Guide to Funds and Payments for Faculty

Five College programs and projects make a variety of different types of payments using their allocated funds. Different types of payments require different procedures. Please find below a guide to the most frequent types of payments made by Five College programs and projects, including links to necessary forms required.

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Guide to Processing Payments

When requesting payments be made to a campus, please include specific contact and address information. All payments to campuses will be made payable to the institution (e.g. Trustees of Amherst College, University of Massachusetts) not the department. However, checks may be addressed to a specified department as requested.

Required documents:

  1. FCI Check request form submitted by the faculty or staff member managing the corresponding Five College program, or collaborative project.
  2. Invoice from the campus program or department.
  3. Supporting documentation (e.g. poster, flyer, letter awarding funds, receipts.*)

Please submit these documents to your program or project liaison or directly to the Business Office (Toby Hall).

*Please note that when submitting receipts for dining, you must list ALL diners and separate a sub-total of any alcohol costs. For on-campus catering, you may simply note the title of the Five College program or project.

Required documents:

  1. FCI Check request form submitted by the faculty or staff member managing the corresponding Five College program, or collaborative project
  2. W-9 Form (if one is not already on file with the FCI business office). Please request that the payee return completed and signed W-9 forms to the FCI business office via fax or snail mail, not email.
  3. Invoice from the vendor and any appropriate receipts*

*Please note that when submitting receipts for dining, you must list ALL diners and separate a sub-total of any alcohol costs. For on-campus catering, you may simply note the title of the Five College program or project.

If feasible, we recommend processing payments to foreign individuals through one of the campuses and ask the campus to submit a reimbursement of payment request to FCI (see instructions for payments to a Program or department at a Five College campus). If this method is not an option, complete the Five College Foreign National Visitor Information form and obtain copies of the requested information, such as I-9 form, Visa, and Passport to start the process of processing payments. Submit all documentation to the FCI business office for review before promising any payments. Payments made to Foreign Nationals require additional paperwork and ample processing time. In some instances, FCI may not be able to make payments to Foreign Nationals because of visa restrictions. See below for links to forms and documents.

These types of payments vary by circumstance. Academic programs and projects that are planning to make this type of payment should consult with the FCI staff liaison to the program well in advance.

Required documents:

  1. FCI Check request form signed or e-mailed by the faculty or staff member managing the corresponding Five College program, or collaborative project.
  2. W-9 Form (if one is not already on file with the FCI business office). Please return completed and signed W-9 forms to the FCI business office via fax or postal mail, not email.
  3. Contract with detailed scope of work (if payments total more than $1500). See our contract template with instructions and scope of work guidelines. Send a completed draft contract to your Five College liaison before any services are rendered.
  4. Supporting documents(e.g. contractor invoice, poster, flyer, letter awarding funds, receipts*) *Please note that when submitting receipts for dining, you must list ALL diners and separate a sub-total of any alcohol costs. For on-campus catering, you may simply note the title of the Five College program or project.

See the Guide to Planning Use of Funds about arranging to hire a graduate student via a University of Massachusetts Graduate School contract. Once such a contract is confirmed, the University will bill FCI directly to arrange reimbursement for payments to the graduate student and other fees. The Coordinator for Academic Programs can assist you with providing expense reports from FCI regarding such payments made from your program or project budget.

