Employee Resources - Procedures Index



Procedures Index


College Business-Related Processes and Procedures

Cash Handling

Effective May 9, 2011

Purpose: 
Safeguarding the assets of the university and the College of Engineering is part of everyone’s job.  To avoid the appearance of impropriety, and to guard against untoward events, a cash handling policy has been issued by the bursar’s office. 

Introduction: 
Cash handling includes any funds received by a College employee on behalf of the University, whether it is coin, currency, checks, money orders or traveler’s checks.   All College of Engineering Faculty and Staff with cash handling responsibility should periodically review the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Cash handling procedure to confirm compliance.

Procedure:

  • All funds collected by departments as deposits or for sales of goods and services must be recorded on pre-numbered receipt forms immediately upon receipt.  Receipt books are to be maintained in a secure location.  Receipt books are distributed through the Dean’s office and a log of that distribution will be maintained by the Director of Fiscal Services. 
  • All checks must be made payable to the "University of Nebraska–Lincoln" and should be accepted for the exact amount. 
  • Post-dated or two party checks are not accepted.
  • All checks must be payable through a U.S. bank in U.S. dollars. Contact the COE Director of Fiscal Services with any questions about receiving international payments.
  • All funds collected must be secured in a lockable drawer or cabinet out of public view with limited access at all times.
  • All funds collected must be hand delivered to the Fiscal Services department, located in 209 OTHM before the close of business on the day received.  Funds are not to be sent through interoffice mail.
  • Any faculty/staff member who routinely handles cash must take at least five consecutive business days of vacation annually, during which time another individual performs his/her duties.
  • Failure to adhere to this procedure may result in corrective action up to and including termination. 

Cell Phone Reimbursement

Effective June 30, 2017

Beginning July 1, 2017 The College will not pay faculty or staff a cell phone allowance.

Contract Authorization

Effective May 9, 2011

Purpose: 
This procedure outlines the expectations of UNL as well as the College of Engineering related to the definition and authorization of contracts. 

Introduction: 
The Chancellor has delegated all authority established in Executive Memorandum No. 14 to the Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance. The Chancellor has further allowed the Vice Chancellor to delegate this authority to those administrative officers and professional staff as required to conduct the business affairs of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. As applied to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, such authority will be conveyed as delineated below. Those to whom signatory authority is delegated by this document may further delegate this authority only after receiving written approval from the Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance.

While it is the intent of this document to clearly designate the parties to whom such authority has been delegated, some qualifications are imposed at the end of this document which apply to all persons executing contracts on behalf of UNL for the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska.

Procedure:

Type of Contract Upper Dollar Limit Authority to Sign
General Services, Supplies & commodities not specified elsewhere
$400,000
Vice Chancellor, Business & Finance; Associate VC Business and Finance; Director, procurement Services.
Procurement of Construction Services for a Building, Structure, and Other Improvement to or Demolition of Real Property with a Total Project Cost of $2,000,000 or Less

$2,000,000

Vice chancellor, Business & Finance
Employment Contracts and offer letters (all faculty, staff and graduate students. Undergraduate student workers not included)
No dollar limit

Senior VC, Academic Affairs
Dean, CoE

The College of Engineering requires all contracts to be approved by the Dean of the college. 

Expense Transfers

Effective May 9, 2011

Purpose: 
The following procedure details the steps required to transfer expenditures from one cost object or general ledger account to another.

Restrictions: 
Expense transfers are the most heavily scrutinized of all general ledger data. Erroneous postings should be transferred within 90 days of the original post. More timely transfers may be necessary when the destination cost object is a Sponsored Project. All transferred costs must be adequately supported by a statement of how those costs benefit the purpose of the debit (destination) cost object.

Form:
GL Account Posting Form

Process: 
Submit the transfer request with proper supporting documentation to EAS, keeping a copy for your files.

  1. Complete the GL Account Posting Form.
    a. Enter proper header. This will be a Journal Entry document. Mark the appropriate box on the form. 
b. The debit (expense) will be the appropriate cost object where the cost should be posted. 
c. Review the appropriateness of the GL account code. Change the GL code if the situation warrants. 
d. The text information should be identical to the existing description information. 
e. Enter proper footer information including your name and contact information.
  2. Support the Transfer
    a. Provide an explanation in the space provided on the form as to the reason for the cost transfer and how these costs relate to the purpose of the debit cost object. 
b. Attach a detailed listing of the existing line item expense from SAP and highlight the entry.
  3. Obtain departmental signature from Responsible Person for the cost object.
  4. Route to EAS for college approval and entry.
  5. Review the entry and maintain departmental files.
    a. Allow three working days processing time. 
b. Log on to SAP to obtain transaction number and verify the entry. 
c. Contact the EAS entry person if there is an error or question about the entry. 
d. Write transaction number in space provided on file copy form.

Grad Fees Payment

Effective May 9, 2011

Purpose: 
The following procedure details the steps required to make payment of Graduate Studies application fees on behalf of prospective graduate students.

