St. Cloud State University Foundation

Discretionary Spending Policy

7.1.2017

I. Purpose and Scope

Certain types of expenditures may be made from university funds, (state funds) while others, although necessary and appropriate, would not normally be approved using university funds. The St. Cloud State University Foundation Discretionary Spending Policy attempts to clarify the appropriate source of funds for certain categories of expenditures and establishes the minimum level of approval required. Because the discretionary funds are held in the SCSU Foundation, this policy was established jointly by the SCSU Business Office and SCSU Foundation.

The Foundation will not reimburse a University employee for any type of expense eligible for reimbursement under the employee's personnel plan or bargaining agreement. University employees shall not be paid or reimbursed by the Foundation for any expense or receive other benefits from the Foundation that would constitute taxable income to the employee under IRS regulations or additional compensation under state law. University employees may not receive reimbursement or other benefit that creates a conflict of interest or compensation from an outside source prohibited by Minnesota Statutes 43A.38 or other law, rule or policy.

NOTE: If the Business Office column states yes, then payment must go through the Business Office first. In certain instances the Foundation may transfer funds to cover the expense.

II. Policy

The detailed policy requirements for various expenditure categories may be reviewed below.

Type of Transaction State Funds SCSU Foundation Funds Comments
Alcoholic Beverages-Campus No Yes Service of alcohol is subject to University policy with prior approval required. Expenses are eligible for reimbursement when hosting and entertaining official University guests such as alumni, donors, peers and corporate guests only. Employees not entertaining external constituents will not be reimbursed for alcohol purchases.
Apparel/Employees No Yes Foundation funds may only be used if the apparel is required by all employees at a special event, e.g., admissions/recruiting, job fair, etc. for marketing purposes only. Foundation funds may not be used for daily wear. Any purchases exceeding $50 per person requires prior approval.
Apparel/Students Yes Yes Foundation funds may only be used if the apparel is required by all employees at a special event, e.g., admissions/recruiting, job fair, etc. for marketing purposes only. Foundation funds may not be used for daily wear. Any purchases exceeding $50 per person requires prior approval. See Student Apparel Policy. The Business Office requires a Special Expense form.
Cards
Holiday/Greeting Cards and Postage for External Constituents only
No Yes External use only
Candy Yes Yes Foundation Funds may be used for campus events such as Student Life events and activities, recruitment, orientation, etc. Foundation funds may not be used for filling office candy dishes or in-classroom student/employee appreciation. The Business Office requires a Special Expense form.
Contributions      
To political parties or politicians No No Political contributions are prohibited by the IRS.
Memorial contributions No No No contributions in lieu of flowers.
Non-profit organizations No No  
Dues      
Institutional Yes Yes If University funds are insufficient, funds may be transferred from the SCSU Foundation to cover the expense.
Individual Professional Membership Yes Yes If University funds are insufficient, funds may be transferred from the SCSU Foundation to cover the expense.
Civic, Service No Yes Pursuant to official SCSU business only.
Private Clubs No Yes SCSU President.
Professional Licenses Yes Yes Must be required or expected as a condition of position.
Employee Awards & Research Rewards      
Employee Award/Incentive Programs Yes Yes Non-cash awards such as plaques & trophies and nominal recognition. Business Office requires a Special Expense Form.
Gift Cards/Gift Certificates No No  
Entertainment/Performance      
Employees Yes Yes Allowable when in official university capacity such as donor cultivation or community or industry partnership. The Business Office requires a Special Expense form.
Non-Employees Yes Yes Allowable when in official university capacity such as donor cultivation or community or industry partnership. The Business Office requires a Special Expense form.
Entrance Fees-Students & Employees Yes Yes Foundation funds may be used for entrance fees to charitable events such as golf scrambles, fishing tournaments, trivia nights, Boy Scout tournaments, Lawn Socials, etc. Only when acting in an official SCSU capacity. The Business Office requires a Special Expense form. State funds are limited to educational purposes and when on official SCSU business.
Equipment      
Capital equipment (including computer equipment) Yes Yes Foundation will not directly pay, however we will transfer approved capital purchases to Business Services.
Furniture Yes Yes Foundation will not directly pay, however we will transfer approved capital purchases to Business Services.
Flowers      
Congratulatory No No  
