Faculty Science and Technology Acquisition and Retention (STARs) funding is provided by UT System under the STARs Program. This program is funded through Permanent University Fund bond proceeds (LERR funds) to help purchase state-of-the-art research equipment, and make necessary laboratory renovations to recruit and retain faculty members to perform their research at UT System institutions. Use of these funds is governed by the Texas Constitution. Details can be found on UT System’s website, and a summary of these rules can be found below.
Expenditure of STARS funds
These guidelines apply to all STARs awards made since 2008-09.
All funding obtained under the STARs program shall be expended or encumbered within two years of the date of the award for retention awards, or within two years from the date the faculty member arrived on campus for recruitment awards. Under exceptional circumstances, and with the written approval of the Provost, this deadline may be extended for a maximum of one year. All funds not expended or encumbered after this deadline shall lapse and be returned to UT System for reallocation.
The deans of the schools/colleges shall notify both existing and future STARs award recipients in writing of the deadlines to expend/encumber STARs funds as outlined in these guidelines.
Each college and school is responsible for ensuring expenditures are compliant with UT System STARs expenditure policies. To facilitate compliance, an object audit group (OAG) has been created that restricts allowable object codes to those expenditures that are allowable under STARs. All STARs budget groups will be use this object audit group (36 STARS). The types of expenses allowed include:
- Capital equipment purchased or constructed specifically for the institution and initial one-time costs for training to operate equipment
- Development or implementation of software, including personnel
- Items that have a useful life of at least one year (including price, taxes, duty, in-transit insurance, freight, and installation)
- Major repairs or rehabilitation of buildings or other permanent improvements
- One-time purchase of software with a useful life of at least one year
The specific object codes permitted under the Object Audit Group (36 STARS) include:
Object Audit Group (36 STARS)
|Object Code||Object Code Description|
|1440||PARTS-FURN & EQUIP|
|1443||HARDWARE & MATERIALS|
|1830||FURN & EQUIP - CAPITAL|
|1832||FABRICATION OF EQUIPME|
|1836||FURN & EQUIP - EXPENSE|
|1837||FURN & EQUIP - CONTROL|
|1840||COMP EQUIP - CAPITAL|
|1841||COMP SOFTWARE > $100k|
|1846||COMP EQUIP - EXPENSED|
|1847||COMP EQUIP - CONTROL|
|1850||LIBRARY BOOKS & OTHER|
Expenses that are not permitted on STARs accounts include, but are not limited to: warranties, chemicals, gases, paper, staplers and other office supplies, toner cartridges, medical supplies, disposal services, laboratory supplies, monthly telephone services, animals, software maintenance costs, routine maintenance, routine training, salaries, sales tax, and travel.
*The purchase of software licenses are permitted if the software will have a useful life for more than one year and the software is considered owned by the department/University. Examples include Adobe products and Microsoft Office products. If the software has an annual or term license or will not be owned by the department/University, this type of software is not an allowable expense. Examples include FootPrints or a three year license that will not be owned by the department/University at the end of the term. By default, the current OAG will not permit the software object code (1842). If you have software that meets the allowable criteria (useful life more than one year and will be owned by the department/University), please send an email to Plant Funds certifying this information and requesting the object code be temporarily added to the object audit group.