Restrictions: 
Departments may not use State Appropriated Funds to pay student application fees or tuition. Most Sponsored Project funds do not allow the direct charging of these types of expenses. Contact EAS with any questions related to the allowability of these costs.

Form: 
GL Account Posting Form

Process: 
The payment should be made to Graduate Studies at the same time the student applies. Submit the completed form to EAS keeping a copy for your files.

1. Complete the GL Account Posting Form. 
  • This will be an Internal Charge. Mark the appropriate box on the form.
  • The debit (expense) will be to your appropriate cost object (see Restrictions above) using the GL Account 562200 – College Training.
  • The credit (revenue) side will be to cost object 21 9910 0013 using GL Account 442310 – Application Fees – Graduate.
  • Provide the Student name and ID (not SSN) on each line of the entry. Note: If making payments for multiple students, a separate two-sided entry is required for each student.
  • Provide an appropriate explanation in the space provided on the form.

2. Obtain departmental signature from either the Chair or Graduate Coordinator. 
3. Route to EAS for College approval and entry. 
4. Maintain departmental files. 
  • Allow three working days processing time.
  • Log on to SAP to obtain transaction number.
  • Write transaction number in space provided on file copy form.

Grant Submission

Effective May 9, 2011

Purpose: 
This procedure will assist in the success of proposals for external funding by outlining parameters for completion and review.

Introduction: 
Grant proposal submissions are a critical component of faculty responsibilities.  It is imperative that submissions are done in such a way as to allow a quality product to be submitted which presents the principal investigator’s ideas and budget  and also allows the college to manage their commitment to the granting entity.   Structured review will help to meet this requirement; therefore the procedure below outlines the preparation and submittal of grant proposals.

Procedure:

The Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) recommends the principal investigator consult with the department chair and secures the chair's support for the project at least three months in advance.   The principal investigator commits to a timeline in which a complete draft of the proposal will be completed one month before the submission date.

At least two calendar weeks prior to the submission date, the PI forwards a completed budget proposal to the Grants Manager – Pre Award.  This includes a detailed budget, any proposed cost share, and a validated plan for funding any cost share amounts. The Grants Manager reviews and certifies the proposal.

The completed proposal is submitted to Office of Sponsored Programs at least 48 hours before the deadline as outlined in OSP’s procedures. 

Any grant which does not meet these time lines may be held for administrative review by the Dean and may not be forwarded for submission.

International Travel

CoE International Travel Requirements Reference Guide
UNL Research webpage on International travel

When possible, use the electronic travel process through Firefly for all domestic and foreign travel.

Pre-trip travel authorization is required to be completed, prior to the departure date, for all travel.

For international destinations, the traveler needs to complete the “International Travel Checklist” 30 days prior to departure or as soon as he/she knows about the trip. (Can be found at the link below.)

Faculty, staff and graduate students traveling internationally on College business need to forward their completed “International Travel Checklist” to the designated departmental staff, who can then forward a checklist with a yes response to the UNL Export Controls Coordinator.

All graduate students traveling internationally on College business must register with the UNL Education Abroad Office prior to departure.

CoE recommends international travelers register in the U.S. State Department Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) prior to taking a trip to an international destination and to acquire evacuation insurance.

Memberships and Subscriptions

Effective July 1, 2014

Purpose: 
To provide clarity to those memberships and subscriptions open to reimbursement by the College of Engineering.

Procedure:

University funds may be used to pay institutional memberships in civic or professional organizations or to purchase institutional subscriptions for journals and other periodicals. University of Nebraska Foundation funds and/or department and individual F&A funds may be used to pay for personal memberships or subscriptions. All memberships must be billed to a College of Engineering address.

Chairs and faculty may use Foundation discretionary funds for personal memberships and subscriptions. Any request for a membership or subscription which deviates from this procedure should be discussed with the Dean of the college prior to submission.

Miscellaneous Expense Reimbursement

Effective May 9, 2011

Purpose: 
To provide clarification of employee expense items eligible for repayment by the College of Engineering.  This policy addresses payment from state aided, revolving, grant funds and auxiliary funds.  Appropriate foundation funds may be used if the purpose keeps within the gift restrictions.  This procedure mirrors UNL’s policy on reimbursement.

Introduction: 
There are situations where an item must be purchased but standard options for purchases ~ purchasing card (P-Card) or direct bill are not viable.  In those cases, an employee may submit a request for expense reimbursement to the college.  Such a request will be processed and the employee will be reimbursed if the item is deemed an appropriate business expense. 

Procedure:

All requests for reimbursement must be submitted on the non-travel expense reimbursement form found on UNL’s website.    Requests for reimbursement must include the original itemized receipt (credit card statements are not acceptable), the date of the purchase and the business reason for the purchase.  All forms require department chair approval and Dean (or his designee) approval.  Forms must be received in the fiscal services department within 14 days of the purchase to qualify for reimbursement.   Payment will, in most cases, be received within 45 days of submission of the reimbursement form.   Employees are expected to use good judgment in all decisions, and to be prudent and reasonable with university funds.    

