Funding Non-Travel Related Meals and Receptions

Effective: Thursday, June 4, 2020

Last Revised: Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Responsible University Administrator: Vice Chancellor, Business & Finance

Responsible University Office: Accounts Payable

Policy Contact: Accounts Payable


This policy applies to all University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) faculty and staff.

Policy Statement

The State of Nebraska’s Department of Administrative Services permits payment of employee expenses while not in travel
status under State Statute 81-1174 “for attendance at official functions, conferences or hearing(s).” If not permitted under
this statute, employee expenses while not in travel status are not allowed. The lists below and attached flowchart provide
guidance, but are not exhaustive.

The following is UNL’s definition of “official functions, conferences or hearings” for campus purposes:

Chancellor-Sponsored or All-Campus Events
Commencement & Hooding Ceremonies
Annual Faculty/Staff Service Award Program
State of the University Picnic
Distinguished Professor Award Winners’ Receptions/Dinners

Vice Chancellor-Sponsored Events
Chairs Workshop
Annual IANR Picnic for new and retired faculty
Research Compliance Trainings
Faculty Research Development

The business purpose and a list of attendees must be provided including their place of employment/headquarter city.
Please use this form to record the required information.

  • UNL sponsored community visits or programs
  • Recruiting new faculty/staff members meals/receptions
  • Visiting faculty, guest speakers and/or consultants meals/receptions
  • Faculty/Staff retreats/training sessions with external presenter(s) and agenda
  • Advisory Board meetings (composed all or in-part of external members)
  • Student orientation or other student recognition events
  • Site/Accreditation visits
  • Student organization meals/receptions
  • 4-H Camps
  • Meals/receptions with students (student employees must be participating as students)
  • Other training/educational programs with prior written approval of the Vice Chancellor of Business and Finance (a copy of the written approval must be submitted with the invoice/reimbursement request).

All of the following criteria must be met to qualify as an allowable training/educational program:

  • Program is clearly aligned with the strategic goals of the university;
  • Program will have a bona fide impact on the long-term vitality and strategic direction of the university;
  • Program is not a recurring business or staff meeting; and,
  • Program is not set for the purpose of disseminating technical information.
  • Program must be a reasonable duration to justify a meal being served (i.e.: 5 hours or more).

New Faculty Orientation
New Faculty meet the academic leadership, hear from successful faculty about establishing careers in research and
teaching, learn about faculty governance, employee benefits, meet with representatives of various campus units.

Promotion & Tenure
Annual reception for celebrating Faculty who have been promoted and received Tenure.

Meals Not to Be Funded by the University
Aside from the previously listed exemptions, the following is a list of UNL activities that should not be funded by the
University. Use of private funds (reimbursement directly from the Foundation) may be appropriate, if in keeping with the
gift restrictions.

  • Employee meals (includes meals while work is being conducted) when employee is not in travel status
  • Employee recognition events (includes gifts, cards, flowers, etc.)
  • Retirement receptions
  • Department receptions and meetings with no external speaker
  • Routine faculty or staff meetings with no external speakers/attendees
  • Internal Advisory Boards with no non-University members
  • Holiday parties
  • Research grant receptions
  • Administrative Professionals Day events
  • Boss's Day events
  • Food utensils and other supplies (not associated with events listed above)
  • Departmental candy jars
  • Soda pop
  • Beverages (Soda, Coffee, Bottled Water, etc.)
  • Cooler rental
  • Snacks (donuts, cookies, popcorn, etc.)

Reason for Policy

This policy is meant to provide direction to UNL faculty and staff regarding what events are eligible for University funding when the employee is not in travel status.


Please contact Accounts Payable at 402-472-2881 with any questions or clarification/interpretation of this policy.

Additional Contacts

Accounts Payable - Questions (Occassional Expenses)




  • This policy was reformatted in 2021, contact information was updated at that time.