AGS Budget & Expense Guidelines

The Area and Global Studies Budget & Expense Guidelines are meant to ensure effective management and allocation of the department’s resources as well as to assist faculty and Program Coordinators with their programming activities and budget enquiries. These policies and procedures are in accordance with the University Business and Finance Procedures.

Programming/general policies

  • Individual faculty in AGS who wish to organize an event, must consult with the Program Coordinator and work through their respective program to bring the event to fruition.
  • Program Coordinators are required to meet with their respective faculty and plan their programming activities for the coming year. Program activities should be discussed and agreed upon based on faculty consensus.
  • At the end of the academic year or at the beginning of the new school year, all Program Coordinators are required to give the AGS Chair a confirmed itemized list or plan of all events scheduled for the coming year. The AGS Chair will meet with Program Coordinators to go over the events and confirm all programming plans/activities. Early planning facilitates better management of funds, prevents programming/scheduling conflicts, guarantees effective advertisement, and enables the staff to book venues early.
  • The AGS office is responsible for coordinating travel arrangements for university guests and non-employee groups. The AGS Office Coordinator will also assist Program Coordinators in making arrangements for upcoming activities and events organized by the program.
  • The AGS Chair, Program Coordinators, and AGS staff will monitor all relevant AGS, Brooks College, and University calendars to ensure that AGS events are spaced appropriately. Events will also be posted on the various calendars.
  • Program Coordinators requesting funds from another department or college are required to follow the Intercollege Support Request Procedures and fill out the Intercollege/unit support request form. The form must be filled out properly, completely and signed by the Dean of Brooks College.


  • International scholars visiting the University for an event for a day or two can be eligible for an honorarium because they do not have a “relationship” with us as a guest or visiting scholar (this policy may vary depending on the visa).
  • Visiting International scholars (depending on the visa) who are hosted by AGS or the University for an extended period of time that are considered to have a “relationship” with the institution might not eligible for an honorarium. If the scholar required a specific U.S. Visa for an extended stay, then any type of compensation or honorarium would go against the visa stipulations and the IRS would look at the payment as a violation of Visa agreement. If we have paid visiting scholars in the past it was an oversight.
  • GVSU faculty, staff, or individuals who have a “relationship” with the institution are eligible for an honorarium.
  • No more than $500 (left to Program Coordinator’s discretion) at any one time can be offered to an external department, campus/student group or community organization seeking funding or co-sponsorship support from AGS or any of its respective programs. Any external request for financial support more than $500 requires approval by the AGS Chair.
  • Honorarium of $500.00 or less shall be the standard fee for a speaker/guest presenter/performer, but more than $500 requires approval by the AGS Chair. Please provide the AGS Office Coordinator with the guest speaker's name, address, phone number, and email address. If you are planning to purchase a flight, please ask for their date of birth and spelling of name as it appears on their I.D.
  • All University guests receiving a fee for specific obligations organized by the department or Program Coordinators on campus i.e. conference keynote, guest lecture or a performance or artistic/scholarly presentation, must sign a GVSU/AGS Guest Speaker Contract that states clearly their commitment for the contractual period and the IRS W-9 form. The Program Coordinator will provide the required contract information to the AGS Office Coordinator. After preparing the contract for signature, the Office Coordinator will obtain AGS Chair and Program Coordinator signatures and submit to the Guest Speaker for signature and final execution and processing.  
  • University guests will be paid by check made out to the speaker/presenter and delivered to the guest prior to their departure unless requested otherwise. If needed, the guest can cash their GVSU honorarium check at the closest 5/3 bank in Standale (ID required).
  • Speakers hosted and paid by the department and/or AGS programs should be strongly encouraged to meet and interact with students and faculty, including visiting classes.
  • Program Coordinators may use their respective area University dining card to take the guest, students, and other faculty to lunch. The dining card can be signed out and then returned with receipts to the AGS Office Coordinator.

