13.07 Entertainment of University Guests


To establish policies and procedures for entertaining guests at University expense.

Policy Statement

Use of University funds, including state-appropriated funds, to pay for the entertainment of guests is authorized only for recognized University events and activities (see examples below). Staff entertaining University guests should do so using the most economical and opportune means. The Office of Business Operations is the designated University office to administer entertainment policies and procedures.

The Iowa Attorney General has ruled that state funds cannot be used for the purchase of alcoholic beverages or for expenditures that constitute a "private purpose", including food and beverages for routine employee breaks, staff meetings, office parties, staff retirement parties, or events of a personal nature.


A request for payment or travel expense voucher is required for payment or reimbursement of entertainment expenses, with the exception of payments to University Housing & Dining or Maucker Union. The Internal Revenue Service imposes several restrictions on entertainment expense. All expenses must be directly related to the conduct of University business. Individuals are required to list the date, time, and place of entertainment, the name of the individual(s) entertained, the relationship of the individuals(s) to the University, the business purpose of the entertainment, and the nature and amount of the expense. Itemized receipts are required. 


University funds may be used when the primary purpose of entertainment is to acquaint guests with the campus and/or the University. Foundation funds should be used when the primary purpose of entertainment is fund raising. The entertainment of guests under most other circumstances should be paid for from unrestricted departmental funds in the UNI Foundation. A general entertainment fund does not exist at the University or at the UNI Foundation.

Examples of recognized University functions include but are not limited to:

  1. Receptions and meals for candidates interviewing for professional and scientific, faculty, and institutional official positions.
  2. Receptions and meals for Iowa governmental officials including the Board of Regents in accordance with Iowa law.
  3. Receptions and dinners for visiting dignitaries from local, state, national, and foreign governments not included in number two above.
  4. Meals for the staff of the Board of Regents and regents institutions at inter-institutional meetings.
  5. Receptions and meals for the officials of businesses, corporations, foundations, and other universities serving on advisory boards.
  6. Receptions for speakers, lecturers, entertainers, and performers.
  7. University Presidents events (e.g., Christmas reception, annual staff picnic, etc.)
  8. General receptions and meals for prospective and current students, and parents including events recognizing student achievement.
  9. Receptions and meals for training sessions, strategic planning sessions, and retreats.

Direct inquiries to the University Controller if an occasion is anticipated which does not seem to be incorporated in these examples.

Please review University Policy 9.43 Reimbursable Expenses for allowable expenses in hosting campus guests.

President’s Cabinet, approved December 1999
Updated by Office of Business Operations, February 20, 2018