A new policy will make it easier for the university to distribute cash advances to employees conducting education abroad programs in countries where credit card use is not practical.
Ohio University policy 3.014, approved on Nov. 21, institutes formal guidelines for providing program cash advances and establishes that, in order to be eligible, the employee must be leading a program sponsored by Ohio University and administered by the Office of Education Abroad.
Nearly 50 faculty directors travel abroad to administer such programs each year, a good percentage of whom travel to locations that necessitate a cash advance.
"A lot of our programs go to areas where the credit card won't be accepted (and) the P-card won't be accepted," said Janice Bailey, the department administrator for Education Abroad.
Frank Corris, director of strategic procurement, said the new policy will be advantageous because, in the past, every student and employee in a study abroad group had to apply individually for cash advances. Under the new policy, one university employee can apply for the advance and then distribute the money as needed to students.
"It allows for a single point of contact and accommodates unusual situations," he said. "If they are going to a country where they can't use a purchasing card, they can use (this policy)."
Revisions to policy 3.015, which outlines rules for providing cash advances for employees traveling on official university business, also were approved last month. These advances are available to employees only when justified by the travel circumstances, as detailed in the policy, and when the employee's needs cannot be met with the use of a university purchasing card.
The most significant change, according to Corris, was the addition of a section outlining exceptions for Intercollegiate Athletics team travel. The old policy required that teams reconcile one advance before getting another, a restriction made impractical by busy competition schedules. The changes will allow athletics coaches to have multiple, non-delinquent travel advances at the same time during the course of a season.
"The way the previous policy was set... it made it very difficult if they had several away games in a row," Corris said.
The coaches still have to meet all deadlines and, should an advance become delinquent, would need to resolve it before they would be permitted to receive another.
-- From staff reports