Videoconferencing Charge-Back Policies

Videoconferencing Charge-The University invested in videoconferencing facilities and engineers in order to:

  • Make it possible to share courses among the four Mason locations
  • Allow students to take courses offered by consortia to which the university belongs
  • Enable faculty and staff on one campus to participate in departmental and university meetings and training without traveling to another campus

Serving these types of activities is the core mission of Collaborative Video Technologies (CVT). There is no charge to use Mason’s videoconferencing facilities for these purposes.

Departmental and university events which do not meet the above criteria are not considered core to the mission of CVT. In recognition of the importance of many events, CVT is willing to attempt to arrange for its staff to work extra hours to transmit the event if the university department sponsoring the event is willing to cover costs. Even if the sponsor is willing to pay the cost, CVT may not be able to fulfill the request, given its limited staffing resources and the small number of university physical facilities suitable for videoconferencing.

For events that are designed primarily for people other than university employees and student groups, a substantial part of the cost of videoconferencing facilities, staff, and transmission will be charged back to the event sponsor. A rate sheet is available from Events Management.

The following is a classification of event requests and a description of charges:

A. Core CVT Events

The first priority for free videoconferencing support is:

  1. Commonwealth Graduate Engineering courses
  2. Courses that have been identified to the Registrar as videoconferenced courses prior to the regular deadline date for advance scheduling for the next semester

ISDN network charges will be billed to the department if applicable; otherwise, there is no charge to videoconference a course unless the department requires a support person to be present in the classroom. In this case, an hourly cost based on the average support person’s overtime salary and benefits for that time period will be billed to the department.

The second priority for free videoconferencing is campus meetings. A campus meeting is an event not advertised to the public during which university business takes place; the sites are two or more of Mason’s campuses; and the agenda has been structured to provide for participant input at each site. (Examples of campus meetings are HR training events, CAS department chair meetings, Convocation, etc.) There is no charge to videoconference this type of meeting unless the department requires a support person to be present in the room. In this case, an hourly cost based on the average support person’s overtime salary and benefits for that time period will be billed to the department. Requests to videoconference campus meetings are approved by CVT on a “first come, first served” basis. Limited resources may require CVT to decline the request.

Courses added to the schedule after deadline will be treated as campus meetings by CVT. That is, they will be added to the videoconferencing schedule on a “first come, first served” basis, and limited resources may require CVT to decline the request.

B. Other University Events

The direct cost of the video engineer’s time will be charged for university events that are not core to the CVT mission as described above, but there will be no rental charge for videoconferencing facilities or equipment. (Examples are: a faculty or department sponsored event designed primarily for the university but to which the public is invited; a student organization meeting; an interview of a candidate at a remote site; participation of Mason employees in a meeting held off campus; etc.) These are all worthy activities, but the CVT staff budget does not stretch to cover these events, which is why it is necessary to charge back the cost of the video engineer transmitting the course. In addition to the video engineer’s time, ISDN network charges will be billed to the department if applicable; and if the department requires a support person to be present in the classroom, an hourly cost based on the average support person’s overtime salary and benefits for that time period will be billed to the department. These costs will be estimated in advance and need to be approved by the department prior to CVT agreeing to support the event.

C. Other Events

Events Management will negotiate the contract according to their current pricing policies.