FI0435 – Memberships and Subscriptions

FI0435 – Memberships and Subscriptions





To provide policies on the purchase of memberships and subscriptions.



  1. Membership in professional associations and subscriptions to academic and professional journals are vital to the operation of most university departments. Department heads are responsible for ensuring that these are procured in the most economical manner and that they directly relate to the departments mission. To accomplish this department heads should consider the following:
    1. Procuring an institutional membership instead of multiple individual memberships, if it is less expensive.
    2. Splitting the cost of an institutional memberships with other university departments, that have similar needs.
    3. Working with the campus library to determine the availability of journals or if funds can be saved by procuring items through the library.
    4. Consult the campus/institute purchasing office to determine if funds can be saved by procuring multiple subscriptions for widely used publications.
    5. Ensure that individual memberships are canceled or transferred to another employee, when someone terminates their employment with the university.
  2. The following are prohibited:
    1. State or federal funds may not be used to pay for civic memberships.
    2. Only university libraries and departments conducting research or similar academic pursuits may subscribe to political publications.
    3. Memberships may not be procured with businesses that discriminate against anyone based on sex, age, origin, ancestry, religion or color.
    4. The use of state funds for fees, dues, subscriptions, or travel in conjunction with the membership, meetings, or activities of an organization if participation in such organization requires an individual, or an individual’s employer, to endorse or promote a divisive concept as defined in Tennessee Code Annotated Section 49-7-1902.
  3. Newspapers should only be procured for instructional purposes, research, or another purposes directly related to the mission of the department.
  4. The campus/institute chief business officer must provide advance written approval for any dues paid to any club organized for pleasure, recreation or other social purposes. The business reason for this payment must be documented, must relate to the department’s mission and must be retained with the disbursement records in accordance with the universities record management policy (FI0120 – Records Management.)
  5. Each campus/institute is encouraged to develop specific procedures for procuring memberships and subscriptions.
  6. Departments, including the libraries, must process license agreements and similar agreements through the contract review process (See FI0420 – Contracts.)


Blake Reagan  (865) 974-3971

Policy Details:

FI0435 – Memberships and Subscriptions
Version: 14 // Effective: October 1, 2017
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