The mission of the GSO Business Office is to provide fiscal and personnel support to the GSO Dean, provide a variety of approvals on behalf of the GSO Dean, provide logistical support to the GSO community for operating and personnel activities, provide guidance to the GSO community regarding adherance to the myriad policies and procedures with which GSO needs to comply, and liaise with other units within URI on behalf of GSO. Notary Public services are provided by Jane Miner, Manager-NBC/GSO Business. Other members of the Business Office are Chris Imbriglio, Assistant Business Management Officer, and Bryan Thomas, Fiscal Clerk.
Assistant Business Management Officer
Manager, NBC/GSO Business
Who Can Sign Contracts and Agreements on Behalf of URI-GSO
Agreements and contracts, and any other documents that include terms and conditions, cannot be signed on behalf of the University or School by anyone at GSO. The list of approved authorized signatories (as of February 20,, 2023) is found at https://web.uri.edu/general-counsel/signature-authority/ under URI Administration: Policies and Procedures.
How To Be Listed in the GSO Online Directory and GSO People Pages
Go to the directory (https://nbc.gso.uri.edu/directory/index.php) to see if there is a listing for you. If there isn’t, or if there is and it needs updating, please fill out and submit the update form found at https://nbc.gso.uri.edu/form_mail/phonebookupdate.php. Submitting this form will also provide information needed to include you in the appropriate GSO-related Google Groups (fka Listservs). Also, check the GSO People pages (https://web.uri.edu/gso/people/) to see if you are included. If not, fill out and submit the update form found at https://web.uri.edu/gso/gso-profile-update-form/.
Virtually all transactions at URI and GSO are handled in various PeopleSoft (aka eCampus) modules, primarily Financials and Human Resources. Security authorization is needed for access to these two modules and are approved by the GSO Business Office (forms submitted via email to Jane Miner (email@example.com) and Chris Imbriglio (firstname.lastname@example.org)) on behalf of the GSO Dean. The forms can be found at https://web.uri.edu/controller/peoplesoft-financials/ and https://web.uri.edu/hr/forms/. Authorization to the various time card sections of eCampus are provided automatically when someone is hired. More information regarding the various aspects of operations in eCampus are provided in the other sections of the GSO Business Office web page.
Chart Field Strings
The Chart Field String (CFS) is the identifying code for expenses and revenue related to the activities of URI and GSO. This system provides accounting capability to ensure compliance with the restrictions placed on various funds that have been provided from sources including the State of Rhode Island, federal sponsors, industry contracts, donors and other entities.
The primary structure of CFSs consists of four fields:
Fund (three digits)-Department (four digits)-Program (four digits)-Project (seven digits).
An additional field, Account (four digits), is used to specify the cost category of a specific financial activity and is placed in front of Fund within the CFS. Updated listings of Account codes may be found at https://web.uri.edu/fsp/documents/.
All non-fund 500 CFSs are identified by a minimum of Fund-Department-Program; fund 500 CFSs have the addition of the Project field. CFSs are written out with dashes between each field.
Funds used at GSO are:
- 100 (State appropriation)
- 101 (self-supporting revenue-receiving)
- 104 (Governor’s designated State appropriation)
- 105 (service centers)
- 106 (online course programs)
- 110 (overhead)
- 111 (fund 100 fund balance – used for special circumstances only)
- 126 (special service facilities – specifically Marine Office and Marine Technicians)
- 400 (other restricted funds)
- 401 (URI Foundation held funds)
- 500 (sponsored projects and grants)
- 900 (other agency funds)
GSO’s Departments are:
- 2800 (GSO Dean)
- 2801 (GSO Facilities)
- 2802 (GSO Faculty)
- 2803 (GSO Academic Affairs)
- 2804 (GSO Public Engagement)
- 2805 (GSO Research)
- 2806 (GSO Coastal Resources Center)
- 2807 (GSO Community Relations)
- 2808 (GSO Maintenance)
- 2809 (GSO Grant Management Support)
- 2810 (GSO Marine Archeology)
- 2811 (GSO Business Office)
- 2812 (GSO Rhode Island Sea Grant)
- 2813 (GSO Coastal Institute)
- 2814 (GSO Marine Technicians)
- 2815 (GSO Marine Office)
- 2816 (GSO Ocean Technology Center)
- 2818 (GSO Service Centers)
- 2819 (GSO Housekeeping)
- 2820 (GSO Receiving/Stockroom)
- 2821 (GSO Computer/Copy Center)
There are many Programs, Projects and Accounts. If you have questions about the numbers to use in any of these fields, please contact the following: Jane Miner or Chris Imbriglio for the Programs and Accounts fields, and the URI Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP) for the Projects fields (contacts for GSO are Heather Couture and Andrea Vallette). New CFS requests are processed by the GSO Business Office (for non fund 500 CFSs) and by OSP (for fund 500 CFSs).
