Matching and Leveraging
As part of the overall leadership role the three Space Grant colleges [Texas A&M, U of Houston, and U of Texas at Austin] have committed to providing the matching funds that are required for this grant. The amount provided by each Space Grant college is relatively stable and is comprised of three components: cash for program funds, faculty release time for directors, and administrative support for the directors. On average the three Space Grant Colleges in TSGC provides 122% of the required matching funds.
In addition TSGC also provides a significant amount of leveraged funding supplied primarily by program participants and its affiliates. On average over $6 million in matching and leveraged funds is provided each year. This is a return of more than 12 to 1 on the NASA Space Grant funding.
The following chart depicts the percentages of leveraged fund contributions from the various categories Consortium affiliates. The very large percentage of leveraged funding from program participants was predominately driven by the extremely successful NASA Reduced Gravity Student Flight Opportunities Program created by TSGC and managed by TSGC for NASA for its first 5 years.
Source of Leveraged Funds
The dramatic decline in this area for 2002 reflects NASA's movement of the program RGSFOP management to one TSGC's affiliates in Houston, at which point, the leveraging from these program participants was no longer counted by TSGC. The rapid growth of leveraged funds from TSGC affiliates in 2002 corresponds to the redesign of its capstone Higher Education project into the TSGC Design Challenge, the primary component of its Workforce Development award. The large increase in leveraging from state and local government is due to continued focus on professional development of K-12 educators which lead to the adoption of TSGC developed activities by 3,000 educators across the state of Texas and an additional 2,500 teachers nation-wide.
TSGC aggressively pursues ways to minimize management costs. TSGC HQ administers the program on behalf of the entire Consortium and most administrative costs that its affiliates incur are provided at no costs to the Consortium. TSGC provides centralized project services to affiliate led projects whenever this will reduce overall costs. This usually eliminates duplication of effort and costs allowing the Consortium to maintain a low 18% operational average for administrative costs. When indirect costs are included this average increases to 30%. A driving philosophy in choosing programs to support has been to augment existing programs where possible rather than create new programs. However, in order to create a highly visible TSGC impact in each program area, one flagship program has been created in each program area that is wholly sponsored by TSGC. This philosophy avoids having large program implementation costs in most programs. All administrative costs are closely monitored by the Program Manager and the Board of Directors to ensure the most efficient use of Consortium funds.