The following is a list of items ineligible for reimbursement from general appropriations, revolving or auxiliary funds. Use of grant and Foundation funds is appropriate only if allowed by the parameters of the grant or the endowment:

  • Employee meals (includes meals while work is being conducted) when employee is not in travel status
  • Employee recognitions (includes gifts, cards, flowers, etc.)
  • Retirement receptions
  • Department receptions and meetings with no external speaker
  • Faculty or staff meetings with no external speakers
  • Research grant receptions
  • Secretary’s Day events
  • Refrigerators, microwave ovens, coffee pots, etc., for use in lounges and break rooms 
  • Food utensils and other supplies
  • Departmental candy jars
  • Soda pop
  • Bottled water and cooler rental

In addition, the Dean of the College of Engineering (or his designee) has the right to refuse reimbursement for any item considered excessive or inappropriate.  If an employee is unsure about a purchase qualifying for reimbursement, they may contact Fiscal Services at 402-472-5259 for verification.  

Obtaining College Commitments

Effective May 9, 2011

Purpose: 
The following procedure details the steps required to ensure that college funds are transferred to departments in order to cover expenses designated as being funded by college level resources.

Restrictions: 
Departments are supplied periodically updated listing of valid college commitments. A copy of this listing must accompany the transfer request, with the specific line item highlighted. All items will be expended to departmental costs objects. Budget or funds will be transferred to cover these expenses.

Form: 
Budget Transfer Form for UNL Funding Sources. 
Foundation Transfer Request for Foundation Funding Sources

Process: 
Transfer documents are to be prepared at the time the expenses are originated. Therefore, these documents must accompany the PAF or Purchase Request that will initiate the expense. Submit the completed form to EAS keeping a copy for your files.

  1. Review the column headers on the College Temporary Commitment Listing to determine planned source of funding.
    >a. If the source of funds is from the Foundation, prepare the Foundation Transfer Request.
      i. Complete the Departmental Contact section using your information. 
ii. Use your department’s “27” WBS. In most instances, you will use the new department development cost object (27 11xx 0020) with the appropriate child. 
iii. Leave the Fund Name and Fund Number information blank. 
iv. Input the appropriate dates that encompass the entire term of the funding. 
v. Provide a detailed description of the types of expenses the unds will cover.
        1. If this is funding is for personnel, scholarship, or fellowship, you must include the name of the employee or student. 
2. Other expenses may be grouped on one line of detail. For example: Faculty travel, research and educational supplies…5,000.
      vi. Attach a copy of the College Commitment Report, with the specific line item highlighted. 
vii. Forward to EAS for Fund information, signature and routing. viii. Foundation transfers may take up to 2 months. If funds have not been distributed by then, contact EAS.
    b. Prepare a Budget Transfer Form
      i. Fill in the correct Fiscal Year, date prepared, and your name and phone number as contact information. 
ii. Funds must be of similar type. For example, F&A can only be transferred to other F&A cost objects. 
iii. Complete only the bottom portion, “Increase Planned Expenditures/Decrease Planned Revenues:” portion using the following chart. 
iv. Forward to EAS for sources information, signature, and routing 
v. Budget Transfers will be entered within 2-3 working days. The Budget Office will release entries twice monthly. Contact EAS if transferred have not posted with by the end of the month.
       
Cost Object
Fund Type
Document Type
Cost Element Code
Position
BT/BP Type
Personnel
Non-Personnel
21 11xx 00xx State Budget Transfer * 521000 ** BT
21 11xx 4000 F&A Budget Transfer 521000 521000 na BT
22 11xx xxxx Revolving Budget Transfer 893411 893411 na JE
27 11xx xxxx xxx Gift Budget Transfer 893411 893411 na JE
27 11xx xxxx xxx Foundation Foundation Transfer na na na na
* Use appropriate GL for Personnel classification: 
** Use employee position or pool position

Proposal Routing Procedure

Effective May 9, 2011

Extramural Funding Policies & Procedures

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln requires that all proposals for extramurally funded projects be approved by the Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR). The AOR for UNL is in the Sponsored Programs, Pre-Award office. Proposals should not be submitted to Sponsored Programs prior to proper review at the Departmental and College levels. The following procedures are intended as a guide to ensure proposals are properly routed.

The AOR, in general, will not submit proposals that have not been properly routed through NUgrant.

College Proposal Routing Procedure

Principle Investigators (PIs) are responsible for preparing and arranging the content of project proposals in accordance with sponsor requests for proposals and/or grant application guidelines. This procedure applies to both Lincoln and Omaha faculty.

  • All CoE proposals must be routed though NUgrant, UNL's electronic research administration system.
  • All proposal routing should be completed at least two working days prior to the sponsor deadline date.
  • Completed means that the routing has been approved by the college and received by the Office of Sponsored Programs.
  • Request for matching/cost share should be forwarded to the Office of the Associate Dean for Research via Toni Howard, or call 402-472-5600 at least two weeks prior to the sponsor deadline. Any requests for matching/cost share should be forwarded to Toni prior to routing via NUgrant.