Purchasing at URI is subject to significant regulations. There are various restrictions dependent on funding source, dollar amount and other factors. To learn more about the various requirements, please see the URI Purchasing website at https://web.uri.edu/strategic-procurement/purchasing/. At GSO, purchases may be made using the following methods:
Petty Cash – purchases made using personal funds up to $50 per receipt may be reimbursed from the GSO Business Office (Chris Imbriglio or Jane Miner) upon submission of original receipts. The receipts must include the CFS being charged, the signature of a person authorized to approve purchases on the CFS, and if on fund 500, the signature of a member of the Office of Sponsored Projects (Heather Couture or Andrea Vallette in the Fish Building on the Bay Campus, or by a scanned copy emailed to them). If the receipt is smaller than 8.5” x 11”, the receipt needs to be taped to an 8.5”x11” piece of paper prior to submission for reimbursement. Multiple receipts on the same day from the same store are not allowable without a preapproved exception.
Internal Purchase Orders – for purchases of any value being made from a URI vendor (such as URI Dining Services or URI Bookstore). Please refer to the URI Purchasing website for more details (https://web.uri.edu/strategic-procurement/purchasing/on-line-requisitioning/).
When Are Quotes Needed (updated 10/17/2022) – Quotes from vendors/suppliers may be needed when ordering using Purchase Orders. All sources of funds do not require quotes for amounts up to $10,000. Research funds (110, 126, 500) require 3 quotes for amounts between $10,000 and $50,000 and require Public Sealed Bids for amounts over $50,000. All other funds require Public Sealed Bids for amounts over $10,000. A document explaining this in more detail (Purchasing Limits) may be downloaded from the Codes and Definitions section at https://web.uri.edu/strategic-procurement/purchasing/.
Limited Value Purchase Orders – for purchases up to $5,000 to outside vendors. Please refer to the URI Purchasing website for more details (https://web.uri.edu/strategic-procurement/purchasing/on-line-requisitioning/).
Purchase Orders – for purchases above $5,000 to outside vendors. Please refer to the URI Purchasing website for more details (https://web.uri.edu/strategic-procurement/purchasing/on-line-requisitioning/).
Purchase Cards – employees paid on state payroll (not students or internal payroll employees) may apply for a University Purchase Card (PCard), which is issued in the employee’s name. Information and application forms may be found at https://web.uri.edu/strategic-procurement/purchase-card/. The PCard application (and supporting documents) is submitted to the GSO Business Office (via email to Jane Miner (email@example.com) and Chris Imbriglio (firstname.lastname@example.org)) for approval on behalf of the GSO Dean. Expenses are limited to certain types of purchases and are normally limited to $1,000 per transaction and $5,000 per billing cycle (which generally ends on the 25th of each month). Limits may be increased with prior permission of the URI PCard Office based on need and justification. To ensure that all packages ordered using PCards are delivered properly to GSO Shipping and Receiving, please be sure to do the following when ordering items:
- In the Billing address section of your order, use the name and address assigned to your PCard (this address is on the paperwork you received with your PCard and matches what JP Morgan has on file for your PCard);
- for the Ship To address, use “20 Receiving Road, URI Bay Campus, Narragansett, RI 02882”; and
- forward your order confirmation email to GSO Shipping and Receiving (email@example.com) so they will know a package will be arriving for you.
Note that delivery vendors should not be delivering items to individual buildings, and not on weekends and holidays.
PCards should not be used for paying the registration fees for attendance at virtual conferences. A TCard should be used instead (like it is for in-person attendance fees).
Travel at URI is subject to Rhode Island and Federal regulations depending on the source of funds being charged. Those regulations are discussed in the URI Travel Policy found at https://web.uri.edu/strategic-procurement/travel/.
Instate travel – reimbursement for use of personal vehicles for business travel may be reimbursed using an online travel Expense Report (ER) that should be submitted after the travel or at least once a month if claiming reimbursement of mileage for several trips during a month. The current reimbursement rate is $0.655 per mile (this is a new rate effective January 1, 2023). Parking and bridge tolls may be included on the ER with submission of receipts. The cost of meals is not reimbursable when related to instate travel.
