1267 - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Policy on Professional Memberships



The policy is to clarify the University's obligation to maintain membership in professional organizations.

Scope of Applicability

All University Faculty and Staff.


Policy Statement

The University maintains memberships in professional associations, organizations, and societies for business purposes and for the benefit of the University. Memberships are a means to obtain professional literature on issues of University interest, to provide access to professional training opportunities for faculty and staff, to develop a network of professional colleagues for exchange of information and ideas, and to provide other benefits to the University. If the University is to benefit from an individual's membership in an organization, that benefit should derive not because of the individual, but because of the individual's position with the University regardless of who is in the position.



Additional Information

Special Situations

The State of North Carolina Budget Manual (Chapter 4.7.4) indicates that membership dues paid from state funds must be reviewed and approved to determine that the benefits to the University from such memberships will exceed the costs. Membership dues paid from state funds should be for the benefit of the University and not for an individual. Memberships for individuals must result from a condition of employment to permit payment from state funds.

Membership dues should normally be charged to a source of funds other than a government-sponsored project unless specifically requested and approved by the sponsoring agency in the project budget. Professional Memberships are now allowable Purchasing Card purchases.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I can get a really good rate on a membership in the ZXY Society if I pay for three years up front. Is this permissible?
A: No. You may pay for only one year at a time with University funds.

Q: I am a new faculty member in the School of Medicine and need to renew my membership to the American College of Medicine. Will the University pay for this membership from my research dollars?
A: Unless the agency from which you received the research dollars specifically provides for the cost of this membership in the award, it cannot be paid from your research funds.

Q: My position requires that I maintain my membership in the AICPA. Is it possible the University will pay the dues for me?
A: Unless your department head attests in writing that membership in the American Institute of CPAs is a condition of your employment, it cannot be paid with University funds.

Q: Are subscriptions included in Professional Memberships?
A: Professional magazine and journal subscriptions are allowed.

Related Requirements

External Regulations and Consequences

The State of North Carolina Budget Manual Chapter 4.7.4

Unit Policies, Standards, and Procedures


Contact Information

Policy Contact
Subject Contact Telephone Fax E-Mail
Professional Memberships Purchasing Services 919-962-3774 919-962-0636 purchasing_team@unc.edu



  • July 9, 2018: Added Purchasing card purchases for professional memberships - magazine and subscriptions are allowed.
  • August 2, 2010
  • January 31, 1996
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Article ID: 131451
Thu 4/8/21 9:09 PM
Thu 5/5/22 2:20 PM
Responsible Unit
School, Department, or other organizational unit issuing this document.
Finance and Budget
Issuing Officer
Name of the document Issuing Officer. This is the individual whose organizational authority covers the policy scope and who is primarily responsible for the policy.
Issuing Officer Title
Title of the person who is primarily responsible for issuing this policy.
Director of Purchasing Services
Next Review
Date on which the next document review is due.
12/09/2021 12:00 AM
Last Review
Date on which the most recent document review was completed.
12/09/2020 3:29 PM
Last Revised
Date on which the most recent changes to this document were approved.
12/09/2020 3:29 PM
Effective Date
If the date on which this document became/becomes enforceable differs from the Origination or Last Revision, this attribute reflects the date on which it is/was enforcable.
12/09/2020 3:29 PM
Date on which the original version of this document was first made official.
07/01/1995 12:00 AM