8.8 Unique Purchasing and Payments

Retirement and Farewell Receptions

Receptions for retirement and farewell of employees are allowable given the employee being honored has been employed by the University for a minimum of five years. Eligible receptions should be discreet in nature and of reasonable expense and must be funded through a departmental account.

Gifts to Employees

Sympathy, get well and congratulatory flowers or gift baskets may be sent on behalf of a department. Other gifts commemorating a personal event, such as a birthday, birth of a baby, wedding, anniversary or holiday will not be reimbursed. No gift shall be reimbursed where the purchaser and receiver of the gift is the same person.

Note that gifts purchased for employees should be non-cash items. The IRS considers gift cards and gift certificates equivalent to cash, and must be reported as gross income to the recipient.

Items of de minimis value may be given in order to encourage attendance at special events or meetings; either the gift should be given to all who attend or the recipient should be randomly chosen, such as a door prize.

Gifts for retirement recognition, once pre-approved by the appropriate Dean, Vice President, or Director, may also be given according to guidelines established by the IRS.


Foundation funds may be used to participate in sponsorships in external, business-related events. Sponsorships should be reasonable and appropriate and related to the performance of a service to the University. Organizations in an established partnership or cooperative affiliation with the University may also qualify for sponsorships provided that the relationship benefits or enhances the University’s mission or image.

Last Updated on September 17, 2019