Note that effective October 27, 2021, the Newport Pell Bridge transitioned to all-electronic tolling (electronic-tolling-release-9-20-final.pdf). No receipts will be available from toll takers (since there are none). If you do not already have one, get an EZPass (www.ezpassritba.com).
Out of state and international travel – all out of state travel needs to be approved prior to the travel dates using an online Travel Authorization (TA) form. Approval prior to the trip is needed for authorization of the funds being charged and for insurance purposes to show that the employee is on University business travel, not personal travel, in the event of an accident. Reimbursement of trip expenses are made using the online travel Expense Report (ER). The cost of meals is not reimbursable for one-day travel.
Travel Cards – employees paid on state payroll (not students or internal payroll employees) may apply for a University Travel Card (TCard), which is issued in the employee’s name. Information and application forms may be found at https://web.uri.edu/strategic-procurement/travel/travel-card/. The TCard application (and supporting documents) is submitted to the GSO Business Office (via email to Jane Miner (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Chris Imbriglio (email@example.com)) for approval on behalf of the GSO Dean. Expenses paid for with a TCard automatically go into the traveler’s online “wallet” and must be downloaded to the trip ER to verify the expense and clear it from the card. Expenses are limited to certain types of travel expenses and are normally limited to $1,000 per transaction and $5,000 per billing cycle (which generally ends on the 25th of each month). Limits may be increased with prior permission of the URI TCard Office based on need and justification.
Travel cards should be used for paying the registration fees for attendance at virtual conferences. No TA is needed, just an ER to close out the expense on the card.
Note: As of October 2021, TCards will not be processed and sent to travelers unless they have “upcoming” travel plans. Please do not submit new TCard applications if you do not have any in-person travel planned within a month or two of your request.
Personnel and Payroll
There are four types of payroll used by URI and GSO. Any of these may be used with all CFSs, dependent on budget availability. All “paper” documents (i.e., those not routed for approval within eCampus) related to personnel and payroll activities at GSO are submitted to the GSO Business Office (via email to Jane Miner (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Chris Imbriglio (email@example.com) for review, approval, and submission to the appropriate URI office.
Internal Payroll – URI maintains an Internal Payroll system to facilitate employment for emergency and/or unusual cases where an open and full search to create a staff position is not feasible. The IRS regulations under which URI must operate regarding these hires changes with some frequency, but currently is limited to 35 hours per week for six weeks, then 15 hours per week if needed after the initial six weeks. Pre-authorization of internal payroll hires is required from URI Human Resources (currently from Laura Kenerson via email to firstname.lastname@example.org) prior to submission of hiring paperwork. Submission and approval of Internal Payroll (IP-1) forms (found at https://web.uri.edu/hr/forms/) is done by email the form, in pdf format, to Jane Miner (email@example.com) and copying in Chris Imbriglio (firstname.lastname@example.org).
State Payroll – Faculty and Staff positions are paid on the State payroll and hired using Employee Action Forms (EAFs). EAFs are also used to extend a position and make any changes to work schedule, salary, and salary distribution after the initial hire of an individual. New positions are created using Position Action Forms (PAFs). Both EAFs and PAFs may be found under URI Action Forms within the Human Resources module of eCampus. Submission and approval of these forms is done online. Both forms are created and routed for all approvals completely within eCampus workflow. However, instructions for the actions covered with these forms may be found at https://web.uri.edu/hr/forms/.
Student Payroll – Undergraduate students are hired online on an hourly basis. Hourly rates vary depending on the skill level of the job and of the student (current rates, effective 01/01/2023, run from $13.00 to $14.75per hour). Students may work a maximum of 20 hours per week during the academic year and a maximum of 40 hours per week during the summer.
Graduate Students and Assistantships – Graduate students may be hired on an hourly basis or on assistantships (administrative, research, and teaching). Pay rates for both types of payroll tie to the same hourly rates and are based on the student’s graduate level. The levels are:
- Level I – students in master’s programs and those in Ph.D. programs who have fewer that 30 graduate credits;
- Level II – all those who have completed at least 30 graduate credit hours (exclusive of entrance deficiencies, language research tools and research) certified by the Dean of the Graduate School as credible towards their program of studies before the date of appointment or have a master’s degree; and
- Level III – all those enrolled in a Ph.D. program and have passed both the oral and written portions of the Ph.D. comprehensive exams prior to the date of appointment.
The current pay rates are $29.83 for Level I, $30.91 for Level II, and $32.35 for Level III. Additionally, tuition (plus 20% of the student fees) is paid by the source of funds paying for a Graduate Assistantship. Graduate students on both payrolls may work a maximum of 20 hours per week during the academic year and a maximum of 40 hours per week during the summer.