Travel arrangements/expense reimbursement

In accordance with the University Travel Policy:

  • University guest travel dates should be confirmed with the AGS office and booked at least one month in advance (if possible) to guarantee the least expensive flight.
  • The AGS Office Coordinator will make all flight arrangements and book flights economy class through Egencia.
  • Flight expenses more than $1,000 requires approval by the AGS Chair.
  • The University will pay for guest’s mileage and car rental according to the GVSU Travel & Expense Guidelines.
  • University guests are required per GVSU policy to fill out all necessary Travel & Expense Reimbursement forms.
  • GVSU faculty and staff are required to make their own travel arrangements and submit their travel receipts for reimbursement according to the GVSU Travel & Expense Guidelines.
  • T&E forms must be filled out completely and requires original signature of the claimant. 
  • T&E forms require the original signature of the AGS Chair and Dean of Brooks College.
  • All original receipts must be taped to a white letter size sheet and submitted with the completed T&E form.
  • The AGS Office Coordinator will submit original to Accounting for processing.

Provost’s guidelines for over per diem meals

The following guidelines for over per diem meals on travel and expense reimbursements will be effective in Academic and Student Affairs July 1, 2018. These guidelines are intended for situations of taking special guests out for meals, and do not apply to unit/college meetings

  • For special occasions, the maximum reimbursement exceeding the per diem will be double the University’s allowance (ex. maximum dinner reimbursement will be $38)
  • The number of participants cannot exceed four individuals, including the special guest (this includes employment searches, special guests invited to the University, colloquium, etc.)
  • Itemized receipts must be submitted with the reimbursement request
  • Names of participants and the business reason should be clearly noted on the travel and expense reimbursement form

Deans/Appointing Officers may wish to support additional reimbursement with a designated account. Prior approval is required for exceptions to this practice, and must be accompanied with justification from the Dean/Appointing Officer. 

Dinner engagements with guests

The Office of the Provost receives a large of number of requests each year to serve alcohol at University sponsored special events and for reimbursement of alcohol expenses at hosted dinners. The number and types of requests seem to be on the rise and, of course, we all know prices have increased. 

There are many legitimate and beneficial reasons to have alcohol served, such as donor relations, candidate recruitment, and speaker hospitality; however, there are many opinions as to whether the University should pay for this expense. Risk management and public perception are also concerns when alcohol is available at hosted events where students are present, regardless of whether students are over the age of 21. 

University policy requires Executive Officer approval for alcohol related expenses. The Provost will continue the practice of requiring Appointing Officer support of any request to serve alcohol at a special event or seek reimbursement of hosted dinners. The following Academic and Student Affairs guidelines have been developed to assist Appointing Officers as they consider requests for reimbursement of alcohol expenses or to serve alcohol at an event, prior to seeking Provost approval. 

Hosted dinners

On occasion, guests of the University will be hosted by faculty/staff and expenses for meals and alcohol will be submitted for reimbursement. The noted guidelines will be followed by the Office of the Provost as reimbursement requests are reviewed:

  • Purchase of alcoholic beverages at meals attended by only University faculty/staff will not be supported for reimbursement.
  • Purchase of bottled wine at meals in a restaurant will not be supported for reimbursement.
  • Purchase of more than one alcoholic beverage per person at University’s expense will not be supported for reimbursement.
  • Exceptions will be rare and must be accompanied by a compelling justification from the Appointing Officer.

Special events

Requests for the University to assume the cost for serving alcohol at hosted events, such as those described below, will not be supported by the Office of the Provost: 

  • Events held at a private residence.
  • Events where any students are invited guests.
  • Events held during normal business hours (8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.).
  • Exceptions will be rare and must be accompanied by a compelling justification from the Appointing Officer.

When requesting that alcohol be served at a special event, the following information is to be submitted with the Appointing Officer’s approval:

  • Title of event
  • Date/Time of event
  • Location of event
  • Type of event (i.e. reception, dinner, book signing)
  • Purpose of event
  • Approximate attendance
  • Target audience (i.e. community, faculty, donors)
  • Justification for alcohol request
  • Will students attend?
  • Hosted or cash bar?
  • Is there a registration fee to attend the event?
  • Is there an external event sponsor?
  • Is there external grant funding for the event?