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Banking Agreement to Help Fund Student Services

November 3, 2009

UC Davis has entered into a 10-year agreement with U.S. Bank that will provide nearly $3 million to support student services and bring the campus its first bank branch.

U.S. Bank is counting on advertising privileges and a new campus identification card -- with a bank logo on the back and optional ATM access -- to help generate new customers.

Although the agreement had its beginnings in 2005 with a campus study and competitive process, its implementation now will help sustain student services through more recent state budget cuts.

"By forging public-private partnerships," said Fred Wood, vice chancellor for Student Affairs, "the university has embraced a much-needed entrepreneurial spirit, one that balances the unique needs of our community with opportunities to generate new revenue."

The agreement will establish a bank branch in the Memorial Union Building on campus next summer; add six U.S. Bank ATMs this spring to the existing seven on campus that belong to five banks and credit unions; and allow for limited advertisements and signage featuring U.S. Bank at certain campus events and facilities.

In addition, the university next fall will roll out a new card for employee and student identification. The card will offer optional access to U.S. Bank's debit and ATM services and display a small bank logo on the back.

U.S. Bank is guaranteeing the university annual payments of $130,000 to $780,000 a year based on the number of banking accounts activated; the partners estimate an average annual payment of $280,000.

The bank will also offer optional financial literacy and credit management seminars for students.

Wood said he recognizes that there are concerns about corporate partnerships at a public university. In developing the bank partnership, Student Affairs adopted a set of guiding principles that require "a process that is open, fair and competitive, consultative, and readily available for scrutiny and discussion."

Student Affairs and the undergraduate and graduate student associations have reached their own written agreement about the bank partnership.

Joe Chatham, president of the Associated Students of UC Davis, said he and former ASUCD president Ivan Carrillo helped work out how the student body will benefit from the partnership revenue. Under the campus agreement, a student-majority committee will advise the vice chancellor about what services should be underwritten by the partnership and how funds should be used.

"I am pleased that students are participating in deciding how the partnership will help the programs and services we use," Chatham said.

The partnership funding will be shared among broad-based student programs and services that focus on campus relations and community development or provide direct academic support as well as with registered student organizations, student lounges, campus recreation, and intercollegiate athletics, among others.

In 2005, the university invited multiple banks to submit a proposal for financial services on the campus. In the end, U.S. Bank was selected. The university has been involved in contract negotiations and campus consultations since then.

U.S. Bank operates branches on 21 college campuses in 10 states.

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