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Operational Requests

Questions and answers about operational requests:


What is an operational request, and when do I have to make one?

An operational request is a request for support or permission from the university to carry out some plan or activity that you believe is necessary to help your department meet its goals. There are several circumstances that require the use of an operational request, they are:
  • To ask for an allocation of funds from the university -- The most common reason to submit an operational request is because you have an idea or a need that will require more money than what your current budget can accommodate. Your first avenue for getting the resources you need is to ask your dean. If the dean does not have the resources to help you,your next avenue is to make an operational request. Examples of this kind of operational request include requests for new positions, position upgrades, large equipment purchases, office renovations, etc. -- anything that requires more money than you have in your budget or can get from your dean.

  • To perform almost any kind of personnel action -- Personnel costs make up the largest part of the university's budget; it is very important that the university keep good control of personnel actions and costs. To that end, all personnel actions (except hiring temporary faculty) require an operational request, even if there is no cost associated with the request, even if you already have the money in your budget to cover it. (For more information on personnel actionsd see these websites: Staff Employment Action Guide, Faculty Employment Action Guide.)

  • To instigate any construction that will cost more than $5,000 -- The university has a master plan regarding the physical plant. Any construction request that will cost more than $5,000 has to be submitted in the form of an operational request so that it can be checked against the master plan. This applies whether you have the money in your budget or not. (Of course if you don't have the money, you would be submitting an operational request anyway.)

Please note: Some requests are so expensive or strategically significant that they are beyond the scope of an operational request, for example, building a new building or starting a new degree program or a new institute. If you have a request of that magnitude, you will use the process for Major Strategic Proposals, not an operational request.

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How do I make an operational request?

All operational requests are made through the BearQuest system. For more information about how to use the BearQuest system click here: BearQuest.

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When can I submit an operational request?

As soon as you recognize your need for an operational request, you should go ahead and use BearQust to submit the request. Don't wait. Some requests can be approved right away, others are "batched" for review at specified times during the year. This batching allows for all projects to have the same chance of receiving funding instead of the "early bird getting the worm." Even if your request is part of the "batch," it is still to your benefit to submit it as early as possible. Early submission allows the service offices (budget, Human Resources, Compensation and Benefits, Facility Services, etc.) as much time as possible for them to complete their reviews.

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When are decisions made about operational requests?

Some requests might be approved right away, for example:
  • Staff replacements that are completely funded by the current position.
  • Grant funded positions (new or replacement) for which the Office of Sponsored Programs attests to the availability of funds.
  • Construction projects for which funds are available.
  • Faculty and/or staff transfers or terminations.
  • Occasionally, one-time requests for money (not personnel) that the university can fund with available reserves.

Other requests are "batched" and reviewed at specified times during the year, according to the operational request review schedule.