Systems and Procedures
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Procedure GS2003 - Procedure for Thesis Charges

The Graduate School

Policy Steward facilitating procedure: Dean of Graduate School

Table of Contents:


GENERAL:

All advanced degree candidates writing a thesis (as opposed to candidates writing a paper) are required to submit a copy of their thesis to the Thesis Office in the Graduate School. Upon final approval, each required thesis copy is ultimately filed at the applicable location within the University Library System. This requirement mandates that each thesis candidate be charged for the binding and microfilming of the one required copy of the thesis. Payments of this “processing fee” are made at the Thesis Office, payable to the Pennsylvania State University in accordance with University policy. While not required, additional copies of this publication, if/when requested by the thesis candidate, may be produced (and payments processed) by the Office of Business Services, upon request.

The following documents the process by which thesis charges are collected, recorded, and accounted for.

PROCEDURE:

GENERAL

The Thesis Binding and Publication budget (06-070-70 UP, Fund 3889) operates as a miscellaneous funds budget, with the unused balance being carried forward from year to year. The operation of this budget is the (or Designee) responsibility of the Dean of University Libraries. As such, all transactions charging this budget must be approved by the Dean (or designee). (For example, costs incurred for binding, microfilming, cataloging, and storage/filing of the one required thesis copy are charged to this budget/fund.) Likewise, income collected from advanced degree candidates for the payment of master's/doctoral thesis fees will be booked to this budget/fund as well.

PROCESSING FOR REQUIRED THESIS COPIES

Thesis candidates will be directed to the Thesis Office when beginning their thesis. Thesis Office staff will instruct candidates as to the proper steps involved in the thesis preparation and submission process. This information is documented in the Graduate School publication "Thesis Guide, Requirements for the Preparation of Masters’ and Doctoral Theses." This publication is available free of charge from the Thesis Office, upon request, or may be accessed via the Internet at the Graduate School’s website (see http://www.gradsch.psu.edu/)

Masters and doctoral candidates will remit payment for their thesis to the Thesis Office. For cash payments, receipts are issued in accordance with the instructions for Pre-numbered Receipts on GURU. Credit card payments are not accepted. Upon payment, the Thesis Office will update the ARUSGT screen (Exhibit "A") for the candidate to indicate that the appropriate payment was made.

Upon receipt of thesis revenue, the Thesis Office will prepare an IBIS Report of Cash Receipts (ROCR) in accordance with the instructions specified in the Alphabetical Listing of IBIS Forms, Functions and Transactions at the AIS website. Payments will be credited to Department Number 06-070-70 UP, Fund 3889, Thesis Binding and Publication - Income, Object Code 040.

Once their thesis is prepared, candidates will submit the thesis (unbound) to the Thesis Office for checking and approval within the standards specified in the Graduate School publication "Thesis Guide, Requirements for the Preparation of Master's and Doctoral Theses." Upon final approval, the Thesis Office will forward the thesis to the appropriate area for binding and microfilming. Ultimately, each thesis will be placed into circulation at the applicable location within the University Library System. Charges resulting from these services will be recorded to the Thesis Binding and Publication budget (06-070-70 UP, Fund 3889, applicable object code).

PROCESSING FOR ADDITIONAL, PERSONAL THESIS COPIES PRODUCED BY BUSINESS SERVICES

Ordering

Thesis candidates desiring additional, personal copies of their thesis may utilize the thesis binding service available through Business Services at any of the campus copy centers. The candidate will complete, in triplicate, the applicable sections of the Thesis Copying & Binding Form (Exhibit "B") to specify the particulars of their order. Payment/payment arrangements, as applicable, must be made whenever the order is placed. For candidates paying their own expenses, payment must be remitted at the time the order is placed. If a candidate's department is paying the expense, the budget/fund to be charged must be specified at the time of ordering as well. Upon completion, which is a two week turnaround, the candidate may pick up their order.

Payment Processing

The Business Services staff will accept and process the payments remitted within the parameters mandated by "Processing Cash Revenues," University Policy FN01. Regardless of the payment type, the “Billing” and “Payment” sections of the Thesis Copying & Binding Form (Exhibit "B") will be completed, specifying the breakdown of production costs by category (e.g., copying and/or binding) as well as the method of payment being utilized (candidate paying by cash/check/money order/credit card, or departmental charge to a budget on behalf of candidate). One copy of the Thesis Copying & Binding Form will be issued to the candidate; the remaining copies are retained by Business Services.

