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TRAVEL EXPENSE REIMBURSEMENT OVERVIEW

The Colleges’ policy is to reimburse employees for ordinary and necessary travel expenses incurred while on authorized business travel. These include costs for transportation, lodging, meals and communications (see summary of reimbursable and non-reimbursable expenses). All travel expenses are reviewed by the Business Office as part of the accounts payable process.

The Colleges’ policy requires approval by the traveler’s immediate supervisor and/or the authorized signer of the account to which expenses are charged. Appropriate approval is evidenced by the supervisor’s and/or the authorized signer’s signature on a travel expense report.

Faculty travel using department funds must be approved by the Department Chair. Faculty travel using Provost Office funds (faculty travel grants, named professorships, etc.) must be approved by the Provosts’ Office (please refer to Faculty Bylaws and Procedures for additional requirements for faculty travel grants.) Faculty travel using grant or other individual research funds (including discretionary faculty development funds) may be submitted with the principal investigator/professor signature only.

The intent of the travel and expense reimbursement policy is to reimburse employees for out-of-pocket expenses incurred in connection with carrying out the business of the Colleges that would not otherwise be incurred. Expenses that are of a personal nature, or expenses that would be incurred whether or not the employee was carrying out the business of the Colleges, are not eligible for reimbursement. The Colleges require employees to document and request reimbursement for such expenses in accordance with the following guidelines and the regulations of the United States Internal Revenue Service. In addition, if federal grant funding is used, employees must adhere to all regulations as outlined in the grant.

Employees are expected to adhere to the laws and regulations in effect for the state or country to which they are traveling. Fees or fines incurred due to legal infractions (such as parking fines, speeding tickets, etc.) are the responsibility of the employee. The Colleges will not reimburse such fees or fines.

When several members of a department or many officials of the Colleges are traveling to the same destination, the Colleges recommend that employees consider whether to travel as a group or split the group to minimize exposure to the risks inherent in traveling.

Discounts are often available through organizations such as AAA or AARP and other personal and professional organizations. The Colleges cannot pay for personal memberships, but if these discounts are available to the employee the Colleges encourage the employee to utilize them and appreciate the effort to minimize travel costs.

Employees who travel frequently should request a Corporate American Express Card. Requests may be made through the Business Office with the approval of your supervisor.

This document is subject to change and is updated periodically to comply with regulatory (IRS) and industry standards. Employees should review these guidelines at least annually to ensure they maintain compliance.

The following summarizes reimbursable and non-reimbursable expenses under the Colleges’ guidelines. This list is not meant to be all inclusive, but rather a summary of items to review prior to engaging in travel for the business of the Colleges—please see detailed guidelines for further explanations. Final determination of reimbursement is made by the Business Office.

Reimbursable

  • Air transportation
  • Rental car
  • Mileage for personal vehicle use
  • Tolls
  • Parking
  • Lodging
  • Certain meals
  • Telephone costs
  • Conference and meeting registration fees

Non-reimbursable

  • Fines for parking or moving violations
  • Personal entertainment
  • Certain laundry services
  • Lost or stolen personal property
  • Costs incurred at home, such as childcare, pet care or lawn/home maintenance
  • Certain personal expenses
  • Cancellation costs for lodging or transportation
  • Companion expenses
  • Life, flight or baggage insurance
  • Excess baggage charges for personal items
  • Charitable or political contributions
  • Mini-bar items
  • Alcohol not associated with a meal or fundraising activity
  • Snacks, personal reading material
  • Repairs to personal vehicles used for business travel
  • Commuting costs between home and the Colleges