Since many business and professional discussions, negotiations, and transactions take place during periods of entertainment, it is recognized that business entertainment is important to the operation of the University. By definition, business entertainment involves those expenses incurred in extending reasonable hospitality to University guests. Claim for reimbursement of entertainment expenses incurred while not in travel status should be submitted on a direct pay form.
The intent of these regulations is to provide guidelines for control purposes. Therefore, the following conditions must be met before entertainment expenses may be authorized.
- The principal character or purpose of the entertainment occasion must be University business. Direct benefit to the University should result from entertainment expenditures.
- Entertainment expenditures must be reasonable and documented on a basis that will show the following:
- (1) Identification of the person or group being entertained, and of the University personnel who officially represent the University. If a small group is being entertained, the names of all persons attending should be shown; for larger groups, only the name or names of the honored guests should be indicated along with the number of persons attending. In all cases, official University representatives should be listed.
- (2) A brief statement as to the reason or purpose of the entertainment and/or benefit to be gained by the University.
- (3) The place of entertainment.
- (4) Receipts or invoices for entertainment are required.
- Entertainment may be authorized for the following categories:
Prospective faculty and staff. The University is recruiting in a highly competitive market for top faculty and staff. The University policy is to invite prospective faculty and staff to visit the campus. Both prospect and spouse may be invited if deemed advantageous; and travel, lodging, and food expenses will be reimbursed. Entertainment, on a reasonable basis, associated with a recruitment visit is recognized as a proper expenditure.
Official guests of the University or any of its divisions. Entertainment of guests is appropriate and is usually undertaken by administrative officials, deans, department heads or designated faculty members, or by other individuals designated by administrative officials. However, the University will not reimburse guests for travel and related expenses except those traveling to the University on specific invitation.
Groups attending conferences, workshops, meetings, and seminars. Many conferences and workshops conducted by the University are supported by registration fees. Meals and non-alcoholic refreshments for other campus business meetings related to University purposes are allowable when those meals and refreshments are incidental to such meetings. For example, meals and refreshments served during the course of lengthy meetings when it is not practicable to interrupt for lunch are allowable; whereas the occasional business lunch where two or more University employees discuss University related business is not allowable. Persons receiving meals under these circumstances should not claim the State meal allowance.
No entertainment expenses shall be incurred that are contrary to State statutes and applicable regulations. Expenditures for alcoholic beverages, civic and other club dues, and lobbying efforts are specifically prohibited.
Reimbursement requests (direct pay forms) for entertainment that includes the purchase of refreshments for use at a University location (when such entertainment meets the criteria herein described) should include a completed, approved food use form (Exhibit J). The form should include, among other things, documentation of the purpose of the entertainment and personnel (University, non-University and students) attending.
Combined Travel and Entertainment
On occasion, an employee who travels for the University entertains an official guest of the University at a meal while in another city. In this case, the actual expenses of the guest's meal are reimbursable to the employee according to the entertainment guidelines of the University. The expenses of the employee's meal, however, are reimbursable according to the out-of-state travel regulations if out-of-state travel was involved, or according to the in-state travel regulations if in-state travel was involved. Claim for reimbursement of entertainment expenses while traveling must be submitted on the appropriate travel form along with other travel expenses. Entertainment expenses for all persons, except for the meals of the employee, should be listed in the "Other Expenses" section of the travel form. Employee meals that are part of the entertainment should be listed in the "Meals" section for out-of-state travel but should not be listed for in-state travel (since the in-state per diem covers this expense).