Office of the Vice President for
Administration and Finance
SECTION: GENERAL INDEX: A-11
The University recognizes the need for memberships in professional organizations and other associations that are demonstrably beneficial to the institution or germane to the performance of an employee's duties.
Memberships or dues for professional organizations that are to be paid with state-appropriated funds or from federally funded sponsored projects are subject to state and federal rules and regulations.
All expenditures for memberships, regardless of fund source, must be reviewed and approved by the President before purchase.
The following criteria must be met for all memberships:
- The membership must be directly beneficial to the institution or to the performance of an individual's job.
- When the membership is in an employee's name, it must be transferable if that employee were to leave the university’s employment.
- Membership requests are to be submitted on voucher, approved by the department head and then forwarded to the President for final review and either approval or disapproval.
- Multiple memberships within the same organization are to be avoided whenever possible.
- Memberships are generally paid from a central account; however, the department head may authorize payment from a department account when:
- Membership is required in order for a faculty member to present a paper; or
- The membership is not transferable once the employee leaves university employment.
- For all memberships, the voucher information must include:
- The name of the organization;
- The period of membership (mo/yr to mo/yr);
- The name of employee, if the employee is representing the institution;
- A clear statement of purpose and benefit to the university; and
- The following statement: "Department Head has granted approval for membership."
FEDERALLY FUNDED SPONSORED PROJECTS
Federal regulations prohibit directly charging memberships, other than the institution’s membership in business, technical and professional organizations, to federally funded sponsored projects. (References)
MEMBERSHIP FEES PAID TO A CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
A state agency may not join a chamber of commerce using state appropriated funds (Fund 1 accounts). A state agency may, however, contract with a chamber of commerce to provide services to the agency.
MEMBERSHIP DUES PAID TO AN ORGANIZATION THAT PAYS THE SALARY OF A REGISTERED LOBBYIST.
Texas Government Code, states that unless authorized by law, no state appropriated funds (Fund 1) may be expended to pay membership dues to an organization that pays all or part of the salary of a person who is required to register as a lobbyist under chapter 305, Texas Government Code. This prohibition applies regardless of whether the membership would be in the name of the University or of an employee of the University. (References)
According to SAM 02.A.39, Political Aid and Legislative Influence, this should not be construed as prohibiting the payment of reasonable dues to an organization that is designed to represent student interests in the state legislature or federal congress from that portion of mandatory student service fee collections that is allocated to the student government organization. However, mandatory student service fees shall not be used to influence the outcome of any election. (References)
- Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-21, Cost Principles for Educational Institutions, Section J, Item 33
- Texas Government Code 556.002(b), 556.005(b), Restrictions on Use of State Appropriations
- UH System Policy 02.A.39, Political Aid and Legislative Influence
Philip Castille, Ph.D.
Next review date: July, 2018
Origination: Finance Department
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