Entertainment and Official Occasion Expense Policy

Modified and Effective as of September 2010

General Guidelines

An “official occasion” is defined as a reception, dinner, lunch, or similar event that is sponsored and funded by the college.
Entertainment expenditures relate to recognition or promotion of academic achievement and/or service to the university; recruitment of faculty, staff, and students; communication of intellectual ideas and/or exchange of administrative and operation information; and support of institution sponsored events or of a program of continuing education.


The following per person reimbursement limits will apply to meals and entertainment expenses. All amounts shown below are INCLUSIVE of taxes, service charges and gratuities. Tips and/or gratuity cannot exceed 20%. A person may elect to expend more per person on the entertainment event; however the actual reimbursement will be limited to the amount noted below:

Breakfast/Lunch: $25
Dinner: $55
Reception: $55

Approval for an exception to these limits will be very minimal and need prior approval. If an entertainment event is planned and costs are anticipated to be in excess of the allowance, an e-mail should be sent to Assistant Dean Cathy Kothlow at kothlow@austin.utexas.edu, requesting approval.
Expenditures or reimbursements for working meals that include only College of Fine Arts faculty or staff should be limited to what is absolutely essential for business purposes.
Every effort should be made to limit the number of people involved in recruiting of prospective faculty members when dining out. Meals should generally involve no more than four – the guest and 3 faculty or search committee members.
Spouse’s expenses should only be covered and included when deemed to be for a bona fide business purpose and a benefit to the College of Fine Arts. For example, the presence of a spouse at a major event for supporters or potential donors where attendance by spouses is customary and expected, or in cases when the invited guest brings his/her spouse to an event.
Alcohol expenses should be kept to a minimum and may require detailed explanations and justifications for their business purpose and reasonableness. Advance approval by the Executive Vice President and Provost is required to serve alcohol on campus facilities.


An Official Occasion Expense Form must be submitted with the entertainment voucher, VPE document in *DEFINE.
An itemized receipt must be included for all reimbursements. If payment was made on a credit card, the cardholder’s copy should also be attached with the itemized receipt.
Flowers may be purchased for memorial services or extended illnesses of an employee; an employee’s spouse, child, or parent; or a retiree, and must be sent in the name of the department or office. Flowers may also be purchased for other occasions that serve a bona fide business purpose. Cost for flowers should not exceed $100 including any service charges and/or delivery fees.
Awards to employees, retirees, students, or friends of the University of Texas are allowed and should not exceed $50. These awards exclude gift certificates and gift cards. Gifts of cash or merchandise to retirees, staff, and students are not allowed.
The university’s official policy on entertainment and official occasion expenses can be found at the following web link: