Non-Salary Spending Controls

 March 12, 2020

TO:Vice Presidents, Vice Provosts, Deans, Directors, Department Heads, and Managers
FROM:Tallman Trask III, Executive Vice President
RE:Non-Salary Spending Controls

The University’s financial leadership has been evaluating options to mitigate the risks associated with current economic realities, both domestic and abroad. The new vacancy management controls communicated yesterday are just one example. As we navigate through unprecedented circumstances, it is imperative that we all work to control our collective expenses.

With respect to non-salary spending, we need to reinforce the importance of responsible use of Duke’s resources. Our ongoing expectation is that Duke resources, including those used through corporate cards, will only be used for purchases that directly benefit the core activities of the University, and that they need to be substantially constrained for the foreseeable future.

There should be no faculty or staff travel on behalf of or funded by Duke in the coming weeks. We will closely monitor corporate card expenditures and reimbursement requests to ensure these expectations are met.

Finally, in anticipation of increasing financial pressure from the decline of the general economic environment, spending university funds on any of the following will require pre-approval by me, Provost Kornbluth or Chancellor Washington (or our designees):

  • Purchase or lease of vehicles
  • Contracts or service agreements (including consulting services) in excess of $2,500
  • Purchases of equipment over $2,500 (note: purchases of equipment/furnishings for home offices are not permitted at any level, as stated above)
  • Renovations and furniture purchases
  • Entertainment or offsite meeting costs in excess of $250

These controls should significantly reduce expenditures across the University as the financial challenges we will inevitably face become clearer.

Tallman Trask III
Executive Vice President