Information for Incoming Africana Studies Department Faculty

Welcome to the faculty complement of the Department of Africana Studies at Williams College. Whether you join us on the tenure track, or as a temporary colleague we hope that you will consider your time at Williams professionally and personally fulfilling.  Faculty and staff from within and outside your own department are happy to assist you to find your way, both on campus, and through the processes and procedures that keep us organized and on track.

Below, you will find some quick guides to you get started settling in to the Africana Studies and the Williams communities. Please do not hesitate to ask questions of the chair, departmental administrative assistant, and fellow faculty if you would like clarification or help with any aspect of working at Williams.

Before Your Arrival

  • Williams College uses the CourseLeaf Course Inventory Management system to populate its course catalog. The chair of your department will mentor you through the submission of your first courses at Williams. The departmental administrative assistant will also assist you to ensure that your courses appear in the catalog.

    This webpage: provides and overview of the system and the process.

  • The Campus Safety Services Office issues photo ID cards for students, faculty, staff, temporary workers and community members. ID cards may be obtained during regular hours: Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

    Send a photo (jpg format) no larger than 2mb to: [email protected]. The photo should be a color photo, headshot only, with a white background and no hats or sunglasses should be worn. You will be notified via email when your card is available for pickup.

    If you lose your ID card, you may have it replaced for a $15 charge.

  • You will be contacted by the departmental administrative assistant about your preferences regarding computer equipment. The Office of Information Technology is the ultimate arbiter of what can be purchased and supported, but all reasonable efforts will be made to provide the hardware and software you require.

  • Some, though by no means all, faculty members provide a bound packet of the readings they will assign in their courses. The packets are printed by Williams College's Print Services department.

    To produce a course packet, simply gather the readings you intend to assign in PDF format, create a table of contents listing the readings in the order you wish them to appear, and include any image you may want on the cover. Forward the files to the departmental administrative assistant, who will compile and submit the packets for printing.

    Course packets are distributed from the Packet Room in the Class of ’37 House at 51 Park Street. Students are expected to retrieve all necessary packets themselves.

  • Faculty/Staff Parking Information

    All employees are expected to register their vehicles and obtain a parking decal to park on campus. Register on-line here.

    • Complete a Faculty/Staff Vehicle Registration Form online
    • Place parking decal on lower right of rear window (exterior)
    • Faculty/staff decals do not expire while employed at the College, though they must be replaced if they become illegible.
    • Park only in Faculty/Staff designated parking spaces
    • No parking in spaces with yellow or white diagonal lines
    • No parking in spaces with painted and/or signed restrictions (Handicap, Service Vehicles Only, Fire Lane, etc.)
    • No parking in Student lots

Once You Are On Campus

  • General Key policies

    Key issuance
    • All key requests must be made on the Facilities work request website by the Department Head or Administrative Assistant.
    • Keys will be issued for the lowest level of access only, typically one key each for the exterior door (if applicable), office door, and related lab/work space. Multiple keys for the same door will not be issued to one individual.
    • The employee to whom keys will be issued must pick up and sign for them at Facilities Building located at 60 Latham St. from 7:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. M-F.
    • Keys will not be sent via campus mail.
    • No key shall be transferred from one person to another without being returned to the Lock Shop for appropriate re-issue. Each key will be stamped with a unique code and issued by code to a specific individual.
    • Upon termination of employment or when changing offices, all keys must be returned immediately to Facilities by the individual to whom they were issued.

    All keys referred to in this policy are the property of Williams College and are not to be duplicated by anyone other than the Lock Shop. Duplication of a key, or the possession of an unauthorized duplicate, may result in appropriate disciplinary action.

    Lost or stolen key
    • Lost or stolen keys must be reported to the Williams College Lock Shop within 24 hours of the discovery of the loss or theft. A replacement key may be issued at cost to an individual without requiring an incident report through Campus Safety and Security, or a core/key change, if the key allows access to a personal office space, residential space, or commercial space, and it does not affect any shared spaces.
    • Any key(s) that affect more than yourself, or additional spaces, must be reported to the Lock Shop and will require an incident report through Campus Safety and Security.
    • Based on the factors involved, the Lock Shop, with consideration from Campus Safety and Security, will make a decision whether to replace the key or require a core(s) change. All costs incurred, including labor and materials for re-keying, shall be assumed by the individual, or department of the employee who has lost the key(s).

