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Commercial Activities Policy and Guidelines

UC Davis encourages the pursuit of new commercial activities that are mutually beneficial to the university and external partners.


The UC Davis Preferred Partnership Program and its university partners are specifically selected to facilitate such activities and to understand how commercial activities and contracts can be mutually beneficial to prospective partners and the university.

For proposed commercial activities that are not under the guidance of the Office of Research, Intercollegiate Athletics or the Office of Development and Alumni Relations, a Commercial Activities Request Form must be submitted by any campus organization, unit or department for review by the Commercial Activities Review Board (CARB).

There is a minimum campus access fee for any commercial activity on campus.

Minimum Campus Access Fees

On-site marketing*

  • $1,000 – commercial entities being present on-campus
  • $600 – local businesses that meet all of the following criteria:
    • Local means all operations are within Yolo County
    • Locally owned and operated
    • Single business location
    • Less than $250,000 in annual revenue for the total company

Logo Exposure Only (website, t-shirts, flyers)*

  • $500

Student Organized Career Fairs*

  • $700 for companies with 250+ employees
  • $400 for companies with 250 employees or less

The minimum campus access fee is set by the UP3 Advisory Committee, to ensure that campus departments and student organizations receive fair compensation for the access they are providing to the campus community.  The actual campus access fee will vary based on factors relating to the size of the event, number of participants, length of event, etc.  The Commercial Activities Review Board (CARB), see note below, sets the campus access fee for each event using the below minimums as guidelines.

Campus Departments must return 1/3 of the Campus Access Fee to the UP3 office for distribution to a general student fund.  The following groups are exempt from having to return a portion of the Campus Access Fee:

  • Registered Student Organizations with the Center for Student Involvement
  • Sports Clubs under Campus Recreation

*The Campus Access Fees listed are the minimum amounts approved by the UP3 Advisory Committee.  The actual Campus Access Fee will be set by the Commercial Activities Review Board after submission of the Commercial Activities Request Form.

Commercial Activities Review Board (CARB)

Commercial Activities Review Board (CARB) is a sub-committee of the UC Davis Preferred Partnership Program (UP3) Advisory Committee. The committee is comprised of three (3) members from different campus units and will be appointed by the UP3 Advisory Committee. Committee members will manage the review, approval and exception process for commercial activities and sponsorships on campus submitted through the Commercial Activities Request process. CARB will work to have a decision within fifteen (15) business days and will submit to the UP3 office for dissemination. CARB will submit any commercial activity request that requires further review or exception to the policy to the UP3 Advisory Committee for final decision.

Examples of Activities That Need Approvals

Commercial Activities - Any marketing, advertising, selling, or providing of samples of products or services on the campus or in campus publications by any commercial enterprise. This includes having any business logo on any printed material (including apparel).

Sponsorship - collaborative agreement between a campus department or organization and a commercial enterprise in managing and financing an event or activity in which the sponsor(s) receives acknowledgement for providing financial support.

Commercial Activities Approval Process

  • Campus departments or student organizations fill out a Commercial Activities Request Form outlining their proposed commercial activity
  • CARB reviews the submitted form, requests any additional information and then sets the campus access fee
  • Department or organization can accept the decision from CARB or appeal to the UP3 Advisory Committee

Commercial Activity Evaluation

The following guidelines shall be used by each vice chancellor and dean, Director of Intercollegiate Athletics as well as the Director—CES, the Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, and the UC Davis Preferred Partnership Program, in evaluating commercial activities on campus, and should be addressed in proposals for such activities.

  1. Proposals may be for one-time activities (e.g., commercial co-sponsorship of an educational program) or for recurring activities (e.g., use of advertising in a quarterly events program).
  2. Proposals to solicit commercial advertising or co-sponsorship of programs must be evaluated for potential conflict of interest and possible cumulative effects on the academic environment, campus fundraising programs, externally supported research, and community relations.
  3. Proposals for commercial activity must provide a clear benefit to the campus consistent with the University's purpose.  Examples include the following:
    1. To provide significant support to campus capital improvement initiatives for which State funds are not available to build and/or maintain (e.g., the development of a sponsorship agreement involving major corporations).
    2. To present recreational, cultural, or educational programs that are determined to be beneficial to the campus community and would be more difficult to host on campus without commercial co-sponsorship (e.g., intramural tournaments, music performances, speaker series).
    3. To enhance campus life through programs and activities that give students and staff the opportunity to examine products and services of potential interest to them
    4. To enhance student recruitment or other public relations programs (e.g., use of campus facilities by commercial organizations sponsoring youth programs).
    5. To support the printing of campus publications (e.g., athletic events programs) that are not in conflict with Section 270-25, IV.B(3) of this policy.
  4. The overall benefits of the proposed activity in terms of resources or funds generated for the campus must outweigh any cumulative negative impacts related to the operation and/or environment of the campus.  For example:
    1. The activity must not create the appearance that the University endorses, favors, or is affiliated with any commercial enterprise unless the University specifically agrees to do so in a business contract or purchase order.  Proposals for approval of commercial activities shall evaluate the degree to which the activity would create an association between the name of the University and that of the commercial entity, and the appropriateness of creating such an association.  In permitting commercial advertising or allowing a commercial firm to sponsor or participate in a University program, the circumstances shall be evaluated to determine whether equal access is available to other, similar commercial enterprises.  The University must reserve the right to approve the content of the advertisement or program and have some degree of control over how the program/project is presented to the public or to potential recipients of affiliated advertisements.  This is particularly important when dealing with agents who will have direct responsibility for promotion of a program or solicitation of advertisers.
    2. The activity must not interfere with the orderly conduct of University business (e.g., by obstruction of traffic, attraction of large off-campus audiences, excessive noise, or interruption of academic or administrative functions).
    3. The activity must not adversely affect the campus environment (e.g., by creation of litter or the subjection of individuals to advertising as a condition of receiving information that is essential to their performance as students or employees of the University).