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University Meals Policy

Authority: President
Date Enacted or Revised: Enacted August 15, 2011; Revised January 6, 2016; April 26, 2018; October 8, 2019; October 22, 2019


The purpose of this policy is to provide information and guidance relating to meals paid by the University with public funds. Meals are classified as a Special Meals or Conference Meals. The department head and University President must approve in advance all meals described in the policy.

Special Meals

State of Louisiana Travel Regulations, PPM 49, Section S1509 contains provisions that recognize and regulate Special Meals. Special Meals should be extraordinary in nature, reasonable, and must be in the best interest of the University. Only meals classified and described below qualify:

  1. Visiting dignitaries or executive-level persons from other governmental units, and persons providing identified gratuity services to the State. This explicitly does not include normal visits, meetings, reviews, etc., by federal or local representatives.
  2. Extraordinary situations when State employees are required by their supervisor to work more than a twelve-hour weekday or six-hour weekend (when such are not normal working hours to meet crucial deadlines or to handle emergencies).
  3. A department head may authorize a Special Meal within allowable rates listed under Meals-Tier 1, to be served in conjunction with a working meeting or activity of department staff.

All Special Meals must have prior written approval from the President. Special Meals not approved in advance by the President will not be reimbursed by the University. Petty cash funds may not be used as a source for reimbursement for Special Meals.

To request a Special Meal, the Special Meals Request Form must be completed and submitted to the Office of the President for approval. Incomplete or late requests will be returned without action. The request should provide the following information:

  1. Name and title of the person requesting the Special Meal
  2. Anticipated date of the Special Meal
  3. Estimated cost of the Special Meal
  4. Explanation as to why the Special Meal is in the best interest of the State of Louisiana

After the Special Meal has been provided, and to receive reimbursement, the lower portion of the form must be completed and submitted to Administrative Accounting. The form must include the following information:

  1. Actual cost of the Special Meal
  2. Actual number of participants who received the Special Meal

An original invoice/receipt supporting the purchase and a roster of participants and their titles must be attached.

A purchase requisition should be input into Banner when the form is submitted to Administrative Accounting. The purchase requisition number should be indicated as required by the form.

Administrative Accounting will submit completed forms to the President’s Office for reporting purposes. All special meals will be reported by the President to the University of Louisiana System on a semi-annual basis.

Conference Meals

State of Louisiana Travel Regulations, PPM 49, Section S1510, contain provisions that recognize and regulate University Hosted Conference Meals. These regulations require adherence to the Procurement Laws, attendee sheets, certain advance approvals, and set maximum meal cost amounts. Please refer to PPM 49, Section S1510 or contact the MSU Purchasing Office for more detailed information.


This policy is distributed via the Academic Advisory Council, the Administrative Advisory Council, the University Listserv, the University’s website, and through routine communication between departments.