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PS-05.A.01 - Entertainment Expenditures Policy

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EFFECTIVE DATE: November 11, 2020

ISSUE #: 4

PRESIDENT:  Dr. Antonio D. Tillis (Interim)


This policy statement prescribes the guidelines to be followed by University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) employees regarding business entertainment to ensure prudent control of these expenditures. 


2.1 Entertainment expenses: Expenditures for food, beverages and tickets for shows or athletic events which involve one or more University employees and/or one or more guests and services provided for entertainment purposes (e.g., musicians). 


3.1 UHD recognizes that business entertainment can be essential to the operation of the University. This policy specifies the conditions under which business entertainment is appropriate. These guidelines shall apply to all University funds, except those funds appropriated by the State of Texas, which cannot be expended for business entertainment under any circumstances. Please refer to Food and Entertainment Expense Account/Fund Restrictions for details. 

3.2 The purpose of the entertainment must be related to UHD business. 

3.3 Entertainment expenditures must be documented to show the following: 

3.3.1 Identification of the persons or group being entertained. If a small group is being entertained (ten or fewer), the names of all attendees should be provided; for large groups (greater than 10), only the name of the guest(s) of honor should be provided along with the number of attendees. 

3.3.2 A statement indicating the reason for such entertainment. The statement must reflect how the entertainment will benefit UHD and how the attendees will contribute towards the programs or activities being targeted (In the case of those funded from sponsored project funds, the benefit to the specified sponsored project). 

3.3.3 The place of entertainment. 

3.3.5 The date of the entertainment. If alcoholic beverages were served, the time that alcohol was served is also required. 

3.3.6 Approval from the responsible vice president if business meal total, including tax and gratuity (not to exceed 20%), is over $100 per person. The only exception to the $100 person limit is business meals involving the President, since it is sometimes necessary to exceed that amount when the President meets with distinguished guests. Business meals involving the President will be paid or reimbursed based on actual expenses, including gratuity, that are supported by receipts. 

3.4 Receipts for entertainment expenses are required for reimbursement to faculty or staff members. If payment is to be made to a vendor, the original invoice or statement of cost is required. 

3.5 Payment for entertainment expenditures will not be made unless the documentation is complete. A request for required documentation will be forwarded to the appropriate authority when additional information or paperwork is necessary. If appropriate action is not taken to properly document the expenditure, the individual staff or faculty member must bear the cost of the entertainment. 

3.6 Entertainment expenditures are not reimbursable through the petty cash fund, as denoted in PS 05.A.04

3.7 Approval must be given by the employee’s supervisor or higher authority, as described in PS 05.A.02, for all payments. Expense reimbursements for the President will be approved by the Chancellor. 

3.8 Entertainment expenses cannot be charged to UHD contracts or grants unless such entertainment is specifically authorized by the terms of the contract or grant. 

3.8.1 Travel funded by Fund 5 cost centers must be approved by the Associate Vice President, Faculty, Research and Sponsored Programs or his/her designee. 

3.9 The following are the categories of entertainment recognized by UHD. 

3.9.1 Prospective Faculty and Staff. UHD recruits faculty and staff in a highly competitive market. It is the University’s policy to invite prospective faculty and staff, and on occasion, both candidate and spouse, to visit the University. Travel and other reasonable expenses for such activities are reimbursable under this policy. 

3.9.2 Official Guests of the University. UHD is not normally expected to reimburse official guests for travel and related expenses, except when the guests travel to the University on specific invitation. Examples of official guests are as follows:

visitors from other countries, representatives of research organizations, visitors from other universities, guests invited to assist in the development of new programs (both paid and non-paid consultants), and business and community leaders from Houston, the Gulf Coast region, and the State at large. The relationship between the visitor and UHD faculty and staff attending the function must be clearly indicated, particularly for those visitors who are on specific business on behalf of UHD. 

3.9.3 Conference, workshops, meetings and seminars. Entertainment expenses incurred while hosting these functions are reimbursable, provided appropriate documentation is presented, as indicated above. In the event the activity is supported by income from registration fees, all expenses, including entertainment, must be covered by the revenue produced by the event. 

3.9.4 Receptions. Receptions held by the President and other designated campus officials shall be reimbursed as entertainment. 

3.9.5 Club Memberships and the University of Houston Hilton Hotel. Certain officers, as part of the employment contract to carry out designated official responsibilities, have club dues paid in part by UHD. Should there be charges of a personal nature, then the employee shall deduct that amount from the bill and remit that portion directly to the club. Entertainment of a personal nature will not be charged to University accounts at the University of Houston Hilton Hotel. 

3.9.6 Spousal Travel and Entertainment. UHD recognizes the vital role a President’s spouse can play in representing the University, and guidelines for appropriateness, approval and reimbursement of travel and entertainment expenditures are discussed in UHS Administrative Memorandum 03.A.21


There are no procedures associated with this policy.


Responsible Party (Reviewer): Vice President for Administration and Finance

Review: Every three years on or before April 1st .

Signed original on file in Human Resources.


Issue #1: 03/23/94

Issue #2: 10/13/99

Issue #3: 03/25/15 


SAM 03.A.21, Employee’s Family Travel Expenses

PS 05.A.02, Signature Authority of University Funds

PS 05.A.04, Petty Cash Policy

Food and Entertainment Expense Account/Fund Restrictions