IV:04:19 Membership and Subscriptions

I. PURPOSE

This policy implements Tennessee Board of Regents Guideline G-080, Membership and Subscriptions, on membership dues and subscriptions paid from state funds.  The James E. Walker Library and the Center for Popular Music are exempt from this policy with respect to library collections only.

II. DEFINITIONS

A. Membership Dues or Subscriptions are any expenditure from state funds by MTSU which entitle subscription of material or membership, associate membership, or participation in activities of an organization.

B. Organization is a group (public or private), association, or society whose purpose is to promote common interests and share information.

C. Publication directly related to the mission means a publication without which the mission of the institution would be impossible or difficult to perform.

III. GENERAL

The application for membership and subscriptions should adhere to the following criteria:

A.  The memberships and subscriptions must be directly related to the goals and mission of the University.

B.  The University may not pay the membership dues or subscriptions for individuals. An exception may be granted in instances where an organization does not permit institutional-membership or where an individual membership (in the name of an institutional representative) is less expensive than an institutional membership. However, memberships necessary to maintain or enhance an employee’s professional status (e.g. American Institute of Certified Professional Accountants or Bar membership dues) should be considered the responsibility of the employee and the association dues considered a personal expense.

C.  The University should evaluate the duplication of memberships and subscriptions with the intention of providing only one membership for the University.

D.  Membership dues that are a part of the expense of registration for an organizational meeting for which the University pays the expense of an employee to attend will be considered membership dues under this policy and subject to the approval process.

E.  Faculty and staff membership in civic organizations are encouraged; however, the University may not use state funds to pay for memberships.

F.  Subscriptions for political publications shall not be approved unless used for instructional purposes.

G.  MTSU may subscribe to newspapers within its service area for public information and instructional-related purposes.

H.  Newspaper clipping services must be approved by the President or his/her designee.

1.  The need for the service shall be clearly set forth in writing.

2.  The written justification should address the following points:

a. The type of clipping service requested.  (For example, all statewide daily newspapers.)

b. The use of information provided by the service.

(1) Who the clippings are circulated to in the institution.

(2) How the clippings benefit the institution.

3.  A statement that the clipping service is the most economical means of fulfilling the institution’s need.

IV. APPROVAL OF MEMBERSHIPS AND SUBSCRIPTIONS

All memberships and subscriptions must obtain the approval of the President as delegated to the vice president of each division with the exception of the Athletics Department, which must have the approval of the President.

V. PROCEDURES

A.  Both the Subscription/Membership Application, with attached applicable subscription/membership documentation/forms, and the Payment Authorization Form must be completed and submitted for approval to the President or vice president as appropriate.

B.  Upon approval from the President or vice president, all original forms must be forwarded to Accounting Services for final processing and tracking.  Accounting Services is responsible for maintaining a file on the initial application and approval of all memberships and subscriptions being paid by the University.

C.  Renewals of previously approved memberships and subscriptions already on file with Accounting Services, as indicated in A. and B. above, may be paid with the P-Card in accordance with MTSU Policy IV:04:22.  

VI. EXCEPTIONS

The Chancellor must approve all exceptions to this policy.

 

Revisions:    January 8, 2004; July 31, 2014.

Cross-References:   TBR Guideline G-080 Membership and Subscriptions; MTSU Policy IV:04:22 University Purchasing Card (P-Card) Program.