Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Who do I contact if I have a question about an administrative policy or procedure?

    If a telephone number or email address cannot be found within the References section or in the text of the document, contact the Responsible Administrator or Office listed beneath the heading. For general questions or comments, contact the Manager of Administrative Policies at (949) 824-8713 or ucipolicy@uci.edu.

  2. Why would an administrative policy refer to both the University and the Campus as separate sources for policy information?

    The UC Office of the President (UCOP) develops policies for the entire UC system. Authorized campus offices implement those policies for the UCI campus. Campus policies, procedures and guidelines may be more detailed and restrictive than the systemwide policy.

  3. How are administrative policies issued and what is the source of the authority?

    Administrative policy and procedure sections are issued as described in Sec. 103-11: Guidelines for Writing and Publishing Policies and Procedures. Owners are responsible for keeping their sections up-to-date and aligned with systemwide policy. There may be several owners across coordinating points for an individual section. The authority for policies originates at Office of the President and is communicated through various UCI campus and UC systemwide sources.

  4. Who should accept a subpoena?

    Definitions and service of a subpoena are outlined in Section 700-11: Guidelines on Subpoena, Subpoena Duces Tecum, and Deposition Subpoena.

  5. What are the official University holidays?

    Annual holidays are listed in Personnel Policies for UC Staff Members, PPSM 2.210: Absence From Work. See also Personnel Procedures for UCI Staff Members, Procedure 40: Holidays for guidelines on holiday pay. Current and archived UCI Academic & Administrative Calendars can be found on the Registrar's Web site.

  6. What are the current travel per diem rates?

    Rates are listed in Appendix B: Lodging and M&IE Reimbursement Caps of the Business and Finance Bulletin, G-28, Travel Regulations.

  7. If I pay the monthly fees, can I place personal items in the long-term storage administered by UCI?

    Business and Finance Bulletin, BUS-29, Management and Control of University Equipment, states that University materiel or property cannot be used for personal purposes except with pre-approval from the Chancellor. In the Policy on Reporting and Investigating Allegations of Suspected Improper Governmental Activities (Whistleblower Policy), the definition of improper governmental activies includes the misuse of government property.

  8. Do personnel regulations for University employees vary depending on their classification and bargaining unit designation?

    Yes, regulations for University employees are determined by their salary program or bargaining unit. Human Resources provides a Job Title and Pay Information page which can be used to determine which salary program or bargaining unit contract applies to a position. For employees not represented by a bargaining unit, the Personnel Procedures for UCI Staff Members apply.

  9. Can my department buy a gift for an employee? For example, a retirement gift and reception? What about recognition awards or expressions of sympathy?

    UC Business and Finance Bulletin G-41: Employee Non-Cash Awards and Other Gifts  covers this topic, as does the campus' Sec. 700-13: Guidelines for Reimbursement of Gift Purchases. Gifts for employees are covered and include discussions of recognition awards (up to $75) and sympathy gifts ($75 without exceptional approval; or a cash contribution of $200 or less to a charitable organization). Retirement gifts are allowed up to $400. Employee recognition events, such as retirement receptions, are covered in Sec. 701-20: Business Meetings and Entertainment Guidelines. Other forms of gift giving to employees and non-employees are discussed under the Special Policy Topic: Gifts and Conflict of Interest.

  10. Can we use University funds to have a holiday party?

    Business & Finance Bulletin BUS-79, Entertainment, Section III. A. 2. d. states: "The University may pay for or reimburse costs for meals or light refreshments associated with official employee morale-building and appreciation activities that serve a University business purpose. Examples of such occasions include a gathering to honor a departing employee who is retiring or who is separating from employment after at least 5 years of University service, employee recognition receptions, annual faculty/staff picnics, new employee receptions, and holiday gatherings. Under no circumstances may University funds be used for occasions such as employee birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, or other occasions of a personal nature." (See the related Delegation of Authority referenced in Sec. 701-20: Business Meetings and Entertainment Guidelines).

  11. If an employee terminates from the University, can the employee take the records or notebooks they worked on during their employment?

