This policy governs the appropriate use of University funds by employees for meals, refreshments, or other entertainment. The policy applies regardless whether the funds are expended on or off campus and regardless of funding source or method of payment. It shall be used in conjunction with the University travel policy.



Alcoholic beverages include beer, wine, and any other distilled spirits.


Refers to expense which is permitted under this policy.


The individual responsible for approving expense reports; it may also refer to the Vice President of Finance and Administration or President as those who may approve exceptions as described in this policy.


Business meeting expenditures are expenditures for meals or light refreshments incurred in connection with meetings of employees to conduct official University business. At least one University employee or other individual representing the University must be present at any business meeting that includes non-University persons.


Cabinet members are those designated as serving as a member of the President’s cabinet.


For the purposes of this policy, entertainment refers to any food, beverage or social/recreational activity expended by employees to conduct official business.


A Guest is a person who renders a service to the University or to whom the University
wishes to extend goodwill and who is present at a University business meeting,
entertainment event, or other activity at the invitation of a University official authorized to
host the activity. A guest may not be another University employee.


Light refreshments include coffee and other beverages, snacks, hors d’oeuvres,
pastries, cookies, crackers, chips, fruit, etc.


A Meal is a catered or restaurant-provided breakfast, lunch, or dinner at which
employees, students, or other individuals are present for the purpose of conducting
substantial and bona fide University business. Groceries and beverages purchased for
an event shall also be considered as meal(s).


Per diem is the designated amounts per meal as indicated in the University’s travel policy.


Activities, meals, light refreshments provided to students for University sanctioned events, etc.


Payment to an employee who has incurred personal expense for approved expenditures.


Expenses that are not permitted as described in this policy.


Any source of funding managed by the University. For the purposes of this policy, there shall be no distinction between restricted funds, endowment funds, or operating funds.

Categories of Entertainment


The University will pay or reimburse expenses for light meals and refreshments for business meetings involving University employees under the following conditions:

  • The occurrence is infrequent, approved by the requisite Cabinet member, the cost does not exceed the University’s per diem rates, and the purpose is work related in nature. Examples of the type of allowable expenditures would be search committees, training sessions/workshops, working meetings with individuals compensated by professional services contract and other University appointed committee meetings.


A reasonable presentation of meals and light refreshments are allowable for certain visitors and guests under the following conditions:

  • Individuals must be distinguished guests, speakers, interviewees, and persons visiting the University as non-paid guests accompanied by a University host.
  • No more than two University representatives, including students, per guest shall be allowable and expenses must not exceed the University’s per diem rates.


Refreshments such as coffee and water for public reception areas are allowable in cases where non-university guests are frequent and primary usage is for non-university individuals such as Enrollment, Alumni, Finance & Administration, and the President’s office. All other areas require pre-approval from the Vice President of Finance & Administration or his designee.


The University may provide for the entertainment and meals, either individually or on an event basis for the recruitment of prospective students and donor solicitation but shall be limited to the Senior Vice President of Enrollment and the Vice President of University Advancement, respectively, and/or their designees upon their approval, as well as the President and/or her designee(s) upon her approval. No more than two University representatives per guest shall be allowable and expenses shall not exceed the University’s per diem rates unless otherwise approved for exception (including prohibited expenditures) on a case-by case basis at the discretion of the Senior VP of Enrollment and VP of Advancement.


The University may provide students with light meals and refreshments in support of academic or programmatic endeavors such as:

  • Athletic or club team activities, game related meals, and other meals in accordance with the rules and guidelines of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) as applicable.
  • University sponsored club meals and activities subject to the approval of the Vice President of Student Life or designee.
  • Meals for groups of students in an academic based activity that occurs in an infrequent basis subject to the approval of the requisite Cabinet member.
  • Meals for student orientation programs, commencement activities, and similar activities.
  • Support of students in volunteer activities.

*Meals for faculty/staff accompanying students in such activities are not allowed; however, when sanction event occurs off campus, those faculty/staff meals shall be governed by the travel policy.

The daily meal per diem for students shall not exceed $30 per student per day (B=$7, L=$10, D=$13). Students and athlete per diem is subject to the availability of funds within each departmental budget.


Regardless of the source of funding or method of payment – shall not exceed the University’s per diem rates. Any request for exception to these per diem rates or total faculty/staff entertainment expense exceeding $500 must have prior approval of the President or Vice President of Finance & Administration.

Prohibited Expenditures

The following expenses are prohibited and shall not be the responsibility of the University. All such expenses incurred by an individual shall be considered a personal expense:

  • Employee meals – Meals with one or more employees while meeting for business or social purposes or meals for an employee meeting with an associate or colleague.
  • Expenditures exceeding the University’s per diem
  • Expenditures exceeding allowable # of guests
  • Alcohol
  • Flowers, Gifts, Cards – Individuals or individual departments may not use University funds to provide flowers, gifts or cards for employees, family members, associates or friends.
  • Separation – employee retirement or departure
  • Holiday functions, including meals, social activities, decorations and supplies
  • Social events
  • Birthdays/Weddings/Baby celebrations
  • University wide social events, meals or entertainment without the prior approval of the President, the board of the staff organization (US/A?), or Vice President of Student Life.
  • Charitable – The authority to use University funds for charitable contributions shall rest in the President’s Office. Individuals or departments may not make donations utilizing University funding.
  • Gratuities – Gratuities shall be allowable for meals at restaurants at a rate not to exceed 18%.


Any request for exception to this policy must be made to the Purchasing office prior to the incurrence of any expense and subject to the approval of the Vice President of Finance and Administration.



Employees seeking reimbursement for meal and entertainment expenses incurred from their personal funds must submit their expense reports within a reasonable amount of time not to exceed thirty days after the expenses were paid or incurred. Any expense reports not submitted within this time limit are at risk of the expense reimbursement being rejected or subject to being reported on the employee’s IRS from W-2 subject to IRS reporting requirements.


Expense reports may be prepared by either the employee or their designee; however, it is the responsibility of the employee requesting reimbursement to ensure all information is accurate and complete. The signature of the employee requesting reimbursement is required to sign their expense report.

  • All expense reports must include the following information in order to be considered for reimbursement:
  • Description and purpose of the event, including identification of individual(s), dates, nature of type of event.
  • Itemized accounting of each transaction.
  • Receipts detailing the items purchased. Receipts showing only the total amounts will be considered incomplete.
  • Signature of the approving authority (direct supervisor).
  • The Banner fund/org to which the reimbursement is to be charged.
  • In instances where the entertainment exceeds the per diem rates or $500, a copy of the written pre-approval must be included.

Once completed and signed by the applicable approving authority, the expense report is to be submitted to Accounts Payable for review and processing. It is the responsibility of the employee requesting reimbursement to obtain the necessary signatures and routing to Accounts Payable.