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Engineering: Faculty/Staff Resources


Travel

Effective May 9, 2011

Purpose:
This procedure is designed to help faculty and staff adhere to reporting and accounting standards and regulations.  The college of Engineering encourages its employees to travel and conduct business in relative comfort while using good judgment and discretion when incurring business-related expenses.  This procedure:

  • Defines the college’s procedure pertaining to travel expense.
  • Outlines the types of expenditures that are and are not reimbursed.
  • Provides guidelines to those who travel and, also, to those who authorize and approve travel expenses.
  • Establishes a procedure so that travel expense can be monitored.

Introduction:
Travel is defined as absence from where one normally works for the purpose of conducting University business.  Travel guidelines have been developed to assist on all pertinent travel issues (see following page), and are applicable regardless of the funding source of the travel.    

Procedure:

  • All travel must have prior approval in the form of a Travel Authorization.   If an approved travel authorization form is not completed prior to travel, no reimbursement will be made. 
  • Faculty and staff are encouraged to use the university’s prime vendor for travel arrangements.  
  • No advances for travel expenditures will be authorized. 
  • Expense reimbursement requests must be received in the Dean’s office no later than 30 days after the final day on which expenses were incurred. Each request must be fully itemized, including the amount, date and place of each expense incurred.   Forms submitted after this date may not be reimbursed
  • All expenses submitted for reimbursement must include an original, itemized receipt.  If the travel includes a foreign component/destination, all receipts must be translated to English and converted to US$ prior to submission.
  • A receipt is required for any non-meal expense in excess of $25 to qualify for reimbursement
  • It is the responsibility of each Department Chair to ensure consistent compliance of travel. 
  • Overall responsibility for monitoring compliance will rest with the Dean of the college and the Assistant Dean of business and fiscal affairs.
  • The Dean of the College of Engineering has the express authority to refuse reimbursement for any expense deemed inappropriate or excessive.

The following are offered as examples of appropriate reimbursable expenses

  • Air Travel
    • Coach class air travel will be reimbursed by the College. Any upgrades are the personal financial responsibility of faculty/staff.
    • Airline reservations should be made as far in advance of the date of travel as is reasonable and appropriate to take advantage of discount fares. 
    • On out-of-state trips when commercial air service could have been used advantageously, mileage will be reimbursed at the price of an airline (coach) ticket or at the prescribed mileage rate, whichever is less. No meals or lodging will be reimbursed while en route.
  • Ground Transportation
  • The most cost effective method of transportation should be used in all cases. 

    • Hotel shuttle vans are recommended.
    • Taxis should be used only when shuttle services are not available. 
    • Town cars and limousines are not appropriate modes of transportation and will not be reimbursed. 
    • Rental cars will be reimbursed when appropriate. 
  • Lodging expense
    • Itemized receipts are required for all lodging expenses.
    • Certain items provided by lodging vendors are considered personal items and therefore will not be reimbursed. Examples of non-reimbursed items include in-room movies, laundry, dry cleaning and shoe shine expenses
  • Meals
    • Meals purchased by an employee traveling on University business are reimbursable.
    • The reported cost of meals and beverages includes taxes and tips as applicable.
    • Itemized receipts are required detailing all meals and beverages.
    • Tips should be itemized separately from the cost of meals and beverages.
    • No reimbursement will be made for alcoholic beverages (Foundation discretionary funds may be used if so designated.)
  • Miscellaneous Expenses
    • Employees will be reimbursed for reasonable long-distance telephone calls (including access charges) with appropriate receipts
    • Tips to service personnel such as bellhops, porters and skycaps are reimbursed provided they are reasonable. 
    • Airport parking will be reimbursed with an appropriate receipt.  Recreational tours, programs, etc. offered as a part of a conference at a reduced price are not reimbursable expenses. 
    • Any non-employee expense associated with companion travel will not be reimbursed.
    • Additional baggage charges will not be reimbursed unless a business reason is authorized prior to travel.