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Start-up Funds

Start-up packages have several possible components and the details of each start-up package were included in each faculty member's offer letter. Start-up funds, policies and processes are affiliated with both Academic Personel and Fiscal staff so it is important to connect with both groups when there are questions or concerns.

Start-up funds are intended to meet the Dean's and Department's obligation to support expenses as a new faculty member is getting established on campus and in their studio/office space. This includes:

  • equipment
  • renovations and installations
  • travel
  • graduate, post-graduate, and staff salaries
  • fringe benefits
  • Studio/office supplies and expenses
  • campus recharges
  • summer salary
  • moving costs
  • housing purchase
It is expected that new faculty will use their start-up equipment funds to their full extent and often must be fully expended before other funding can be granted. 


Start-up funds must be fully expended within 3-5 years as outlined in your offer letter. Some specialty programs have shorter timeframes. It is the responsibility of each faculty member to be aware of these timelines for themselves. General timelines are listed below but the timeline for each individual to follow is listed in the offer letter (this information does not supersede the information of the offer letter):

  • Start-up funds: 3-5 years
  • FRA: 2 years from the date of hire (typically July 1)
  • MOP: 2 year from the date of arrival to campus (typically Sept 30 to align with the first fall quarter of employment)
  • ZIP: TBD, this is a new program and specifics are still being determined
Extension of these timelimits may be requested of the Dean's Office and/or EVC as necessary. These extension requests need to clearly indicate why the expenditure of funds within the timeframe alloted was not able to be met and the additional timeframe needed to fully use the funds. More than one extension is not permitted.

Moving Expenses

Payment or reimbursement of moving expenses may be provided for appointees in certain academic positions and must be a part of the initial negotiations with the appointee. Payment of moving expenses is not automatic and does not constitute a perquisite of University employment. Payment of these expenses is accorded to qualified persons in order to expand the geographic area for selection of permanent academic staff and may be considered taxable income.

Read the full policy information here. Fiscal staff are your main point of contact and support resource for processing these types of expenditures. 

Eligible Expenses


Full payment or reimbursement of moving expenses may be provided for eligible personnel for the following:

  • Household carrier expenses, utilizing the purchase order method, for packing, freight, and insurance of household goods, storage of goods for up to 30 days, and loading and unloading
  • Mailing expenses, boxes, and tape. Storage and transit fees should be incurred within any consecutive 30-day period after removing the household goods and effects from the former residence and before delivering them to the new residence. The cost of unpacking is not an allowable expense.

2. Vehicles

Eligible personnel may be reimbursed for 100% of the total cost for the following:

  • Transport of vehicles owned by appointee and immediate family and used for primary transportation.
  • Rental of a towing hitch. If a hitch is purchased, reimbursement will equal only the cost of rental.

3. Travel

Eligible personnel may be fully reimbursed for one-way air coach transportation for themselves and immediate family. If the appointee chooses to use surface transportation, reimbursement will not exceed an amount equivalent to standard airfare in accordance with University travel regulations. If, for personal reasons, an indirect route is traveled or the trip is extended, reimbursement will be only for the costs that would have been incurred by taking the most direct route.

4. Meals

Eligible personnel may be fully reimbursed for meals en route for themselves and immediate family, in accordance with University travel regulations.

5. Library

Full payment may be provided for the cost of moving a personal library, provided the library will be made available to students and faculty.

6. Laboratory

In some instances, full payment may be provided for the cost of moving the contents of a laboratory.


Ineligible Expenses

Expenditures for the following generally cannot be reimbursed under UC policy:

  • Transport of pets or any other animals, excluding companions for the disabled
  • Moving of boats, planes, recreational vehicles, farm implements, tractors of any type, snowmobiles, or other vehicles that are not used for primary transportation needs
  • Storage fees for more than 30 days
  • Extra charges for pickups at or deliveries to additional addresses
  • Multi-part moves

Start-up Funds for Goods, Services and Travel

The most common usage of start-up funds within the Department of Visual Arts is for business related goods, services or travel necessary as a faculty member prepares for tenure. Fiscal staff will regularly review the start-up balance and provide updates throughout the year so each faculty member knows their remaining balance. 

Typically these expenses are paid directly by the faculty member and then they are reimbursed by their start-up account. For more information and instructions for purchasing goods, services or travel, please look at the purchasing and travel areas of this website.

Fiscal staff are your main point of contact and support resource for processing these types of expenditures. 

Faculty Housing Assistance Programs

The University of California and UC San Diego offers the following housing programs to assist with the recruitment and retention of Academic Senate Faculty. Eligibility to participate in the following programs for General Campus Ladder Rank Senate Faculty will be stated in your offer letter at the time of recruitment.

Please contact the UC San Diego Home Loan Coordinator, Carlos Hernandez, for specific MOP and campus criteria (including the loan pre-approval application process, loan requirements and terms, and lending residency requirements for visa holders). Additional information for each program can be found here. Academic Personnel staff are your main point of contact and support resource for understanding and applying for these programs however this is highly regulated by campus and plans/details must be discussed with Carlos before initiating any actions within the department. 

