4.6.7 Payments - Business, Recruiting, University Development and Entertainment Expenditures

A. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance for expenditures incurred for official business, recruiting University development and entertainment activities and the payment of such expenditures whether requesting payment directly to a vendor or as a reimbursement to an employee.  Exceptions to the policy require approval by the  appropriate Vice President or Dean.  Other related payment policies include Handbook of Operating Procedures (HOP) sections 4.6.3 and 4.6.4.

B. Persons Affected

This policy applies to all employees and other authorized individuals who conduct official business requiring business meals, employee recruiting activities and University development efforts, including gifts for special occasions, etc. on behalf of the University, with the exception of the President who is covered by the Regents’ Rules and Regulations, Rule 20205, titled Expenditures for Travel, Entertainment, and Housing by Chief Administrators. Specific UT Tyler policies listed here apply to the President, however, exceptions must be approved by the Vice President for Budget and Finance.

C. Policy and Procedures

  1. General Policy

    Expenditures should be made in a prudent manner, help carry out the University’s mission, and must be related to one or more of the following purposes:

    a.  recognition or promotion of academic achievement, athletic achievement, scholarship and/or service to the University;

    b.  promotion or communication of intellectual ideas and/or exchange of administrative and operational information on University programs or activities;

    c.  support of University sponsored student events, research, and activities;

    d.  recruitment of students, faculty, and/or staff;

    e.  assistance to the Regents, accrediting agencies, officials from other Universities, and other similar activities; or

    f.  support a program of continuing education.

    Payments for the following purposes can only be made from donated unrestricted gift funds and/or institutionally generated income.  State appropriated funds (21 cost centers) may not be used.

    a.  contributions to charitable organizations (must have prior approval from the President);

    b.  honoraria;

    c.  out-of-state student recruitment;

    d.  awards or gifts; or

    e.  dues or membership fees to organizations

  2. General Instructions

    All purchases of goods and services should be made in accordance with University purchasing guidelines.  Payments of expenses for business meals or refreshments will be permitted only when such expenditures are of demonstrable benefit to the University.

    Direct payments to vendors or reimbursement for expenses should be requested through a completed Substantiation of Entertainment and Business Meeting Expense form. This form may be found on the Financial Services “Forms” web page. Information on the form must include a list of attendees, business purpose, date and location of the event. The form and original receipts shall be submitted to the Department Budget Authority’s office for processing.

  3. Allowable Expenses

    Allowable expenditures may include business meals, food, refreshments, flowers, event tickets/registration fees and similar costs for University sponsored events. Maximum per person rates for entertainment expenses incurred within Texas* are stated below. All amounts shown below are exclusive of taxes (sales tax is allowed on business meals), service charges and gratuities. Reasonable gratuities may be reimbursed provided gratuity does not exceed 20% of the pre-tax expense total. In general, limits for the President are the same as those shown below, however, exceptions may be approved by the Vice President for Budget and Finance.

    The maximum per person expenditures shall not exceed the following amounts:

    Breakfast $18.00

    Lunch $25.00
    Dinner $50.00**

    *For expenses incurred in other locales, reference to the above rates may be used as a general guideline. However, the approver should use reasonable judgment when approving out-of-state expenses.
    **Dinner rates apply after 5:00 p.m. and include the cost of alcoholic beverages.
  4. Purchase of Alcoholic Beverages

    Alcoholic beverages are allowed when dispensed in conjunction with University-related business and approved by the appropriate Vice President or Dean. When alcoholic beverages are purchased in conjunction with meals, the maximum reimbursement rate for that meal will apply.

  5. Flowers

    Expenses for flowers should be reasonable, not to exceed $100 including taxes, wiring and delivery fees. Prior approval from the appropriate Vice President or Dean is required for expenditures exceeding $100.

  6. Holiday and Special Events

    Internal holiday and special events may not exceed $20 per full-time employee in attendance at the event. This rate covers all expenses associated with the event. All holiday and special events must be pre-approved by the appropriate Vice President or Dean.

  7. Federal, State, or Local Grant Contracts 

    Expenses may be paid from federal, state, or local Grant Contracts if the program guidelines provide for such expenditures. The Office of Sponsored Research must authorize these expenditures before goods or services are ordered or received.

E. Review

This policy shall be reviewed by Financial Services every five years or as legislation changes so that revisions may be recommended to the president.