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Why acknowledge?  Didnít I pay to use the CharFac?


The CharFac policy statement mentions partial support from the NSF through the MRSEC program.  This support has contributed to purchases of a subset of CharFac instrumentation.  Additionally, the MRSEC MRFN program supports usage by external academic clients who are charged commercial rates for specialists' time.  The excess revenue generated by this activity (i.e., exceeding the immediate cost of staff time) defrays additional operational costs in the CharFac, and thereby lowers the price of usage by internal academics.

Additionally there are general reasons for acknowledging the CharFac:

  1. Within the same cost-of-usage theme: (a) For 20+ years now, user fees have not paid for the CharFac's base instrumentation systems; instead the fees have only supported operational costs.  (b) For academic users/clients internal and external to the University of Minnesota, most of the operational costs are only partially recovered by fees.  The remainder is paid by a combination of internal subsidies from as many as four offices (the deans of three colleges and the vice president of research) as well as excess revenue from industrial usage that must be billed at market rates for analytical services.
  2. The communication of the value of the CharFac in papers and presentations helps to obtain new users/clients.  Most obviously this pertains to industry and external academics, but occasionally people internal to the university find out about a CharFac capability through a paper or presentation.  There is an endless need for new clients to generate additional revenues that support operational costs as well as the costs of modernizing capital equipment.
  3. The expertise of the CharFac technical staff is implicit in an acknowledgment, which can lead not only to new clients of monetary value to the CharFac's bottom line but also to new research collaborations.  These collaborations are important to growing the expertise of the staff, from which the broader clientele benefits, and from which the staff may derive career satisfaction (i.e., as members of the research enterprise, towards which they were trained to contribute).