Guidelines for Funding Non-Travel Related Meals and Receptions

Last Revised: January, 2019

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 this flowchart  provide guidance, but are not exhaustive. Please contact Accounting at 402-472-8786 or 402-472-8779 with any questions or clarification/interpretation of this policy.

Official Functions, Conferences, or Hearings

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 carious campus units. Learn more about the New Faculty Development Program.

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.  This list provides guidance, but is not exhaustive.  Please contact Accounting at 402-472-8786 or 402-472-8779 with any questions or clarification/interpretation of this policy.

  • 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.)