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Business Activities and Unrelated Business Income

Recommended By: Administration and Finance Division
Approved: Ruben Armiñana, President
Date of Issue: March 1, 1999 (revises 10/20/88 policy)
Effective Date: March 1, 1999
Contact Office: Vice President for Administration and Finance

Policy #1988-5

  1. PURPOSE
    In seeking to fulfill its mission of instruction, research, and public service, Sonoma State University and its auxiliary corporations conduct a number of business activities. The University recognizes the importance of maintaining a harmonious relationship with the local community and seeks to prevent any unfair competition and to minimize any appearance of unfair competition. In addition, the University is dedicated to compliance with the regulations of the Internal Revenue Service covering unrelated business income.
    It is the University's policy that each University unit, whether State-funded, auxiliary, or other self-support activity, conduct its business in a fair and ethical manner in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations and with due consideration to the needs of local businesses. Care shall be taken to restrict business transactions to those which support the mission of the University. Non-educational business transactions shall be minimized and, when they occur, must be incidental to the providing of educational business support.
  2. CONDITIONS
    In order to be considered an educational business activity, each of the following conditions must be met:
    1. The activity is an integral element in the University's educational, research, public service, or campus support functions, or other educational and support activities, without regard to profit.
    2. The activity provides an integral good or service at a reasonable price, on reasonable terms, and at a convenient location and time.
    3. The activity is for the primary benefit of the campus community but with sensitivity to the total community.
    Business activities not meeting the criteria outlined above may be considered to be unrelated business income activities. If so, required reports shall be made and applicable taxes paid.
  3. REVIEW AND APPROVAL
    Authority for review and university approval of educational business activities is delegated to the Associate Vice President for Administration and Finance. Recommendations for new educational business activities shall have approval of an appropriate board, committee, or University official prior to submission for University approval.

Updated March 3, 1999 by SSU.policies@sonoma.edu