Forms & Guidelines

Business Meals and Hosting Policy

Last modified: July 23, 2014

SOE hosting policies align with the UM Standard Practice Guide (507-10.1, revised 2009) along with additional guidance issued by the Provost regarding allowable hosting costs. This document describes the rules for “hosting”, i.e., for the purchase of food and drink (and not for other expenses, such as transportation and hotels) using University of Michigan accounts. These rules apply to students, faculty, and staff in SOE who purchase meals in Ann Arbor using any SOE account, regardless of the source of the funds (gift vs. general funds). For broader guidance on travel and hosting, please consult SPG507.10-1.

Meals provide an important opportunity for informal discussion with seminar speakers and play a valuable role in recruiting new members (both faculty and graduate students) to the Michigan community. All hosting expenses must conform to the rules set forth in the Standard Practice Guide. This document describes additional rules that govern hosting that is paid for from accounts administered in SOE. Our responsibility to carefully steward the funds we expend on hosting stems from their sources. The revenue sources of the SOE budget are, in order, student tuition (nearly 50% of our revenue comes from this source), funds from the appropriation to the University from the State of Michigan, funds provided for research from federal sources, and expendable and endowed gifts from our loyal alumni.
We are responsible in every decision we make about any expenditure, then, to the hard working parents and students who pay our tuition, state and federal taxpayers, and alumni. Each of these groups has placed enormous trust in us to use their funds wisely. We must earn this trust every time we make a decision about any expenditure.


Exceptions to this policy can be made only with advance approval of the Dean’s Office, requests should be sent to the Chief Administrative Officer. Business meeting exceptions may include any meeting, such as a retreat, that lasts over four hours. Hosted meetings or events exceptions may also include situations where the cost limits would be exceeded due to the nature of the event. Alcohol exceptions may include donor related events.

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