While individual faculty members are in the best position to determine how to promote their teaching and research activities, they must also consider whether a cost is reasonable and not excessive. The STARS budget is intended for reimbursing of reasonable expenses when the benefits outweigh the costs.
1.) Do I control how my STARS Allocation is spent?
2.) What if funds are left in my STARS Account at the end of the year?
3.) When does my STARS Account get replenished?
4.) When do I need to submit expense reimbursement submissions?
5.) How often should I submit my bills for internet service?
6.) Can I transfer STARS balances to another faculty member?
7.) What can I spend my STARS Allocation on?
8.) What can I NOT spend my STARS Allocation on?
9.) What if I’m on leave?
10.) What if I’m on sabbatical?
11.) Can I take items purchased through my STARS account with me when I leave the University?
12.) Can I use STARS for reimbursement for loss or damage to personal items (e.g. rugs, artwork, music CDs) not used for professional purposes?
- Yes, for the most part. All expenditures must conform to University guidelines, must be reasonable and not excessive, and must be processed as stipulated by the University or the Stern School. Certain expenditures are ineligible for STARS, as are certain methods of purchasing.
- Balances remaining at the end of a year may be carried forward to the next year. Spending is limited to twice that year’s STARS allocation even if the total available balance exceeds that amount.
- You can borrow up to 10% of the current year’s STARS allocation interest-free, as long as there is a reasonable expectation that you will have an allocation in the following year.
- Each September 1, at the beginning of each academic year.
- Within sixty days from when the expense is incurred. Any expenses submitted after that date may be taxable.
- Every sixty days.
- Yes, provided they have a valid business purpose and have been approved by the Department Chair or the Dean’s Office.
- In general, expenditures are permitted under STARS if they are permitted under University guidelines and allowed by the Internal Revenue Service as a tax deductible employee expense.
- The STARS Manual provides details on how items must be purchased. All office supplies and computer equipment/accessories should be purchased through iBuy. Computer purchases must go through IT to ensure compatibility and support. Sales tax cannot be reimbursed; to avoid incurring sales tax, items should go through Purchasing. Hiring research assistants must be coordinated with HR.
- Eligible expenditures include:
- Payments to Human Subjects, subject to certain rules;
- Research and Teaching Assistance;
- Personal Computer Software and Hardware;
- Off-campus internet connections and related hardware;
- Cellular phone and business usage fees, in compliance with IT policy;
- Travel and Lodging – reasonable costs only (see exceptions below);
- Local Meal Charges (Reasonable costs only and only if the diners include at least one person who is not an or student of the University and are for business/research purposes.);
- Academic Books, Reprints and Subscriptions to Academic Journals (if directly related research and/or teaching responsibilities);
- Fees for Journal Submissions;
- Express Mail via United Parcel Service (UPS) only;
- Professional Memberships and Licensing;
- Items below are already provided to faculty, and not charged to STARS:
- Office space with standard furniture
- Costs of copying classroom materials
- Local fax and telephone calls, digital network connections from the office
- First class mail other than mass mailings
- Certain software databases and applications(ex: Microsoft Office, Tableau, Adobe, etc)
- Basic office supplies are provided by the departments: Stern letterhead, printer paper, ruled pads (white, yellow), basic pens and pencils, Scotch tape, paper clips, Post-Its, rubber bands, staples, manila file folders, index cards, printed and plain envelopes, etc.
- Any other item already paid for by Stern, such as doctoral research assistants.
- Items listed below are not eligible for STARS:
- Certain travel expenses, per University policy:
- First class airfare;
- Per diem expenses without receipts exceeding destination city's government per diem rate (http://www.gsa.gov/portal/category/100120);
- Collision damage and liability insurance from a car rental agency;
- Family (spouse/children) travel expenses;
- Personal telephone calls;
- Movie rentals;
- Home office furniture;
- Office furniture or furnishings, with the exception of a desk chair and additional lighting;
- TSA PreCheck
- Headphones greater than $100
- Sales tax on purchases outside of iBuy
- Certain travel expenses, per University policy:
- You will not receive a STARS Allocation. But if you incur expenses for activities related to Stern School business, such as participating in a dissertation defense, these expenses will be reimbursed from existing STARS balance or department reserve with proper approval.
- If you remain in residence, you will receive a STARS Allocation and STARS Spending Account, taking into account your base salary for that year (e.g. 75%). If you are not in residence, you will receive a negotiated STARS Spending Account depending on your expected level of research and service activities during the year, and the level of support from any host institution.
- All purchases made through STARS are the property of the University and remain with the University after faculty leave.
12. Can I use STARS for reimbursement for loss or damage to personal items (e.g. rugs, artwork, music CDs) not used for professional purposes?
- No. The University is not responsible for personal property.