For payments to undergraduate students matriculated at a five college campus

  • Federal Work Study Student:
    • ​​​​​​​See the Guide to Planning Use of Funds regarding arrangements for a contract with the student’s home campus employment office. The contract will require the supervisor submit time-sheets to the student’s home campus according to the home campus guidelines. Copies of these timesheets should also be submitted to the FCI program or project liaison.
  • Undergraduate Student Stipend:
    • Required documents:
      1. FCI Student Stipend Agreement (prepared separately for each project and available from the program or project liaison), to be signed by the student.
      2. FCI Student Program Participation Agreement (prepared separately for each project and available from the program or project liaison), to be signed by the student.
      3. FCI Student Emergency Contact Information Sheet (available from the program or project liaison).
      4. For non-foreign-national students, W-9 Form (if one is not already on file with the FCI business office). Please return completed and signed W-9 forms to the FCI business office via fax or postal mail, not email.
      5. Stipend payments to foreign students will require special arrangements, please contact Yvette Morneau, Director of Business Services, for more information.
      6. FCI Check Request Form signed or e-mailed by the faculty or staff member managing the corresponding five college program, project or grant budget.
  • Hourly employee (if the student does not qualify for work study)
    • Required documents, to be submitted to the program or project liaison at FCI:
      1. Job description - see example
      2. Offer letter - see example
      3. I-9 Form (See page 5 of the I-9 document for acceptable forms of ID). Please request that the payee return completed and signed I-9 forms to the FCI business office via fax or postal mail, not email.
      4. W-4 Form Please request that the payee return completed and signed W-4 forms to the FCI business office via fax or postal mail, not email.
      5. Students who perform activates for the benefit of FCI or FCI funded projects are considered part-time, temporary, non-benefited hourly employees and therefore payment must be processed via our Payroll system so the proper taxes can be withheld. Student wages are reported on Form W-2.

Guide to Planning Use of Allocated Funds

Five Colleges, Incorporated allocates funds under the authority of the Five College Board of Directors, whose members are the presidents of the four colleges, the Chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the President of the University of Massachusetts, and the Executive Director of Five Colleges, Incorporated. The Board approves an annual budget for the consortium based on recommendations from the Five College Deans Council (composed of Deans of Faculty from all five campuses) and the Principal Business Officers of the five campuses. Funds allocated are contributed from various campus budgets, grants awarded the Consortium by external funders, and endowment income. Responsibility for administering these funds in accordance with all legal requirements, agreements among the campuses and with external funders, and good business practice are delegated by the Board to the Executive Director of Five Colleges, Incorporated and the Treasurer.

Fund raising and grant applications by Five College programs are permitted only with the approval of the Executive Director of Five Colleges, Incorporated. Program committees and councils are encouraged to consult with program liaisons regarding ambitions and plans for grant applications or other external fundraising. Academic Programs staff members work closely with the Five College Director for Development to investigate funding opportunities that would suit the needs of Five College academic programs and to develop grant proposals for grants to fund consortial projects. Five College central staff members consult with their counterparts in campus offices before submitting such proposals.

Funding is allocated each year to Five College programs and committees for the following fiscal year through the consortium budget. This budget is drafted by Five College staff members in fall, based on their review of requests submitted by Five College programs in September and agreements among the campuses. (Requests from programs generally include clear indication of how funds will be used.) The draft FCI budget is then reviewed by the Deans of Faculty and Principal Business Officers, revised based on these reviews, then reviewed by the Board of Directors, which may require additional revisions before final approval, normally in late spring.

In addition to funds allocated to programs and committees through the annual budget, during the year, Five College staff members allocate funding for other projects through several mechanisms including the Five College Lecture Fund and the new (as of 2018) Symposium Fund. Information about both of these funds can be found on the Funding Opportunities page. Five Colleges also reserves some funds for allocation at the discretion of the Executive Director and her staff.

It should be noted that Five Colleges occasionally agrees to allocate funds to programs or projects for reallocation by those programs, sometimes as part of the annual budget, sometimes under the terms of a grant awarded to Five Colleges. Five Colleges approves procedures for these reallocations and its policies govern how such funds will be accessed and expended.

Occasionally Five Colleges allocates funds directly to one of the campuses for support of a Five College project. In such cases, the receiving campus will administer funds directly, following agreements with Five Colleges and in accordance with that campus’s own policies.

After the consortium budget is finalized (usually in June), fiscal-year award amounts are communicated in several ways. Administrative programs and committees with designated Chairs receive a letter or email from the FCI Business Office, usually in July, describing allocated funds. Academic Programs with a designated Chair or Co-Chairs receive either a letter or email describing allocated funds from the business office, or receive communications from the FCI program liaison during July or August of the same fiscal year the funding is awarded. Committees or councils overseeing programs without designated Chairs will be collectively briefed by the FCI program liaison.

