Use of College Funds for Meetings and Entertainment


The purpose of this policy is to ensure that all Berea College funds are used only to support appropriate College business. This policy applies to all Berea College employees. If a proposed expenditure is not listed in this policy, the following standards should guide the final expenditure decision:

  • There must be an approved budget line for such expenditures.
  • Each College department, unit, and approving official must exercise prudent judgment to ensure that the commitment of College funds is appropriate and essential for business meetings and entertainment/hosting functions.
  • Business meeting expenditures incurred by College employees and on behalf of non-employees must support the College’s academic, institutional, or public service mission.
  • The expenditure will not be personal in nature.
  • The expenditure will not be used as additional compensation (e.g., bonuses, cash, gifts, prizes, awards, etc.) except as outlined in this policy.

Business Meeting Expense Guidelines

The following reimbursement and use of College funds rules apply to all offices, departments, and units of the College.

College dining services and facilities, meeting areas, and the Boone Tavern (and associated catering services) will be used for business meetings, hosting events/functions and receptions whenever possible. Use of other providers is permitted. The decision should be based on the benefits to the College in terms of favorable cost, limited capacity/space, location, etc.

Alcoholic Beverages

Use of College Funds for alcoholic beverages for hosted or non-hosted on-campus events at College facilities is generally not permitted. Use of College funds for the purchase of alcoholic beverages or reimbursement for such purchases is limited to business meals or meetings with a donor(s) or business appointments with external guests. Any exceptions must have prior approval from the appropriate College Vice President.

Business Meetings and College-Sponsored Functions

The College recognizes entertainment/hosting as an appropriate expenditure if the activities contribute to or result from a College-related business activity.

When a meeting or function is related to College business, meals, or snacks may be purchased. Entertainment/hosting expenditures must be approved by appropriate the Vice President and adequately supported by documentation. Regular committee or similar meetings may be included under this policy if they occur at meal times.

Expenditures associated with College-wide employee functions held by the President and/or People Services (e.g., new faculty/staff member receptions, ceremonial receptions, faculty/staff appreciation and employment service award programs, employee picnic, etc.) are considered appropriate use of College funds.

Retirement and Going Away Receptions

Retirement and “going-away” receptions may be held for an employee after approval from the appropriate Vice President. College funds may be used for reasonable hors d’oeuvres, or other low-cost food and non-alcoholic beverages. “Going-away” receptions held for employees transferring to another department or unit are not considered an appropriate use of College funds. Other retirement functions (e.g., parties, dinners, etc.) are considered an inappropriate use of College funds unless approved in advance by the appropriate Vice President. People Services already provides a large reception and gift to all retirees. Therefore, no retirement gifts are to be purchased with departmental funds.

Social Gatherings for Employees

Holiday parties (e.g., Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc.) may be held. The use of College funds is appropriate for reasonable and modest expenditures on campus for a limited number of departmental/office gatherings annually. Off campus celebrations at the College’s expense are not appropriate unless justified to and approved by the appropriate Vice President. All social gatherings using College funds must be approved by the appropriate Vice President, or his/her designee.

Other Receptions

College Funds should not be used for receptions such as baby showers, wedding showers, birthday parties or similar types of activities that are of a personal nature and not related to College business. However, such celebrations are appropriate when initiated and funded by employees on behalf of their colleagues.

Student Employee Appreciation

Student employee appreciation events may be held and the use of College funds is appropriate under the same conditions as all other employee events (e.g., “going-away” receptions are acceptable; gifts and plaques are not acceptable).

Employee Gifts, Prizes, and Awards

Use of College funds for employee gifts, prizes, and awards is appropriate only when it is associated with a campus-wide program.

(This policy was revised by the Administrative Committee, September 2003.)