Official functions can actively promote the university’s mission, support community value, and recognize and reward exceptional performance and service. However, the university must govern the use of the specific funds used to pay for official functions and ensure the appropriateness and reasonableness of all official functions and expenses.
Applies to employees of all UW–Madison schools, colleges, and auxiliary divisions including, but not limited to deans, directors, financial officers, and other campus leaders.
An approving authority may make reasonable and moderate expenditures (excluding alcoholic beverages) directly associated with a university official function that may have a social component but substantially advances or contributes to the university’s mission. An approving authority, in advance of expenditures being made, must formally authorize in writing expenditures related to an official function. The approving authority’s advance authorization can only be provided by completing an Official Functions and Expenses Pre-Approval Form to be attached to any request for payment or reimbursement. Expenses pursuant to this policy will not be paid or reimbursed by the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association without a properly executed Official Functions and Expenses Pre-Approval Form. The source of funds for expenses related to this official function or expense is a gift, program revenue, or trust fund such as 161, 233, 136, and 131 funds and not general-purpose revenue (GPR) or sponsored funds (grants).
It is incumbent on the approving authority to know and understand the nature and full extent of any restrictions or requirements associated with the expenditure and the related allowed uses of the proposed funds, including consideration of donor intent, university purchasing policies, and Wisconsin Foundation Alumni Association purchasing policies. The approving authority must document the justification for authorization. The approving authority must be prepared to defend the approval of a university official function or expense should there be an open record or audit-related inquiry.
Examples of functions and expenses that may be considered appropriate are (not a comprehensive list):
Expenses for university-related foundations or affiliated organizations’ board of directors meetings and expenditures for purely social functions for faculty, staff, and students are not considered appropriate charges to any source of funds administered by the UW System.
Failure to comply with this policy may result in non-payment of the official function or expense, employee personal financial responsibility for the cost of the official function or expense, or disciplinary steps up to and including dismissal.