Handbook of Operating Procedures

Memberships in Professional and Educational Organizations

Policy Number: 36


Participation in professional and educational organizations


All employees

Date Reviewed:
May 2013
Responsible Office:
Disbursement Team and Post Award Finance Team
Responsible Executive:
Sr. Vice President, Finance and Business Services


The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston ("university") encourages employees and university operating units to participate in educational and professional organizations in which institutional membership clearly promotes departmental, school or institutional missions, goals and objectives. Memberships are subject to availability of funds in the area desiring the membership - they are not paid from any central funding source. Allowability and documentation requirements associated with payment of such memberships may differ depending on the funding source.


A. Fund Source Requirements

Special requirements that vary by fund source are as follows:

1. State Funds and Service Department Accounts

State funds may not be used to pay or reimburse individual or personal membership dues.

State funds may not be used to pay membership dues to an organization that pays part or all of the salary of a person who is required by state law to register as a lobbyist. This prohibition does not extend to the payment of reasonable dues to an organization that represents student interests before the Texas Legislature or the United States Congress from that portion of mandatory student service fees allocated to the Student InterCouncil. The university may not use state funds to compensate an employee who violates this prohibition.

The Disbursement Team maintains a list of approved institutional memberships, which is compiled as departments send memorandums that request specific institutional memberships and provide a brief explanation of the benefits the institution will derive from the membership. If a membership is on the list and is designated for renewal, it is not necessary to submit additional memos in subsequent years. However the voucher must still be approved by the Executive Vice President, Chief Operating and Financial Officer ("EVPCOFO") or designee prior to payment. Only one membership in an organization may be paid from state funds; additional memberships - even if from another university operating unit - must be paid from other than state funds.

2. Other Fund Sources

No special requirements exist. Institutional memberships must be in the name of the institution, and the department must document what benefit the university will derive from the membership. The Post Award Finance Team ("PAFT") is required to verify allowability of all memberships paid from gift, contract or grant accounts.

B. Types of Memberships

1. Individual or Personal Memberships

Reimbursement for individual or personal memberships in a professional organization can be processed with a Non-PO voucher. The individual's department must submit a Non-PO voucher. The department must submit the following documentation as support for reimbursement:

  • confirmation of receipt/proof of payment;
  • copy of the dues notification that details the cost of the membership; and,
  • institutional address verification.
2. Institutional Memberships

Institutional memberships in a professional organization can be processed using a Non-PO voucher for either direct payment to a vendor, or as reimbursements to individual employees. In the event state funds are used as a funding source, the voucher must be approved by the EVPCOFO or designee prior to payment. The membership must be in the name of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, and all membership mailings, correspondence and billing must be sent to an institutional address. The billing must be addressed to the head of an operating group or department chair.

All initial memberships must be supported by a memorandum addressed to the Senior Vice President of Finance and Business Services describing how the membership will benefit the university. Once the initial membership has been processed, the memo is kept on file so that institutional membership justification for that organization is not required in the future. Also, the institution may pay only one membership each fiscal year to any individual organization from state funds. Additional memberships to the same organization must be paid from a discretionary fund source.

The following documentation is required to support payment:

  • confirmation of receipt/proof of payment (if a reimbursement);
  • copy of the dues notification that details the cost of the membership; and,
  • institutional address verification.


ContactTelephoneEmail/Web Address
Disbursement Team (the use of state funds, service department accounts or documentation requirements) 713-500-8059



Post Award Finance Team (the use of gift, contract or grant accounts) 713-500-4940