Frequently Asked Questions

RELOCATION AND MOVING

Employees are to relocate at their own expense, but some costs may be reimbursed if pre-approved by the hiring department in the new employee’s offer letter. See the Relocation and Moving Procedure for details about requirements, or contact your Business Center for more informatio.

The expenses that may be reimbursed include moving company charges, moving insurance, storage, transportation, meals, and lodging. In addition, some qualifying miscellaneous charges such as closing costs and utility hookup may be included if they are directly related to relocating.

Please refer to the summary of allowable expenses and their limits.

Moving-related expenses are only eligible for reimbursement if the hiring department has pre-authorized a moving budget in the new employee’s offer letter.

  • Only non-taxable moving expenses paid on the employee’s behalf can be direct-billed to OSU. These usually include paying for a moving company or van rental and one-way common carrier airfare for employee and household members.
  • Direct-bill arrangements must be pre-approved; contact your Business Center for assistance.
  • For a listing of companies that OSU has established contracts with, please refer to the Buy Orange Moving Services website. 

Due to IRS regulations, new and relocating employees must move at their own expense. Reimbursements for taxable moving expense must be processed after the employee’s official start date. An employee must submit a request for reimbursement of relocation expenses using the TRES reimbursement system within six months following their start date. Contact your Business Center for assistance.

PAYING INVOICES

Contact your Business Center for verification as to whether an invoice has been paid or is pending in the system.

Depending on your access level you may be able to look up the information yourself:

  • Go to Online Services and sign in.
  • Select the Finance Tab at the top.
  • Then select the Transaction & Document Lookup hyperlink.
  • Then search using the index and/or activity code to search to see if an invoice has been paid.

Index (fund) balances only reflect those invoices and expenses which have been processed in Banner (OSU’s financial and accounting system) through the previous business day.

The OSU Office of Budget and Fiscal Planning provides web-based tools to help you track your funds and expenditures which have been completed and approved in Banner. Please refer to the Budget Office Online Systems webpage to access these tools. You may also contact your Business Center for assistance.

An invoice from a vendor must include the following information before OSU can pay it: vendor’s name, vendor’s mailing address, and a bill-to address at Oregon State University. Purchasers should verify that the invoice matches the goods or services which OSU received.

Following the procedures outlined by your Business Center, determine the billing index and/or activity code that is being charged for the expense, provide information about “who, what, when, where, and why” the purchase was made, and obtain the budget authority’s approval.

Note that if the invoice is addressed to an individual employee at a non-OSU address, payment cannot be made directly to the vendor. In this case, the individual should pay for the product or service themselves, and then request reimbursement from OSU (if it is a qualified business expense). This request for personal reimbursement is made using a Reimbursement Request Form with proof of payment attached.
Contact your Business Center with specific questions and for assistance with paying invoices.

TRAVEL AND REIMBURSEMENTS

Yes. The personal days must be clearly designated when submitting a reimbursement request, and no expenses during this period can be claimed.

Airfare for the business portion of the trip is reimbursable, provided no added expense is incurred by the University. Be prepared to provide a quote showing the business-only cost of airfare if personal travel choices affect the overall cost.  

If a traveler chooses to drive for personal reasons instead of flying, OSU will reimburse the lesser of either the mileage per diem amount or the potential cost for airfare. Provide estimated costs for airfare as follows:

  • Round trip commercial airfare for the most economical direct route that would have been incurred. Quotes must be submitted with the reimbursement request.
  • Private vehicle mileage to and from the airport.
  • Lodging, meals, and incidental expenses that the traveler would normally incur with air travel. Expenses resulting from the additional time required to drive are not reimbursable.

With advanced planning and effort, lodging can be paid with the departmental P-Card.

  • To use the P-Card as the final payment method, in most cases you will need to make advance arrangements with the hotel. Ask for a preauthorization form from the hotel to authorize the P-Card to be charged for lodging expenses (room and taxes only).

It is most common for the traveler to use their personal credit card to book and pay for lodging, submitting a reimbursement request upon the traveler’s return. Alternatively, the P-Card can be used to hold the reservation, with the traveler paying on-site with their personal credit card, to be reimbursed later.

Yes, if one of the following conditions is met:

  1. The reimbursement requested for each trip is for mileage only. The reimbursement must be requested within 60 days of the earliest date of travel.
  2. The trips are back-to-back. If the traveler returns home before leaving on the next trip, this is not considered a back-to-back trip and separate forms must be created.

Some departments, colleges and Business Centers require pre-travel authorization for certain types of travel. Contact your Business Center for details. In addition to approval from your department, pre-travel authorization from the Office for Sponsored Research and Award Administration (OSRAA) is required for foreign travel on a grant.

Contact the OSU Motor Pool at (541) 737-4141 or use their online reservation system. First-time motor pool customers will need to fill out a Driver Authorization Form prior to reserving a vehicle.

A rental car may be direct-billed to OSU through our contracted agency, Enterprise Rent-A-Car/National Rental Car. Please refer to the Rental Car Contract Summary for booking details. Contact your department’s travel administrator or your Business Center for assistance when booking a rental car as a direct bill.

All reimbursements must be submitted via the Travel Reimbursement Entry System (TRES) for payment within 60 days of incurring the cost or within 60 days after the conclusion of the travel/field-work during which the expenditure was made. The reimbursement request must also be made within the same fiscal year as the expenses were incurred (OSU’s fiscal year ends June 30th). Please review the Travel Reimbursement Policy for more details.

You must contact your Business Center for direction if your reimbursement request occurs beyond the 60-day time limit.

Depending on the procedures for your work unit, either fill out a Travel Reimbursement Entry System (TRES) document or give the original receipts to your department’s travel coordinator and ask them to initiate a reimbursement request for you.

  • Direct access to the TRES system requires previous training; please refer to the TRES System Training webpage.

Print out the TRES reimbursement request, sign it, and have it approved by your department’s budget authority.

The traveler or travel coordinator (depending on procedures for your work unit)  sends the original signed form and original receipts to your Business Center, and submit the electronic TRES document.
Please be aware that you must submit your travel reimbursement within 60 days of the end of your university-related travel in order to be reimbursed. Review the Travel Reimbursement Policy for more details.

 

In order to be insured for foreign travel you must contact OSU Risk Management prior to your trip and register with them: http://risk.oregonstate.edu/international

Generally, lodging will be reimbursed only up to the per diem amount (refer to the Business Affairs travel page for current per diem rates). However, there are two exceptions that allow for reimbursement above the per diem rate:

  1. The Portland Metropolitan Area-lodging is reimbursed at actual and reasonable cost.
  2. Conference lodging is reimbursed at actual and reasonable cost. Documentation must be provided from the conference showing the location, dates of the conference, and conference hotels. The conference room rates should also be provided when available.

PURCHASING

Yes, please indicate that you would like documentation sent with the check on the invoice, payment request form, or via email to your Business Center. Please be specific in what documentation you would like to be sent with the check.

Yes, under certain conditions. Food can be direct-billed or personally reimbursed for student clubs and other groups. See the "Can I host a group" FAQ for more details.

Please contact your Business Center for detailed information.

USING E&G FUNDS FOR PURCHASES

Expenses for retirement parties must be paid or directly reimbursed by the OSU Foundation. You will need prior approval from your unit’s budget authority to access Foundation Funds. Please refer to the OSU Foundation’s policy regarding retirement parties and gifts (Article 9: Employee Awards) for details about how Foundation funds may be spent.  

Send invoices and receipts to your Business Center for processing.

E&G funds are those received by the University directly from the legislature and from student tuition. The funds are subject to expenditure limitations, and are allocated to colleges and departments through the budget process. Please refer to the E&G fund policy in the Fiscal Operations Manual for more details.

Other fund sources include grants and Foundation funds, and each fund type has different rules and policies associated with them.

Contact your Business Center with questions about specific purchases.

The following expenses are generally not allowed to be purchased with E&G funds. If your department has access to Foundation funds, you may be able to use those indexes instead, with approval from your budget authority.

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Flowers
  • Greeting cards
  • Graduation event expenses
  • Retirement party expenses
  • Holiday parties and other staff celebrations
  • Unit/staff luncheons (with some exceptions—please refer to the "Can I host a group" FAQ)
  • Personal Items (refer to the Business Affairs FAQ for details)

HOSTING GUESTS & GROUPS

Generally, no. Employees should personally contribute to the cost of the meal rather than using university (E&G) funds.

Refreshments, meals, or affiliated supplies (ie: paper plates, cups, etc.) at unit functions can be paid with university (E&G) funds when the activity meets one of the following criteria:

  1. Training or workshop lasting at least two hours.
  2. Unit staff retreat with written agenda and held away from the normal work location and in a private room.
  3. Employee working meal with required attendance and business conducted during the meal period (as documented in meeting agenda); location is not at a restaurant, unless in a private room.
  4. Employee meal provided at worksite during an overtime period, two or more hours beyond the end of employee’s work shift, when duties prevent the employee from taking a meal break (must be clearly documented).

University (E&G) funds cannot be used to pay for employee meals or refreshments for regularly scheduled unit meetings. Use of the employee working meal option by a unit should be infrequent. Refer to the Hosting Groups and Official Guests policy for more information, and contact your Business Center for assistance.

Yes, within policy guidelines. “Hosted groups” are when meals or refreshments are arranged in advance for an entire group of persons, for university activities involving conferences, departmental retreats, commencement events, community or public relations events, and student activities. Refer to the Hosting Groups and Official Guests policy for more information.

Refreshments may also be provided at a focus group working session or when hosting an appreciation event for students or volunteers in recognition of specific accomplishment. For further information about allowable expenses, please refer to FIS 410-08 Employee Recognition policy, FIS 410-09 Graduation Event Expenses policy, and FIS 410-21 Conference Expenses policy.

Yes, when there is a clear benefit to OSU and prior approval by appropriate program personnel or budget authority (provide documentation of these requirements when requesting payment of related expenses).

For official guest direct-billed hotel charges, the host or budget authority must specify the business purpose and business title of those being hosted. The business purpose may be written on the invoice or attached as a statement. If the invoice includes meals, the documentation must meet the hosting documentation requirements shown in FIS 410-05.

The candidate schedule for all invoices involving candidates (hosting, lodging, shuttle) must be provided or the information may be handwritten on the invoice or on an attached statement.

The flyer/announcement or schedule, or service contract, must be provided for all invoices involving speakers or consultants.

It is critical to include the correct name and address for the reimbursed party to assure payment is made to the correct address.

Please refer to OSU’s policy on hosting groups and official guests for more details and contact your Business Center with questions.

If you pay the vendor directly, please complete a Personal Reimbursement Request form and work with your Business Center to process it within 60 days of the event. Include the following information.

Details about the hosted event:

  • Who:  Names of the individuals hosted and the individuals doing the hosting. Also, describe the title/relationship to the University for each attendee to help understand the business purpose.
  • What:  What was the nature of the hosted event? Was it lunch, dinner, breakfast, entertainment, or something else?
  • When: The dates and times of hosted events.
  • Where: Location or locations that the hosting took place.
  • Why:  Purpose and reason for hosting. Must describe what the benefit gained to OSU was from conducting the hosting.
  • Note: Names are not required when hosting large informal group gatherings; however, the announcement or agenda of the group gathering indicating the university purpose is to be attached to the reimbursement or invoice payment request.

Receipts:

  • Itemized to show meals, gratuities, alcoholic beverages and any charges for room use. (A "tear tag" showing only the total charge is inadequate for reimbursement.)

Average Amount:

  • The calculated average cost per person for refreshments or meals must be included with the reimbursement request. The average is determined by dividing the total cost (meal/refreshments including tip and delivery charge) by the number of attendees.

Reimbursement of alcoholic beverages is not allowed on institutional funds (E&G funds).

Expenses for alcoholic beverages must be separately identified and billed directly to the OSU Foundation, if the hosting unit has access to Foundation funds. (Refer to the OSU Foundation's Reimbursement Policy for more information.)  It is best to ask the restaurant or caterer to provide separate bills for food and alcohol.

Contact your Business Center for assistance when alcoholic beverages are served at banquets or group activities that you are hosting as part of a workshop or conference, where the full cost of such beverages is recovered through charges to the participants or sponsoring group.

Note that the hosting institution is responsible for compliance with all laws and Oregon Liquor Control Commission regulations, including obtaining a one-day license for serving beer and wine.

Reimbursement for a tip of up to 15% of the charge is allowable when hosting groups or guests. The 15% limit does not apply when the establishment adds a service charge for larger groups in lieu of gratuity. In this case, the amount of the service charge is not within the control of the customer and the full gratuity (e.g., 18%) can be reimbursed.

Tips or fees for alcoholic beverage service are not reimbursable from E&G funds. These costs need to be separated and included with the alcoholic beverage purchase. (See the "Getting Reimbursed for Alcoholic Beverages" FAQ for more information.)

Travel expenses only:

  • Request a vendor set up from your Business Center. You can then fill out a TRES reimbursement request on his or her behalf. The speaker’s expense reimbursement is processed like any other travel reimbursement, and the standard employee reimbursement policies apply. (For details, see the Travel and Reimbursements FAQs.)

