A.1. Guidelines for Use of Institutional, External, Start-Up, and Moving Expense Funds
Approved by the Executive Committee, January 2014
Knox College provides funding to support faculty teaching and pedagogy, and research, scholarship and creative activity. The funds derive from several sources, including start-up funds provided to new faculty, restricted funds, and operating funds. These funds are not considered personal compensation, therefore they are not taxable as income. They also cannot be used to supplement a faculty member's academic year salary, or to cover personal expenses, except for moving expenses.
General Institutional Support Funds
These funds are allocated by the College for specific purposes in support of faculty development, including teaching and pedagogy and research, scholarship, or creative activity. These funds may be included in a department or program's operating budget, allocated by the Committee on Faculty Resources (CoFR), or provided from discretionary accounts.
- All equipment and materials purchased from College funds are the property of Knox College.
- The College provides a computer for each faculty member's office, either a desktop or a laptop. Not all software is available on all operating systems and Information Technology Services (ITS) provides full support only for Windows and the Macintosh OS. Faculty may upgrade their office computer from a standard configuration (either increasing the capability of the desktop system or to a laptop computer) using grant or start-up funds, or upon approval by the Dean. While a laptop may be removed from campus, the College does not provide, through start-up funds or other funds, a dedicated computer or printer for home use.
- The College will provide a second on-campus computer for faculty to meet certain approved needs, for example, if needed to control an experiment, etc.
- Ordinarily, all computer equipment and software must be purchased through Information Technology Services (ITS). Exceptions to this may involve specific computer units, software, or peripherals that are part of a larger piece of equipment (e.g., in the sciences). While consultation with ITS is the preferred manner of making purchases, in some time-sensitive cases, faculty may purchase equipment and software on their own. If a department wishes to routinely make purchases on its own, this must be discussed with ITS and the Dean of the College to establish a clear understanding of the need and procedures to be followed. A department or faculty member should ensure that purchases result from appropriate consultation with all relevant departments (e.g., ITS, Audiovisual, Instructional Technology Support) in order to ensure compatibility of equipment and availability of institutional support.
- Ordinarily, all College-owned computers are serviced by or through ITS. All used computers are recovered by ITS.
- Software purchased with College funds is the property of Knox College. Licensing agreements should be signed by a College official, not a department head or individual faculty member. Faculty may install personal software on their college computer provided that they have the legal right to do so. The College assumes no responsibility for insuring that such software will run or be compatible with college applications, and reserves the right to remove such software if it interferes with the operation of College equipment.
- Whenever possible, smart phones, stereos, amplifiers, projectors, scanners, other equipment, routine supplies and consumables should be purchased through the College.
- The College has a tax-exempt number to use when making purchases. If a purchase is made through the normal purchase order process, the College's tax-exempt number will be conveyed to the vendor by the College. If a purchase is made with a College credit card, the purchaser must give the vendor the tax-exempt number. Taxes will not be reimbursed for any purchases made with out-of-pocket funds or personal credit cards.
- Purchases of equipment and materials not specifically covered by these guidelines may be permissible based on consultation with the Dean of the College.
- All purchases require detailed receipts.
Equipment purchased through external grants must follow the policies set by the funding agency. Unless otherwise noted, equipment is the property of Knox College.
In addition to the guidelines for General Institutional Support Funds, Start-Up Funds also follow these guidelines:
- Start-up funds allocated to new faculty are to be used for initial expenses in establishing the faculty member's instructional program and in establishing the faculty member's research, scholarly, or artistic program.
- Start-up funds provide institutional support to help new faculty establish a basis for their continued teaching excellence, research, scholarship or creative work, and make initial progress on projects that will strengthen proposals for external support. Start-up funds are meant to complement, rather than replace, external funding. Faculty should begin, early in their tenure at Knox, working with the Sponsored Programs office for external grant support.
- General uses of start-up funds include specialized equipment, expendable supplies, specialized software, expenses related to research (e.g., travel to field sites, special collections and libraries). In some cases, start-up funds may be used for facilities renovation expenses.
- Start-up funds may be used for the purchase of books required for new course preparation or for specialized research needs beyond those considered appropriate for the College library collections.
- If a person's employment with the College is terminated prior to the expenditure of start-up funds, or if a person accepts an appointment elsewhere prior to the use of all start-up funds, the remaining balance cannot be used except with approval of the Dean of the College prior to the expenditure of funds.
- The terms and duration of start-up funds are established at the initial appointment. Ordinarily, start-up funds cannot be used for a period longer than three years. These terms may subsequently be revised or extended after consultation and approval by the Dean of the College.
- Equipment and materials purchased by the College are the property of the College.
- Equipment purchased with start-up funds is not automatically replaced or upgraded by the College. Faculty should consult with the Dean well in advance of any expected replacement need.
Knox College offers relocation expenses to eligible employees, as articulated in the Moving Expense Reimbursement Guidelines.