Revenues received via cash/check/money order/credit card will be subsequently processed via IBIS Report of Cash Receipts (ROCR) in accordance with the instructions specified in the Alphabetical Listing of IBIS Forms, Functions and Transactions at the AIS website. Payments will be credited to Department Number 06-033-32 UP, Fund 1005, Object Code 030.

For cases where a candidate's department is paying for the services rendered, Business Services will process a Supplying Department Invoice (part of the AIS form "IDCC") in accordance with the instructions specified in the Alphabetical Listing of IBIS Forms, Functions and Transactions at the AIS website.

Processing Refunds

If an advanced degree candidate fails to graduate, decides to do a paper (per "GENERAL," error, a refund will be processed by the Thesis Office. The Thesis Office will verify that the fee was paid by accessing ISIS screen ARUSGT. The Thesis Office will then complete a Refund Request in accordance with the instructions for Refund Request on GURU.

All Refund Requests are subsequently forwarded to the Library Accounting Accounting Office for attachment to a Special Request For Check, which will process these requests for payment in accordance with the instructions specified in the Alphabetical Listing of IBIS Forms, Functions and Transactions at the AIS website (http://ais.its.psu.edu/ibis/alphabetical_listing.html), charging the Thesis Binding and Publication budget (06-070-70 UP, Fund 3889, applicable object code).

Reconciliation

Regular reconciliations are to be performed by the Financial Officer (or individual designated to act on behalf of the Financial Officer) to ensure that related sets of financial documents balance and that the integrity of the local record keeping system is maintained. On a monthly basis, comparisons will be made, spot-checking the related departmental records to determine that the information reported is accurately reflected on both the University's accounting records as well as the department's internal records. Discrepancies, if any, will be promptly investigated and resolved as part of the reconciliation. Evidence of review will be noted by the reviewer's initials and date on the documents which support this process.

PROCESSING RETURNED CHECKS

See Procedure CR2002 - Processing Returned Checks.

AUDIT COORDINATION - FINANCIAL AND PROCEDURAL

The Financial Officer is responsible for ensuring that procedures pertaining to the accountability and safeguarding of all cash receipts, cash funds, and other assets are established and followed in accordance with approved University policies and procedures. Regular audits relating to advances, cash, travel, equipment accountability, and other expenditures provide a means to protect University assets. The Financial Officer is responsible for working with Internal Audit when audits are being performed in the administrative area, as well as performing an annual audit that is submitted to the Assistant Controller.

RECORD RETENTION, DISPOSITION AND DESTRUCTION:

Record retention must be managed in accordance with Policy AD35 - University Archives and Records Management, and records schedules approved by the Records Management Advisory Committee, Office of General Counsel, and Office of the President. These retention requirements are the University's retention criteria, either derived or based upon federal, state, and local statute or regulations, industry standards, and business needs. Retention beyond recommended time periods require justifiable reasons and warrant review by the Records Management Officer or designee. All documents must be maintained in such a manner so as to provide ease of access for review, and to provide a suitable audit trail for all transactions.

Upon expiration of a stated period of time, documents must be discarded and/or destroyed, unless permission is granted by Records Management Officer or designee to retain the records. Archival records created more than 20 years prior to the current date must be reviewed before destruction. Units should also contact the University Archivist before discarding any document which may be of permanent or historical value to the University. To safeguard the privacy of individuals, documents that contain salary information, personally identifiable information (PII), or student records must also be shredded. See Policy AD53 - Privacy Policy and AD22 - Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act for additional information regarding privacy and the protection of an individual's personal information. For documents that must be shredded, departments may arrange for Blue Bag service by contacting the Blue/White Shredding Program of the Office of Physical Plant. Exceptions to the practice are as follows:

Additional questions may be directed to the University Archivist or the Records Management Officer.

EXHIBITS:

CONTACT INFORMATION:

For questions, additional detail, or to request changes to this procedure, please contact the Financial Officer, The Graduate School

CROSS REFERENCES:


Procedure Status:

Date Approved: March 30, 2006

Most recent changes:

Revision History (and effective dates:)