Guidelines for Start-Up Funds
In accordance with the Faculty Handbook, each faculty member will be reimbursed for the expenses incurred for one professional conference meeting per year. Additional conferences may be authorized by the Dean based on the availability of funds. The employment contract for a tenure-track position on a normal tenure clock will outline a four-year startup budget plan for each academic year based on discussions between the candidate and the Associate Dean of Faculty. The Assistant Dean for Academic Finance and Resources will allocate the startup funds for each of the four years. Budgeted money left unspent at the end of each year will not be available in subsequent years so plan carefully. Rollovers of startup funds from year-to-year or beyond the fourth year are not permitted. However, the ADOF will consider advances on yearly startup allocations by application. Access to the fourth year budget of the startup is contingent upon successful reappointment. Non-research types of expenses, even if related to your job (e.g., rental of cap and gown, office furniture, home furniture), will not be funded from start-up funds. Expenses that the College does not fund (e.g., purchase one's own publications, cellphones, data plans, childcare, professional memberships to associations except when presenting at a conference) are also not covered. All expenditure of your funds must conform to the guidelines on “Faculty Travel and Research Support” found in the “Red Book." The College will not cover expenses that violate college guidelines regardless of the source of the funding. We encourage you to thoroughly read the guidelines so that you will not be surprised by the policies.
All expenditures must be approved by the DOF office (your representative Associate Dean of Faculty) prior to spending the money. This process ensures that the request is in line with College and DOF policies and that funds are available in your account to cover the expenditures. At the time of hire, you will submit a detailed start-up budget for your first four years at Hamilton approved by your ADOF. You may request that a start-up account be opened for you at any point after your employment takes effect, acknowledging that it may take a few days for the Business Office to set up the account. The DOF Associate Dean of Academic Finance and Resources, can help with information about account numbers and arranging for expensive purchases.
If you wish to purchase items not on that original budget or wish to change or reallocate funding from the initial budget, you must submit a request for approval to the Associate Dean of Faculty with a brief paragraph describing what is needed, why it is needed, and the cost. Once approved, you may proceed with the purchase.
The “Red Book” has detailed information on the guidelines for the use of professional travel and research support funds. Use of start-up funding falls under those guidelines, so please take the time to read them. If you have any questions, please contact your Associate Dean of Faculty.
All requests for travel support should be made to the appropriate Associate Dean using the online Travel Request form found on the DOF homepage. Travel arrangements may be made through our travel agency BTI and charged to the Dean of Faculty account or paid for by you and reimbursed with a receipt showing payment has been made. Within thirty days of the end of your trip you will need to attach your receipts to a Travel Expense Report and send it to Linda Michels (email@example.com) here in the DOF office. Hamilton’s tax-exempt number must be used for travel within New York State. We do not reimburse for sales tax on lodging in New York State (to avoid this sales tax, you should present this NYS sales tax exemption form when you check in).
Computers, printers, and iPads can be purchased only after submitting the Computer Purchase Approval form and after getting approval from both the DOF office and LITS. Computers purchased with college money, including the money in start-up funding, belong to the college and must be entered into the ITS database. Remember that we do not reimburse for New York State sales tax on purchases over $50; you can show the NYS sales tax exemption form when you buy the computer or (preferably) work through ITS to make the purchase.
For purchases of equipment or services from vendors who require purchase orders, you may need to submit a Purchase Requisition Form to the Director of Academic Finance and Resources (who will approve the purchase and forward the form to the Purchasing Department, in Auxiliary Services). When you receive the invoices from the vendors (including those who do not require purchase orders), forward them to Director of Academic Finance and Resources with an acknowledgement that the goods or services have been received.
Should you hire someone outside of Hamilton College to do some task for you (e.g., indexing, translating), we will need paperwork that verifies and outlines the agreement around the work, such as an email exchange describing what will be done by whom and for what cost. In addition, we will need a W-9 form, an Independent Contractor Questionnaire, and an invoice (with a date, address, amount, and a tax ID#) from the worker once the task is done. As the initiator of the transaction, you will also need to complete an Independent Contractor Checklist and attach it to the other paperwork before you submit it. (For vendors who have previously been paid by the college within the past two years, only the invoice is necessary; the other paperwork should already be on file.)
On-going or repeated small purchases (e.g., books, pipettes, etc.) may be requested from the Associate Dean once with the notation that these will be ongoing; once approval for on-going purchases is given, there is no need to make requests each time a purchase is made. Not too much detail is needed to request these items (e.g., something like: “I plan to spend $120 on books, $100 on glassware, etc.).” Once the request is approved, just attach the receipts to a check request form and send them to the Director of Academic Finance and Resources for reimbursement. If the items total less than $25, please save your receipts until you have at least $25 before requesting reimbursement.
Start-up funds may be used to pay for memberships in professional organizations if the membership reduces the cost of conference registration for a conference trip you plan to make (please indicate this on your travel request form for that conference) or provides some other benefit to your research (e.g., access to a journal not available at Hamilton)
Approval for exceptional requests such as complicated research trips (e.g., trips longer than the 7 days normally covered by per diem expenses, trips to countries where receipts are not a part of everyday life) or unusual purchases will need to be worked out in advance in discussion with the Assistant Dean for Academic Finance and Resources (in consultation with your Associate Dean). When in doubt, please ask!
High Performance Computing Resources
Hamilton provides access to high performance computing resources that are most often available only at a research university. HPC resources include supercomputers/computing clusters, high speed networking, specialized software and hardware, and technical support. Contact David Swartz, HPC System Administrator, who can answer questions you might have about our HPC resources.