COVID-19

For any questions about the procedures or if additional guidance about allowable expenses is needed, please contact BusSrvcs_COVID19@mso.umt.edu

BACKGROUND

We have begun reimbursing COVID-19 expenses with available grant funding.  A small amount of FY20 expenses that were submitted to the Governor at fiscal year-end have been approved and adjustments for those specified expenses are in process.  

The next step will be identifying and moving IT expenses for projects related to the Strengthening Institutions Minority Serving fund and the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief fund.  There is money available from the COVID Relief Fund for mitigation measures in FY21, but there is no guarantee that we will be able to reimburse every expense. 

You do not need to request reimbursement for allowable COVID-19 expenses since they can be identified with the COVI19 activity code.  Please review and follow the process below that was established for capturing COVID-19 expenses and revenue losses.

 

PROCESS TO RECORD COVID-19 TRANSACTIONS

For expenses that are not being reimbursed by an outside agency, and for possible reimbursement to the University from OCHE-provided funds, it is important for ALL departments to capture expenses and revenue losses related to the COVID‐19 pandemic.  If your department has incurred COVID-19 related expenses in excess of normal operating costs, please use the following tracking methods:

Use the COVI19 “COVID-19 Expenses” Activity Code in Banner for all related expenses. Note that the 4th character in the Activity Code is a capital i. These must be COVID related expenses.

GENERAL FUND EXPENSES:

If a General Fund expense amount is minor, please code expenses to your own Index Code and use the COVI19 Activity Code.  If the COVI19 Activity Code was not included before posting an expense to Banner, please contact Business Services about adding it to these transactions. Examples of additional COVID-19 related expenses include:  additional cleaning costs/supplies and computers or equipment needed to facilitate distant learning or working remotely (telework).

If a General Fund expense is in question, please submit a request for approval to Bob Hlynosky (Bob.Hlynosky@mso.umt.edu), Business Services Procurement Manager, with the subject: “Expenditure Approval: COVID‐19”.  ALL large expenses charged to central Index Codes setup to record COVID-19 expenses, or Business Services corrections to these Index Codes, MUST be pre‐approved. Examples of a major COVID-19 expense include: upgrades to computer systems, online licensing fees or internet services associated with significant changes to the delivery of instruction. 

Your request for approval must include the following information:

  1. Description of the expense itself (i.e. cleaning supplies, wireless headsets, etc.)
  2. Reason this is considered outside of normal operating
  3. Associated department where item/service will reside

You will receive a response within 48 hours.  If approved, the expense will be charged to the appropriate central Index Code setup for COVID-19 reporting and reimbursement purposes.

NON-GENERAL FUND EXPENSES

Non-general fund expenses, also in excess of normal operating costs, related to COVID-19 require the COVI19 Activity Code as well, when submitting requests for payment.  You may use the transaction description field to describe the expense in more detail.  

If a Non-General Fund expense is minor or large, please follow the procedures described above under General Fund Expenses.

If non‐student refunds of any kind are processed related to COVID-19, please keep track of these in a separate spreadsheet that includes the following information:

  1. Revenue type being refunded (i.e. conference, sporting event, concert)
  2. Description of refund
  3. Index/Account where refund came from
  4. Amount of refund

POSSIBLE ALLOWABLE COSTS (to include but are not limited to):

  • Salaries of staff who assist students with a transition to on-line education
  • Salaries of staff training faculty in new technology and enhanced online education techniques
  • Expenses for external services and staff tasked with converting class sessions from synchronous to asynchronous delivery
  • Expenses of expanding library access and converting to exclusively online delivery of materials
  • Expenses to conduct academic advising sessions virtually
  • Expanded academic advising hours
  • Increased student services expenses for counseling, tutoring and other services, to help with the transition to online learning
  • Costs related to sanitizing and social distancing when faculty must provide virtual sessions from special labs
  • Expenses for retooling vocational labs for future instruction. Many programs must have hands on learning to offer degrees and certificates. The hands-on experience will need to accommodate social distancing and limit the use of shared tools.
  • Costs related to sanitizing and social distancing while providing classroom education, when students return to campus
  • Redeployed IT programmers and other technicians to increase capacity or modify certain courses
  • Staff salaries to handle increased calls for online support or helpdesks
  • Delivering meals to high need students, providing meals to students and staff that had to remain on campus, extra cleaning and sanitizing of related facilities, and associated staff time
  • Increased technology fees, hardware, and software costs