    Records kept by administrative and research staff are the property of the University of California. Laboratory notebooks and other original research records are addressed in University Regulation No. 4 (II, 5. Publicity of Results) and the UC Copyright Policy. Administrative records are covered in Business & Finance Bulletin RMP-1, University Records Management Program (III, B. Ownership Statement).

  12. Who should I contact if I want to use the unofficial University seal or UC Irvine seal on a publication? (The official seal is used only by Office of the President)

    To receive approval to use the unofficial UC seal or UC Irvine seal for any official purpose or in connection with alumni, student, or public projects, see University Communications' Graphic Standards and Sec. 700-20: Policy on Use of University Name and Seals, Campus Name and Seals and Trademarks.

  13. What is the rate of reimbursement when I take a guest to lunch to discuss University business?

    Authorized entertainment rates are listed in the campus Administrative Policies & Procedures, Sec. 701-20: Business Meetings and Entertainment Guidelines. University policy on extending hospitality for business purposes is discussed in UC Business and Finance Bulletin BUS-79, Expenditures for Business Meetings, Entertainment, and Other Occasions.

  14. Can a department name be changed? Academic? Administrative?

    Sec. 901-11: Procedure for Naming University Properties, Programs, and Facilities discusses naming of academic programs.

    For administrative units, the Chancellor and appropriate Coordinating Point Vice Chancellors are responsible for the organization and internal administrative operations of the units under their authority. (Standing Order of the Regents 100.6 Duties of the Chancellors).

  15. Can a department design its own letterhead or business cards?

    Official University of California stationery must be used by all campus units. University policy governing design specifications for stationery and collateral materials arediscussed in Sec. 705-16: Guidelines for Stationery, Business Cards, and Collateral. Questions about exceptions to the official stationery policy should be directed to the UCI Strategic Communications.

  16. How long do contract and grant records have to be kept? What about personnel records?

    In Sec. 721-10: Records Management Guidelines, the retention and disposal of University records is discussed. See also Records Management which includes links to offices with guidance about or responsibility for specific kinds of documents. For contracts, the retention period extends beyond the termination of the grant and varies depending on length of the grant and terms of the funding agency. Personnel Records Management is handled by UCI's Human Resources.

  17. Can we send a ZotMail message to share information about an important product available to the University community?

    Section 800-20: ZotMail Guidelines explains that UCI's messaging system, ZotMail, is used to transmit authorized official business messages that may not imply University or campus endorsement, support, or opposition to a political, religious, or civic issue, or any non-University products, service, organization, or activity that has not been appropriately authorized by the Chancellor or designee.

  18. Is my salary confidential? What about my performance evaluation?

    In PPSM-80 and UCI Procedure 80 "current salary" is deemed public information. Likewise in APM-160-20 "current rate of pay" is defined as non-personal information which in turn is categorized as public information. Staff performance evaluations, however, are considered personal and are protected by the Information Practices Act. Related information can be found under Special Policy Topic: Privacy and Access to Information.

  19. Does UCI have a dress code?

    There is no stated dress code for the University, however attire should be appropriate and reasonable for a work environment. Departments may have their own dress codes, developed in consultation with Human Resources, that take into account appropriateness for public contact, safety, etc. Sec. 903-10: EH&S Policy confirms departmental responsibility for ensuring a safe environment; EH&S can provide guidance for protective clothing and footwear.

  20. Is University property automatically insured? If stolen, is there a deductible and how is the replacement value determined?

    Coverage for direct loss under the University's insurance programs is extended to property owned or in the care, custody, and control of The Regents. UC Business and Finance Bulletin BUS-81: Insurance Programs includes descriptions of the University's major programs. Sec. 711: Guidelines on University Self-Insurance contains links to other UC Bulletins covering the various University insurances, as well as information regarding how these programs are administered at UCI.

  21. How do I set up a new account/fund?

    Account and fund numerical codes are assigned and maintained by the Accounting Office, via a request to the Budget Office, as described in Sec. 701-11: Procedure for Establishing or Changing Accounts and Funds.

  22. How is signature authority established?

    Authority to conduct a non-electronic financial transaction for a department or program is designated by means of the Signature Authorization or Cancellation Form (Form U242).

