Guidance for Professional Development Support

Periodically, University employees seek funding to support professional development activities that are particularly expensive and/or not closely aligned with the employee’s role or job description. In some cases, the request is for tuition support for a degree program. 

It is incumbent on University leaders to exhibit good stewardship of University funds. The State of California and its citizens, the federal government, our students, our donors and other sponsors all expect the University to engage in prudent financial management and to use our resources wisely.   

Thus, managers are responsible for exercising good judgment in evaluating such proposals. To support that judgment, we offer the following considerations: 

  • For purposes of these decisions and all expenditure decisions, all University funds, including gift funds and faculty discretionary funds, are public funds and must be put to their best and highest use.  
  • Expenditure of all funds must serve a University business purpose. Thus, any professional development activities supported for an employee should be expected to provide the employee with new knowledge and/or skills that are necessary for the employee’s University roles and helps the University achieve its missions. 
  • Activities should be cost-effective. At this time, we suggest a maximum of $10,000 per employee per fiscal year as a guideline, within the confines of existing unit resources.  For degree program tuition, an additional guideline would be that the amount of support provided toward degree program tuition would be similar to the expense that would be incurred to send the employee to a professional development conference in their field. 
  • If the support toward degree program tuition exceeds the expense that would typically be incurred to send the employee to a professional development conference, units are strongly encouraged to execute an agreement with the employee that requires proportional repayment of the tuition expense to UCSF if the individual leaves UCSF employment within some minimum period after the program. This is similar to the repayment guidelines for the Faculty Recruitment Allowance Program
  • Employees receiving support and the employee’s department are both responsible for determining if the support is taxable. Employees are responsible for any resulting income tax liability. 
  • To request reimbursement of approved tuition costs, employees should complete the Employee Educational Assistance Tax Determination Form (found on page 30 in UC Policy T-182-77) and submit an expense report in MyExpense, selecting “Tuition” as the expense type and attaching all receipts and the completed form.  

Additional Materials: 

February 23, 2023