    Report lost key(s) here: Lost Key Reporting Form

  • The departmental administrative assistant will request the Office of Information Technology to issue a phone extension to you. Once you are in your office, you must login to the phone system to locate the extension to the office and set up your voicemail PIN.

    In order to use extension mobility both your account and the phone you are logging into must be configured for it. If the phone is configured for extension mobility, you should see a button on the phone that says Extension Mobility – Login, or a button that says Logout.

    To login to the phone, press the button labeled “Extension Mobility – Login” (If there is a logout button, press logout first to logout the person previously logged in on the phone).

    You will need to enter your short username (userID) by using the old school texting method on the number pad. If there is already a username in that field, there will be a button on the screen that will backspace/erase. Your pin is the last four digits of your Peoplesoft ID# (employee ID). Press the submit key and the phone will reset with your extension. You do not need to logout until you move to a different office or leave Williams College's employ. At that time, you can hit the logout button.

  • Overview

    For all purchasing policies in full

    You are neither obligated, nor expected to acquired a college purchasing card if you would prefer not to do so. If you choose to apply for a card, the overview below gives guidance for its use.

    Williams College is pleased to provide the Corporate Purchasing Card for Faculty and Staff. This purchasing tool will allow you to acquire the goods and services you use, and eliminate the need for out-of-pocket expenses. We believe the time you take to apply for and learn to use a purchasing card is an investment that will reward you many times over.

    How it works

    Learn about the do’s and do-not’s of the purchasing card program by reading the Purchasing Card Policy. All Faculty members should review the Dean of Faculty Spending Guidelines, prior to using the pcard. Also please read the guidelines for retaining meal receipts while using the purchasing card PCard-Receipt Collection Policy.

    To apply

    Log into the finance system. Click on the Apply for a Pcard tile. Submit both the agreement and application electronically. For more information please read about our New Pcard Application Process.

    To Reconcile

    Pcard Reconciliation allows cardholders to attach backup (either pdf or jpg files) to specific transactions. The submission process will combine the report and all documents into one pdf file. Once submitted, the system uses workflow to send the document for approval. Faculty do not need supervisory approval as their recons are directed to the Controller’s Office for final approval. Staff recons will be directed to their supervisor or alternate approver for departmental approval then to the Controller’s Office for final approval. Workflow and approvals are maintained within the Finance system. All Pcard recons are stored in Docfinity, our ECM system for record retention.
    Instructions for the new pcard recon process are listed below. Be sure to select the correct instructions based on your affiliation.

    For Faculty and staff only:

    • For items over $50 – OBTAIN and SUBMIT receipts
    • For items purchased between $5 and $50 – OBTAIN receipt from vendor. RETAIN the receipt electronically for 3 months from the date you file your reconciliation. PROVIDE the receipt to the Controller’s Office if requested as part of the internal control audit.
    • For items under $5 – You no longer need to obtain or submit receipts.

    Documentation for Faculty

    Faculty-Pcard Recon Process
    Faculty-Quick Reference Guide

    How does a Purchasing Card Work?

    To the end user, or purchaser, the Purchasing Card works just like a credit card. The Williams Purchasing Card is a MasterCard Corporate Purchasing Card supplied by Bank of America. Each card is assigned to a Williams account number, which can be a departmental account, grant, or other budgeted account.
    Weekly or on a monthly basis, all cardholders, or their designated “approvers” must reconcile their card purchases and forward the documentation to the Controller’s Office for review and archival storage. Williams College pays the bank in full, on a weekly basis, for all transactions that have occurred during the weekly billing cycle.

    Program Goals

    • Reduce costs associated with small dollar purchases
    • Maintain or improve accountability and control
    • Streamline administrative overhead and procedures
    • Replace paper-based systems with electronic solutions
    • Improve faculty and staff efficiency and effectiveness

    Benefits to the Cardholder

    • Reduction of petty cash reimbursement and out-of-pocket expenses
    • More options for small dollar purchases conducted by phone, electronically, or from local merchants
    • Automated recording and notification of transactions through monthly statements