At a minimum, the following must be included to route the proposal for internal CoE approval via NUgrant.

  1. an abstract or executive summary
  2. a detailed budget
  3. a budget narrative sufficient to identify the need and nature of the funds requested
  4. any forms requiring signatures
  5. any sponsor policy capping F&A rates or requiring matching or cost-share commitments
  6. draft of full text of the proposal, whenever possible

Electronic Routing - (NUgrant)

https://nugrant.unl.edu

NUgrant is an electronic research administration system to track sponsored program proposals (grants and contracts) throughout the proposal cycle and provide data and reports for administrative decision making.  This replaces the hardcopy signature routing form.  Notifications to the authorized approvers are communicated via email.

NUgrant authorized approvers in the College of Engineering include:

  1. Department chair
  2. Director of Engineering Administrative Services (EAS)
  3. Associate Dean for Research

See NUgrant quick reference info.

Disclosure of Interest (DOI)

https://nugrant.unl.edu

All individuals with interactions or proposed interactions involving federal, state and not-for-profit entities falling under the UNL Conflict of Interest (COI) policy are required to complete a generic DOI form.  The purpose of the generic DOI is to divulge any potential conflicts of interest between an individual and a federal, state or not-for-profit entity.

All individuals with interactions or proposed interactions involving a for-profit entity falling under the COI policy are required to complete a project-specific DOI form, one for each entity.  The purpose of the generic DOI is to divulge any potential conflicts of interest between an individual and a for-profit entity.

Note:  Disclosures are required, per the Board of Regents COI policy, whether or not they involve a sponsored research activity

See COI quick reference info. 

Proposal Development Assistance

Assistance with proposal development can be obtained through the college's Office of the Associate Dean for Research. Faculty members are urged to seek proposal development assistance as early as possible prior to submission deadlines.

Proposal Budgets

Budgets should follow the sponsor requirements. See UNL's Offie of Research Preparing Proposalspage for basic information and budget templates. Please refer to the Sponsored Programs webpagesfor current rates and institutional information. All proposal budgets are reviewed by the Director of Business and Finance via the NUgrant routing system in order to obtain Dean's Office approval.

Budget Development Assistance

Assistance with budget development and agency procedures and forms should be directed to Engineering Administrative Services (EAS).  For optimal assistance, investigators should provide the requests for budget assistance at least five working days prior to the sponsor deadline date.  The following budget form is provided with all formulas entered with the latest fringe and F&A rates. College Budget Form.  Any requests made after the five day window will be dealt with on a first come first serve basis with the possibility of limited or no assistance. 

Internally-Funded Proposal Procedures

All UNL internally-funded proposals (i.e. Layman Awards, Strategic Cluster Grants, etc.) must have Dean's office approval/signature before submission. Please do not route internally- funded proposals through NUgrant.  If the proposal guidelines do not provide a cover sheet for signatures, please use this CoE form for signature approval:

All other services provided by the college will remain the same as extramurally funded projects.

Temporary Employment

Effective May 9, 2011

Purpose:
The following procedure details the steps required to offer positions to prospective employees when a formal search process is not required.

Restrictions:
Every position within the College is to have a position description.  Position description shall be formatted in three sections (Temporary Employment Form):

  1. Justification: a brief paragraph that outlines the need for this position
2. Duties and Responsibilities: several bullet points with corresponding effort percentage that detail specific actions performed by this position
3. Required and Preferred Qualifications: a section that communicates the minimal accepted education and experience as well as those that the most attractive candidate would possess.

Every appointment, whether the culmination of a search or otherwise, must be conveyed via a letter of offer and a subsequent written acceptance. All letters of offer must be reviewed and approved by the College Human Resource Director before it can be forwarded to the prospective employee. To ensure that the minimum qualifications are met, a resume or curricula vitae must as well as a position description must accompany letters of offer during this routing.

Employment:            
Positions eligible for this process:
A-Line:  Post-Doctoral Research Associate, Lecturer/T/Senior, Visiting Faculty
B-Line:  Managerial/Professional Temporary Worker
C-Line:  Office/Service Temporary Worker

                     
Form:            
Appropriate Offer Letter  
Resume or Curricula Vitae
Temporary Employment Form

Process:
  1. Hiring Manager:
    • Coordinate with College HR Director to ensure that search or waiver process is not required
• Complete all sections of Temporary Employment Form
• Initiate position-appropriate Letter of Offer
• Secure candidate Resume or Curricula Vitae
• Route for Department Approval
  2. Department Approval:
    • Review all documentation to ensure departmental criteria are met
• Department Chair or approved multi-disciplinary Center Director, must sign the Offer Letter and the Temporary Employment Form
• Route for College Approval
  3. College Approval:
    • Review all documentation to ensure:
      1. Equitable salary or justification for variance 
2. Minimum requirements are commensurate with position and are met by prospective employee
3. Visa implications are addressed
4. Appropriate Letter of Offer and language are used
5. Identified funding is adequate and allowable
    • Route through Vice-Chancellor if applicable
• Return signed Letter of Offer and approved Temporary Hire Form to department
  4. Department Hire:
    • Position offered to candidate 
• PAF and a copy of the fully signed offer letter, as well as any additional applicable hiring paperwork sent for processing

