Technology Recharge Fee: Overview

Last updated: February 28, 2023
What is the Technology Recharge Fee?

The Technology Recharge Fee (TRF) was established in 2010 to provide a sustainable long-term funding model for essential information technology services at the University of Washington.

  • The fee is a per capita rate paid by all UW academic and administrative units to supplement existing General and Designated Operating Funds.The fee replaced an outdated recharge model based upon phone lines that did not cover the cost of services and was not sustainable.
  • The fee provides UW Information Technology (UW-IT) with a sustainable foundation to support information technology (IT) needs for UW campuses.
  • Rates are reviewed annually, published in spring and effective on July 1.
What services are covered by the fee?

The fee covers a basic bundle of services identified as critical by a group of representatives from across the University community in 2010 and affirmed during subsequent reviews.

How TRF rates are set

The IT Service Investment Board is charged by the Provost with conducting an annual review of the TRF fee level and methodology. The Board also can recommend changes to the methodology and basic bundle of services. Upon review of the Board’s recommendation, the Provost approves the new rates.

The Board’s recommendation reflects the advice of the Technology Recharge Fee Advisory Committee, which is charged with providing in-depth analysis and consultation in support of the annual TRF review. The committee is comprised of administrators representing academic and administrative units, as well as UW Medical Centers.

Who is included in the per capita count

The per-capita count includes all salaried employees whether full- or part-time and regardless of job responsibilities, or location.  Also included are graduate students employees paid as professional staff, whether full- or part-time and regardless of job responsibilities, or location. Excluded are graduate students paid hourly and student hourly employees.

 Technology Recharge Fee FAQs

Is the dial tone rate included in the TRF rate?

Prior to the introduction of the TRF, dial tone rates were $25.80 per month. Telephone sets and long distance calls were also charged separately, putting phones bills at more than $30.00/month for most customers. Today, dial tone, handset and long distance services are bundled, with a combined rate of $8.70 per month.

What is the invoicing schedule? How will I be invoiced?
  • Each May: UW-IT will send unit administrators a template, which may be used to allocate charges to the appropriate budget numbers.
  • Each July: UW-IT will charge budgets for the Technology Recharge Fee via an Internal Sales Document (Technology Services and Equipment Billing).
  • The charge will appear as a service order, charging object code 03-09-00.
  • In the Technology Services and Equipment Bill Viewer the Technology Recharge Fee will show under the Non-Recurring Charges tab/section.
  • The description field on the Technology Services and Equipment Bill will show the quantity of headcount @ rate.

Monthly or quarterly invoice frequency: An organization may choose either monthly or quarterly billing (but not a mix). If you choose quarterly billing, the charge will occur during the first month of each quarter—July, October, January, and April.

How do you determine what budget number gets charged?

The budget number is provided to UW-IT by the unit administrator.

How frequently will UW-IT revise rates?

Rates will be reviewed annually, published each spring, and effective the following July.

I purchase other services from UW-IT (self-sustaining services). Will there be changes in those rates?

UW-IT offers other self-sustaining services on a fee-per-usage basis. These self-sustaining services need to recover all costs associated with providing the service to the UW community.

Rates for all self-sustaining services are reviewed by UW Management Accounting & Analysis (MAA) annually to ensure the service complies with University and federal requirements. Self-sustaining rates are effective from October through September, and are published at least 30 days in advance.


How does UW-IT use its centrally allocated General and Designated Operating Funds?

These funds go directly to supporting basic services for UW campuses. The Technology Recharge Fee supplements those resources.

How do centrally mandated budget reductions impact the Technology Recharge Fee?

Budget reductions are implemented by reducing costs. They are not passed on to campus as an increase to the Technology Recharge Fee.

Per Capita Count—Methodology

Criteria for the per capita data set were developed by a UW committee comprised of Human Resources, Academic Human Resources and Payroll. The criteria are reviewed annually by the Technology Recharge Fee (TRF) Advisory Committee.

The ongoing maintenance of the dataset is provided by the Integrated Service Center. The dataset is from Workday.

College and School administrators will be provided with employee count details for all four quarters.

Primary Criteria
  • All UW employees
  • Based on headcount (not FTE)
    – Paid employees
    – Includes full-time and part-time
    – Based on Workday data
  • Allocated to unit based on the default budget number on the primary position
  • Exclusions
    – “Student Employee Types” including TA/RA, graduate stipends (Acct Codes 01-3X, 01-4X, 01-88, 01-89, 01-92, 08-XX)
  • Count is based on a four-quarter average
    – Taken from end of month dates of these months in the previous fiscal year— August, November, February and April
    – Applied to the following fiscal year effective July 1
Who is included in the per-capita count?

• The per-capita count includes all salaried employees whether full- or part-time and regardless of job responsibilities or location. Excluded are graduate students, hourly and student hourly employees.

