Faculty Development

Faculty Development Reimbursements

Reimbursement requests should be submitted to Accounts Payable within 60 days of expense, or upon returning to campus from a trip.  Attach original itemized receipts to the Payment Request Form and submit to Accounts Payable.  Please include the following documentation: who attended; what was purchased; date; location; business purpose.  

PDA Spending

If you receive PDA funds to pay for expenses related to professional development, please review the Faculty Development (FDA) and Professional Development Accounts (PDA) policy.

The overarching rule of thumb is that business expenses are allowed, while personal expenses are not.  The distinction between business and personal expenses is in most cases obvious, but areas that have caused confusion in the past are clarified below:

  • Family or companion expenses: Funds cannot be used to offset the costs of having a spouse/partner or dependent travel with you, nor can they pay for family or pet care in your absence.
  • Home office:  Funds can be used to furnish or improve your office at the College, but cannot be used to furnish or improve a home office. Employees should coordinate the purchase of office furnishings with the Carleton Facilities department.
  • Computing hardware: PDA funds should not be used to purchase computing hardware unless specifically pre-authorized by the Dean of the College Office. All computing hardware purchases made with College funds (including PDA funds) should be made through Information Technology Services (ITS). Printers, monitors, hard drives, and accessories are considered computing hardware. 
  • Computing software: ITS coordinates and purchases all computing software, please contact them to ensure appropriate licensing requirements and educational discounts are applied.
  • Ownership of equipment:  Any equipment purchased with PDA funds is property of the College.
  • Cell phones; MP3 Players; iPhones; iPads, etc.: Electronic devices with a mix of personal and professional use cannot be purchased with PDA funds even though they are increasingly used in the classroom and for research. See Computing Hardware (above) for iPads.
  • Internet connectivity fees: The cost of connecting to the internet from home is not covered, costs while traveling for business will be covered.

Documentation - Whenever reasonable and practical, itemized receipts are required for all expenses including meals, hotel, airfare, etc.  Documentation of the date; cost; location; persons attending and business purpose is required by the IRS in all circumstances.

Please monitor your professional development account on the Hub under Employees > Budget Manager Reports.  

All Employee Travel and Reimbursement Policies located on the Business Office website apply to PDA spending.  Excluded purchases should not be charged to the college, submitted for reimbursement or charged to the Carleton VISA.  Employees may elect to claim these as un-reimbursed business expenses on their personal income tax return as advised by their personal tax professional.

FAQs on Faculty Professional Development Accounts (PDA)

If these funds are intended to support my professional development activities, why are there limitations concerning how the funds are spent and specifications regarding documentation requirements?

  • Development Accounts (PDAs) are Carleton funds that must be spent in a manner consistent with College policy and IRS guidelines for business expenses.  PDAs were established at Carleton to enhance faculty benefits without creating additional taxable income.  Conceptually, this gives both the employee and the college more “bang for our buck”. 

Why are original, itemized receipts the required documentation for expenses rather than a daily per diem rate reimbursement?

  • Professional Development Account spending rules must be consistent with other business expense rules or they will become reportable as taxable income.  The IRS requires documentation of the date; location; cost; persons attending and business purpose of an expense.  Most of this is documented by the itemized receipt

Why can’t I be reimbursed for child care, for instance, when it is provided for my use during a professional conference?

  • The IRS does not identify child care as a business expense.  Carleton does sponsor a flex spending benefit program for child care expenses which allows an employee to set aside pre-tax dollars for dependent care expenses.

What are the guidelines for dining and beverage expenses?

  • Meals for employees while away on College business will be reimbursed including one alcoholic beverage if this is your chosen beverage with a meal.  Dining expenses should be in alignment with the standard per diem rates (determined by location) found on the government website.  The College does not reimburse on a per diem basis, however the meals and incidental expense rates for federal government employees provide a reasonable standard.  In cases of reimbursement request for business meals for others (guests of the college) indicate the attendees along with the business reason for the meal. 

Can I submit a receipt for a cup of coffee and a doughnut at the airport?

  • Yes, if you are traveling for business purposes and are within the per diem guidelines for the area in which you are traveling.

What should I do if I lose a receipt or if I cannot obtain an itemized receipt?

  • In most cases vendors are familiar with the receipt requirement for businesses and will provide a receipt.  Most vendors also have the ability to provide a replacement receipt.  For those unusual situations where a receipt is not available, documentation of the date; location; cost; persons attending and business purpose of an expense is required to fulfill IRS business expense reporting requirements.

Managing your Budget

Your budget information can be viewed on the Hub under Budget Manager Reports. Highlight your account number under “departments” and submit.  The Summary report will give you your account balance. Click on blue numbers for more detail.  The Detail report is a snapshot of all activity, but it will not include any carryover funds. Professional development funds may not be over spent. 

Budget Manager Report Instructions

Carryover Funds

Unspent PDA funds will carry over from one academic year to the next.  Carryover funds will post to your account in September, they are available to spend in advance of that date.  If you accumulate a large carryover balance over several years, you may be asked to explain the plan for your funds.  Upon retirement, any balance remaining in your account will be returned to the Dean of the College.

Tax Exempt

Carleton College is exempt from paying Minnesota sales tax on the purchase of sales and goods in the state of Minnesota.  However, we must pay certain taxes, such as hotel and restaurant taxes.  The college will not reimburse individuals for sales tax paid for equipment and supplies.  Please present the Certificate of Exempt Status when making qualifying purchases.

Carleton Purchasing Card

Charge against your faculty development account using your Carleton Purchasing Card.  To obtain a card, please contact Kara Lloyd at klloyd@carleton.edu to set up a 30 minute training session on how to use the College Visa card and the responsibilities associated with the program.

On-campus Charges

Make internal charges such as Bookstore or Printing/Mailing.  Simply give your faculty development account number at the time of your order.


Kara Lloyd