Budgets for other Five College projects, including those funded through grants to Five Colleges, will be included in an award letter or in subsequent correspondence from a designated member of the Five College staff.

Working with Five College staff members charged with supporting the program or project, program leaders (such as the committee or council Chair, or project PI) should keep track of funds provided by Five Colleges for the program and/or project (including those awarded to fund a proposal submitted in response to an RFP); to ensure expenditures are within the budget and are expended for the purposes intended, as outlined in the approved budget or award letter; to monitor the budget balance; to submit requests for payments to the Five College business office, following defined policies; and to provide an annual program report including a summary of how the allocated funds were used.Please also see the Funding Opportunities page for more information about Five College staff member(s) to be consulted regarding administration of funds for projects resulting from an RFP.

Leaders of Five College academic programs and projects may also contact their program liaison. It is a good idea to consult with the program liaison at least once each semester to ensure that your program records and FCI accounting accurately reflect the program's budget activities.

Using program funds other than as stipulated in the program budget or grant award notification must be approved in advance by your program liaison in consultation with other FCI personnel. When in doubt, for academic programs and projects, consult your program liaison, or Ray Rennard, Director of Academic Programs. For administrative programs, contact the program’s Five College liaison.

Some expenditures requiring special care and planning before commitments are made or orders are placed are addressed in the following sections, such as planning for purchase of software or equipment, making a request to pay to an individual or vendor over $1500, hiring a graduate or undergraduate student.

The business office produces quarterly reports of spending against each program or project budget, usually within 30 days of the end of each quarter. These reports may not include the most recent expenditures. It is therefore a good idea for program leaders to track spending requests and expenditures made from the allocated program budget. Your program liaison can provide a worksheet that will allow you to enter payment requests submitted to the Five College business office and calculate the balance remaining in your budget, assuming payment of those requests. She can also help you acquire a quarterly report, or a current expense report at any time from the Five College business office.

See the Guide to Making Payments for more information about how to arrange for specific payments from a program or project budget.

Any purchases of IT equipment or software will need to be reviewed and pre-approved by FCI’s Director of IT Maria Toyofuku.

All equipment purchases will need pre-approval via the program's FCI staff liaison, FCI IT, and the FCI business office. Purchased equipment will almost always become the property of FCI unless different arrangements have been specifically made in advance of the purchase, and in consultation with the program liaison.

Normally, paying for materials or equipment for a course offered by any of the campuses is the responsibility of that campus and not that of a Five College program or FCI.

Since any payment to an individual by Five Colleges for an amount over $1500 requires a contract be executed between the individual and Five Colleges, Incorporated, you must first prepare and submit an outline of scope of services and deliverables to be included in the contract to your program liaison well in advance of any such plans, and prior to making any payment offer.

Any payment of a stipend to an individual by Five Colleges requires thoughtful review. It is normal Five College policy that no Five College money is used to pay stipends to employees of any of the Five Colleges or of Five Colleges, Incorporated. Some exceptions do apply. If you think you have one of those exceptions, contact your program liaison to discuss requesting approval before making a commitment to pay a stipend.

In almost all cases if a graduate student is doing work for a Five College program or project (or projects funded through a Five College grant) the student needs to be hired through the University, which then bills Five Colleges. This requires following procedures and policies agreed to by the University, the Graduate Student Union, the colleges, and Five Colleges. Based on the nature of the work, its relationship to the student’s course of study, and the hours required, compensation paid to the student will vary, as will other costs of the position (since under different conditions, various supplemental fees may be charged to Five Colleges). The Graduate School makes these determinations. The Graduate School also determines whether the work in question will qualify the student for a tuition waiver and other benefits.

The process for reaching this determination involves submitting a job description to the Graduate School and completing a form supplied by the School. Normally this paperwork is supplied to the Graduate School by a Five College staff member on behalf of a Five College program. The School will then determine the terms of employment and the cost of the position to Five Colleges, requesting Five Colleges agree to reimburse at that level. See more at the University Graduate School website. No promise should be made to a graduate student regarding employment until this process has been completed.

