Discretionary spending policy updated

Tessa Duvall

Officials updated the university’s discretionary spending policy earlier this month.

The policy describes things that can be bought with state money or money from the WKU Foundation, Chief Financial Officer Jim Cummings said.

The policy is updated every two or three years, he said. There were no major changes this year, only updates and clarifications.

Cummings said one notable change this year is the spending policy related to cell phones.

Formerly, the university provided cell phones to employees who needed them, but now they are given a stipend through payroll, he said.

In the discretionary spending policy, which can be found online at the Finance and Administration website, cell phones are found under miscellaneous, and money for them can’t come from state or WKU Foundation money.

Some things can’t be bought with state money, as prohibited by university policy or state law, Cummings said.

Paula Jarboe, chief financial officer for the WKU Foundation, said the policy also makes sure departments are mindful of donors when spending money.

The foundation, which is a non-profit organization that raises and invests money for WKU, receives its money from donations and earnings from investments, she said.

Money is given to a certain department if it’s designated by the donor, she said.

Discretionary funds vary from department to department, with some having more than others, Cummings said.

In order for the policy to be updated, it is reviewed every two to three years, and during that time, the foundation and the Finance and Administration department give their input, he said.

From there, a revision is put together and sent to WKU’s administrative council, which then reviews the policy and submits changes.

After changes are made, a final draft must be approved by the council before it becomes university policy, he said.