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Administrative Responsibilities

Below is background information, guidelines, and resources to help you be an effective administrator.

Resources & Guidelines


Have you ever wondered if you are carrying out your fiscal and administrative responsibilities in the most effective manner? Do you have questions regarding your financial responsibilities? The Administrative Responsibilities Handbook can help.

The Administrative Responsibilities Handbook can help you to better understand your responsibilities. It provides guidance to campus and medical staff, faculty, academic appointees, and principal investigators who have administrative and financial oversight.

Access the handbook

The handbook includes information about areas of accountability, practices to avoid risk, examples of good business practices, and university policies and resources.

Endorsed by the committee on Campus Accountability and Controls (CAC)

The handbook can help you manage and make sound business decisions related to:

  • Academic affairs
  • Conflicts of interest
  • Environment, health and safety
  • Finance
  • Human resources
  • Information systems and data integrity
  • Research

These topics can be found on the Delegation of Authority page.

The Administrative Responsibilities Handbook was developed by the Office of the Controller and key central administrative support departments. First printed and distributed in late 1999, several revisions have appeared since then.

For any questions please contact Laura Osante, (858) 534-0283.

Good Business Practices

Learn about general business practices that are recommended in maintaining the appropriate accountability structure.

Develop academic and business plans that address university objectives as well as changing economic, industry, and regulatory environments.

Clearly define areas of responsibility. Assign responsibility and delegated authority to deal appropriately with the organization's goals, objectives, operating functions, and regulatory requirements.

Establish performance objectives and provide regular appraisals to all employees. Specify the level of competence needed for particular jobs in requisite skills and knowledge requirements. Communicate clearly to all personnel the responsibilities and expectations for the unit's activities.

Establish open communication channels to facilitate the flow of information across all activities and to those who need the information. Consult with individuals who have the expertise to make informed decisions.

Provide the appropriate training, cross-training, and resources to help personnel perform their duties successfully. Assign duties to individuals who have been properly trained, can make sound judgments, do not have conflicting duties, and fully understand what is expected.

Protect the university's assets by establishing procedures that properly dispose of, and secure sensitive and/or private information. Document key controls that provide evidence that various reconciliation and tracking functions are being adequately performed on a regular and periodic basis.


For any questions please contact Laura Osante, (858) 534-0283.

Related Policies, Procedures, and Department Resources

Use the information below to find out about policies, procedures, and departments related to administrative responsibilities.

Academic Affairs:
Department Phone Policies and procedures
Academic Affairs (858) 534-0098
Academic Employee Relations (858) 822-2041
Academic Personnel (858) 534-0068
Academic Recruitment Services (login required) (858) 534-4497
Audit and Management Advisory Services (858) 534-3617
Accommodation Counseling and Consulting Services (858) 534-6743
Conflict of Interest Office (858) 534-6465
Office for the Prevention of Harassment & Discrimination (858) 534-8298
Office of Development (858) 534-5289
Risk Management (858) 534-2454
Travel (858) 822-0202
UCSD Hotline (877) 319-0265
Conflict of Interest:
Department Phone Policies and procedures
Integrated Procure-to-Pay Solutions (IPPS), Procurment & Contracts (858) 534-4436
Conflict of Interest Office (858) 534-6465
UCSD Hotline (877) 319-0265
Environment, Health and Safety:
Department Phone Policies and procedures
Environment, Health & Safety (858) 534-3660
Workers' Compensation (Campus Employees) (858) 822-2979
Workers' Compensation (Healthcare Employees) (619) 543-7877
Department Phone Policies and procedures
Audit and Management Advisory Services (858) 534-3617
Business and Financial Services (858) 534-0660
Procurement and Contracts (858) 534-4437
Campus Budget Office (858) 534-0504
Central Cashier's Office (858) 534-3747
Campus Counsel (858) 822-1236
Controller (858) 534-0386
Internal Controls & Accounting (858) 534-4074
Office of Development (858) 534-5289
Sponsored Projects Finance (858) 534-0664
Payroll (858) 534-3240
Resource Management and Planning (858) 534-6820
Risk Management (858) 534-2454
Student Business Services (858) 534-1173
Travel (858) 822-0202
Human Resources:
Department Phone Policies and procedures
Academic Employee Relations (858) 822-2041
Academic Personnel Services (858) 534-0069
Accommodation Counseling and Consulting Services (858) 534-6743
Benefits (858) 534-2816
Compensation (858) 534-0281
Employee Relations, Policy Development and Work/Life (858) 534-4115
Talent Acquisition and Outreach Services (858) 534-7613
Equal Opportunity/ Staff Affirmative Action (858) 534-3694
Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) (858) 534-5523
Human Resources Administration (858) 534-0286
Labor Relations (858) 534-2810
Office for the Prevention of Harassment & Discrimination (858) 534-8298
Office of Academic Recruitment Services (858) 534-4497
Office of the Ombuds (858) 534-0777
Payroll (858) 534-3240
Risk Management (858) 534-2454
Staff Education and Development (858) 534-4890
Information Systems and Data Integrity:
Department Phone Policies and procedures
Academic Computing & Media Services (858) 534-4050
IT Services (858) 534-1853
Policy & Records Administration (858) 534-3395
Healthcare Information Services (619) 543-3866
Information Security (858) 534-1853
UCSD Hotline (877) 319-0265
Department Phone Policies and procedures
Academic Employee Relations (858) 822-2041
Animal Care Program (login required) (858) 534-6064
Conflict of Interest Office (858) 534-6465
Environment, Health & Safety (858) 534-3660
Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (858) 534-6069
Human Research Protections Program (formerly Human Subjects Program) (858) 657-5100
Office of Contract and Grant Administration (858) 534-6465
Office of Development (858) 534-5289
Office of Innovation and Commercialization (858) 534-5815
Office of Postdoctoral Scholar Affairs (858) 534-3553
Office of Research Affairs (858) 822-4620
Sponsored Projects Finance (858) 534-0664
Risk Management (858) 534-2454
UCSD Hotline (877) 319-0265