Timecards – most all employees must submit a time card to report their hours worked and/or time discharged every two weeks. Those in supervisory positions are responsible for the timely review and approval of the time cards for individuals working under their direction. Time cards for employees on the “State” payroll (faculty and staff) include a running total of Vacation, Personal, Sick, and (where applicable) Compensatory time earned that may be discharged as paid time off. Time cards are approved by a variety of supervisors within GSO. Graduate students paid on Assistantships do not need to submit bi-weekly time cards. Access to time cards is via the Self Service drop down under Main Menu after logging in the eCampus as either Faculty/Staff or Student.
Effort Reporting – all employees (faculty, staff, students, temporary/part-time employees) who are paid on sponsored projects and/or cost-share CFSs must certify the accuracy of this time (i.e., effort) twice per calendar. Principal Investigators (PI) are responsible for understanding the level of effort of each individual working on the grant, making sure payroll distribution meets the commitment approved in the award, reviewing and certifying their own and their staff’s effort certification reports (ECRs), and making sure that the effort charged approximately reflects the work performed during that period (using suitable means of verification that the work was performed). ECRs are generated by the URI Payroll Accounting office and distributed by the GSO Business Office to the various support staff (typically SRGAs) at GSO. The SRGA may assist with verification that the payroll distribution is correctly stated on the ECRs and distributes the forms for approval by the PI and/or individual employee. Approved ECRs are returned to the GSO Business Office for submission back to Payroll.
University Affiliates – Visiting scholars/colleagues sometimes need access to URI-GSO email, eCampus, etc. That authorization is requested using an Affiliate Status Request (USP-18) form that is approved by the GSO Business Office on behalf of the GSO Dean. Please contact Jane Miner (email@example.com) and Chris Imbriglio (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have a colleague for whom you wish to request affiliate status. We will start the USP-18 form and send it to your colleague for signature. Then Jane will sign and submit to Human Resources for their review and approval.
Service centers are self-supporting CFSs established with standardized rates (submitted annually for approval by the URI Service Center Committee) used to bill for use of service(s) provided. Service centers must follow the URI Service Center Policy, which is posted on the URI Controller’s Office website (https://web.uri.edu/controller/sponsored-cost-accounting/service-centers/). The current list of GSO service centers (with responsible/contact person) follows:
- CACS Analytical (Art Spivack)
- GSO Analytical Services (Becky Robinson/Pat Kelly)
- GSO Small Boats (Brian Caccioppoli)
- Inner Space Center (Dwight Coleman)
- LA-ICPMS (Katie Kelley)
- Marine Science Research Facility – Analytical (Malia Schwartz/Dawn Outram)
- Marine Science Research Facility – Seawater (Ed Baker)
The URI Foundation holds private donations given to GSO for either philanthropic or (in certain cases) contractual purposes. GSO has both operating funds (the full balance may be spent) and endowment funds (only spendable income distributions may be spent). Use of these funds is overseen by the GSO Business Office on behalf of the GSO Dean. Information on how gifts may be made can be found at https://alumniportal.uri.edu/s/1638/03-Foundation/cart21/cart.aspx?sid=1638&gid=3&pgid=4276. You may also contact Paula Bontempi (email@example.com), GSO Dean or Bill Koconis (firstname.lastname@example.org), Senior Director of Development for Engineering and GSO, to discuss potential gifts to GSO.
From time to time there are delays in the receipt of grant funding paperwork from funding agencies that result in timing issues with conducting the research for which the award is being made. In such cases, the GSO Dean’s Office may approve a Dean’s Pledge request that creates a new fund 500 CFS (or continues an existing one) until such time as the award paperwork is finalized. In no case does a Dean’s Pledge directly support a project with new monies; rather it is an administrative action meant to keep operations moving in advance of completion of the formal award notice from the project sponsor. At that time the Dean’s Pledge is cancelled retroactive to the effective date of the project funding. Dean’s Pledges may be requested using the form found at https://web.uri.edu/research-admin/post-award-approval-procedures/. The form is submitted to Jane Miner via email (email@example.com) with the following backup: communication from the funding agency giving near 100% confidence that the funds will be awarded; a budget for the period of the Dean’s Pledge (normally not more than 50% of the total expected award); and the full budget as submitted with the proposal. The Chartfield String to enter on the form (above the signature blocks) is 110-2800-0000. The form and backup should be submitted as one pdf document.