Faculty Seminar Expenditure Guidelines

Eligible and ineligible expenses

Please check with Ray Rennard or Rebecca Thomas before agreeing to or incurring any expenses not mentioned below.

Eligible Expenses

  • Reading materials for seminar members
  • Printing/design costs for promotional materials
  • Travel costs for visiting speakers
  • Honoraria for visiting speakers
  • Meal costs for visiting speakers
  • Meal costs for Five College faculty members only when they are the main speakers at a seminar meeting
  • Co-sponsorships
  • Light refreshments (snacks and drinks, including alcohol)
  • Event setup/AV costs

Ineligible Expenses

  • Meal costs for Five College faculty members except when they are the main speakers at a seminar meeting
  • Honoraria for Five College faculty members

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How to access funds

In most cases, chairs or speakers will pay for their expenses directly and then apply for reimbursement from the seminar budget. For each reimbursement, applicants will need to submit a Check Request Form and supporting documentation (for details, see the chart on page 2 of the Check Request Form), as well as a W-9 form for every individual being reimbursed. W-9 forms should be submitted through campus/postal mail or by fax to 413-542-4028; do not send them via email, as it is not sufficiently secure.

All requests for reimbursement should be made by the seminar chair or with demonstrated approval from the chair. Bills should be submitted to Five Colleges, Inc. with a completed Check Request Form showing the name of the seminar and accompanied by other supporting documentation as appropriate (see below). Do NOT have bills sent directly to Five Colleges, Inc. without prior approval from Rebecca Thomas or Ray Rennard. If honoraria checks are needed by a certain time, they should be requested ten (10) days in advance, in writing, and should include a completed W-9 form from the speaker, as well as other supporting documentation (see below). For forms and further information, please see the Guide to Processing Payments.

Seminar chairs are responsible for keeping track of how much money has been spent and how much remains in their faculty seminar budget. Five Colleges, Inc. cannot cover expenditures beyond the funds allocated to your seminar. For an up-to-date record of all posted expenses, contact Rebecca Thomas. Please keep in mind that budget updates from Five Colleges may not reflect reimbursement requests or other funding commitments (such as co-sponsorships) that have not yet been processed.

The fiscal year of Five Colleges, Inc. ends on June 30. In order to process bills by that date, we must receive all outstanding statements or expenditures of your seminar by June 15. Bills received after June 30 will be charged to the next year’s budget. Any unused budget as of June 30 will revert to Five Colleges and cannot be carried over to the next fiscal year.

Please be advised that special rules apply for payments to students, payments over $1,500, and payments to non-U.S. citizens. For more information, contact Rebecca Thomas before committing to or incurring an expense and well in advance of your event so that we will have sufficient time to respond.

If you are part of more than one Five College initiative with a budget (e.g., a certificate program and a faculty seminar), please be sure to track your expenses separately and bill to the appropriate budget.

Supporting documentation required

Meeting refreshments:

  • Original itemized receipt
  • Highlight/denote alcohol costs separately
  • W-9 for individual being reimbursed
  • Check Request Form

Dinner:

  • Original itemized receipt
  • Highlight/denote alcohol costs separately
  • Highlight/denote speaker expenses separately (only speaker expenses will be reimbursed)
  • List of attendees and affiliations
  • W-9 for individual being reimbursed
  • Check Request Form

Honoraria:

  • Copy of poster/flyer/email announcing event
  • Email/letter showing commitment of funds from chair
  • W-9 for individual being paid
  • Check Request Form

Travel expenses:

  • Receipt for bus/train/airline ticket costs OR copy of Google/MapQuest map showing mileage to/from destination (mileage is reimbursed at IRS rates)
  • W-9 for individual being reimbursed
  • Check Request Form

Co-sponsorships:

  • Copy of poster/flyer/email announcing event
  • Email/letter showing commitment of funds from chair
  • Check Request Form

Printing/design costs, reading materials, other expenses:

  • Original itemized receipt
  • W-9 for individual being reimbursed
  • Check Request Form

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Contact

Rebecca Thomas, Academic Programs Administrative Assistant – fcacademics@fivecolleges.edu | 413-542-4023

Ray Rennard, Director of Academic Programs – rrennard@fivecolleges.edu | 413-542-4024

For forms and further information, please see the Guide to Processing Payments. Completed Check Request Forms should be sent to Rebecca Thomas for processing.

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FAQ

How many Five College faculty seminars are there?

Every year there are about 35 active Five College faculty seminars, including groups that are meeting for the first time and groups that have existed for decades. For a current list, see the Faculty Seminar Directory.

How many times do seminars meet per year?

The average seminar meets 6–8 times per year.

What is the goal of these seminars?

The goal of the faculty seminar program is to facilitate cross-campus scholarly conversations and build and sustain collaborations.

Why are there so many rules?

In managing the faculty seminar program, we strive to fund and support as many seminars as we can; to be fair and transparent; and to comply with requisite financial reporting guidelines and best practices. We recognize that this means that there are a variety of procedures and regulations for you to follow, and we appreciate your help.

How long does it take to be reimbursed?

Checks are generally processed within 2–5 weeks.

Why won’t Five Colleges pay for dinner for anyone other than speakers?

This is a longstanding policy designed to encourage seminars to meet many times throughout the academic year. Dinner costs can add up quickly, especially for large groups, and can rapidly deplete modest seminar budgets, discouraging groups from meeting more frequently. Seminar funds, however, may be used to pay for dinner for Five College faculty members when they are the featured presenters at a seminar meeting. And, as noted above, there are many other ways to spend seminar funds, such as on snacks and drinks.

Why does Five Colleges ask for alcohol expenses to be listed separately?

This is a tax auditing requirement.

Does Five Colleges already have my W-9 on file?

If you have been paid or reimbursed by Five Colleges in the last two years, we should still have your W-9 on file. If you aren’t sure, we recommend that you send it again, to help us process your reimbursement as quickly as possible.

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