    Cardholder Responsibilities

    • Application needs to be filled out for every candidate with the appropriate department manager as well as the Controller’s Office approval.
    • Cardholder reviews and retains policy and procedure information.
    • Cardholder reviews and signs cardholder agreement.
    • The cardholder or the designated staff member is required to log into PeopleSoft Finance and reconcile all transactions daily or weekly (by the end of the day on Thursday) and monthly (by the end of day on the 4th of the month).
    • For cardholders who have monthly pcard activity, they or their staff person are required to return monthly reconciliations which consists of the PeopleSoft Finance Pcard Expense Report and required receipts by the 10th of each month.
    • All Purchasing Card reconciliations must be signed by the cardholder. The individual preparing the reconciliation for the cardholder cannot sign the name of the cardholder in absentia. The cardholder signature must appear on the Purchasing Card Expense Report. Administrators and Staff members are required to obtain the signature of their immediate supervisor/manager. The use of a signature stamp is not allowed. If the cardholder is a faculty member on leave away from campus and has pcard expenses he/she must reconcile their monthly activity in a timely manner.
    • If the cardholder has two or more overdue reconciliations, the credit limit will be reduced to one dollar ($1) and will remain there until the paperwork is brought up to date.
    • If there is a discrepancy in a charge it is the responsibility of the cardholder or their staff to initiate the dispute. It is also up to the cardholder to see that all credits from disputed charges are appropriately received in a timely manner.

    General Policy Guidelines

    Cardholder and Cancellation of the Purchasing Card: Purchasing cards are issued at the discretion of the department supervisor with the approval of the Controller.

    Ownership and Cancellation of the Purchasing Card: The Williams College Purchasing Card is the property of Bank of America. It may not be transferred to, assigned to, or used by anyone other than the assigned Cardholder. Bank of America or Williams College may suspend or cancel Cardholder privileges at any time for any reason. The Cardholder will surrender the Williams College Purchasing Card upon request, to any authorized agent of Williams College or Bank of America. Use of the Purchasing Card or account after notice of its cancellation may be fraudulent and may cause Williams College to take legal action against the cardholder.

    Separation from the institution: It is the cardholder’s responsibility to turn in their card upon separation from the institution to their immediate supervisor or to the Controller’s Office.

    Spending limits: Each Purchasing Card will have a preset limit. This amount can be increased or decreased depending on the departments buying needs.

    Purchasing Card Abuse: Abuse of the Purchasing Card will result in revocation of the Card and appropriate disciplinary action that may include termination.
    Policy violations include, but are not limited to:
    The Controller’s Office may cancel or suspend the Purchasing Card if the cardholder habitually fails to submit a monthly reconciliation report by the monthly deadline.
    Other possible reasons for card cancellation are:
    • Purchasing items for personal use.
    • Failure to return the Purchasing Card when terminated, or upon request.
    • Failure to maintain proper records in accordance with proper college guidelines.


    It is the Purchasing Cardholder’s responsibility to obtain transaction receipts from the suppliers each time the Card is used. The required receipts along with an original invoice with the items or services listed in detail should be submitted with the expense report. If you’re missing a required receipt, make sure to fill out a Lost/Missing Receipt Affidavit.

    Recommended Uses for the Purchasing Card

    The following is a short list of examples of items that can be bought with a Purchasing Card:
    • Small local purchases (i.e. Staples, Tunnel City, Thai Garden)
    • Items ordered from catalogs or on the Internet
    • Charges at local restaurants
    • Travel expenses (hotel, car rental, airfare, meals)
    • Items formerly purchased with petty cash

    A Purchasing Card is a credit card for Williams College faculty and staff to use for college business only. Williams Purchasing Cards are issued by Bank of America, and are a MasterCard product. Authorized vendors that accept MasterCard for payment can accept Williams Purchasing Card.

    Each Williams Purchasing Card has a specified limit set by the Controller’s Office.

    Up-Front Authority

    For the Purchasing Card to have its most beneficial impact on the way Williams conducts its purchasing and payment processes, we have designed it so that the purchasing authority is up-front. Essentially, the cardholder is delegated the authority (by management or their supervisor) to purchase certain goods and services. Transactions are reviewed by the cardholder (if they have been delegated that authority by their management), or by a designated verifier and reconciled. Misuse of the card may result in revocation of the card or other disciplinary action.

    The card should be kept in a safe place. If the card is lost, or stolen please notify:

    Bank of America—Customer Service immediately at 1-888-449-2273.
    College Contact: Lisa Gazaille (597-4002) Controller’s Office [email protected] or [email protected]

Using and Accounting for College funds

  • Detailed travel and business expense guidelines can be found on the Finance office website. Faculty members often have questions not specifically covered by those guidelines, so this page is meant to provide a supplemental overview and summary of spending policies as they apply to research and travel funds, start-up accounts, named chair accounts, internal fellowship accounts, and grant funded research. The goal of these policies is to facilitate faculty research and teaching efforts while complying with IRS regulations and managing our financial resources effectively and ethically.

