To provide guidance for the use of university funds for food or lodging expenditures. Travel-related guidelines for faculty and staff members and others are provided at https://obo.uni.edu/accounts-payable/travel-guidelines.
The general policy of the university is to prohibit the use of budgeted funds (whether obtained from appropriations, student fees, grants, or other sources) for reimbursement of expenditures to provide food or lodging to campus guests, visitors, faculty and staff members, or students except under certain described and carefully controlled circumstances. Such circumstances are detailed below:
Allowable Expenses for Hosting Campus Guests
University funds may be used for the following purposes, under the following circumstances, and in the following ways by appropriate charges to departmental supplies and services accounts.
- To sponsor general receptions for students and parents at the time of Commencement or other major events on a university wide or college level. Such receptions will be limited to the serving of light refreshments and nonalcoholic beverages. Total expenses for each such event will be subject to reasonable limits. Receptions for students and parents may be held at the departmental level with approval and funding from the appropriate Dean or Vice-President.
- For luncheons and refreshments provided members of the Board of Regents State of Iowa and the executives of the institutions under that Board at times when the Board or one of its official committees is meeting on the campus.
- To provide housing and dining arrangements, to the extent permitted by law, for legislators or other state officials making official visits to the campus or coming as guests of the university for special occasions.
- For luncheons, dinners, and receptions held by the President of the University.
- To provide receptions for annual division recognition events.
- To provide receptions for nationally known speakers and performers, as well as for conference speakers, lecturers, or other persons assisting in formal instructional programs. Such receptions will be limited to the service of light refreshments and nonalcoholic beverages. Total expenses for each event will be subject to reasonable limits-and subject to prior approval of the appropriate Dean or Vice-President.
- For meal reimbursement to staff members at General Services Administration (GSA) allowable rates:
a. When interviewing invited candidates for professional positions on the university staff. Allowance will be made for the candidate and partner and two employees for breakfast and lunch and four employees for dinner.
b. When entertaining nationally known speakers and performers, as well as conference speakers, lecturers, or other individual guests assisting directly in the formal instructional program. Allowance will be made for the guest and two employees for breakfast and lunch and four employees for dinner.
c. When serving as an official university host to a visiting dignitary (foreign visitor, U.S. Government official, Foundation representative, visitor from another university, etc.). Meals for the host employee are allowed in addition to the costs for the guest.
- For entertainment of university guests in university dining halls under the following circumstances:
a. The Office of Admissions may make meal tickets available to prospective students and their parents for use in the dining halls.
b. A college may sponsor a meal for prospective scholarship awardees and invited guests, under special arrangements approved by the Vice-President and Provost.
c. Groups composing a meeting at the university of a national, regional, or state-wide professional committee, with the approval of the appropriate Vice-President or Dean.
d. Larger groups of persons who assist the instructional program of the university, with the approval of the Vice-President and Provost. (Examples would be internship supervisors and departmental or college advisory groups.)
Allowable Expenses for Meetings of Staff and Students
University funds may be used under the following circumstances by appropriate charges to departmental supplies and services accounts:
When in the judgment of the university’s president or vice president (or designee), it is deemed essential and appropriate to hold meetings of a department, college, or division staff, or of members of a regular or special presidentially-appointed committee, during times outside the normal business hours of the university, and, when such meetings span a normal meal hour, a meal may be provided at GSA allowable rates. If, for any reason, a meal must be provided at a cost above GSA allowable rates, the difference must be provided by private funds. If funds of individual staff members are used, the individuals may apply for reimbursement chargeable to taxable meals. Presidential or vice presidential (or designee) approval from the division sponsoring the event in these circumstances must be sought and received in advance, and, also, should be clearly indicated on the request for payment.
It is difficult to anticipate all possible circumstances that might constitute exceptions to the general policy statement on Reimbursable Expenses. If a circumstance or occasion is anticipated which does not seem to be covered by the foregoing statements, special requests for exception may be referred in advance to the University Director of Business Operations.
Office of Business Operations, approved April 18, 2017
President’s Cabinet, approved May 8, 2017
President and Executive Management Team, approved June 14, 2017