Spending Policies and Procedures – May 7, 2020

Dear colleagues,

As you know, university operations are experiencing unanticipated costs as well as an unplanned decline in revenue due to the impacts of COVID-19. In light of these challenges, and in order to meet our financial obligations, TU is tightening restrictions on nonessential purchases, carefully reviewing hiring needs and suspending travel through Dec. 31. Details are as follows:

Nonessential Purchases Restricted

  • Do not initiate any purchases unnecessary to the essential conduct of business with a TU-issued ProCard or a requisition without prior approval.
  • All standard ProCard purchasing limits have been reduced to $500 per transaction.
  • If you have a question about whether a purchase is essential, please email purchasing@utulsa.edu prior to initiating the purchase.
  • Purchases initiated without approval will be returned to the vendor, and the person responsible for the purchase will be subject to loss of purchasing privileges.

Strategic Hiring Process Enforced

  • Two years ago, we implemented a new strategic hiring process that required all hiring requests to meet specific criteria, including support for our university-wide objectives.
  • Only those positions absolutely essential to the ongoing operation of TU will be approved, and consideration will be given to internal applicants first.
  • We are reiterating the importance of this framework with the added gravity of the current financial conditions facing college campuses.

Travel Suspended through 2020

  • In accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and World Health Organization, all TU-funded travel has been suspended through 2020, including conferences, professional development, study abroad and any travel not essential to the functions of the university.
  • Exceptions for athletic teams, admissions and other revenue-generating opportunities may be available.
  • The opportunity for spring semester travel will be decided by Nov. 25 and will be based on budget data as well as ongoing health concerns.

We plan to provide additional information and decisions related to the TU budget during a virtual Campus Conversation with Interim President Janet Levit and the leadership team later in May. (Details to follow.) If you have questions before the town hall, please reach out to your supervisor.

Thank you for continuing to make sound financial decisions on behalf of our university during this challenging time.


John Bury
Chief Financial Officer