660  Membership and Subscriptions

Approved by President
Effective Date: June 5, 2017
Responsible Division: Business and Finance
Responsible Office:  Business and Finance
Responsible Officer:  Associate Vice President, Business and Finance

I. Purpose

This policy sets forth provisions for purchase of membership dues and subscriptions paid from state funds. James E. Walker Library, Center for Historic Preservation, and Center for Popular Music are exempt from this policy, with respect to library collections only.

Memberships and subscriptions purchased with restricted gift or grant funds, or under a University contract are not subject to these guidelines. They are covered under the terms of the gift, grant, or contract agreement.

II. Definitions

A.  Membership Dues or Subscriptions. Any expenditure from state funds by Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU or University), which entitle subscription of material or membership, associate membership, or participation in activities of an organization.

B. Organization. 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. A publication without which the mission of the University would be difficult, or impossible, to perform.

III. General

The application for memberships 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 University membership or where an individual membership (in the name of a University representative) is less expensive than a University membership. However, memberships necessary to maintain or enhance an employee’s professional status (i.e., 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 (1) membership for the University.

D.  Membership dues that are included as 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 or social clubs 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.

1.  The type of media content requested. (For example, all statewide daily newspapers.)

2.  The users of the media content provided by the service.

3.  The benefit of the service to the University.

4.  Justification that the media monitoring service is the most economical means of fulfilling the University’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 Application for New Subscription/Membership, with attached applicable subscription/membership documentation/forms, and the Payment Authorization must be completed and submitted for approval to the President or Vice President, as appropriate.

B.  Payment for either a new or a renewed subscription, up to one (1) year, will be made in the fiscal year the original subscription is invoiced or the renewal invoice is received and does not need to coincide with the fiscal year.

1.  A request for payment of a subscription longer than one (1) year must include justification of the substantial cost advantage of subscribing for a period longer than one year.

2.  No payments will be permitted for more than a two (2)-year subscription period.

C.  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.

D.  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 Policy 632 University Purchasing Card (P-Card) Program.

VI. Exceptions

The President must approve all exceptions to this policy.

Forms: 

Application for New Subscription/Membership

Payment Authorization

Revisions: none.

ReferencesPolicy 632 University Purchasing Card (P-Card) Program.