New Faculty

Helpful Hints for New Faculty

1.  Please note these helpful hints are not intended to be comprehensive but merely to touch on a few important points that individuals may find beneficial to have at hand. They are pertinent for new full-time, tenure-track faculty.

2.  Moving Expenses:

a)  Not all new faculty are eligible for and offered a moving allowance. Typically you must be living at least 50 miles away from Montclair in order to qualify for moving expenses, as reflected in the IRS’s regulations on tax-deductable moving costs. If you are offered a moving allowance, it will be specified in your offer letter from the Dean.

b)  Your moving allowance is a set amount. It is intended to help defer your costs, not necessarily to cover all costs. Please make your moving arrangements as you wish, choosing the level of assistance according to your own plans (for example, employing a professional moving company vs. a U-Haul rental, opting for packing by the movers vs. doing it yourself, etc.) Eligible expenses will be reimbursed to you up to your allowance maximum. All costs beyond your allowance will be your responsibility. In other words, your allowance will not be increased afterwards to match your costs.

c)  Please understand this critical point in your planning. Your moving allowance will be provided to you as reimbursement of expenses incurred, not as an advance, and the reimbursement will not be made until after you actually begin your employment, that is, not until September 1. And at that point it may take a couple of weeks for processing before you receive the reimbursement.  Please plan accordingly.

d)  To help expedite your reimbursement, please contact Associate Dean Alan Cottrell (alan.cottrell@montclair.edu) or Joanne Caruso in the Dean’s Office (carusoj@montclair.edu) once you have completed your move in order to prepare your paperwork so that it’s ready for submission as soon as Sept 1 arrives. The form is a simple Check Request.

e)  Be aware that you may receive your reimbursement in two payments. The Accounting Office will divide it according to taxable and non-taxable reimbursements, according to IRS regulations in effect at the time. Also, if you have enrolled in electronic payroll deposits, you may receive one payment that way and another payment via a physical check sent to your new address.  Typically, an explanation will be mailed to you by Accounting, which may arrive separately from the payment. Certainly if you have any questions after receiving reimbursement, contact either Alan Cottrell or Joanne Caruso.

f)  This is not a comprehensive list, but eligible expenses include:

•  costs of employing a moving company
•  costs of a rental truck
• boxes, tape, wrapping materials, and other packing supplies
• mileage for driving your personal vehicle to Montclair  [Mileage rates for moving are different from mileage for business trips, usually approximately one half.  The rates in effect may be found on the IRS web site.]
• hotel expenses for your travel to Montclair (and while in town but either searching for a new residence or awaiting the movers and during the physical move before you are actually into your new residence)
•  meals for during your travel to Montclair (and while in town but either searching for a new residence or awaiting the movers and during the physical move before you are actually into your new residence)

g)  You must keep itemized receipts. Have receipts made out in your name, such as from the moving company, rental truck company, and hotels.  Large receipts must be marked “Paid” and payment indicated on them. (Often the moving company driver just gives you a copy of the moving invoice without indicating that it was paid – please have it stamped “paid” and signed off by the driver as such.) Please keep your credit card receipts and statements in case Accounting has any questions about payment.  Also, especially for meals, your credit card receipt is not adequate – you must have an itemized receipt (such as the meal ticket from a restaurant itemizing the food choices, rather than just your c.c. receipt with only a total amount).

3.  Office:

a)  Please contact your department’s chair or administrative assistant about preliminary information on contacting Human Resources and arranging for a netID, which will be your entry to all sorts of things (ID card, computer assignment, library privileges, etc.)

b)  You will be provided an office with telephone. Please contact your department’s chair or administrative assistant for the specifics. Assignments are made by the Dean’s Office starting in July but sometimes not completed until August. Frequently the availability of your office will depend on moves by other faculty, either retiring professors or colleagues who are changing offices over the summer. We usually will have your office ready for your occupancy by a week before classes start. If it is available sooner, then certainly you’ll be welcome to it.

See your department’s administrative assistant about setting up your voice mail.

c)  Full-time faculty are eligible for a computer from the University’s central technology office (OIT, Office of Information Technology). You have a choice between a desktop machine or a laptop. Please contact Milos Topic, Director of CHSS Technology Services (topicm@montclair.edu), once you have a University netID, and he will inform you of the specifics and will arrange for your computer. He’ll also let you know what the standard software package is for the computer.

4.  Travel Funding:

Full-time, tenure-track faculty (that is, those from whom reappointment will depend on scholarly productivity) are eligible for travel funding from the Dean and possibly also the department. The allotment is set each year. For details, please see the Helpful Hints for Travel.

5.  Start-Up Funding:

a)  Full-time, tenure-track faculty may have start-up funding offered by the Provost. If so, it will be specified in your offer letter from the Dean. 

b)  Your start-up funding is a set amount. It is intended to help defer your costs, not necessarily to cover all costs. 

c)  Please understand this critical point in your planning. Your start-up funding is typically provided for your first two years, presuming a Fall start date. (Any conditions to the contrary will be specified in your offer letter from the Dean.) In practice, this means that it is provided for the two fiscal years, which in turn means that it ends on June 30 of your second year (the end of the fiscal year) – and not Sept 1 (two years from your original start date).

Further, because the University’s financial system begins to have various deadlines imposed on types of spending as the fiscal year winds down, you should plan to have your start-up funding expended by spring break of your second year. To go beyond that risks not being able to draw on the funding before the end of the fiscal year, which would mean that you simply lose whatever funding remains.

Please do not expect any extensions to be granted if you do not expend all your funding within the specified time.

d)  Should you plan to use any start-up funding prior to your start date, please confirm with Alan Cottrell (alan.cottrell@montclair.edu) that your planned expenditures would be eligible.  In any case, you would need to pay the cost yourself and then seek reimbursement after Sept 1 (as with your moving reimbursement).

e)  After Sept 1, you have fairly open choices on how you use the funding. If you have any questions at all, please contact Alan Cottrell.  Depending on your field, the usage will vary greatly – from additional travel funding for individuals in the humanities to large equipment purchases for those setting up labs or even hiring lab workers.  As you develop your plans, please see Alan or Joanne Caruso (carusoj@montclair.edu) about the specific paperwork you’ll need and how best to go about it.  For further details, see the Helpful Hints for General Purchases.

Your expenditures will fall into two primary categories: those you seek to have the University pay for directly (such as an expensive piece of lab equipment or hiring workers) and those you will prefer (or be required) to pay yourself and then seek reimbursement.  (For example, travel will have to be reimbursed, not paid in advance. Some small purchases, such as finding a book at a used book store, may be easier to handle as reimbursements.)

For purchases you make on your own and seek reimbursement for, there are a couple of important things to keep in mind.

•  The University will not reimburse taxes. So either print out a copy of the University’s Tax Exempt Certificate to provide to the vendor or plan to make the purchase knowing that you’ll pay the tax yourself (which simply means you’ll have more start-up funding left to use later).

• If you’re ordering anything to be delivered, always use the University’s address, not your personal address. To use your personal address just raises questions with auditors about whether it is actually something for personal use rather than a legitimate University expenditure.

Always feel free to check with Alan or Joanne in advance if you have any questions about appropriateness of a planned expenditure.  It’s better to ask beforehand than to presume reimbursement that may not be approved.

CHSS rev 8/22/13