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AA Professional Development for Faculty and Staff

Guidance for Use of Professional Development Funds for Purchases

Regardless of College or Department, Faculty spending requests should be reviewed with consistent standards. Faculty should fairly be expected to explain the following (however briefly) for spending requests:

  • How will this purchase further your professional development?
  • How does this purchase align with the College’s mission and/or strategic goals?

In evaluating requests, reviewers should keep in mind the individual Faculty member’s access to such basics as adequate storage space for student work or office equipment. For example, CSUSM lecturers typically share office and cabinet space and do not have access to Refresh computers and other standard equipment. Simultaneously, lecturers’ institutional service activities are frequently acknowledged with professional development funds that prove difficult to spend. Department Chairs/Program Directors and Deans’ Offices should work collaboratively with lecturer Faculty to facilitate Faculty members’ ability to spend professional development funds they have earned through such activities as committee participation. As a matter of practice, Faculty members should be informed of the source(s) of their professional development funds (stateside, Auxiliary, etc.) at the time they are awarded.

Definitions & Requirements from Academic Affairs:

  • Any items purchased with University funds are intended for University business, and all spending requests must be focused on that expectation.
  • Any items purchased with professional development funds are the property of CSUSM and must be returned to CSUSM for proper decommissioning, disposal or reuse per applicable policies.
  • Professional development funds must cover the entire cost of the item(s). Co-mingling of funds is not allowed; e.g., items cannot be purchased with 50% professional development funds and 50% personal funds.
  • University Procurement processes must be followed, and any personal reimbursements must comply with the Direct Pay Guidelines.
  • Technology purchases and COVID-related purchases require approval from the Dean/Supervisor BEFORE purchasing and/or requesting from IITS.
  • Professional memberships or subscriptions are allowable if directly related to professional development; Supervisor or Department Chair approval is required.
  • PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Professional Development is defined as pursuit of knowledge or skill through study, research and/or creative activities, professional travel, conferences, workshops or courses that directly support and develop a person’s professional growth in their discipline or career. Appropriate expenditure may include supplies, equipment, books, professional memberships or subscriptions, and other costs related to professional development. Hiring students to assist with research, scholarly and/or creative activities is permissible. All purchases must follow CSUSM procurement policies.

This document addresses purchases; Faculty wishing to use professional development funds for payments (e.g., gift cards, cash payment for research) will need additional approvals. Note that Institutional Review Board (IRB) approvals are separate from and do not guarantee spending approvals.

Above language was Approved by the Academic Senate - 4/7/21

  • Using university purchasing processes (e.g. ProCard; Purchase Order) is strongly encouraged and preferred over personal reimbursement (Direct Pay).
  • Professional Development funds must be spent in the year received, they are not eligible to carry forward into the next fiscal year unless specifically authorized. The Provost will review and authorize exceptions on a case by case basis for funds received too late in the year to be used.
  • Please expense funds by March 31 as much as possible to meet all University fiscal year-end calendar deadlines. Work with your Lead Analyst for exceptions.

Spending Requests

Please use the below SPENDING REQUEST LINKS to request spending professional development and start up funds, etc (approval required):

Professional Development Opportunities