Travel

Effective May 9, 2011

Purpose: 
This procedure is designed to help faculty and staff adhere to reporting and accounting standards and regulations.  The college of Engineering encourages its employees to travel and conduct business in relative comfort while using good judgment and discretion when incurring business-related expenses.  This procedure:

  • Defines the college’s procedure pertaining to travel expense.
  • Outlines the types of expenditures that are and are not reimbursed.
  • Provides guidelines to those who travel and, also, to those who authorize and approve travel expenses.
  • Establishes a procedure so that travel expense can be monitored.

Introduction: 
Travel is defined as absence from where one normally works for the purpose of conducting University business.  Travel guidelines have been developed to assist on all pertinent travel issues (see following page), and are applicable regardless of the funding source of the travel.    

Procedure - Travel between Scott Campus and City Campus: 
Updated April 2014

  • The College of Engineering (COE) has arranged for multiple vehicles from the UNL Motor Pool to be available at both the City and Scott campuses.
  • All COE faculty and staff are encouraged to use these college vehicles for travel between the City and Scott campuses to teach classes, attend meetings, or conduct other university business.
  • College vehicles may be reserved for use during normal business operating hours, M-F, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. from either the Scott or City Campus Dean’s Office. Room/Car Reservations
  • Faculty and staff must be approved as authorized drivers through UNL Transportation Services, prior to reserving and driving a college vehicle. http://transportation.unl.edu/
  • Faculty and staff are encouraged to carpool in the college vehicles as much as possible; please refer to the vehicle calendars for availability. Room/Car Reservations
  • Priority will be given to those reserving the college vehicles for the following purposes in the order shown: (1) teaching purposes, (2) official college business, and (3) other university business.
  • Mileage reimbursement for use of personal vehicles for traveling between City Campus and Scott Campus will not be approved. If there is no college vehicle available, one can be reserved through Transportation Services on City Campus.
  • In the event that a college vehicle is not available for travel between City Campus and Scott Campus, and all attempts have been made for carpooling without success, the college will reimburse the employee at the IRS rate for personal mileage.
  • College vehicle records will be maintained by the Dean’s Office, in both City Campus and Scott Campus.
  • For travel other than between City Campus and Scott Campus campuses or for longer than 1 day, please refer to college policies below regarding ‘All Other Travel’.
  • Overall responsibility for monitoring compliance with this policy will rest with the Dean of the College and the Assistant Dean for Business and Fiscal Affairs.
  • The Dean of the College of Engineering has the expressed authority to refuse reimbursement for any expense deemed inappropriate or excessive.

Procedure -- All Other Travel:

  • All travel must have prior approval in the form of a Travel Authorization.   If an approved travel authorization form is not completed prior to travel, no reimbursement will be made. 
  • Faculty and staff are encouraged to use the university’s prime vendor for travel arrangements.  
  • No advances for travel expenditures will be authorized. 
  • Expense reimbursement requests must be received in the Dean’s office no later than 30 days after the final day on which expenses were incurred. Each request must be fully itemized, including the amount, date and place of each expense incurred.   Forms submitted after this date may not be reimbursed
  • All expenses submitted for reimbursement must include an original, itemized receipt.  If the travel includes a foreign component/destination, all receipts must be translated to English and converted to US$ prior to submission.
  • A receipt is required for any non-meal expense in excess of $25 to qualify for reimbursement
  • It is the responsibility of each Department Chair to ensure consistent compliance of travel. 
  • Overall responsibility for monitoring compliance will rest with the Dean of the college and the Assistant Dean of business and fiscal affairs.
  • The Dean of the College of Engineering has the express authority to refuse reimbursement for any expense deemed inappropriate or excessive.

The following are offered as examples of appropriate reimbursable expenses

    • Air Travel
      • Coach class air travel will be reimbursed by the College. Any upgrades are the personal financial responsibility of faculty/staff.
      • Airline reservations should be made as far in advance of the date of travel as is reasonable and appropriate to take advantage of discount fares. 
      • On out-of-state trips when commercial air service could have been used advantageously, mileage will be reimbursed at the price of an airline (coach) ticket or at the prescribed mileage rate, whichever is less. No meals or lodging will be reimbursed while en route.
    • Ground Transportation

The most cost effective method of transportation should be used in all cases. 