Audit and Management Advisory Services and Campus Support

Find out about services that can help in the discharge, oversight, and management of your operating responsibilities.

Audit and Management Advisory Services (AMAS) performs a broad variety of internal audits including financial and compliance audits, operational (economy and efficiency) reviews, information systems audits, and integrated audits. These services help administrative officials perform their oversight, management, and operating responsibilities.

Anyone can request an audit

but requests are typically made by vice chancellors, department business officers, and other personnel involved in the campus risk assessment process.

In addition to performing audits, AMAS provides several other services, including:

  • Advisory services such as consultations, problem prevention and resolution, and participation on campus committees and task forces
  • Internal audits, in which AMAS develops an annual audit program based on a risk assessment and ranking methodology developed for use by all UC campuses, medical centers and laboratories
  • External audit oversight, in which AMAS is the official coordinator for all external requests, reviews, and audits — except A-133 and annual campus financial audits, which are coordinated by the Controller — to ensure that campus responses are timely and appropriate
  • Investigative services, in which AMAS conducts or assists in conducting investigations as needed, in response to allegations of possible misuse of University resources. AMAS also manages the campus toll-free hotline.
For information about audit advisory services, contact AMAS, (858) 534-3617.

Managing Risks & Conflicts

Managing Risk

Learn about effectively managing risk in your organization.

All organizations struggle to maintain the appropriate balance of risk and control. With too much risk, organizations can lose assets or bring on increased regulation, scandal, or public scrutiny. With too much control, processes tend to become too bureaucratic and complex, and productivity can suffer. This is why departments are encouraged to identify risks and how they impact our environment, people, and processes.

Effectively managing risk includes these general steps:

  1. Identify and assess risks. Think about risks associated with current processes and procedures within your department. How likely is it that something could go wrong? How severely would that affect your business objectives and the University’s mission? For example, a breach of files containing non-sensitive data would have a much lower impact than a breach of files containing personal information.
  2. Determine the cause of the risk and implement control practices to prevent it.
  3. Compare the cost of control activities with the cost of an unfavorable event.
  4. Determine the priority of the risk and focus resources and internal control practices on the higher-priority risks.
  5. Share and communicate best operational practices for managing risk.

See risk positively

Try to think of risk proactively, as something that can be used to your advantage, rather than as a negative event or hazard. (This PowerPoint graphic illustrates that approach.) By being proactive, you can:

  • Focus on the highest priority risks and manage risk in an integrated, organization-wide fashion
  • Build risk identification and management into systems and processes
  • Share knowledge and take a consistent approach to control methodologies and tools
  • Commit leadership to ensure an effective risk management structure
For more information, contact Arlynn Renslow  (858) 822-2968.

