High-Risk Category: Alcohol

The University classifies alcohol as a “high-risk category” given inherent financial and legal risks, as well as potential public perception and optics.  These factors warrant the collective oversight and governance by CFAES Leadership, University Administration and State of Ohio Department of Liquor Control (ODLC).  Alcohol is addressed in the University Expenditure Policy located at https://policies.osu.edu/

Overall, the University discourages alcohol and even prohibits for some University-endorsed events.  If departments consider alcohol to be necessary then care must be exercised and proactive guidance requested to fully understand all requirements, including any circumstance requiring multiple approvals. 

Departments and Event Organizers Responsible and Accountable for….

  • Adherence to CFAES standards, University policies and ODLC laws.
  • Seeking guidance (in-advance) when planning to have alcohol available and the required approval(s).    
  • Providing a comprehensive “Business Purpose” for why alcohol is a necessary. 
  • Using objective judgment to avoid the appearance of impropriety, entitlement and assumed optics.
     

Alcohol Approvals:  Some events can require up to three (3) progressive alcohol approvals.

  1. CFAES (required):  Only Terry Snoddy (SFO) is authorized to approve all alcohol requests and purchases.  
  2. University (conditional):  Business & Finance, Legal Affairs, Risk Management and/or OSUPD. 
  3. State Of Ohio (conditional):  Issuance of temporary license by ODLC (6-8 weeks processing time).     
     

University Event Summary:  Below are some common University events and related guidance for alcohol allowability.  This guidance is high-level only and not all-inclusive, nor addresses all events and parameters. 
 

Event

Common Location(s)

Allowability

Resources

University Business Meal

Small group “working” meals for official business with non-University guests who are necessary to the business discussion.

Restaurant or other commercial business licensed by State of Ohio ODLC to serve alcohol,

Allowable at licensed venues given all University policy requirements met (e.g. business purpose, attendees, per-person cost limits, etc.).

Guidance:  Department CCM and CFAES Service Center

 

Approval:  Terry Snoddy (only)

Employee Recognition or Appreciation

Retirement gathering, holiday luncheon, award ceremony, summer picnic, etc.

Any location (University and non-University) including conference centers, event venues, private meeting rooms, outdoor green spaces, restaurants, commercial businesses, etc.

It is strictly prohibited to provide alcohol using University funds at any employee-based event.  

 

Alcohol may only be made available for purchase by employees using personal funds at licensed venues after normal University business hours. 

Guidance:  Department CCM and CFAES Service Center

 

Approval:  Unnecessary since alcohol provided at employee events is prohibited.

Employee Business or Professional Meeting

Infrequent planning meetings, training, annual retreats,  etc.

Conference, Seminar or Professional Networking Event with Non-University Participants

Advancement/Donor events, University hosted conferences, seminars and presentations consisting of non-University participants.

Any location (University and non-University) including conference centers, event venues, private meeting rooms, outdoor green spaces, restaurants, commercial businesses, etc.

These events are the most complex to navigate for alcohol allowability.  Several factors must be evaluated and weighed including venue, location, quantity of participants, time of day, etc.       

Guidance:  Angie LeMaster (.124) is the CFAES liaison to assist with evaluating alcohol allowability at these types of events, as well as necessary requirements and approval(s). 

 

Approval:  Terry Snoddy (only)