660  Membership and Subscriptions

Approved by President
Effective Date: December 10, 2019
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 at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU or University) whether paid from state funds, or purchased with restricted gift or grant funds, or under a University contract. James E. Walker Library, Center for Historic Preservation, and Center for Popular Music are exempt from this policy, with respect to library collections only.

II. Definitions

A.  Membership Dues or Subscriptions. Any expenditure which entitles subscription of material or membership, associate membership, access to online database material, 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

Memberships and subscriptions should adhere to the following criteria:

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

B.  University-wide memberships and subscriptions are encouraged to avoid duplicate memberships and subscriptions unnecessarily increasing cost to the University. 

C.  Individual memberships and subscriptions are allowed based on the following criteria: 

1.  When University memberships are not offered with an organization or where an individual membership (in the name of a University representative) is less expensive than a University membership.

2. The individual membership's primary purpose would be to promote the mission of MTSU and the expense is justified by the benefit the University receives.

3.  The individual membership is necessary for the employee to carry out the job responsibilities for which the employee was hired.

4.  Memberships that maintain or enhance an employee's professional status are not allowed and should be considered a personal expense.

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, are considered memberships under this policy and subject to the conditions set forth herein.

E.  Payment for, or reimbursement of, memberships in civic organizations or social clubs is not allowed. 

F.  Subscriptions for political publications are not allowed, unless used for instructional purposes.

IV.  Departmental Responsibility for Memberships and Subscriptions

A.  Each department/department head will be responsible for ensuring the membership and subscription purchase adheres to the parameters of this policy. All memberships and subscriptions are under the discretion and responsibility of the department head.

B.  Each department is encouraged to develop a specific procedure for procuring and tracking memberships and subscriptions to ensure adherence to this policy.

V.  Procedures

A.  Memberships and subscriptions may be purchased with a Payment Authorization through Accounting Services.

B.  Memberships and subscriptions may be purchased using a University P-card and must follow policies relating to proper card use and card security measures as addressed in Policy 632 Purchasing Card (P-Card) Program.

C.  Payment for either a new or renewed subscription, up to two (2) years, 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. No payments will be permitted for more than a two (2)-year period.

VI.  Exceptions

The President must approve all exceptions to this policy.


Payment Authorization

Revisions: June 5, 2017 (original); December 10, 2019.

Last Reviewed: March 2022.

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