    The Signature Authorization or Cancellation Form (Form U242) can be used by deans, department chairs, principal investigators, and administrative department heads to authorize responsible individuals to expend allocated University funds when there is no overruling written redelegation of authority. Form U242 is completed and issued by a department or program to notify administrative and service departments (accounting, purchasing, personnel, etc.) of a given person's authority to conduct specified business transactions. As explained in Sec. 701-13: Signature Authorization Procedures, Form U242 also serves to provide a specimen signature for those to whom authority is given to expend funds. The Accounting Office is responsible for maintaining and distributing to service departments an annual list of persons authorized to conduct financial transactions.

    For electronic transactions, various online systems (Payroll/Personnel, Financial Systems, and others) maintain their own security and require that specific authorization and access information be registered prior to conducting any business transactions. See Sec. 714-16, Procedures for Accessing University Administrative Information Systems.

    Delegations of Presidential Authority

    Section 103-12: Delegation of Authority and Signature Authorization, discusses how a delegation or redelegation of authority constitutes a major assignment of authority and responsibility, in writing, to a campus official. Generally, such authority is a redelegation of Presidential authority to the Chancellors. Authority delegation documents are usually broad in scope and don't specify the details of how campus business will be conducted. Delegations and redelegations of authority are usually prepared in consultation with the Manager of Administrative Policies. See UCI Delegations of Authority Index.

  23. Are approved recharge rates published anywhere?

    In Sec. 703-13: Recharge Accounts and Rate Review Procedures, the Table of Current Recharge Rates is listed in the references.

  24. My department has an old file cabinet they want to dispose of (or a non-functioning piece of equipment bought with my grant funds). Can they give it to me or can I buy it from them?

    According to UC Business and Finance Bulletin BUS-38, no one employed in a department originating excess material, or a near relative of such employee, may buy any excess material originating in that department directly from the University. Excess property should be reported to the Equipment Management as explained in Sec. 706-20: Disposal or Transfer of University Equipment - Procedure. Purchase of excess property (note the above restriction) is made through Purchasing & Risk Services. See HOW TO: Buy Surplus Property.

  25. Can I use my break to handle my personal business?

    Rest periods are discussed in Personnel Policies for Staff Members, PPSM 30: Compensation, III.C. Hours of Work and in Personnel Procedures for UCI Staff Members, Procedure 31: Hours of Work. Rest periods are considered time worked (paid time). Meal periods are considered neither time worked nor time on pay status, provided the employee is substantially duty free.

  26. Can I use my computer to do personal business if I don't use it during work hours?

    Section 800-15: UCI Guidelines for the UC Electronic Communications Policy discusses incidental personal use of electronic communications services (such as telephones, internet, and e-mail) which may be permitted, provided that the user does not interfere with others' use of those services, interfere with the work of University employees (including the person using the service), and incur noticeable, incremental costs to the University.

    UCI departments have their own computing and networking resources and policies related to computer use for personal business during non-University paid time. When accessing computing resources, all users must abide by Sec. 714-18: Computer and Network Use Policy and the policies of other departments. Student responsibilities are also described in the UC Policies Applying to Campus Activities, Organizations, and Students. In addition, all users are responsible for complying with policies of off-campus network services accessed using UCI resources.

  27. Can I reserve a room on campus for a meeting of my church group?

    In Sec. 900-10: Policy on Use and Scheduling of UCI Properties, the purpose of the policy is stated "to ensure that University interior and exterior spaces are used efficiently and responsibly, and in ways consistent with the priorities of the University. The facilites and grounds of UC Irvine are intended primarily to support the institutional needs of faculty, students, and staff. After meeting the space needs of these user groups, space may be rented to other individuals and groups at the discretion of University officials." See the Examples of Approved Uses of University Facilities.

  28. Can I get a copy of my personnel file?

    Guidelines for requesting access to an employee's own personnel records, and examples of records exempted from disclosure, are discussed in Personnel Policies for Staff Members Policy 80: Staff Personnel Records and in Personnel Procedures for UCI Staff Members, Procedure 80: Staff Personnel Records.