    The following list provides several common examples of allowable expenses.
    • transportation, lodging, and meals for business travel
    • professional conference fees
    • dues to professional organizations
    • subscriptions to journals or other publications relevant to your teaching or research
    • compensation of student research assistants (hourly and/or stipend)*
    • compensation of professional editors or research assistants*
    • copyright fees and publication subvention
    • books, reprints, scores, photographs, films, software, recordings and other items related to your teaching or research
    • continuing education such as coursework, seminars, and workshops relevant to your teaching or research

    *Payment for services to be funded with Williams College funds must be processed directly by the College to the service provider to insure proper tax reporting.

    The overarching rule of thumb is that business expenses are allowed while personal expenses are not. The distinction between business and personal expenses is in most cases obvious, but there are a few questions that come up regularly.

    • Meals and alcohol

    The IRS states that expenditures for business meals cannot be lavish or extravagant. Likewise, the college expects that business meals will be modest and fully documented as to the purpose and who attended. Please see detailed guidelines on the controller’s website (here).

    • Airfares
    The College will reimburse the cost of airline tickets in coach class only. All efforts should be made to obtain the lowest, coach fare available. Please see detailed guidelines on the controller’s website (here). Additional travel guidelines and resources are maintained by the VP for Finance and Administration (here).

    • Family or companion expenses
    Research funds can be used to pay for faculty business travel but cannot be used to offset the costs of having a spouse/partner or dependent travel with you. Nor can they pay for family or pet care in your absence.

    • Home office
    Research funds can be used to furnish, improve or maintain your office at the College, but should not be used to furnish, improve or maintain an office at home. Faculty should coordinate the purchase of office furnishings for their campus offices with the Facilities department.

    • Computer equipment
    The college provides all faculty members with a computer, either a desktop or a laptop, for use at work. Loaner computers for short-term secondary use are also available from OIT or the library. While college funds should not be used to purchase a computer or computing peripherals just for use at home, a second personal computer is sometimes necessary to facilitate research in the field or lab, or teaching in the classroom. In those cases, faculty members should submit a Personal Electronic Device Form prior to making the purchase. In addition, faculty members should coordinate the purchase of all computer equipment with OIT.

    • Other electronic devices
    As with extra computers, purchases of other kinds of electronic devices must be pre-authorized. The college allows the purchase of tablets (e.g. iPads), e-readers (e.g. Kindle) and laptops so long as their use is primarily for academic, research, or business purposes. However, this policy does not include cell / smart phones (see below for more on cell phones). Also, because extensive wi-fi coverage is available on campus, the college ordinarily will not cover the cost of a cellular data plan for any device. For more information, see the policy and procedures statement regarding personal electronic devices.

    • Ownership of equipment
    Any equipment, software, or other durable resources (including computers, furniture, digital cameras, iPads, lab/studio tools, etc.) purchased with college and grant research funds are the property of Williams College and remain so when a faculty member leaves Williams.

    • Internet connectivity fees
    The cost of connecting while traveling for business can be covered, but not for connecting from home.

    • Internet streaming
    Subscription to online services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Vimeo, Spotify, Audible, are personal expenses and therefore only rarely eligible for payment with college funds. To be considered a business expense, a streaming service would have to be used solely for scholarly purposes directly related to work at Williams. Therefore please seek authorization ahead of time from the dean of the faculty’s office.

    • Amazon purchases and shipping
    The college has a business account with which is available to faculty members and provides tax-exempt status for business purchases. The college strongly encourages all faculty and staff who purchase with Amazon to request an invitation to join the college’s business prime account using their email address and assign their purchasing card to this account. Please click through the Amazon link on the Controller’s Office website (here) and contact Lisa Gazaille ([email protected]) for additional information. NOTE: the Amazon business account does not include individual Amazon Prime memberships, which are considered personal and not eligible for payment with college funds.

    • Cell phones
    Smart phones, cell phones, and cell phone bills are not normally covered. See the Communication Device Policy.

    • Gifts
    Faculty funds are generally not appropriate for purchasing gifts (e.g., as a thank you to a staff member for services performed, or as congratulations to a colleague for an important life event), nor for hosting celebratory meals or parties on their behalf. The college’s appreciation and recognition policy can be found here.

    • Per diem
    Itemized receipts are required for all expenses incurred while traveling. The College does not maintain a per diem reimbursement plan unless you are traveling to multiple sites on business for more than 30 consecutive days (check with the Controller before your trip).

