Entertainment and Official Occasion Expense Policy

Modified and Effective as of October 1, 2014


The University of Texas at Austin has made some changes to the entertainment policy, which is addressed in the Handbook of Business Procedures, section 9.1.1 “Entertainment and Official Occasion Expenses.”  This policy outlined below addresses additional requirements, which apply to all units within the College of Fine Arts, and any changes/revisions to prior year policy have been bolded.  Some units may have additional entertainment guidelines, so be sure to check with your business office.

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 at all venues including restaurants and entertaining at a private residence. All amounts shown below are INCLUSIVE of taxes, service charges and gratuities. Tips and/or gratuity cannot exceed 20% of the bill subtotal before taxes. A person may elect to expend more per person on the entertainment event; however the actual reimbursement will be limited to the amounts noted below:
    • Breakfast/Lunch                                   $25
    • Dinner                                                   $65
    • Reception                                             $65
  • Expenses for alcohol may not be the primary expenditure submitted for reimbursement, that is, greater than the total food expense.  Exceptions to the above policy and limits require justification documented on the OOEF and approved by the Dean.  Advance approval by the Executive Vice President and Provost is required to serve alcohol on campus facilities including leased spaces.
  • Expenditures or reimbursements for working meals that include only College of Fine Arts faculty or staff should be agenda driven, and directly concern university business.  University funds cannot be used for social lunches between two or more university employees.
  • 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.
  • To request reimbursement for entertainment, a completed Official Occasion Expense Form (OOEF) must be submitted along with an itemized receipt(s). If payment was made with a credit card, the cardholder’s copy should also be attached. The OOEF and receipt must be submitted for approval within 60 days of the official occasion.
  • 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 or other perishable items may also be purchased for other occasions that serve a bona fide business purpose.  Cost for flowers or other perishable items 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.