    • Hotel shuttle vans are recommended.
    • Taxis should be used only when shuttle services are not available. 
    • Town cars and limousines are not appropriate modes of transportation and will not be reimbursed. 
    • Rental cars will be reimbursed when appropriate. 
  • Lodging expense
    • Itemized receipts are required for all lodging expenses.
    • Certain items provided by lodging vendors are considered personal items and therefore will not be reimbursed. Examples of non-reimbursed items include in-room movies, laundry, dry cleaning and shoe shine expenses
  • Meals
    • Meals purchased by an employee traveling on University business are reimbursable.
    • The reported cost of meals and beverages includes taxes and tips as applicable.
    • Itemized receipts are required detailing all meals and beverages.
    • Tips should be itemized separately from the cost of meals and beverages.
    • No reimbursement will be made for alcoholic beverages (Foundation discretionary funds may be used if so designated.)
  • Miscellaneous Expenses
    • Employees will be reimbursed for reasonable long-distance telephone calls (including access charges) with appropriate receipts
    • Tips to service personnel such as bellhops, porters and skycaps are reimbursed provided they are reasonable. 
    • Airport parking will be reimbursed with an appropriate receipt.  Recreational tours, programs, etc. offered as a part of a conference at a reduced price are not reimbursable expenses. 
    • Any non-employee expense associated with companion travel will not be reimbursed.
    • Additional baggage charges will not be reimbursed unless a business reason is authorized prior to travel. 

Unified Ph.D. Program Bylaws

Approved by Graduate Faculty of the College via mail ballot, March 5, 2004

Organizational Structure

The general structure for the Unified Ph.D. Program in the College of Engineering as of March 5, 2004 is as shown below.

New Unified Phd
where “n” is the current total number of approved Fields and the descriptors “Field F1” through “Field Fn” in this structure are understood to refer individually to the names of all approved Fields.

A. General Functions of Structural Units

  1. The Director of Graduate Studies will function as a communications link for information flow between the Graduate College and the Ph.D. Fields within the Unified Ph.D. Program of the College of Engineering. The Director of Graduate Studies is the Chair of the Graduate Board of the Unified Ph.D. Program.
  2. The Graduate Board will act as a monitoring group and advisory body to the Engineering Dean and the College of Engineering on matters concerning the initiation and termination of Fields, and general quality of the Unified Ph.D. Program. The Graduate Board is the Graduate Committee of the Unified Ph.D. Program.
  3. The Fields are composed of disciplines and interdisciplinary areas which are staffed by faculty members with like research interests who act on questions of a student’s admission to the Unified Ph.D. Program in that Field and provide general guidance for research programs in that topical area. 
  4. The Graduate Faculty of the College of Engineering will set the basic standards in regard, for example, to grade point average and Graduate Record Examination scores for students entering the Unified Ph.D. Program.

B. Formation and Composition of Structural Units

  1. The Graduate Board will be composed of the Field Chairpersons, each elected by the members of their Field. If they consider it appropriate, the members of a Field may elect two Co- Chairpersons instead of one Chairperson. In the case of such a Field with two Co-Chairpersons, the members of that Field will decide which of these Co-Chairpersons will exercise a vote on behalf of the Field. However, both Co-Chairpersons may serve as voting members of the Graduate Board in the case that a Department of the College that has voting members in at least one Field of the Unified Ph.D. Program would otherwise not have a vote on the Graduate Board. [Here, as elsewhere in this document, Department of the College is to be understood to refer to an academic administrative unit of the College, whether that academic unit may be labeled as a Department or a School or an Institute.] The Director of Graduate Studies will chair the Board as well as serving as a voting member. Any UNL Graduate Council Members from the Engineering College will serve as non-voting members. Except for the Director of Graduate Studies, the term of office for members of the Board shall be three years, with about one third of these Board members being elected each year. Only Graduate Faculty of the College of Engineering may serve on the Board; their appointments are subject to the approval of the Dean of Graduate Studies. 
  2. The Dean of the College of Engineering will recommend, subject to confirmation by the Graduate Faculty of the College of Engineering, a Director of Graduate Studies to the Dean of Graduate Studies, who makes the appointment. The Director of Graduate Studies will have the primary responsibility for communication with the Graduate College, Field Chairpersons or Co-Chairpersons, and the Graduate Board. The Director of Graduate Studies will serve for two years and may succeed herself / himself.
  3. The Fields will be staffed by all Graduate Faculty members who submit a written declaration to the Chairperson or Co- Chairperson(s) of the Field that they wish to participate in its activities. Graduate Faculty may participate in more than one Field and may have voting privileges in up to two Fields on application to, and approval by, the College Graduate Board. A person who affiliates as a voting member with a Field must maintain this membership status in that Field for a period of at least one year, after which he / she may resign at any time. This person may also resign earlier if his / her request is approved by a simple majority of the voting members of the Field.

