Academic Fee Structure

Ohio Academic Fee Structure

Overview

Sustainability for research computing on campuses is a national concern. For the first 30 years of OSC's existence, OSC provided Ohio academic researchers with fully subsidized services, subject to peer review. However, despite significant efforts to constrain costs in recent years, OSC faces funding shortfalls that require additional revenue to ensure core services continue at current levels. Limited fees will allow OSC to continue to support research in Ohio and provide a good return on the state's central investment.

Value Proposition

OSC provides value to Ohio universities in the form of a significant state investment ($18M capital, $16M operating over last four years) that centralizes specialized services, which improves quality and lowers cost. This central investment improves the competitiveness of academic programs and the ability to recruit/retain faculty across the state.

OSC provides value to Ohio faculty members by offering services that allow them to easily test and scale computing to meet their needs while avoiding lengthy and costly IT-infrastructure investments.

Fee Model

OSC has developed a policy that applies to all Ohio universities and will be contracting directly with the administration of each university, not individual faculty. It is up to each university as to whether and how to internally charge back any expenses to faculty and researchers. In FY19 (starting July 1, 2018), the first 10,000 RUs per project are fully subsidized, while compute usage over 10,000 RUs will be charged at a rate of $0.075 / RU.  There is no charge for usage of storage.

Faculty and researchers that need specialized services, such as 'condo nodes', can continue to contract directly with OSC. Such usage and resources are outside the scope of the Fee Structure.

Allocation Award vs. Usage - What do I owe?

The allocation does not generate fees, the usage does.

An allocation is awarded to a project by the Allocations Committee. The balance of the allocation award (RUs granted to the project) dictates when a new application needs submitted. This allocation is the balance seen at my.osc.edu.

Example: a PI receives an award of 470,000 RUs in January 2018. What will this PI owe?

The usage under that award (on the PI’s project) will be billed for anything over 10,000 RUs in that fiscal year. Each fiscal year, the usage balance will be wiped clean. The allocation award will remain, and the balance will reflect the usage through the life of the award, not just the fiscal year.

Implementation

FY19 is a phase-in year. As of July 1, 2018, OSC has entered into an agreement with six universities (Akron, BGSU, Case, UC, OU, OSU). Faculty at those six universities have been contacted by their administration with local policies for allocations and billing.

Discussions are starting with other universities with small billable usage. 

OSC has formed a pricing committee with representatives from the six universities listed above who are jointly working to refine the model for charging and additional services for FY20 and beyond. 

Additional Information

Faculty at the six universities under contract (Akron, BGSU, Case, UC, OU, OSU) should contact their local administrative representative. Contact OSC Help if you need to know who that is. Faculty members at other institutions can contact OSC Help directly.