    • Everyday living expenses
    Faculty who travel on sabbatical or an assistant professor leave and who settle into one location for an extended residency are expected to bear the expense of routine living expenses (e.g., groceries, dry cleaning, day care for children, etc.), just as they would if they were living in Williamstown.

    • Relocation
    College funds should not be used for personal relocation or moving expenses within or beyond Williamstown. However, they can be used to ship or transport personal belongings during a sabbatical or an assistant professor leave, not to exceed those items needed for the faculty member to carry out his or her scholarship or creative work away from Williamstown.

  • Internal Revenue Service publication 463, Travel, Entertainment, Gift and Car Expenses sets out the requirements for travel and business-related expenditures. The Williams College Travel and Business Expense Guidelines are based on that publication. The IRS states that ordinary and necessary business-related expenses are deductible and reimbursable. The IRS defines ordinary as “common in your field of trade, business or profession”; and necessary as “helpful and appropriate for your business”. The IRS states that meals, hotels and entertainment expenses cannot be “lavish or extravagant”. The IRS requires all businesses (profit and non-profit) to reimburse employees for travel and entertainment expenses under “an accountable plan”.

    For a plan to be deemed “accountable”:

    1. There must be a business reason for the expenses
    2. The employee must substantiate the expenses and
    3. The employee must return to the employer any amount advanced in excess of the substantiated expenses on a timely basis.

    To ensure compliance with the IRS, the College has prepared the following accountable travel and entertainment plan. This document has been reviewed and approved by Senior Staff and our external, independent auditors. These guidelines apply to all College employees traveling on College business. Faculty travel funded by federal grants must also comply with federal travel regulations as outlined in their individual grant proposal and in OMB Circular A-21.


    The College recommends, but does not require, use of the online travel platform Egencia when booking airfare, hotel, rental car and train reservations. This website offers preferred pricing options.

    Please click on the links below to find the specifics related to individual travel policies and procedures:
    Travel & Business Expense Guidelines
    Air Transportation
    Auto / Rental
    Expenses / Reimbursement
    International Travel
    Mobile Phones / Internet
    Non-Reimbursable Expenses
    Pcard Coverage
    Registration Fees
    Summary of Travel & Business Expense Policy & Philosophy
    Taxi / Limo

  • If you purchase goods or services using cash or a personal credit card and wish to be reimbursed you must keep all receipts regardless of the amount. Scan the receipts and include a brief explanation of the expense. Include names of all guests at a meal.

    The departmental administrative assistant will either train you to submit your own reimbursements, or submit them on your behalf.

    Do not write a personal check to a contractor and then request a reimbursement. All payments to independent contractors must be processed through the Accounts Payable system in order to insure proper taxing. If you pay the contractor directly you may be responsible for this tax reporting.

  • Amazon Business Prime Account: To request an invitation to join the business prime account and to benefit from the college's tax-exempt status, please email Lisa Gazaille.

  • If you wish to invite a guest speaker, either to come in person, or to visit via Zoom, or to plan an event, please discuss the proposed visit/event with the chair. Also, notify the departmental administrative assistant as soon as possible.

    If a guest is coming to campus, or an event is to take place, it generally proceeds most smoothly if the logistical details, e.g. travel, accommodations, venue, payment of honorarium etc. are left in the hands of the departmental administrative assistant. This leaves the faculty member to focus on the academic and social aspects of the visit or event.

  • Hiring Students

    While Williams students are no longer required to work as a component of their financial aid, many choose to do so. Academic departments and programs typically hire students as either Teaching Assistants, or as Research Assistants.
    Students are limited to 20 hours per week, no more than 10 of which may be as a TA. They may hold several jobs to make up the 20 hours, but must not exceed that number per week. Positions are hourly, and students must have completed employment paperwork at HR prior to undertaking any work. Students must enter their hours worked in PeopleSoft in order to be paid.

    How to hire a student
    You must never tell a student he/she/they are hired and assign work prior to HR’s approval.
    • If the student’s wage is to be paid from the departmental funds, you must confer with the chair and receive approval for the hire.
    • If the student’s wage is to be paid from your research or Division funds, then you may either ask your administrative assistant to advertise the position, or you may approach a student whose abilities or interests make them eligible.
    • Only the department administrative assistant can process a student hire request.
    • Hours worked in one pay period must not be posted in a different one. If a student omits to post hours HR must be contacted to correct the error. Do not devise your own method of fixing the oversight.

    Students must never be paid using irregular means such as cash, personal check, or gift cards.