Professional Life Account Program FAQs

Professional Life Account Program Details

Important note:  Due to IRS regulations concerning the tax implications of the Professional Life Account program, the rules for participation cannot be modified on an individual basis.

Stipends included in this program:

  • Supervision of independent studies and individual internships (but NOT tutorials)
  • Supervision of Pathways projects
  • Faculty Development workshop participation

Can I add other opportunities to this list?  No.  The list is fixed for the year. No exceptions can be granted. We may expand the list in future years once we assess the level of interest in the program.

What will happen to stipends I receive for other programs? Other stipends (e.g., for summer advising) will be paid as usual.

Can I cash out the total amount in my Professional Life Account?  No.  Once grant money has been deposited into a PLA account it can only be used for approved expenses. It cannot be converted to cash. The grant money will be forfeited if a faculty member leaves the College.

What if I change my mind? Can I switch back to the other program?  Once you have chosen to participate in a program, you must stay in that program until the end of the calendar year, at which time you can switch to the other program. 

If I switch out of the Professional Life Account program, do I lose the money that I have accrued?  No.  Your Professional Life Account will remain active, and you can draw on those funds even if you decide to be compensated through the payroll program for further work.

What kind of expenses can be funded through a Professional Life Account?  In general, any expenses that directly further one's scholarly life or one's development as a teacher can be funded through PLA grant money.  For example:

  • all regularly reimbursable expenses associated with travel for conferences and research;
  • professional dues;
  • books and other research materials;
  • costs associated with publication;
  • electronic equipment necessary for research (special rules may apply);
  • student research assistant salary.

How quickly will my money be available?  Grant funds will be deposited to your PLA once the Associate Dean's Office receives the appropriate paperwork. You will have immediate access to the funds.

How do I request reimbursement for valid expenditures?  Submit the appropriate form (e.g., check request, petty cash, travel-expense, purchase order requisition, student employee time sheet) with receipts to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs & Administration. Most of these forms can be found here.

Do I really need to keep receipts?  YES. No receipt, no reimbursement. No exceptions.


Questions? Concerns?  Contact Gail Steehler (; x 2204).