Why does the Technology Recharge Fee apply to my staff using little or no technology?
  • Although some employees appear to use little or no technology, they have access to all of the services and benefits of the per-capita bundle, including payroll, other administrative systems, and UW NetIDs for access to other resources.
  • Mobile devices and other forms of technology are becoming more prevalent and used by increasing numbers of employees in the field. Furthermore, everyone benefits from security efforts to protect our personally identifiable information, and from emergency notification systems.
  • The services in the bundle were included because they are available to everyone employed by the UW; they are used by all, or almost all.
  • When a two-tier rate structure was investigated and the experiences of other universities were evaluated, most that started with a more complex rate structure abandoned it once it became clear that the cost of maintaining it did not warrant the increased delineation. The difficulties of defining and identifying individuals who use less technology, as well as the complexity of implementing such a system, would add significant overhead and cost.
Why does the Technology Recharge Fee apply to faculty and staff who are located off campus?

Faculty and staff located off campus benefit from technology services in the Technology Recharge Fee, including, for example, UW NetIDs, email and email forwarding, antivirus software, and security, as well as payroll and other administrative systems. In addition, off-campus facilities often require significant effort to establish and support the communications infrastructure.

Even if a case could be made that off-campus faculty and staff use a different level of basic services (and in some cases, that level of service may be higher), University systems have no way to track location to identify these off-campus faculty and staff. As with the idea of a differential rate for individuals who use less technology, the number of exceptions from every college, school and administrative unit would add complexity and cost to the system. In the end, the oversight committee recommended the use of all salaried employees for the per-capita rate as the best proxy for the amount of basic technology used by each unit.

Why are students not included in the per-capita count?

The existing state appropriations and tuition paid by students, which UW-IT receives in the form of General Operating Funds, is being applied to student costs associated with per-capita charges.

Will my per-capita count change each quarter?

No. The per-capita count is a static count. It is based on a four-quarter average of the previous fiscal year.

As a result of the timing, your per-capita count may include employees who have separated from your unit, and not include new employees who have recently joined. This is a result of our need to obtain a static count on which to calculate the rate.


How will you ensure UW-IT is providing the services the University wants, and doing so in the most efficient way possible?

The IT Service Investment Board, comprised of representatives from academic and administrative units across the UW, was charged by the Provost to annually review the fee level, methodology, process and services included in the basic bundle. Throughout its review, the committee is mindful of the continuing resource constraints at the University. The Board’s recommendation reflects the advice of the Technology Recharge Fee Advisory Committee, which was charged with supporting the Board in its annual TRF review by providing in-depth analysis and counsel. The Board conducts a review of the TRF rate using a consistent methodology to provide due diligence in reviewing costs and to accommodate any changes in total costs or service levels.

In addition, the IT Service Management Board is charged with optimizing the design, delivery, operation and sourcing of UW-IT services, conducting an annual review of the UW-IT Service Catalog, and providing recommendations to the IT Service Investment Board for adding, changing, and removing services and for any associated recommended changes in investment levels.

How are phone rates impacted by the Technology Recharge Fee?

The fixed cost components of the telephone infrastructure that support the entire University are included in the basic bundle of services supported by the Technology Recharge Fee. This includes the labor and investments needed to support the infrastructure that provides service on each of the campuses, including all emergency phones.

The variable cost component of providing a phone to any specific location will be provided on a self-sustaining basis. These are the direct costs of phone equipment, long distance and voice mail.

Are there any limitations to UW-IT services?

Yes, there are some limitations on service levels. For example, the basic bundle covers the existing infrastructure for the wired and Wi-Fi network connectivity; it does not include moves, additions or changes. Basic email includes one email account per capita, and each person is also limited to one personal UW NetID.

Can I expect to have access to Wi-Fi as a basic service?

Access is limited to the current Wi-Fi infrastructure and coverage. The Technology Recharge Fee includes funding that has enabled UW-IT to continually expand coverage.

What are the Microsoft and other Campus Software Licensing Agreements?

The Microsoft Campus License Agreement provides most standard Microsoft products to all UW faculty and staff. The agreement provides increased access to collaboration and productivity tools, lowers the University’s compliance risk, enhances security and results in significant cost savings for individual University units.

For more information on the Microsoft agreement and other software license agreements at the UW, including how to get access to software, see Software for the UW (UWare).

Grants and Contracts

Can the Technology Recharge Fee be charged directly to grants and contracts?

The Technology Recharge Fee cannot be charged directly to federal (or federal flow-through) grants or contracts, but it can be charged to non-federal grants or contracts if the sponsor does not specifically disapprove the cost in the award or in other notices it gives to the University.

Can UW-IT services paid on a fee-per-usage basis (e.g., database consulting, videoconferencing) be charged directly to a sponsored project?

Yes, see the Self-Sustaining Services rate sheet.

Recharge Centers

Can the Technology Recharge Fee be charged to UW recharge and cost centers?

Yes, the Technology Recharge Fee can be charged to approved UW recharge and cost centers. The charge should be proportionate to salary, (i.e., if 50 percent of a faculty or staff members’ salary is charged to a recharge or cost center, 50 percent of their Technology Recharge Fee can be charged to the recharge or cost center.)


Who do I contact if I still have questions?
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