "Report to the Community
and Draft Policy--July, 1987," was published and distributed. Public
hearings were held in downtown Pullman during the months of August, September,
October, and November, 1987. Forum members considered public comments and
revised the policy and recommended its adoption to Washington State University.
The Board of Regents approved the policy on November 20, 1987, and a report
of these activities and the WSU policy were submitted to the Washington
Legislature on December 1, 1987, by the Council of Presidents Office on
behalf of all the four-year higher educational institutions in Washington.
The Community Relations Forum will continue its advisory role and will review
the University efforts in the months and years ahead.