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Current economic circumstances have forced both the Department and the School of Medicine to review all commitments and spending practices. In discussions with the School of Medicine’s Dean’s office, many food expenditures have come under scrutiny, regardless of their appropriateness under any University rule. To justify food expenses, the Department is adopting a formal policy that serving food must directly support the Mission of the Department, as well as the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. We will use only Trust or Gift funds to support these activities. Funds are limited and careful scrutiny will be taken to determine the appropriateness of all of these types of expenses, regardless of who exercises spending authority for the account. Expecting that food will be provided at every organized departmental function is a practice that is unrealistic and unsustainable. The following criteria need to be satisfied to justify food expenditures:

  • It must support the mission of the Department and/or the University.
  • Attending this function is something out of the ordinary.
  • The expense is reasonable.
  • It impacts a broad group of individuals.

Examples of events that are thought to meet the Mission and the criteria of the Department:

  • Coulter Seminars
  • New student welcome and annual departmental picnic
  • Research Review Weekend and annual recruitment of new graduate students
  • Recruitment of new faculty and associated functions or seminars
  • Annual faculty retreat
  • Other special functions (e.g., Employee Appreciation)

The Department will not approve payment for food for other functions such as the following examples, no matter the source of funding: Examples:

  • Staff meetings
  • Faculty meetings
  • Lab meetings
  • Various Discussion Groups

This policy is not intended to be so restrictive as to prohibit the furthering of the department’s mission with activities that directly support teaching and research. It is intended, however to make us aware of what we are spending our limited resources for and to assure they are directed to the most appropriate and justifiable purposes. It is expected that there will be events where it may be appropriate to provide food, but does not fit the criteria stated above. For these events, a written justification and advance approval by the chair is required.