Spending Policy

T.D. Ball, College Accountant

Expenses that may be incurred without advance approval

  • Direct costs of research such as books, materials, translations, library/archive reproductions, software, non-computer equipment, and human subjects honoraria.
  • Publication subventions, image permissions, editing, and indexing fees.
  • Books and materials needed for teaching.
  • Up to five professional memberships per year (beyond five professional memberships requires associate dean approval). Memberships longer than three years in duration (e.g. lifetime memberships) are not allowed.
  • Registration fees for conferences or workshops.
  • Undergraduate and graduate student research assistants. Please use the undergraduate hourly rates set by the university and college, which are located here. The rates of pay for graduate research assistants are $15/hour - $20/hour. Exceptions to these rates must be approved in advance by the associate dean.
  • Costs incurred for research-based domestic travel. “Travelers must book the lowest price nonstop (when available) coach class airfare that reasonably meets the traveler’s schedule” (please see page 12 at this link for more information).
  • Note that travel.nd.edu (Anthony Travel) is the preferred method for booking airfare (it allows the airfare to be charged to a FOAPAL (i.e. a University fund), facilitates changes to itineraries, and provides assistance with unexpected disruptions while traveling).
  • The College will only reimburse for car service (e.g. to Midway or O’hare) up to a limit of $200 each way.

Expenses that require prior authorization

  • The hiring of any temporary staff or staff positions. These must be coordinated in advance through Ashley Zingo, Director of Operations.

Expenses that continue to be prohibited

  • Supplies for home use.
  • Non-student workers (including former students, spouses of grad students, etc.). If you are interested in hiring temporary staff that are former students, spouses of graduate students, etc. please reach out to Ashley Zingo, Director of Operations in advance (per the temporary staff language in Expenses that require prior authorization).


The following suggested limits are for in-person presentations. For virtual (Zoom, etc.) presentations, the limits are 60% of the in-person rates.

Limits on honoraria for external speakers (for seminars/colloquia/etc. outside of classes):

  • No more than $500 from any combination of R&PD and departmental (i.e. 100000) funds
  • No more than $1000 from any combination of restricted funds (Endowments, gifts, grants)
  • R&PD, departmental, and restricted funds may be combined to a maximum of $1500

Limits on honoraria for external speakers (lectures in class):

  • No more than $250 for a single lecture, and $350 if they give the same lecture to two different sections. A single speaker should be invited for no more than two distinct lectures.

Honoraria to speakers of significant stature may exceed these limits. Final decisions on honoraria that would exceed $5000 should be made in consultation with the appropriate divisional dean.


For meals with external guests, whether in South Bend or elsewhere, reimbursements (from R&PD accounts, endowed funds, department funds) should be limited to an average of $100/person for dinners, $40/person for lunches, and $25/person for breakfasts (inclusive of tax and gratuity).

For meals with only ND employees (and perhaps partners) that have a business purpose, reimbursements should be limited to

  • $60 per person for dinners
  • $40 per person for lunches
  • $20 per person for breakfasts

Reimbursement for personal meals while traveling (for research, conferences, etc.) should be submitted as a per diem expense at the government rate for the relevant city/location. Receipts for meals that exceed the per diem amount will not be reimbursed. In circumstances where the need for an exception to these limits is anticipated, pre-approval from the divisional dean should be obtained.

Book Manuscript Workshops

Departments in "book fields" may sponsor workshops for assistant professors when their book manuscripts are complete or close to complete. Senior scholars at ND and/or elsewhere in the field may review an assistant professor's manuscript and then meet with the candidate to discuss the work, offer feedback, and make suggestions in advance of the candidate submitting the manuscript for publication.

When organizing a book manuscript workshop, the following guidelines should be observed:

  • up to two external readers may be invited.

  • external readers may be offered an honorarium (see policy above). Internal (ND) readers should not be compensated for this service. Funds should come from the departmental budget or the faculty member's R&PD account.

  • external readers may serve as external letter-writers for the candidate's tenure case but their previous relationship must be made clear by the writer or by the department in assembling the tenure case.

Faculty Research and Professional Development Accounts

Regular members may receive a Research and Professional Development Account (R&PD) to cover the costs associated with their teaching, research, and professional development activities. These accounts are requested by the Office of the Dean. Faculty members will receive an e-mail notification announcing the establishment of the new account and the associated restricted account number they are to use when spending against these funds.

The University policy on the use of research and professional development funds (including a list of eligible and non-eligible expenses) is found on the Controller's website. Usage of this fund must also follow the College Policy (see above).

Faculty members may request reimbursement for appropriate business expenses such as the purchase of supplies and equipment or for travel-related expenses through the TravelND expense reporting system.

The faculty member is the budget administrator of the R&PD fund. Accounts should be reconciled on a monthly basis. This is possible through the GLez system on InsideND. GLez is located under Administrative Tools. If an account is overdrawn, the faculty member is obligated to pay the University the overdrawn funds; in rare circumstances, an overdrawn account may be paid back by the next year’s allocation. In such a circumstance, a plan for responsible spending must be prepared by the chairperson and approved by the Office of the Dean, so that such an event remains a one-time occurrence. Fund balances remaining at the University’s fiscal year end (June 30) are carried forward to the following year. In those rare cases, where a fund has a substantial balance, the University has traditionally chosen not to replenish the fund until it is spent down.

The Dean’s Office may ask department chairs to use the departmental funds (including funds provided for discretionary R&PD support) to cover any faculty member's R&PD deficits as the primary responsibility for oversight of these funds resides with the department.

Faculty members moving to emeritus status should note that the balance remaining in their R&PD account at their retirement date will continue to be available for use in retirement for appropriate business expenses until the fund balance is exhausted. Once the fund balance is exhausted the fund will be closed by the Dean’s Office.

Unless the Dean approves other written arrangements, departing faculty members who have resigned or entered a terminal year with R&PD fund balances will be limited to $3,000 in applicable expenditures until his or her effective separation date. Upon the separation date the remaining balance in the fund will be returned to the original source and the fund will be closed by the Dean’s Office.