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University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

Travel Manual

General University Travel Policy

Responsibility of the Traveler | Responsibility of the Dartmouth Campus | Responsibility of the Department Head or Director | Sponsored Project Travel | Athletic Team Travel | Non-Employee Travel | Student Reimbursements | University Authorized Travel Card Program | Air Travel | Domestic Travel | Commercial Air Travel | Non-Refundable Tickets/Cancellations | Lost/Stolen Airline Tickets | Federally and Sponsored Funded Travel | Upgrades | Frequent Flyer Programs | Air Travel Payment Procedures | International Travel | Immunization | Converting International Currencies | Lodging | Reservations | Hotel Upgrades | Hotel Cancellations | Phone Calls and Other Personal Expenses | Lodging in a Private Residence | Rental of a Private Residence | Automobile and Other Vehicle Rental | Rental Guidelines | Short Term Rental | Long Term Rental | Rental Agency Requirements | Insurance | Accidents | Bus/Motor Coach Rentals | Personal Automobile | Personal Automobile Guidelines | Personal Automobile Insurance | Commuting Expenses | Ground Transportation | University-Owned Vehicles | Accidents Involving University-Owned Vehicles | Limousine/Transporter Services | Rail Service | Domestic and Personal Meal Expenses | Business Meal Expenses | Alcoholic Beverages | International Per Diem | Reimbursable Expenses | Non-Reimbursable Expenses | Commercial General Liability | Travel Expense Report Completion & Submission | Late Travel Submissions | Approval Process | Signature Delegation | Traveler's Certification | IRS Requirements | Reporting & Receipt Requirements | Missing Receipts | Compliance

The University’s policy is to reimburse employees for necessary and reasonable travel expenses incurred for authorized and approved University business. Travelers should be comfortable while traveling, understand all travel related policies, and obtain reimbursement quickly.

This policy is intended to:

  • Ensure compliance with state and federal regulations.
  • Establish guidelines for approval, control and accounting for employees and Trustees who travel on University business.
  • Ensure fairness for both the traveler and the University.

This policy applies to all travel expenses reimbursed by the University regardless of the source of funds. When travel costs are to be charged to a sponsored project, the terms of the applicable award take precedence. At their discretion, colleges, schools, or departments may impose more restrictive guidelines for budgetary or control reasons, but they may not be less restrictive than guidelines stated in this policy.

See the 2016-Travel Memorandum for a quick one-page memorandum highlighting some of the more important travel procedures.

The University maintains the right to deny payment of any travel and related charges that were not fully electronically approved prior to the trip.

Responsibility of the Traveler

A traveler on University business has the responsibility to act prudently and to only incur travel expenses, which are necessary, reasonable, appropriate, for which documentation is available. University travelers are required to submit an on-line travel authorization for electronic approval from their director or department head for any travel in which an overnight stay is necessary, and may not authorize their own travel nor approve their own expense reimbursements. The traveler is responsible for prompt submission of travel-related expenses via the Peoplesoft travel and expense module and for maintaining the University authorized  travel card accounts in good standing.

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Responsibility of the Dartmouth Campus

The Dartmouth campus is responsible for establishing travel management procedures that provide quality travel services for employees and, at the same time, maximize the cost savings for the University. These travel procedures have been developed using input from Dartmouth campus travelers and include negotiated special rates and quality control checks for contracted travel services such as travel agencies, and University Authorized Travel Card programs. The Dartmouth Campus responsibilities include:

  • Establishing policies, guidelines, and procedures that meet IRS criteria so that travel reimbursements do not become reportable income.
  • Establishing guidelines and procedures that ensure that sponsored project travel meets all contractual agreements.
  • Clearly communicating guidelines, procedures, and responsibilities to travelers, department heads, and department support staff.

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Responsibility of the Department Head or Director

Authority and responsibility for approval and control of travel by employees rests with the department head/director. In certain circumstances in the absence of the department head/director, the approving authority designation may be changed, in writing, indicating such delegation. Delegating approving authority to anyone below the traveler’s immediate supervisor is not permitted.

Prior on-line authorization granted by the department head or director ensures that:

  • Adequate funds will be available.
  • The intent of the trip is University-related business.
  • The traveler has authorization to be away from campus.

By approving actual on-line expense reports, the department head, director, grant office or approving authority is ensuring compliance with guidelines, specifically:

  • The travel expense was incurred while conducting University business.
  • The information contained on the travel expense report and in the attached documentation is accurate and in accordance with policies and guidelines.
  • The expenditure is charged to the proper account, which has adequate and appropriate funds available.