  29. A vendor we frequently do business with wants to provide a lunch for our staff. Is this a problem?

    UCI personnel should not, in general, solicit or accept anything of value from any vendor, contractor, or other individual. This is specifically outlined in the Policy on Health Care Vendor Relations. University employees must comply with the provisions of State and Federal law governing the acceptance of gifts and gratuities in circumstances where the receipt of a gift may create a conflict of interest. These are discussed in UC Business and Finance Bulletin G-39, Conflict of Interest Policy and Compendium of Specialized University Policies, Guidelines, and Regulations Related to Conflict of Interest. In addition to compliance with the requirements of law, employees must avoid the appearance of favoritism in all of their dealings on behalf of the University. The acceptance of personal gifts from those doing business or seeking to do business with the University, even when lawful, may give rise to legitimate concerns about favoritism depending on the circumstances. See Sec. 700-09: Policies on Gifts, Gratuities and Conflict of Interest and Special Policy Topic: Gifts & Conflict of Interest.

  30. Why do I have to pay for a parking permit?

    Parking and Transportation is established as a self-supporting auxiliary enterprise receiving no state appropriations. See the policy statement regarding parking fees in Sec. 904: Policy on Parking, Transportation and Traffic Regulation. Fees are used to provide sufficient annual revenue to support the cost of operating, maintaining, and developing University parking and alternative transportation programs, traffic control, and related services.

  31. Can I bring my child to my office for a few hours?

    Children are not permitted in offices, except for brief visits where they are under close supervision. Other restrictions and explanations can be found under J. Children in Campus Facilities, in Sec. 900-10: Policy on Use and Scheduling of UCI Properties.

  32. My department is purchasing some specially designed lab benches. Can I ask them to include an additional one for my personal use as long as I reimburse the department?

    UC Business and Finance Bulletin BUS-43: Materiel Management (Part 1. J. Personal Purchases) states "University credit, purchasing power, facilities, and services shall not be used to purchase goods or services for individuals or for non-University activities except where a University program has been approved by a University administrator with delegated authority with advice as appropriate from the Office of General Counsel or designee for legal compliance."

  33. Can I put my personal already-stamped mail in the outgoing UCI mail bag?

    Section 801: Distribution Services - Policy, states University of California policy that campus mail services are provided exclusively for official University business. Personal mail should not be entered into the incoming, outgoing, or interdepartmental mailstream.

  34. If I have an emergency, can I get a loan for a short period?

    The UC Emergency Loan Program has been replaced by loan services from two external credit unions. For details see the UCI Financial Services Employee Emergency Loan information page.

  35. If a staff member is admitted to UCI as a student, is there a fee waiver? Is there any discount for UNEX courses or support for non-UCI courses?

    Policy 51: Reduced Fee Enrollment of the Personnel Policies for Staff Members explains that a regular status employee who meets the admission requirements of the University is eligible for two-thirds reduction of both the University Registration Fee and the Educational Fee when enrolled in regular session courses of up to nine units or three courses per quarter or semester, whichever provides the greater benefit to the employee. See also Personnel Procedures for UCI Staff Members, Procedure 51: Reduced Fee Enrollment.

    The reduced cost for UNEX courses is explained on the Employee Application for Reduced Fees. Information on departmental support for non-UCI programs are covered in Policy 50: Professional Development and in Personnel Procedures for UCI Staff Members, Procedure 50: Professional Development .

  36. Can my daughter have her wedding on campus?

    According to University of California Policies Applying to Campus Activities, Organizations and Students, 40.00 Policy on Use of University Properties, "Registered campus organizations, student governments, and University personnel, as well as students, faculty, and staff may use University properties."

    In Sec. 900-10: Policy on Use and Scheduling of UCI Properties, a list containing Examples of Approved Uses of University Facilities includes "Faculty, staff, student, and alumni weddings and receptions." For information, contact Student Center & Event Services.

Note: These questions and potential answers are not a statement of University policy. They may be used for generalized guidance, but the relevance, irrelevance or weight that should be given to any particular question and answer for a specific factual situation should be measured by reference to the full statement of relevant policy.