Alcoholic beverage sales and/or service on University owned or operated property by University and non-University entities is prohibited, except as outlined below.
Sales and Service of Alcoholic Beverages
Sales of alcoholic beverages are only permitted via an authorized caterer or at a licensed venue.
Service, without sales, of alcoholic beverages is permitted in only two situations.
- If event meets criteria established by Risk Management as a "private University departmental event" (see definitions) or
- A department or Non-University entity is using an authorized caterer to serve the alcoholic beverages
University units and non-University entities must obtain advance approval from Risk Management prior to holding an event where alcoholic beverages will be sold or served by an authorized caterer or at a "private University departmental event." Alcoholic beverage sales and/or service is prohibited unless Risk Management approves the Alcohol Use Application prior to the event. This policy applies to Student Groups, including all Campus Life Program events and Registered Student Organization events on University owned, leased or operated property.
Venue Liquor Licensing
University units pursuing Venue Liquor Licensing must submit a University Application for Alcohol License form to the University's Alcohol License Oversight Committee (ALOC) to be considered for a State of Minnesota liquor license. The State issues alcoholic beverage licenses for the sale and service of alcohol for specific geographically defined venues. See Administrative Procedure: Applying for Alcohol License.
Applications will be considered if:
- the sale and service of alcoholic beverages cannot be adequately managed through the use of an authorized caterer;
- the requesting unit is able to justify the programmatic or business need for the license;
- there is a structure in place or planned to support the sales and service of alcohol (e.g., inventory control, adequate security measures); and
- the Unit has controls in place to prevent sales to minors.
The ALOC will review alcohol licenses every three years, see form: Application for Alcohol License Review/Renewal (DOCX).
The Minnesota Commissioner of Public Safety has the authority to revoke an alcohol license.
Operation of Licensed Venues
The University Unit may sell and/or serve alcoholic beverages only within the premises designated in the liquor license issued by the State of Minnesota ("Licensed Venue"). Sale, service, and carrying of alcoholic beverages outside of the boundaries of the Licensed Venue is strictly prohibited.
The University Unit must operate the Licensed Venue in accordance with the University Unit's Application for Alcohol License (initial and review/renewal), the Board of Regents' resolution approving such Application for Alcohol License, and the liquor license issued by the State of Minnesota.
The hours of sale of alcoholic beverages in the Licensed Venue will be established by the University Unit managing the Licensed Venue and reviewed and approved by the ALOC. Sale of alcoholic beverages will stop at least 30 minutes before the Licensed Venue closes. Alcoholic beverages will not be sold or served during the following times:
- 1:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. Monday through Sunday
- After the Licensed Venue closes
At all times during the alcohol service hours, the University Unit will provide for food service in amounts sufficient for all attendees at an event.
The University Unit will post the liquor license in a conspicuous place in the Licensed Venue, positioned so it can be seen by most patrons.
The University Unit will also conspicuously post the sign provided by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Alcohol Enforcement, which incorporates the following information: (i) that the Licensed Venue is prohibited by law to sell or serve alcoholic beverages to anyone under 21 years of age or anyone who is obviously intoxicated, (ii) the maximum criminal penalties for driving a vehicle or committing vehicular homicide while under the influence of alcohol, and (iii) warning of the dangers of alcohol consumption during pregnancy.
If a Food & Beverage Vendor (and not the University Unit managing the Licensed Venue) is providing alcohol sales and service to the Licensed Venue pursuant to a contract between the University and the Food & Beverage Vendor, the Food & Beverage Vendor is responsible for complying with this policy and its associated Appendices and Procedures in performance of its contract obligations.
Licensed Venue Managers and Servers
The Licensed Venue manager is responsible for the conduct of persons at the Licensed Venue and sobriety and order in the Licensed Venue. Any sale or service of alcoholic beverages from the Licensed Venue by any server, barkeeper or other employee must be deemed the act of the manager as well as that of the person actually making the sale or service.
The University Unit's managers, employees, agents and contractors selling or serving alcoholic beverages (managers, supervisors, bartenders, servers, catering staff) must complete an approved liquor service training program (e.g. TIPS®). The training must be completed (i) prior to selling or serving by the employee or manager; and (ii) annually thereafter. The University Unit will maintain documentation evidencing such training. -
Alcoholic Beverage Purchase and Expenses
Purchase of alcohol by University departments:
Units may purchase, for use or consumption, alcoholic beverages under the following conditions:
- the activity or event for which the expense is incurred must have a legitimate University business purpose (e.g., faculty recruitment or donor relations activities);
- the alcoholic beverages must be paid for with University non-sponsored private funds only, and they must be allowable on the intended source of funds. See University Fund Types; and
- the expenditure and the circumstances for the consumption of alcoholic beverages must not jeopardize the University’s reputation, or the health and welfare of those involved.
The payment of alcoholic beverage expenses must comply with the requirements as explained in Administrative Policies: Hospitality and Entertainment of non-Employees and Processing, Documenting, and Approving Financial and Accounting Transactions.
Purchase of Alcohol for Licensed Venues
Units operating a licensed venue must comply with the following when purchasing alcoholic beverages for sale and service in that licensed venue:
- Administrative Procedure: Purchase and Handling of Alcoholic Beverages at Licensed Venues; and
- all applicable local, state and federal laws related to the use, possession, distribution, consumption, and sale of alcoholic beverages.
Inspections of Licensed Venues
Licensed Venue operation is subject to inspections by representatives of the University’s Department of Building Codes; the University of Minnesota Police Department or local law enforcement; the University Unit's designated representative; and the State of Minnesota’s Department of Public Safety, Alcohol Enforcement Office.
The UMPD or local law enforcement will design, plan, and train for compliance checks of Licensed Venues and conduct them periodically. UMPD or local law enforcement will present reports of such checks to the University Unit, with copies to University Services.
Campuses, departments and colleges are not allowed to establish their own separate policies in lieu of this University-wide policy.
In addition to the requirements contained in this Policy, its Appendices, and Procedures, the University Unit managing the Licensed Venue (defined below) will comply with Minnesota Statutes Chapter 340A and Minnesota Rules Chapter 7515 relating to retail sale, distribution and consumption of alcoholic beverages in the Licensed Venue. For assistance with these Procedures, please contact the policy contacts.
Reason for Policy
To implement Board of Regents Policy: Alcoholic Beverages on Campus (PDF). This policy specifies requirements for alcoholic beverage sales and service, application and authorization of University alcohol licensure and the process for monitoring compliance with State laws related to alcohol on University of Minnesota campuses. As a public institution, the University must demonstrate appropriate use of funds entrusted to it by various constituencies and assure that special expenses do not personally benefit University employees.
Adherence to these requirements will reduce the risks associated with the consumption of alcoholic beverages and provide a safe and healthy environment for students, staff, and visitors. Also to comply with Internal Revenue Service guidance regarding alcoholic beverage expense reimbursements and to satisfy restrictions imposed by funding agencies.