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College Policy Number/Title:

Howard Community College is a publicly funded institution and advocates and supports the prudent management of the institution’s fiscal resources in a way that serves students, employees and other stakeholders.   


Due to the college’s status as a publicly supported institution, all events or receptions serving food using institutional money or staff time must be authorized by the area vice president with a goal of appropriate use of college resources and fairness to employees.  Cost center administrators and vice presidents must evaluate costs to be incurred, anticipated benefits to the college and availability of funds in conjunction with competing priorities/projects before authorizing such events.

Criteria for Authorization

Only those events that meet the following criteria will be considered for authorization to be covered by institutional funds: 

  • Involve college business and significantly influence the educational affairs of the college
  • Establish and maintain effective external communication and relationships for the benefit of the college
  • Are not of a personal nature, such as birthdays, weddings and baby showers, etc.
  • Adhere to college food service providers guidelines and/or contract provisions
  • Have menu choices that do not exceed per person amounts provided by current college food service guidelines.  Amounts that exceed these must have written justification describing why the added costs were unavoidable and necessary to achieve the specified purpose
  • Do not duplicate college events (Example: college resources are not to be used for departmental holiday parties in addition to the institutional holiday party)
  • Are not welcome/goodbye receptions held on college time (new employees will be recognized at events scheduled throughout the year and departing employees will be recognized at events for that purpose)

Examples of Some Authorized Events

Certain events are scheduled throughout the year that are covered by institutional funds and are planned for college-wide participation.  Currently these include convocations, holiday party and retirement receptions as needed.  The president’s office will assist with costs for retirement parties, paying up to a pre-determined amount for each party.  Departments should contact the president’s office before beginning planning to learn the pre-determined amount.  Parties for each retiree in a given year will be reimbursed the same amount.  If individual employees wish to donate additional funds for a specific retiree’s party, they may do so.  Departmental cost centers will not be used to cover costs of retirement parties.

Personal Events

Events such as birthdays, wedding/baby showers, resignation dinners and other events of a personal nature may be celebrated departmentally but must be paid for by individuals and may only be scheduled during employees’ non-working hours such as lunchtime (limited to an hour), before or after work.  A supervisor or department head may allow flexibility on the actual timing of the hour.

Effective Date:  9/9/2005