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University Policy Highlights
Last Updated December 16, 2016
Each year we take an opportunity to remind Eller faculty and staff about some key university policies. As a $100 + million dollar business funded through state taxpayer dollars, tuition and fees, grants and donors, we must ensure responsible management of these funds, including proper business and internal controls and adherence to policies and procedures. And as the business school, we want to exemplify best business practices within the University of Arizona.
This means navigating the bureaucratic maze as efficiently as possible while staying within the ‘rules.’ We all have to operate within constraints, and as public institutions we have a more complex environment than privately run organizations. We are accountable to many constituencies, including the State, Board of Regents, students, their parents, and the future employers of our students. Therefore, we have to operate with transparency to provide assurance that funds are being used appropriately and judiciously. Please work with your departmental administrator and the Dean’s Office as needed for business and administrative matters. Being proactive, timely and having complete documentation of expenses and business purpose is important.
Following are a few specific reminders related to activities that come up frequently, or have been identified as issues during past audits:
- Travel: If you plan to travel, have a Travel Authorization on file, signed by your supervisor or the Department Head, BEFORE you leave. This authorization is required for all travel related to university business, even if expenses are covered and you will not be requesting a reimbursement.
- International Travel: If you are planning an international trip, you are now required to register in the University International Travel Registry. At minimum, this registration must be completed 30 days prior to the trip. This lead time is required because the Provost and the newly formed International Travel Safety Oversight Committee must review and approve the trip. Failure to register may result in disciplinary action, non-reimbursement of travel expenses, ineligibility for UA insurance during the trip, and limitations on future travel. In addition, travel involving the export of certain items (Technical Data, Equipment, Substances, ITAR) may require additional approvals. Plan ahead!
- Research and Grants: We encourage faculty to participate in research activities. Information regarding university resources to support grants, contracts and research activities are available on the university’s Research Gateway site: http://rgw.arizona.edu/
- Contracts with parties outside the University: Contracts with parties outside the University must be signed by designated individuals in the University’s contracting offices; other employees are not authorized to sign contracts on behalf of the department or college.
- Receipt Requirements: To ensure compliance, the University requires that itemized receipts be provided to support reimbursements. Credit card receipts usually do not provide adequate detail; be sure to request an itemized receipt that identifies the items purchased or ordered, the unit price, and the total price, including tax. FYI, the Eller College guideline for dinner expenses for college guests and candidates is to incur reasonable charges; a dinner cost greater than $80/person, inclusive of beverages, tax and gratuities, would require compelling justification.
- Business Purpose: To ensure compliance, the University requires documentation to support the business purpose of the expense as supporting documentation for reimbursements. Examples: For business meeting expenses, provide the date and time of the meeting, agenda, and participants. For a conference registration, provide a copy of the summary conference program.
- Reimbursements Timeframe: When requesting reimbursements, policy requires that receipts for travel and other business expenses be turned in within ten working days to ensure timely processing. For reimbursements to qualify as nontaxable payments under the IRS ‘accountable plan,’ receipts must be submitted within 60 days after the expenses were incurred. The University allows an additional 30 days to allow appropriate processing time. If the expense is submitted after 90 days, the reimbursement will be considered ‘unqualified’ and paid through the payroll system. The cost to the department will be higher, because ERE will be applied to the expense, and the reimbursement will be taxable income to the recipient.
- Conflict of Interest & Commitment: If you are performing work outside of the college, if you are serving as a principal investigator on a grant, or are involved in a board, business or other activity that requires disclosure, this must be documented. The policy and forms have been updated recently and are available on the University’s website: http://orcr.arizona.edu/coi/forms
- Additional Assignments: At times, extra duties with extra pay may be assigned (supplemental compensation, other professional services or temporary additional duties), or course buyouts may be proposed. The details must be clarified and agreements need to be documented ahead of time so that grant and institutional guidelines can be reviewed and approvals obtained to ensure proper processing and timing.
- Use of Personal Vehicle for University Business: If you drive your personal vehicle for University business, you are required to register as a UA driver, obtain prior approval from your Dean or Department Head, and provide a current copy of your insurance card to your department. As the vehicle owner, you are responsible for your own insurance for vehicle damage, including all costs and any applicable deductibles in the event of a claim or loss. Additional information about the policy and a link to the online registration form is available on the Risk Management website:
- Hiring and or Adding Duties: There are many ways a person may be hired and paid, each with laws and restrictions that must be followed. If you are able to hire someone (or offer an existing employee additional hours), do not promise them payment until the appropriate process has been identified and necessary approvals are received. Do not let them start working until the full hiring process has been approved and completed.
- Book buyers: You may receive email or personal inquiries to sell unwanted books from the publisher. Please do not sell any books to these book buyers and ask them to leave the premises immediately. These individuals are not allowed in the building. If you receive an email from them, forward this message to your department head or business manager to inform them of our policy.
Thank you for your attention to these policies.