Informal Conflict Resolution

Informal conflict resolution

UCSD is committed to a conflict resolution process that is safe, fair, efficient, neutral, and free from reprisal.


  • Conflicts, if managed effectively and expeditiously, may produce benefits and positive results.
  • Early recognition of conflict is critical.
  • Compromise and collaboration are promoted. /li>
  • Creative solutions to problems are encouraged.
  • Open communication is facilitated.
  • Outcomes should be mutually beneficial.


  • Encourage employees to seek solutions within the department. It is both the right and the responsibility of individuals involved in a conflict situation to attempt to resolve conflict on an informal basis.
  • Focus on the real issues and concentrate on a win-win resolution.
  • Other options: If the employee feels uncomfortable about raising the issue within the department, he/ she may seek assistance from Academic Affairs, Employee Relations, Ombuds Office, and/ or other applicable employee support services.

For information about conflict resolution, contact Employee Relations, (858) 534-4115.

Core Principles

Principles of Accountability

Read about administrative officials' responsibilities in the area of accountability.


The chancellor delegates accountability for resource management to the head administrative official of each unit. These officials are accountable for managing their assigned resources by delegating tasks and setting up accountability structures.


  • Individuals cannot delegate accountability to levels higher than their own.
  • Tasks shall be delegated only to qualified people who are actively performing the tasks and are knowledgeable of policies and procedures.
  • Individuals are given the authority to carry out their assigned duties.
  • Delegated tasks are properly performed and monitored.
  • Delegation of duties is documented and kept up to date.


  • Maintaining an effective accountability structure: Administrative officials assure that key controls exist and are working as intended, and clearly define areas of responsibility by assigning duties to individuals who are properly trained, can make sound judgments, do not have conflicting duties, and fully understand what is expected.
  • Safeguarding information: Administrative officials assure that private and sensitive information is used, handled, documented, and disposed of appropriately.
  • Reviewing of delegations periodically: Administrative officials also assure that all delegations are reviewed on a regular basis so records are accurate, complete, current, and secure.
  • Preparing and reviewing budgetary and financial transactions: Both a preparer and a reviewer of transactions should understand all relevant regulatory requirements, UCSD systems and policies, and the purpose of the transactions being processed. Transactions, along with any supporting documents, should be properly explained to reviewers on a timely basis.
For information about accountability, contact Arlynn Renslow, (858) 822-2968.

Principles of Acquiring and Paying for Products and Services

Read about administrative officials' responsibilities for ensuring that purchase and subsequent payment of products and services comply with policy and approved methods, and meet business, agency, and legal requirements.


  • Avoid exposing the University to legal and financial risks by enforcing policies and procedures to ensure that all regulatory, agency, and accountability requirements are met in advance of an acquisition or commitment for products and services.
  • Allow for payment within the accepted terms and conditions by ensuring that unauthorized faculty and staff do not enter into unofficial commitments and do not execute informal contracts and agreements on behalf of the University.
  • Support established supplier and provider relationships so that products and services are acquired with favorable terms and conditions and the University receives the best value.


  • Purchases of products and services comply with published UCSD Buy & Pay policies to fulfill the requirements for competition, are negotiated according to the specific requirements for the commodity/service, satisfy contractual requirements for preapprovals and indemnification certification, and do not otherwise compromise the public trust.
  • Requests for payment of invoices and/or reimbursements are not submitted for processing and charges of expenditures to UCSD's procurement card, Express Card, are not made without meeting all requisite policy, approvals, and certification.
  • Transactions that are not in compliance with policy are dealt with to ensure that approvals and certifications are executed, even if this requires after-the-fact actions, and those responsible for unauthorized transactions receive proper training and are made aware of consequences.
    • After-the-fact procurement is not recommended because it can cause additional risk to the University by not having standard terms and conditions established upfront with the supplier. However Integrated Procure-to-Pay Solutions recognizes that there are situations where after-the-fact purchases occur. When this happens use the Goods or Services iRequest and select the option that indicates that goods and/or services have already been received.
For information about Disbursements, contact Heather Vinograd, (858) 534-0541. For information about Procurement & Contracts, contact Todd Adams, (858) 534-6700.