C. Duties and Specific Functions

1. The Director of Graduate Studies shall perform the following duties:
  a) The Director of Graduate Studies shall act as the central communication point for information flow between the Graduate College and the Graduate Faculty of the College of Engineering. 

b)
 The Director of Graduate Studies shall transmit applications for Ph.D. admission which meet basic standards immediately to the Chairperson or a Co- Chairperson of the appropriate Field(s). 

c)
 If merited, the Director of Graduate Studies shall transmit applications for Ph.D. admission which do not meet basic standards to the Graduate Board for review. 

d)
 The Director of Graduate Studies has the responsibility to call and serve as chairperson of meetings of the Board whenever there is business to discuss. 

e)
 The Director of Graduate Studies has the responsibility to maintain for each Field a roster listing the Chairperson or Co-Chairpersons, the voting members, and the non-voting members of each Field, and to ensure that Faculty affiliate as voting members with no more than two Fields.

2. The Graduate Board shall perform the following functions:

  a) The Board will call for reports of the activity and structure of the Fields at times just prior to the review of the Unified Ph.D. Program by the University Graduate Council and at a time approximately midway between these reviews.

b)
 The Board is responsible for the report to be submitted at the time of the University Graduate Council review.

c)
 The Board reviews proposals for the formation of new Fields in accordance with the standards outlined in section II.D and makes its recommendations to the Graduate Faculty of the College. 

d)
 The Board reviews the activity of Fields in accordance with the standards of section II.D and makes recommendations to the Graduate Faculty of the College to terminate a Field when it no longer demonstrates sufficient strength either by a low level of activity or loss of faculty members. 

e)
 The Board reviews and makes a preliminary decision on each application for Ph.D. admission that does not meet the basic standards of the College but is judged by the Director of Graduate Studies to merit review. If the application is accepted, it is then forwarded to the Field Chairperson or a Co-Chairperson for final recommendation on admission. If the application is rejected by the Board without the concurrence of the appropriate Field Chairperson or Co- Chairperson, the Field may appeal the rejection to the Board. 

f)
 The Board is responsible for the establishing and maintaining standards of quality in respect of admission and degree programs.


3. Fields

  a) The Chairperson or Co-Chairpersons of a Field is / are the official representative(s) of that Field on the Graduate Board. The Chairperson or a Co-Chairperson can choose to call a meeting of the members and must do so when petitioned to do so by three voting members of the Field when there is business to discuss. 

b)
 The Chairperson or a Co-Chairperson of a Field, in consultation with appropriate voting members of the Field, makes all final decisions on the admission of a student to the Ph.D. Program in that Field. This decision must be made within three weeks after all application materials are provided by the Director of Graduate Studies or within three weeks after any published target date or deadline date for receipt of all application materials, whichever is the later. If extenuating circumstances prevent the return of the application materials within the three-week limit, the Field shall notify the Director of Graduate Studies and specify when a decision will be reached. The Graduate Board may act by majority vote to change the period for decision on admissions by all Fields.

c)
 The Major Advisor, together with the Chairperson or a Co- Chairperson of the Field, is responsible for recommendation of the Supervisory Committee for a student in that Field of the Ph.D. Program. Formation of this Committee is governed by the rules of the Graduate College. 

d)
 The Chairperson or a Co-Chairperson of a Field is responsible for ensuring that each new student is assigned a temporary adviser and is informed about the student’s rights and responsibilities in the Field and in the Ph.D. Program. To this end, the Chairperson or a Co-Chairperson of a Field must meet with each newly admitted student in order to provide that student with information about, and a statement of rights and responsibilities for participation in, the Field and the Ph.D. Program into which the student is admitted. If a newly admitted student does not have a Major Advisor already agreed at that time, it is the responsibility of the Chairperson or Co-Chairperson either to act as temporary advisor for the student in respect of courses and participation in the Field and Ph.D. Program or to ensure that another member of the Field will act instead as temporary advisor. 

e)
 In the case of a student admitted to the Ph.D. Program in one Field who subsequently wishes to change to a different Field at a time when that student is in good academic standing, that student may apply to the Chairperson or Co- Chairperson of a different Field by letter of application, accompanied by a current transcript. The prospective Field will consider these materials, in combination with the original application materials. The Chairperson or a Co- Chairperson of that Field will inform the student and the Director of Graduate Studies of the decision on the student’s application, but the Field is under no more obligation to accept that student applicant than to accept any other applicant.

4. Major Advisor 
The Major Advisor of a student is generally the Graduate Faculty member with whom a graduate student has agreed to conduct research leading to the Ph.D. dissertation. If there is no such agreement for any reason, to ensure appropriate guidance on courses for example, the Major Advisor will be selected by the Chairperson or a Co-Chairperson of the Field with the approval of the members of that Field and the graduate student involved.

5. Student Financial Support 
Decisions on Departmental financial support for a student will be made at the Departmental level. Decisions on financial support from contracts held by a Graduate Faculty member will be made by the Faculty member. All conditions of student financial support, including University, State and Federal Government, and all other external funding, including foundations, other countries, and industry, must conform to the Bylaws of the Graduate College and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and to all Nebraska and Federal law.

