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Title: Receptions and Entertainment
Subject: Accounts Payable
Policy No: Fin: 2015:06
Applies: University-wide
Issuing Authority: President
Responsible Officer: Senior Vice President for Finance and CFO
Adopted: 11/01/2015
Last Revision: 03/09/2024
Last Reviewed: 03/09/2024


To set Rowan University guidelines regarding expenditure for entertainment and official receptions. 


Under the direction of the President, the Executive Vice President, Provost, and Sr. Vice Presidents are responsible for implementing this policy. The Vice Presidents, Deans, Department Managers and Supervisors shall ensure compliance with this policy. The University shall not use state funds for purposes that violate state law.  Where necessary to avoid violation of law, the University shall use other available funds to pay for any legally disallowed costs.


This policy applies to all employees.


  1. Dignitary – A notable or prominent public figure; a high-level official; or one who holds a position of honor. A dignitary, as defined by the State's circular letter, is not a State employee. This does not include existing or potential vendors.
  2. Entertainment – activities, events or functions provided or held for the benefit of students of State institutions, dignitaries, and other "non-state" employees which are paid from public funds.
  3. Retreat – a meeting of state employees held away from the normal work environment in which organizational problems and procedures are discussed. The retreat must last a minimum of one day and must be approved by an appropriate Vice President or the President.
  4. Light Refreshments – food and beverage consumed outside of regular meals. A continental breakfast is considered a light refreshment, but a boxed lunch is not.


  1. State of NJ Uniform Ethics Code
  2. Plain Language Guide to New Jersey's Executive Branch Ethics Standards  
  3. State of NJ Uniform Ethics Code Addendum - Scholarly Capacity Impact Statement  
  4. State of New Jersey Circular letter 11-09-OMB – Entertainment, Meals, and Refreshments
  5. Rowan University Travel Policy


  1. General Requirements:
    1. Expenses for entertainment and official receptions may only be approved by the President, Provost, Sr. Vice Presidents, Vice Presidents, Deans, Department Chair or Department Head, except when specifically designated in writing. Reimbursement requests will include descriptive information on the Entertainment Form Link to Accounts Payable Website for downloadable Reimbursement Forms: to demonstrate the expenses comply with New Jersey State laws. Any charges for entertainment and official receptions which do not meet the criteria outlined in this policy may be denied.
    2. An original itemized meal receipt, business purpose and proof of payment is required in order to be eligible for reimbursement. In the event that excessive expenditures were authorized, the rational/petition and approval letters must be submitted in support.
    3. On-campus catered events must utilize the services of the University's dining services vendor, Gourmet Dining, LLC. The vendor has established an E-Cater Link to the E-Cater ordering solution system for catering:
    4. This policy does not apply to private funds donated to the Rowan University Foundation or other entities of the University.
  2. Reasonable Allowable Expenses:
    The following expenditures can be authorized:
    Note: For on-campus events: food/beverage purchases totaling $100 or more must have an approved Gourmet Dining Waiver.
    1. Entertainment and/or recognition of students including meals, refreshments and any other expenses directly related to such entertainment.
    2. All reasonable costs of Commencement, Convocation, Student Orientation and Recruitment of Students activities.
    3. Entertainment of dignitaries and other "non-State" employees, including meals and refreshments and any other expenses directly related to such entertainment.
    4. Board of Trustees meetings, retreats and committee meetings and other events having direct involvement with a board member.
    5. Direct costs relating to the operation, functioning and promotion of programs and conferences in which a fee is collected from participants of the programs and conferences.
    6. Special events open to the public (alumni, etc.) in which a fee is collected from participants of the specific event to cover these expenditures.
    7. Recognition/appreciation events for a visiting speaker. The number of university personnel participating should be reasonable.
    8. Expenses for retreats as defined in this policy.
    9. In any case in which a federal or other non-state-funded grant project budget has specific provision for payment for meals or refreshments for any group or groups attending meetings, workshops, seminars, training sessions or similar functions, funds may be expended for that purpose. This is limited to the amount specified in the approved grant.
    10. Annual University-wide ceremony recognizing length of service and retirees.
    11. Reimbursement for the cost of an official luncheon or dinner which an employee is required to attend, where such meal is scheduled as an integral part of an official proceeding or program related to state business and the employee's responsibilities.
    12. Such expenses must be primarily for groups, committees, task forces, workshop participants and other persons who are not employees of the University department sponsoring the function.
    13. Costs of meals and refreshments for all official candidate searches must exercise prudent business judgment for the use of public funds. The department conducting the search is responsible for the funds incurred and ensuring sufficient funds are available for reimbursement. As with other University expenditures, the approving authority must review proposed expenditures for reasonableness, and appropriateness. In addition, the Provost office will cover expenses for (3) candidates (per faculty line) for full time faculty only. The limit of reimbursement is $200.00 per candidate per search for meals (this includes candidate meals during travel). If total (including tip) exceeds this amount, the difference will not be reimbursed.
    14. Meals at formal training and working sessions are authorized if lasting 3.5 hours or more and it is necessary that employees remain at the working or training site which is not the employee’s official workstation. Refreshments for breaks may also be provided at these training sessions, providing that they are University sanctioned.
    15. Light refreshments as defined in this policy can be purchased for in-person meetings with a business purpose lasting 2 hours or more.
  3. Non-Allowable Expenses:   
    Reimbursement from state-appropriate funds for the following expenditures is prohibited:
    1. Expenses for alcoholic beverages.
    2. Receptions or other social functions held for or honoring any employee or group of employees of the State (retirement, awards, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, appointments, or farewell/holiday gatherings, etc.). This also includes expenditures for most occasions, e.g., Administrative Assistant’s Day, Boss’ Day.
    3. Meals or refreshments to be served to participants (other than students, officials, press-box personnel) or guests at any athletic or other games or contests.
    4. Reception and entertainment for personal use or without a clear business purpose or costs associated with events hosted at an employee’s home.
    5. Costs associated with employees, spouse, partner, or family member to attend any official University events unless specifically approved by the individuals listed in this policy under the accountability section.
    6. Holiday and seasonal decorations for personal or non-student facing use.
    7. Membership dues for private or social clubs and organizations unless specifically approved by the President or CFO.
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