Principles of Conflict of Interest

Read about administrative officials' responsibilities in the area of conflict of interest.

Conflict of interest

UCSD employees must disqualify themselves from participating in a university decision when a financial conflict of interest is present.


  • An atmosphere free of conflict of interest must be provided to all UCSD employees.
  • Employees participating in outside activities on behalf of the university must perform their functions ethically and objectively.
  • Competing interests must be balanced to maintain research integrity, protect student interests, and foster an open academic environment.
  • Financial interests must adhere to regulations incorporated in the Conflict of Interest Code.
  • A systematic review of financial disclosures from principal investigators, co-principal investigators and/or key personnel must disclose any financial interests prior to the acceptance of gifts, contracts or grants from certain governmental and non-governmental sponsors.


  • Sources of income over $500: Designated employees who make or participate in decision making that may affect personal financial interests must file a financial disclosure statement.
  • Before goods and services can be provided by employees and near relatives, the university Purchasing Office must determine that goods or services are not available from any other source.
  • Decisions that may create a conflict of interest in the selection of any goods and services must be described and submitted on a "disqualification statement."
  • Disclosures: Academic appointees, principal investigators, co-principal investigators and/or key personnel must disclose any financial interest prior to the acceptance of gifts, contracts or grants from certain governmental and non-governmental sponsors.
For questions about conflict of interest, contact the Conflict of Interest Office, (858) 534-6465.

Principles of Data Integrity

Read about administrative officials' responsibilities in the area of data integrity.

Data integrity

Departments must establish and implement systems that ensure that transactions are properly authorized and recorded in an accurate and timely manner in official University records.


  • Data models must contain controls to ensure that data is synchronized and reconciled within and between operating units.
  • Systems are secure, stable, reliable, responsive, and accessible.
  • Financial transactions are recorded correctly, can be readily retrieved, and are safeguarded from improper alteration.
  • User needs are met.


  • Segregation of duties: No one individual is allowed complete control over all key processing functions, including recording or authorizing transactions and receiving or disbursing funds. A second person is assigned to review work for accuracy, timeliness, and honesty if insufficient personnel requires one person to perform all key processing functions.
  • Support of post-authorization review: Transactions are reconciled monthly and must contain sufficient detail and backup documentation to support internal and external audits and must be retained for periods specified in the University Records Disposition Schedules Manual (PDF).
For information about data integrity, contact IT Services.

Principles of Financial Management

Read about administrative officials' responsibilities in the area of financial management.

Financial management

Administrative officials must manage resources in an efficient, cost-effective manner.


  • Annual budgets delineate the resources necessary to achieve goals, measure financial performance, and provide a realistic view of the projected cost of operations.
  • Units operate within budget and eliminate projected deficits.
  • Significant budget variances are accounted for, evaluated, and addressed.
  • Expenditures comply with relevant policies, rules, and regulations.
  • Financial consequences are evaluated before existing activities are changed or eliminated and new activities begin.
  • Significant transaction errors and changes in business conditions are properly addressed.
  • Anticipated benefits are greater than or equal to costs.
  • University resources are used as intended.


  • Planning and budgeting activities: The budget process begins with a mission statement that identifies, implements, and evaluates activities required to achieve university goals and objectives. Gathering and analyzing data should be performed in a consistent manner, with sufficient detail and descriptive narrative to clearly portray how operations are financed and how risks are managed.
  • Creating, monitoring, and evaluating financial data: Care should be taken that the classification of costs entered into the financial systems results in a fair representation in the university's financial statements. Monthly financial reports should accurately represent budget to actual fiscal activity, identify funding sources, and categorize expenditure data to help identify future trends and highlight problem areas. Sampling of financial transactions ensures that expenditures are appropriate and that the cause for any significant variation is understood.
  • Safeguarding university assets: Assets must be protected from loss or unauthorized use. Annual equipment inventory reviews documenting adjustments to asset records are conducted. Review of delinquent account balances and collection/ write-off efforts occur on a periodic basis. Cash or cash equivalent collections must be accounted for, secured properly, and deposited in a timely manner.
For information about financial management Laura Osante, (858) 534-0283.

Principles of Regulatory Compliance

Read about administrative officials' responsibilities in the area of regulatory compliance.

Regulatory compliance

Employees who conduct transactions that affect University funds must comply with laws, regulations, and special restrictions.