Normally we recommend starting the process with drafting a job description (including anticipated hours, duration and nature of the work), and contacting your program’s Five College liaison. For planning purposes, we can develop an estimate of the actual cost of a position.

A Five College program or project may hire an undergraduate student in several ways if the program or project budget has adequate funding for this purpose.

In most cases, arrangements for hiring an undergraduate student should conform to the guidelines of the student’s home campus. The student’s home campus can be consulted to determine if there would be any impact on the student’s financial aid package, or otherwise.

  • To hire a student as a work study student employee via the student’s home campus:

A student’s home campus financial aid office will determine if a student is eligible for the federal work study program which provides subsidy for wages of certain on-campus and off-campus student employment.

If you are hiring a student eligible for this program, consult with the student’s home campus employment office for policies and procedures. Provide your program or project liaison at FCI with an estimate of the total cost to your program or project, copies of all paperwork submitted to the student’s home campus, as well as and copies of all timesheets.

  • To hire a student as an hourly employee not eligible for federal work study:

If the student will be hired as an hourly employee by Five Colleges, Incorporated, contact Toby Hall at the Five College Business Office. If the student will be hired as an employee of the student’s home campus, contact the campus.

  • To pay a student a stipend for work on an education-related project that provides a learning opportunity for the student:

Before hiring a student, be sure the program or project allocation is sufficient to cover the cost. Stipends are payments made for which no specific services are rendered or required. Student participation in the program must be predominantly for the benefit of the student and not FCI and/or project. The student will receive a Form 1099 for payments totaling $600 or more. Contact your FCI liaison if you have questions on whether or not the participation of a student in your project qualifies for a stipend.

In the case of academic programs or projects planning to pay a stipend to an undergraduate student, please contact your program liaison well in advance. We will require a brief project description, estimated number of hours, as well as start and end date of the work, in order to draft a Student Stipend Agreement form. Stipend payments to foreign students will require special arrangements, please contact your program liaison for more information. In addition to approporate tax forms, students will be required to submit a signed FCI Student Stipend Agreement form, liability form, and emergency contact form (these forms are provided on request from your program or project liaison and will vary depending on the circumstances).

If feasible, we recommend processing payments to foreign individuals through one of the campuses and ask the campus to submit a reimbursement of payment request to FCI (see instructions for payments to a Program or department at a Five College campus). If this method is not an option, complete the Five College Foreign National Visitor Information form and obtain copies of the requested information, such as I-9 form, Visa, and Passport to start the process of processing payments. Submit all documentation to the FCI business office for review before promising any payments. Payments made to Foreign Nationals require additional paperwork and ample processing time. In some instances, FCI may not be able to make payments to Foreign Nationals because of visa restrictions.

The first step is to ensure that your budget balance will accommodate the expense you are planning and that the expense is allowable given the terms of your allocation from Five Colleges and the policies of Five Colleges. Some kinds of expenditures require special care, as outlined above (e.g. hiring an undergraduate or graduate student; contracting for the services of a visitor or vendor if the payment is over $1500; paying a stipend to an international visitor or reimbursing the expenses of an international visitor; purchasing equipment or software; purchasing supplies or equipment for a course taught at one of the campuses.) No commitments for payment should be made before all planning and arrangements have been made, particularly where pre-approval from FCI and/or contracts are required.

In most cases, arranging for payment of any expense requires submitting a Five College Check Request Form. This form is used to gather the information required to process payments by Five Colleges. The form asks for basic information about the requester, the program or project funds to be used for the payment, and the payee. Instructions for filling in each item on the form are available on page 2 of the FCI Check Request Form. Please contact Toby Hall, staff accountant, if you have any questions.

Depending on the type of payment requested and who is being paid, you may need to include additional forms and documents, as outlined in The Guide to Processing Payments.

Please note that requests for payment from a program’s budget must come from the program Chair, project PI, or a designated member of a Five College Council or Committee. Requests for payment cannot be submitted by the payee (unless the payee is a Chair, PI, or otherwise explicitly designated by the person(s) responsible for the program or project budget).