Employee Recognition Days (Administrative Professional’s Day, etc.) No No    
Event decorations Yes Yes Must be University sanctioned events. Receipt is required including title and purpose of the event. The Business Office requires a Special Expense form.
Funeral/Illness No Yes Limited to employee, immediate family members as defined by employee sick leave guidelines, and board/advisory council members. A $75 limit per occasion (receipt required including name of deceased and relationship to SCSU.)
Gratuity Yes Yes Reimbursement is limited to a maximum of 20%. Business Office union contract daily meal allowance.
Gifts      
Employee Retirement No Yes Gifts are permitted for up to a $100 limit. No gift cards.
Gift Cards No No No gift cards may be given to students, student employees or university employees. Considered taxable income by the IRS.
Non-Cash/Non-Employee No No Non-cash gifts and gift cards are not allowable,
Donors & Official Guests      
Appreciation Yes Yes Token of appreciation given in recognition at a special occasion such as a guest speaker/lecturer, etc. Limit $25. No gift cards. Business Office Requires a Special Expense Form.
Special Occasions Yes Yes Token of appreciation given in recognition at a special event such as an Advisory Council meeting, donor or corporate partner visit or action. Limit $25. No gift cards. The Business Office requires a Special Expense form.
Athletic/Special Event Tickets No Yes Token of appreciation given in recognition at a special occasions such as a guest speaker/lecturer, etc. Limit $25. No gift cards.
Honoraria Yes Yes Anything that is $2,000 and over can be transferred to Business Services. Foundation requires the business purpose or agenda and a list of meeting participants. Business Office is completed through the contract process.
Meals      
For all food purchases a special expense form is required by Business Services. Per IRS requirements, the Foundation requires the business purpose or agenda and who was at the meeting. All open invitations must include a copy of the invitation.
Appreciation & “Just Because” for Faculty/Staff & Students No No Includes classroom participation.
Candidate interviews Yes Yes Refer to the Business Office Recruitment Policy. Commercially prepared food only.
Community Engagement Events Yes Yes The Business Office requires a Special Expense form. Commercially prepared food only.
Employee entertaining employee No No    
Entertaining at employee's home No Yes President only conducting official SCSU business. Commercially prepared food only.
Formally organized events Yes Yes Convocation commencement reception, faculty/staff welcome gathering, ice cream socials, retirement functions, non-regularly scheduled retreats and workshops. Commercially prepared food only. The Business Office requires a Special Expense form.
Regularly recurring departmental/employee meetings No No Includes team meetings.
Mileage/Travel Reimbursement      
Employee Travel Yes Yes Education related travel expenses and conference registration fees are allowable expenses.
Education related - Student travel Yes Yes Education related travel expenses and conference registration fees are allowable expenses.
Professional Association & Student Conference Registration Fee Yes Yes Education related travel expenses and conference registration fees are allowable expenses.
Miscellaneous      
SCSU Parking Permits or Citation No No    
Cellphones Yes No Business Office per union contracts.
Home Internet Access Yes No  Business Office per union contracts.
Non-Employee Awards      
Awards No Yes Any award must have a completed W-9 before award can be given to winner.
Inducement to participate in faculty research study No Yes The use of a nominal level gift card as an inducement/enticement to participate in a faculty research study is allowable.
Office Expenses      
Appliances Yes Yes Purchase of small appliances is allowed for department or school/college/unit use. Not for individual use. All capital purchases become the property of SCSU and items must be tagged by Inventory Control.
Common Area Pictures, Artwork, Decorations Yes Yes The Business Office requires a Special Expense form.
Computers and Instruments Yes No
Course related materials and books Yes No    
Event Decorations Yes Yes The Business Office requires a Special Expense form.
Holiday Decorations No No    
Individual office decorations No No    
Supplies Yes Yes  Directly paid to vendor. If purchased by employee must be reimbursed through business services.
Student Payments      
Scholarships and Fees Yes Yes Payments to a student goes through Financial Aid as a scholarship award. The Foundation will transfer the money to business services.
Transfers      
Business Services to Foundation No N/A    
Foundation to Business Services N/A Yes Expense must be allowable per the Fund agreement & include documentation and explanation as to why this transfer is needed. Business Services cost center must be provided.
Foundation to Foundation N/A Yes Expense must be allowable per the Fund agreement & include documentation and explanation as to why this transfer is needed. Business Services cost center must be provided.