  • Individuals who violate laws/ regulations while on University business are held personally responsible and face punitive actions.
  • Fraudulent or illegal business is reported immediately.
  • Each unit is responsible for the restitution of any disallowance due to noncompliance with laws, regulations, or special restrictions.
  • Employees conducting university business transactions are responsible for staying abreast of changing legal and regulatory requirements.
  • Legal/ regulatory requirements and donor-imposed restrictions shall be maintained on record with the university and readily accessible.


  • Financial reporting compliance: Transactions must follow Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and must be applied consistently. Sources and uses of funds must be aggregated by type of activity and in accordance with use restrictions. Revenue is reported when earned, and expenditures are reported when goods or services are received.
  • Reporting to sponsoring entities: Adherence to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circulars and/ or Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) is required. Two primary OMB Circulars, OMB Circular A-21 and A-110, should be reviewed for compliance requirements.
  • Regular audits: Financial reporting systems must be open to internal and external review. External auditors must be cleared and coordinated by the UCSD external audit coordinator.
For information about financial management, contact General Accounting, (858)534-4074.

Research Involving Humans & Animals

Research Involving Human Subjects

Read about administrative officials' responsibilities in the area of research involving human subjects.

Research involving human subjects

UCSD is responsible for protecting the rights and welfare of human subjects, human specimens, and related data in research conducted by or under the supervision of faculty, staff, or students.


  • Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) review research protocols involving human subjects, human specimens, and related data and evaluate risk and protection against risk for subjects by:
    • Certifying that projects reviewed conform to DHHS and FDS regulations/ policies regarding health, welfare, safety, rights, and privileges of human subjects
    • Helping investigators comply with federal and state regulations
  • UCSD's IRB:
    • Reviews all human subject research that is sponsored and conducted by UCSD or San Diego Veterans Affairs Medical Center (SDVAMC) employees or agents
    • Uses UCSD/ SDVAMC property or facilities
    • Uses non-public information to identify or contact human research subjects
For information about research involving human subjects, contact Human Research Protections Program, (858) 246-4777.

Research Involving Animal Subjects

Read about administrative officials' responsibilities in the area of research involving animal subjects.

Research involving animal subjects

UCSD is responsible for assuring the health and welfare of animal subjects used in research and teaching at all UCSD and Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) locations.


  • Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC): The IACUC oversees the university's animal care and use programs, facilities and procedures and ensures the appropriate care, use, and humane treatment of animals used for research, testing and education. The IACUC is also responsible for reviewing all animal use protocols, ensuring compliance with federal regulations, inspecting animal facilities and laboratories, and overseeing training and educational programs. The IACUC serves as a resource to faculty, investigators, technicians, students, and staff, providing guidance in planning and conducting all animal use procedures in accordance with the highest scientific, humane, and ethical principles. The faculty members of this committee are appointed by the institutional official (vice chancellor – Research) from each school and functional unit of the university.
  • IACUC Office: The IACUC Office is the administrative, regulatory, and compliance arm of the campuswide animal care and use program. The staff are the administrative support for the IACUC, the animal welfare advisors to principal investigators and administrators, and the regulatory compliance assurance for the IACUC, the institutional official, and the campus.
  • Institutional official (IO): The institutional official is the individual who has the authority to sign the institution's PHS Assurance, making a commitment on behalf of the university that the requirements of the Public Health Service policy will be met. The institutional official at UCSD is the vice chancellor – Research.
For information about research involving animal subjects, contact the IACUC, (858) 534-6069.

Animal Care Program

Read about administrative officials' responsibilities in the area of animal care.

Animal care program

Administrative officials are responsible for ensuring a strong commitment to the humane care of vertebrate animals used for research, teaching, and training at UCSD.


  • An environment that promotes the humane care and treatment of animals is maintained and is a priority focus.
  • Policies and regulations governing the care and use of laboratory animals are understood and followed.
  • Administrative resources, financial support, and facility improvements to support programs are established.
  • Programs to educate the public, media, political and governmental officials are supported.
  • An open and cooperative environment is present to promote communication between campus and non-campus personnel/ committees.


  • Inquiries about research: Consult with the appropriate institutional communications office and government affairs officials if you have had any inquiries about research conducted at UCSD.

For questions about animal care, see Animal Care and Use Program

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