Allowable Use of Funds Policy Revised

UB Seal on Crosby Hall.

Published July 25, 2019

The Allowable Use of Funds Policy, approved and signed by President Tripathi, is available in the University Policy Library



The University at Buffalo is entrusted with funds provided by various constituencies. Employees who incur or approve expenses must exercise prudent judgment to ensure that the expenses are for legitimate university business and comply with the appropriate allowability criteria. Employees are responsible for ensuring the appropriate use of funds within the constraints of limited resources.

The Allowable Use of Funds Policy governs the payment of expenditures incurred or approved by employees on behalf of the university. All expenditures funded with State, University at Buffalo Foundation (UBF), and Research Foundation (RF) accounts must be appropriate, reasonable, allowable and allocable; they also must support the education, research, and public service missions of the university.

All university departments must implement a system of supervisory checks and balances to ensure expenditures always meet university interests. Expenditures paid from various funding sources are subject to specific requirements for use. Details regarding the use of State, UBF, RF Non-Sponsored, and RF Sponsored funds are found in the Allowable Use of Funds Chart. The appropriate funding source is determined by the type of the expense, not by the employee’s source of payroll. Units may apply this policy more restrictively where budget and other factors are considered. Additional restrictions established at the operating unit level supersede this policy and corresponding chart.

Policy Revisions

Significant revisions to the Allowable Use of Funds Policy:

  • Clarify that administrative, service, technology, and room rental fees are separate from the food and beverage per diem and must be itemized
  • Specify that university employees are responsible for their own parking costs at their official station
  • Increase the dollar amount from $50 to $100 for tax documentation required for gift card expenses for human research subjects

Significant revisions to the Allowable Use of Funds Chart:

  • Clarify that all food expenses, not just meal expenses, for faculty and staff are restricted to the GSA per diem (Food and Beverage Expenses - Internal Business Meals)
  • Clarify that delivery charges (as well as gratuity) are included in the per diem (Food and Beverage Expenses - Internal Business Meals)
  • Remove the Gifts section from the Chart; gifts are covered in the Gifts, Prizes, and Awards Policy
  • Allow the use of State funds for commencement cap and gown rental, purchase, or cleaning (Clothing)
In addition to the changes in the policy and chart, note that the Allowable Use of Funds Policy - Exception Request Form must be submitted online; the downloadable pdf form is no longer available.


This policy applies to all university faculty, staff, and student employees who make decisions regarding the use of funds for the purchase of food and beverages, human subject consideration, clothing, registration fees, décor, appliances, and memberships.

Separate policies govern the allowable use of funds for specific purposes:

  • Traveling for Business details the allowable use of funds when in travel status
  • Equipment purchases must be secured via the appropriate procurement guidelines and policies


Questions can be directed to the following subject matter experts:

Contact An Expert

Funding Source





Angie Rzeszut


RF Non-Sponsored

Brendan Davis


Sponsored Projects Services

Mary Kraft


UB Foundation

Rose Dommer