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Events and Receptions Procedure - 63.09.15

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. All events or receptions serving food purchased with institutional money or using staff time must be authorized by the area vice president or the president with a goal of appropriate use of college resources and fairness to employees. Cost center administrators and vice presidents or the president 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.

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 internal and external communication and relationships for the benefit of the college.
  • Are not of a personal nature, such as birthdays and wedding/baby showers.
  • Adhere to college food service providers guidelines or contract provisions, including beverage agreements.
  • Have menu choices that do not exceed per person amounts provided by current college food service guidelines. Costs that exceed these amounts 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).

Certain events are scheduled throughout the year that are covered by institutional funds and are planned for college-wide participation, including convocations and the holiday party.

Retirement receptions may also be paid for with institutional funds from the respective vice president’s or president’s cost center. The respective vice president’s or president’s office should be contacted before beginning to plan the event to learn the pre-determined amount, which may be used for food, decorations, and memory books. 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.

A college-wide gift is given to each retiree. This gift is purchased by the respective vice president’s or president’s office using the dollar guidelines set forth by the office of human resources. These gifts are normally given during convocation, but may be given at another time if the retiree is unable to attend convocation.

Other Events

Events of a personal nature such as birthdays and wedding/baby showers 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), or before or after work. A supervisor or department head may allow flexibility on the actual timing of the hour.

Welcome and goodbye receptions may take place during the workday and should be limited to two hours. Institutional funds may not be used for costs related to welcome and goodbye receptions and gifts.

Effective Date: 03/08/19

President's Office Use:  VPAF/PRES

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