Policy 1211: Gifts Based on University/Employee Relationships

Subject Area: Procurement/Disbursement
Responsible Office: Financial Services
Sponsor: Chief Financial Officer
Originally Issued: April 1994
Revised: March 1997, June 2005, February 2010, July 2014
Refer Questions To: Shared Services Help Desk, 773-702-5800

Purpose: To specify the type of gift that may be made to a University employee or an employee's immediate family from University funds.


The following modest, $500 or less, non-cash gifts (or Gift Cards of $100 or less) are allowed under this policy. Non-cash gifts greater than $500 must be approved in advance by the Associate Vice President for Finance. Approval for non-cash gifts greater than $500 will be granted only in rare and exceptional cases. Any requests for exception must be submitted prior to expenditure of University funds.

Following are examples of acceptable gifts based on University/Employee relationships:

  • Medical Reasons – For a serious illness of an employee or employee's immediate family member or the birth or adoption of a child.
  • Death of an employee or employee's immediate family member – Note: cash donations to other not-for-profit and charitable organizations in the name of a deceased employee or employee's immediate family member are allowed. In accordance with Financial Policy 1206, Gifts to Other Not-for-Profit and Charitable Organizations, such payments must be  approved by the Associate Vice President for Finance.
  • Retirement - For an employee retiring from the University
  • Leaving the University or Department – For an employee leaving the University or transferring to another unit within the University
  • Employee 'Spot' Recognition Awards – Rewards offered to employees for exceptional work performance. Such 'Spot' awards should not exceed $25
  • 'Years of Service' Award – For recognition of years of service

Expenses for gifts based on University/employee relationships must be charged to an unrestricted Financial Accounting System account (Ledger 2 or 4) using subaccount 9907, Non-Cash Gifts to Employees and Others.

The following gifts are not allowed under this policy.

  • Gift Cards in excess of $100
  • Gifts to employees for special occasions such as a birthday, wedding, or wedding anniversary
  • Employee 'Spot' awards in excess of $25. 'Spot' awards in excess of $25 should be processed through Payroll