Depending on the program, these may be used together or separately. Which options are available to a faculty member will depend on what was listed in their offer letter. 

Mortgage Origination Program (MOP)

The MOP was developed by the University of California to support the recruitment of faculty by assisting them in the purchase of a principal residence near their work location. As such, the MOP provides first deed of trust variable rate loans with up to a 30-year term; not to exceed a loan-to-value ratio of 90% or a maximum income-debt ratio of 48%. The program is available to full time university appointees who are members of the Academic Senate and must be used within two years from the date of arrival to campus (typically Sept 30). The standard MOP loan allowance is $1,300,000, provided that borrowers meet all program criteria. Increased loan amounts are possible with special approval.

Eligibility requires:

  • Candidates not already own nor have owned in the past 12 months a primary residence in the La Jolla or nearby area
  • Faculty may participate in the MOP program only once (unless they take a new appointment at a different UC campus)
  • The home loans must be used to purchase primary places of residence which are single family dwellings (house or condominium)
  • The program cannot be used for refinancing, for second homes, income-generating property, duplexes, or TICs.
  • No funds may be taken out in borrower equity or used for renovations or construction. MOP loan payments are made via payroll deduction.
  • One per household.
  • Must be used within two years from the date of arrival to campus

To use this program, faculty should contact our UC San Diego Home Loan Coordinator, Carlos Hernandez ( He can help with the loan pre-approval application process, loan requirements and terms, and lending residency requirements for visa holders.

Faculty Recruitment Allowance Program (FRAP)

100% Prof and LSOE appointees will have the option to elect to use up to $150,000 of their startup funds for either a Faculty Recruitment Allowance (FRA) OR a ZIP Loan. Must be requested within two years from the appointment start date. Faculty members are encouraged to consult a tax professional to understand the implications of using these programs.

The Faculty Recruitment Allowance (FRA) is (usually) a one-time payout that appears in their next monthly paycheck. They can use this payout to provide support for housing costs, childcare expenses, education, tuition assistance, or any family/housing related expenses. The FRA is not a loan and is considered a taxable event in the year it is paid. That means that the faculty member would immediately lose a considerable portion of the FRA to state and federal taxes, which in turn means that less funding would be available for the purchase of a residence. Faculty recruitment allowances are not considered covered compensation for purposes of the University's retirement or employee benefit plans.
Once the payment is made, it cannot be cancelled and reissued.

If the faculty member leaves UC San Diego employment within five years from the effective date of their appointment, the faculty recruitment allowance is subject to full repayment (RPA). The FRA is independent of the Mortgage Origination Program (MOP) and the ZIP Loan. The FRA is usually paid in a single payment but may instead be paid out over a period not to exceed ten years. The program is governed by campus policies and Academic Personnel Manual (APM) Policy 190.

To request FRA fund usage:

  • Please provide advance notice to the Chair, CAO and Academic Personnel staff in the department before requesting your FRA. 
  • Staff will contact the Deans Office to request authorization for payment. A repayment agreement may be required.  
  • If approved by the Dean's Office, the FRA payments are processed through UCSD’s payroll system.  FRA payments cannot be made prior to hire date in UC Path.  The FRA payment usually takes a few days to process.
  • Must be used within two years of the date of hire

Zero Interest Program (LIP Loan)

Through the University of California Housing Assistance Program Corporation (Corporation), the University of California Housing Assistance Program (Program) provides mortgage loans to Faculty and Senior Managers under the Mortgage Origination Program and the Supplemental Home Loan Program. The Office of Loan Programs (OLP) is introducing a new zero interest Supplemental Home Loan Product (SHLP) as an additional resource for down payment assistance. The new loan option provides secured subordinate financing with no monthly payments and zero percent interest with a forgivable feature. At the end of the loan term, the outstanding principal balance (original principal balance, less any forgiven amounts) would be fully due and payable. Similar to the current SHLP loans, the zero interest product could be combined with a primary mortgage from the Program, allowing Program participants to finance up to 95 percent of a home purchase. 

The ZIP Loan would provide a deed of trust secured loan with the following parameters:  

  • Interest Rate: Zero percent interest 
  • Payment: No monthly payment  
  • Loan Term: The loan term will be approximately 11 years depending on the funding date. 
  • Max Loan Amount: Up to $150,000 
  • Minimum Loan Amount: $10,000 
  • Lien Position: 2nd or 3rd position 
    • Can be subordinate to an outside loan, subject to the Program and primary lender’s guidelines. 
    • If the campus is offering a combination of 3 Program loans, ZIP should be in third position. 
  • Transaction Type: Purchase 
  • Must be used within two year of the date of hire


  • Academic Personnel: for questions regarding offer letters, start-up policies and faculty housing programs.
  • Fiscal Staff: for questions regarding reimbursement or the distribution of funds, to check the current balance of your start-up account
  • Campus Staff and Websites: for specific questions regarding relocation and faculty housing programs.