Can a faculty member buy sofware for personal use with department money?

I am the purchasing assistant in my department. One of the faculty members has asked me to purchase a popular software program from the UCSB Software Depot. The software is going to be for personal use and the faculty member plans to pay back the department. Is this ok?

There are several issues you want to think about before making the software purchase.

1. Purchasing Policy #5330 (Currently Under Review) states: "University credit, purchasing power, and facilities may not be used to purchase goods or services for non-University purposes." By making personal purchases, the University contract for the software prices is at risk.

2. If you make the purchase for the staff member, consider how are you going to get the money back to reimburse the department? What if the person leaves?

3. Confirm with the staff member that this software will not be used for ANY work-related purpose. If some work will be done using the software, then this purchase would be ok and the staff member would not be required to reimburse the department.

In all cases, you want to be able to explain the Purchasing policy. In our experience, just saying "NO" creates more aggravation and frustration. Many times there is a lack of knowledge that a specific policy exists and the situation just needs to be ex plained.

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