Introduction - Financial Policies


Financial Stewardship Principles of The Pennsylvania State University:

The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State or University) faculty and staff shall conduct all University business with a demonstrated effort to maintain the highest level of financial stewardship. Financial stewardship entails the following over-arching principles:

  • Learning, following, and upholding financial policies and procedures established by the University and external agencies.

  • University resources shall only be used for approved University-related purposes.

  • Expending or committing funds within approved University budgets using appropriate financial, accounting, purchasing, and other approved University procedures, and maintaining records appropriate to these transactions.

  • Purchasing goods and services through approved Procurement policies and procedures and giving appropriate initial consideration to University internal services.

  • Expenditure decisions shall be made with concern given to quality, economy, and support of University goals.

  • Faculty and staff shall be vigilant to report and prevent fraud, waste, and abuse of University resources.

  • University physical assets should be protected and maintained properly to ensure their safe and efficient use throughout their lifespan.

  • University programs and work procedures shall be continually reviewed to ensure that resources are being expended in the most efficient manner to maintain only those programs that support the mission of the University.

Financial Policy Steward:

The Board of Trustees and officers of the University have promulgated the financial policies. The Associate Vice President for Budget and Finance is responsible for the financial section of the Policy Manual.

General financial policy questions should be directed to the Office of Budget and Finance. Specific financial transaction questions should be directed to the appropriate Business Area Finance Office and/or Financial Officer (see the Financial Officer Contact & Staff listing).



  • October 13, 2023:
    • The full name of the University was added to the first sentence of the document.
    • “Question directed to that office” statement was expanded to include full details on where to direct questions.
    • Changed Purchasing to Procurement, per the directive of the Chief Procurement Officer.
    • Financial Officer Contact & Staff reference added.

Revision History:

  • January 31, 2023 - Editorial changes, per the directive of the Associate Vice President for Budget and Finance:
    • All references to the Office of the Corporate Controller were replaced with the Office of Budget and Finance
    • All references to the Corporate Controller were replaced with the Assocate Vice President for Budget and Finance
  • July 8, 2020 - Financial Policy steward changed from "office of the Senior Vice President for Finance and Business" to "Office of the Corporate Controller."
  • September 10, 2018 - Editorial changes to remove redundant Effective Date, Date Approved, and Date Published information
  • August 18, 2003 - Added the section "Financial Stewardship Principles of The Pennsylvania State University."
  • February 28, 1997 - Position Title change.

Financial Policies

Date Approved: 

Friday, October 13, 2023

Date Published: 

Friday, October 13, 2023

Effective Date: 

Friday, October 13, 2023