6. Supervisory Committee 
The Major Advisor, together with the Chairperson or a Co- Chairperson of the Field, is responsible for recommendation of the Supervisory Committee for a student in that Field of the Ph.D. Program. The Chairperson or one of the Co-Chairpersons of the Supervisory Committee must hold an earned Ph.D. or its equivalent. Once a Supervisory Committee is appointed by the Graduate College, it will communicate directly with the Graduate College office. All rules and regulations of the Graduate College apply to its formation and functioning.

7. College Graduate Faculty 
The Graduate Faculty of the College of Engineering who are voting members of one or more Fields of the Unified Ph.D. program must meet and approve by vote the basic admission standards for the Engineering College Unified Ph.D. Program as recommended by the Graduate Board.

D. Formation and Termination of a Field

1. Formation Criteria
The Graduate Board must meet and make a recommendation concerning the subject of formation of a Field when
  a) five or more Full Graduate Faculty members of the College indicate their desire to be voting members of a new Field and petition the Board for its formation, and 

b)
 the potential members have collectively graduated at least one Ph.D. within the last two years, and 

c)
 the potential members have published (or have had accepted for publication) two or more articles in refereed journals related to the proposed Field within the last two years, and 

d) the potential members have provided documentation of Formation Criteria a, b, and c and of all other factors which relate to the formation of the proposed Field including sources of grants or contract support and new needs within the State of Nebraska. The Graduate Board may also recommend the formation of a Field should it feel it is warranted. However, in no case will a new Field be established with fewer than five voting members.

2. Termination Criteria 
The Graduate Board must meet and make a recommendation concerning the subject of termination of a Field
  a) when fewer than four voting members are associated with a Field, 

b)
 when four or more years pass without a Ph.D. being granted from a Field, 

c)
 when four or more years pass with no student registered in the Ph.D. Program within the Field, or 

d)
 when two or more years pass in which no publication in a refereed journal originates from the Field. The Board may also recommend the termination of a Field at the Board’s discretion when other evidence warrants this recommendation. Members of a Field must be notified immediately, and given full particulars, any time termination of their Field is proposed.

3. Procedures
  a) Recommendations for formation or termination of a Field may originate from the Graduate Board or any member or group of members of the Graduate Faculty of the College. 

b)
 The Graduate Board has the responsibility for studying these recommendations. In those cases where it feels further action is appropriate, the Board will draw up a proposal to submit to the Graduate Faculty of the College. If the situations as outlined in Sections II.D 1 and 2 above occur, the Board is required to report its recommendations to the Graduate Faculty of the College of Engineering. In all cases, all Graduate Faculty involved with a proposal to initiate or terminate a Field will be given a written copy of the Board’s recommendation at least two weeks prior to the presentation of the proposal at a meeting called to consider the question, or at least two weeks prior to a mail or electronic ballot, including an e-mail ballot. The Graduate Faculty of the College of Engineering who are voting members of one or more Fields of the Unified Ph.D. program will be called to such a meeting or will receive such ballots electronically. All these voting members must receive a written copy of the Board’s recommendation for their consideration with the ballot information or at least one week prior to the said meeting. 

c)
 For approval, all changes in Field designations require a two-thirds majority of the votes cast by secret ballot of the Graduate Faculty of the College of Engineering who are voting members of one or more Fields of the Unified Ph.D. Program, subject to a requirement that at least two-thirds of these members cast ballots. All such changes in Field designation shall become effective when approved by the UNL Graduate Council. 

d)
 All changes to the rules and procedures outlined in this document must be approved by a two-thirds majority of the votes cast by the Graduate Faculty of the College of Engineering who are voting members of one or more Fields of the Unified Ph.D. Program, subject to a requirement that at least two-thirds of these members cast ballots. All such changes in Field designation shall become effective when approved by the UNL Graduate Council. 

e)
 Ten working days will be allowed for votes to be cast in any ballot vote by the Graduate Faculty of the College, unless specifically changed by vote of the Graduate Faculty of the College.

E. Program Administration

1. Basic entry requirements for admission to a Field of the Ph.D. Program are at least a Bachelor of Science degree and satisfactory completion of all application requirements established by the Graduate College, the UNL Graduate Council, the Graduate Board and the appropriate individual Field. The members of the relevant Field will review the merit of the application as a whole in establishing whether to recommend admission of an applicant into that Field and into the Ph.D. Program.

2. A student in a UNL Master of Science program who wishes to continue for the Ph.D. degree should indicate his / her intentions to the Chairperson or a Co-Chairperson of the Field of interest either directly or through his / her current advisor. Admission to the Ph.D. Program then requires an application following the established procedures. It is not a requirement for admission to the Ph.D. Program that a Master’s degree thesis must at any time be presented and defended.

3. The applications of prospective students who have, or expect to receive, a Master of Science degree from another institution or from a department outside of the College of Engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will be processed as follows: a) Applications received by the Graduate College are sent to the Director of Graduate Studies. b) The applications are reviewed as specified in Section II.C. Duties and Specific Functions.

4. It is recognized that all rules and regulations of the Graduate College apply to this Unified Ph.D. Program.



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