Question asked anonymously via email
Question posed to Simon J. Rhodes, Provost and VP of Academic Affairs
We are currently conducting many faculty searches at UNF. Candidates’ itineraries often include meals that committee members must attend. There is wide discrepancy across the university about whether meals of faculty members serving on the committee are reimbursed. Some departments/colleges reimburse for all committee members who attend both meals, some reimburse one or two committee members for dinner and reimburse all who attend lunch meetings, and some do not reimburse for dinner nor lunch, with faculty expected to cover their own meals for work meetings with the candidates that they are required to attend. It reflects poorly on UNF when candidates have dinner with only one person or when faculty bring their own lunch to lunch interview meetings. Additionally, if a faculty member serving on a search committee attends three dinner meetings and three lunch meetings, this could easily cost them over $100. Are faculty expected to pay for their own meals or bring their own meals when they serve on search committees? What if some departments do not have funds to cover meals? Can these funds be provided by the college or AA?
Answer vie email by Dr. Rhodes, Provost and VP of Academic Affairs:
We are currently conducting 78 searches (which is about typical), and Academic and Student Affairs provides $3,200 for each search. These funds are general operating (E&G), and therefore can’t be used for reimbursing meals, only for travel and related costs. Meals would have to be reimbursed using foundation or concession funds. A&SA receives very little foundation and concession funding each year and does not have the ability to reimburse for meals for the high number of searches conducted across the division annually. Because the colleges and many departments/schools have far greater foundation and concession funding available than A&SA, the deans and chairs decide if and how they would like to allocate those funds for meals during searches. The foundation or concession funds vary among colleges and departments, and therefore reimbursement practices likely will as well. Chairs and deans are encouraged to discuss reimbursement for meals in advance of starting searches so that expectations are clear to all members of the search committee and faculty in the department.