 

Paid Honorarium (speaker fee):

  • If you will be paying an honorarium, be sure to start this process well in advance of the speaker’s arrival, as it may take some time to get everything set up. If travel expenses will be paid along with an honorarium, these expenses should be included with the honorarium and not reimbursed separately. Direct billing is allowed for airfare, lodging, and meals for speakers. Also, be aware that if the speaker has a contract that they require OSU to sign, then this will have to be routed through Contract Services. Contact your Business Center for assistance.
  • Paid Honorarium, less than $5,000:
    • Fill out a Vendor Payment Form. The guest speaker and department budget authority must sign the form, and then submit it to the Business Center for processing.
  • Paid Honorarium, more than $5,000

OSU does not have a policy allowing restaurants to send the University invoices for meals. Some restaurants have informal relationships with OSU units and departments where they are willing to send that department a bill. Because these arrangements are informal, please contact the restaurant directly about this possibility.

Note that, if the restaurant is willing to send a bill, you should request separate invoices for food and any alcohol. (Alcohol cannot be purchased with E&G funds. See the "Getting Reimbursed for Alcoholic Beverages" FAQ for more information.)

Meal and refreshment costs should be appropriate for the occasion. Approved OSU travel per diem rates will be used to check for the reasonableness standard (the 15% allowable gratuity is included in the per diem rate).

  • Some units set specific thresholds for reimbursement, so check with your Business Center if you are unsure of your unit’s policy.
  • Meal expenses significantly exceeding the OSU per diem rates require documentation explaining the reason for the excess and the approval of the department head.

RECRUITING / SEARCHES FOR OPEN POSITIONS

Yes. Contact your Business Center Human Resources department for assistance.

Generally, yes, you must conduct a search. In special circumstances, you can obtain a Waiver of Search. Contact your Business Center Human Resources department for guidance about search waivers.

More information about Competitive Search Requirements is also available. The Search Excellence guide provides valuable resources to assist your search process.

Posting times vary depending on the status of the position you are filling. Contact your Business Center Human Resources department for details.

Federal requirements regarding employing veterans require us to post all positions. 

We recommend the following suggested posting minimums to ensure a solid applicant pool:

  • Student positions: at least 3 business days
  • Temporary positions: at least 5 business days
  • Classified positions: at least 7 business days
  • Unclassified and Academic Wage positions: at least 14 calendar days

Your department or college may have established other guidelines related to internal hiring goals, so you should also consult with your manager.

Search advocates serve as consultant-participants, advocating for best search-process practices and helping committees identify practices that minimize the effects of unconscious, unintentional biases. They are encouraged, but not required, for most searches.

All Provost’s Initiative and Tenured Faculty Diversity Initiative search committees must include a tenured search advocate, according to university policy.

More details and resources are available from the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access.

HIRING NEW EMPLOYEES

Yes, within established guidelines. Please refer to the Student Pay Rates Matrix for pay rate guidelines, and the Student Employment Manual for limitations of hours the employee can work during the term.

Contact your Business Center Human Resources department for more information.

Contact your Business Center Human Resources department for details about how to post the position.

Refer to the Student Employment Program page on the Office of Human Resources website for more information.

The university hiring or service department is responsible for the cost of conducting the Criminal History Check. The direct cost for an in-state criminal history check is $10 and a national (fingerprint) criminal history check is $45. There is no additional processing, reviewing or reporting fee assessed.

Contact your Business Center Human Resources team for more details about the orientation they offer new employees. It includes general information about how to get started at OSU, what kinds of training their position requires, and other details specific to the position.   

Other New Employee Resources are available at the central administrative Office of Human Resources website, along with a monthly general orientation schedule. Also, refer to the Inside OSU website for links to detailed information.

Please visit the Graduate School website for more information, and contact your Business Center Human Resources department for guidance.

Contact your Business Center Human Resources department for assistance.

Please refer to the Office of Human Resources Recruitment and Selection Resources and Hiring Philosophy and Principles for more information.

 

A “summer appointment” is a secondary position for employees whose current contract/position is a 9- or 10- month assignment. Summer appointment positions are most often located in an academic area or University Housing & Dining Services.

The Office of Work-Life and GO HERC in the Academic Affairs offers partners of newly hired employees assistance in finding employment opportunities. Services include assisting with identifying job leads within OSU and the surrounding area.

More information is available from the Provost’s Dual Career Hiring Initiative, and at the Office of Human Resources Relocation page.

The candidate should complete a release authorization form, found at the Office of Human Resources Criminal History Check webpage. The hiring unit/department information section, including posting and position information, must be completed prior to submission to the Office of Human Resources or the form cannot be processed.

Candidates should submit their completed Release form, with a copy of their official photo ID, to:

Office of Human Resources
Oregon State University
122 Kerr Administration Building
Corvallis, OR  97331
fax: 541.737.7771

Employment@oregonstate.edu

 

 

If you are interested in creating a summer appointment position, please contact your Business Center’s Human Resources team as early as possible for more information about the process.

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