Memberships in Professional Organizations                 UPPS No. 06.04.01
Issue No. 6
Effective Date: 10/09/2009
Review: April 1 E4Y





01.01   The purpose of this UPPS is to set forth policy concerning the payment from university funds for institutional and individual memberships in professional organizations.


01.02   University funds may only pay for membership in professional organizations recognized as such in the higher education field, academic discipline, or a related area of university employment. University funds, from any source (educational and general, auxiliary, designated, and restricted) may pay for institutional or individual memberships in professional organizations if the requirements of Sections 01.03 and 01.04 are met. Additionally, the funding source must approve use of externally-funded grant monies for membership in professional organizations.


01.03  In accordance with constitutional requirements, as cited in the State of Texas Purchase Policies and Procedures Guide, Section 6.066 (A), state agencies may pay a membership fee to a professional organization only if all of the following conditions are met:


a.   the agency has specific or implied statutory authority for the payment;


b.   the payment would serve a proper public purpose; and


c.   the agency would receive adequate consideration in exchange for the payment.


01.04  A state agency may not use appropriated money (educational and general funds) to pay for membership in or dues for a professional organization unless the administrative head of the agency, or that person’s designee, first reviews and approves the expenditure (State of Texas Purchase Policies and Procedures Guide, Section 6.066-B). In accordance with the Comptroller’s guidelines, the president delegates authority for approval of professional memberships to each account manager. Refer to Section 03. below for specific procedures.


01.05  State appropriated funds may not pay for institutional or individual memberships to an organization that pays all or part of the salary of a person who is required by Chapter 305, Government Code, to register as a lobbyist (State of Texas Purchase Policies and Procedures Guides, Section 02.032-C).   


01.06  State appropriated funds may not pay for a membership in a chamber of commerce (State of Texas Purchase Policies and Procedures Guide, Section 2.036).


01.07  Each account manager is responsible for assuring that expenditures for memberships comply with all provisions of this policy and provide a valid public purpose, as required by the State Constitution. Additionally, employees for whom individual memberships are paid are responsible for assuring their membership benefits the university as required by this policy.


01.08  An account manager may not prorate an annual membership that spans two fiscal years. The fiscal year in which the membership begins will receive the charge for the total membership cost (unless the accounting records for that fiscal year are closed).


01.09  Because procurement cards (P-cards) are only used for consumable supplies, account managers should not charge membership expenditures to them.




02.01  Institutional memberships are defined as those for which the university, as a whole, or a major department or division is named as the member of the organization.


02.02  Individual memberships are defined as those for which a single university employee is named as the member of the professional organization as a representative of Texas State.




03.01  Institutional or individual membership in professional organizations are paid in one of the following ways:


a.   Purchase Order – The framework purchase order must show the effective start and end dates of membership. An invoice or membership renewal notice must be attached to the purchase order. A justification statement or documentation supporting the conditions in Section 01.03 must be included in the purchase order.


b.   Payment Request – Requests for payment directly to the professional organization or as reimbursement to the individual employee (for individual memberships). A payment request must include a copy of an invoice or membership renewal notice, the effective start and end dates of the membership, and a justification statement supporting the conditions in Section 01.03. The university will not reimburse employees who make institutional membership payments from their own personal funds.  


03.02  Membership payments from externally-funded grants are subject to all this policy’s provisions, plus additional approval from the funding source to assure that the expenditures conform with funding source requirements. Refer to UPPS No. 02.02.01, "Applying for Sponsored Programs" for further information.


03.03  Individual memberships paid with university funds must show a benefit to the institution and the purchase order or payment request form must document that benefit. 


a.   University funds may pay professional dues or memberships required to maintain an individual’s professional license or certification, which demonstrates the expertise level needed by the individual to effectively perform the required job duties. Examples include the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, State Bar Association, and Society of Professional Engineers.


b.   The university may pay for memberships in organizations in the individual’s name if the membership serves a public purpose worth more than the dues. An example is a membership that saves Texas State money in terms of merchandise discounts or registration fees.




04.01  Reviewers of this UPPS include the following:


Position                                                         Date


Associate Vice President for Financial    April 1 E4Y



Director, Accounting                                   April 1 E4Y


Director, Purchasing                                   April 1 E4Y




This UPPS has been approved by the following individuals in their official capacities and represents Texas State policy and procedure from the date of this document until superseded.


Associate Vice President for Financial Services; senior reviewer of this UPPS


Vice President for Finance and Support Services