Policies for Auxiliary Services at UNC Charlotte

UNC Charlotte Auxiliary Services

Auxiliary Services is responsible for providing the multi-function 49er ID Card system, dining venues and meal plans, a bookstore, printers and copiers, parking and transportation services, mail delivery, ATM stations and vending machines. We support the University's educational mission and enhance campus life by attending to the business of providing UNC Charlotte with the highest quality goods and services available, with utmost cost-effectiveness and excellent customer service.

Establishment and Regulation of Auxiliaries

Auxiliaries are established to provide services or products to the university community. In general these services are established based on the needs and interests of campus constituents, but they must provide support for the educational purpose of the university mission. These services may support the core academic mission of the institution, e.g. the provision of curriculum materials through the bookstore, or support the extracurricular activities of the institution, e.g. provision of dining services, which in turn are intended to support the core mission of the institution. Auxiliaries are not intended, nor permitted to unfairly use state facilities to compete against private enterprises. Services and products are only provided on-campus and the consumers must be students, staff, faculty or their immediate families or members of the general public who have been invited to campus for some purpose related to the institutional mission. Establishment and provision of university auxiliaries is regulated by NC State Statute, NC State Purchasing Procedures, as well The Code of the Board of Governors, The University of North Carolina (as outlined in the Administrative Manual for the University of North Carolina)

State Regulation

The establishment and provision of these enterprises is regulated by the North Carolina State Statutes, Chapter 66 Article 11 Section 66-58 Sale of merchandise or services by governmental units, commonly referred to as the Umstead Act.

The act is designed to prohibit state government from competing in the marketplace against the private commercial activities of North Carolina citizens, whether that service delivery is managed by the University or by private contractors.

The Act specifically prohibits North Carolina government agencies from:

  • Directly or indirectly selling goods in competition with NC citizens;
  • Rendering services to the public that are ordinarily provided by private businesses;
  • Leasing space in a state owned or operated building for purposes of selling goods or rendering services in competition with private business; or
  • Contracting with anyone to sell goods or render services in competition with private business.

However, there are specific exceptions to the statute which allow the University to conduct limited commercial activities. The most relevant exceptions are:

The first statutory exception (G.S. 66-58(b)(8)) allows state universities to sell several things:

  • Utilities and other services operated at the time the law was passed (1929);
  • Articles that are incident to the operation of instructional departments or educational research;
  • Articles of merchandise incident to classroom work, meals, books and minor merchandise to staff, students, and their families;
  • Meals or merchandise to persons attending meetings or conventions as invited guests.

A second exception allows state universities to operate campus stores where profits are used for student scholarships. Campus stores may sell educational materials and supplies, gift items, and miscellaneous personal use items. However, a campus store may only sell to students and their families, employees and their families, and individuals who are on campus for a purpose other than just to buy goods from the university store (G.S. 66-58 (c) (3)).

University of North Carolina Regulation

North Carolina General Statute 1116-36.1 (Regulation of institutional trust funds) delegates to the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina responsibility for the custody and management of the trust funds of the University of North Carolina and of each institution. Furthermore, it defines these trust funds as including "moneys received from or for the operation by an institution of any of its self-supporting auxiliary enterprises, including institutional student auxiliary enterprise funds for the operation of housing, food, health, and laundry services." Accordingly, auxiliary operations are subject to the guidelines established by this statute as well as The Code of the Board of Governors for The University of North Carolina (Administrative Manual for the University of North Carolina) which establishes guidelines for the custody and management of institutional trust funds.

Chapter VI-A-1 outlines the information necessary to establish a Trust Fund Authority for each auxiliary including the source of funds, purpose for which the moneys credited to the fund may be used, and those authorized to receive and disburse these funds. This information is maintained by the Division of Business Affairs. The Code also provides additional regulations regarding the control, accounting, audit, investment, allocation, and reporting for these funds. These regulations apply to the operation of all "self-supporting service enterprises which exist primarily to furnish goods and services to students, faculty, or staff, and include but are not limited to housing, food, health, and laundry services, central stores, printing and duplicating services, utilities systems, and similar operations, including all operations whose profits are dedicated to scholarship support or specific student activity programs" at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Chapter VI-D-1 includes regulations which further define the authorized uses of net proceeds from the operation of vending facilities at the University.

Regulation by the State of North Carolina Purchase and Contract Division (Contracted providers)

Although institutional auxiliaries may be self-operated and managed, the University of North Carolina has reviewed most auxiliary operations for possible outsourcing (privatization). Many of the auxiliaries are currently contracted (Bookstore, Dining Services, Reprographics (copy, laser printing, and associated services), Printing, Vending). Others have been reviewed but remain self-operated, e.g. Mail & Package Services. Outsourcing is strictly regulated by State Purchasing guidelines, and the procurement of external providers for auxiliary enterprises must follow state purchasing guidelines. The North Carolina Administrative Code (Title 1 Department of Administration Chapter 5 -Purchase and Contract) outlines the standards and regulations for procuring contracted service providers. Section .1603 outlines those contractual services which the State Purchasing Office may authorize, by special delegation, the university to purchase contractual services without limit as to expenditure. These delegations are maintained by the University Purchasing Office, and apply to the contracts established for University privatized auxiliaries.

Through this delegation The State of North Carolina Purchase and Contract Division and the University of North Carolina have delegated to the UNC Charlotte Purchasing Department the task of achieving economical and effective procurement of goods and services, consistent with applicable State statutes and related rules, regulations, and procedures. Procurement of auxiliary contracts is per those procedures established in The University of North Carolina at Charlotte Purchasing Manual/Procedures. Guidelines for procuring contractual services are outline in Section 4:10.

Contractual Services shall mean work performed by an independent contractor requiring specialized knowledge, experience, expertise or similar capabilities wherein the service rendered does not consist primarily of acquisition by the State of equipment or materials. It is the general policy of the University to acquire contractual services by seeking competition. The final decision-making authority in regard to any phase of procurement or performance of any contractual service is the Purchasing Department.

Before a department of the University shall seek to obtain a contractual service, it shall make all of the following determinations: that funds are available to cover the total cost of the service; that the desired level of quality of the service is adequate and reasonable for the purpose intended; that all rules, regulations and procedures referred to herein have been or will be complied with; and that obtaining the service is in the best interest of the University.

After all determinations listed above are made, they shall be incorporated into a letter of justification and forwarded to the Purchasing Department. Once approved, the Purchasing Department will take necessary action to secure the requested services, by either competitive bidding or negotiation.

Additionally, all contracts must be reviewed and approved per University Policy Statement No. 35 Authority To Sign Contracts And Other Official Documents.