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Sponsored Project Travel

For travel charged to a sponsored project or grant, the principal investigator must ensure that, in addition to campus guidelines, all funding agency restrictions are followed. A traveler must receive on-line approval from the department head/director and the principal investigator prior to traveling and again for the expense report. The on-line travel expense report will be electronically sent  to the grants office for final approval before going to accounts payable.

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Athletic Team Travel

The University recognizes the unique nature of athletic teams; special arrangements are in place to facilitate team travel. See policies: Team Meal Money Procedures, Team Travel Guidelines, Liability Release Sports.

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Non-Employee Travel

Travel expenses for non-university employees, such as consultants, speakers, lecturers, visiting professors, candidates for positions and undergraduate students are reimbursed in accordance with contract for services and vendor payment procedures. See Non-Employee Travel.

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Student Reimbursements

For travel and/or miscellaneous reimbursements to students not having an employee I.D.number please refer to policy guidelines

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University Authorized Travel Card Program

The University provides a no-fee,  travel card to employees who travel frequently on university business as a payment vehicle for  expenses.

The objectives of the University Authorized  Travel Card program are:

  • to provide employees with added convenience, security, and flexibility while traveling on university business
  • to reduce travel and administrative costs

The University Authorized Travel Card provides many important features both to the employee and to the University. In addition to worldwide acceptance, it provides car rental insurance under most conditions at no cost. In addition, it facilitates payment of travel and business expenses and provides essential travel data to the University.

Use of the University Authorized Travel Card

Cards are for University travel and approved business expenses only. Personal charges may not be made on the  card. The  monthly statement must be reconciled and reallocation of expenses are mandatory each month.  The travel reallocation account codes are as follows:

          Hotel (In-State) 737200

          Hotel (Out of state) 737100,

          Airfare and Baggage fees 737100

          Auto Rental 767400

          Conference Registration 737400                       

          Membership Dues 735010

          Business Meeting/ Lunch/Dinner   737400

All Cardholders are responsible for the charges made to their cards and for maintaining their accounts in good standing.

Applications for University Authorized Travel Cards may be obtained from:
Administrative Services
Foster Administration Bldg.
(508) 999-8367

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Air Travel

Domestic Travel

Domestic air travel is defined as travel within the continental United States including Alaska & Hawaii. Travelers are expected to use the most economical and logical mode of transportation available. This includes incurring no higher expense than the rate for the most direct and logical traveled route.  More expensive transportation may be used if the traveler pays for the incremental difference over the allowed cost.

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 Commercial Air Travel

Travelers should take advantage of the University’s designated travel agencies when making airline reservations.

  • Travelers are expected to book the lowest-priced airfare rates unless scheduling or a medical condition necessitates other arrangements. The University will usually not reimburse upgrades to Business and First Class seating. Travelers must pay for any incremental differences.
  • Only airfare that is necessary to conduct University business is reimbursable. Personal side airfares should be purchased separately and are not reimbursable.
  • Travelers will be allowed to be reimbursed for Airline fees charged for 1 checked bag only. Prior approval is required for any exceptional baggage handling charges.
  • Since cancellation fees can be substantial once bookings are made, travelers are encouraged to book as far ahead of departure date as possible once travel plans are firm.
  • Making airline reservations 21 days in advance and booking over a Saturday night can save up to 70%. A Saturday night stay over is encouraged if there is a net savings when additional costs for lodging and meals are factored. Travelers must document the savings for a Saturday night stay over.

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Non-Refundable Tickets/Cancellations

If it is necessary to cancel a trip, the traveler should ask the issuing agency or airline about the terms and conditions that apply for future trips.  Personal use of any portion of a University purchased/reimbursed ticket is not allowed.

Penalties imposed as a result of canceling a ticket or fees assessed for reissuing a non-refundable ticket may be reimbursed to the traveler if:

  • extenuating circumstances are documented in writing
  • approved by the Controller’s Office

Changes for re-issuing a non-refundable ticket are reimbursable where properly documented.

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Lost/Stolen Airline Tickets

Lost or stolen airline tickets are not a reimbursable expense. Travelers should contact the issuing travel agency or airline.

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Federally and Sponsored Funded Travel

Federal regulations restrict the charging of business class or first class air travel to federally sponsored projects.

  • Federally sponsored trips should utilize U.S. flag carriers at the lowest available rates. A letter of justification must be included with the travel expense report and submitted to the travel audit section of the grants department if other than lowest rates are charged.
  •  Sponsored project travel should adhere to the Dartmouth campus travel guidelines unless the sponsor imposes greater restrictions.
  •  For the complete federal travel regulations please refer to

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Upgrading the class of airfare tickets is usually not an allowable expense reimbursement and therefore not permitted unless the traveler pays the incremental difference. Free upgrades are permitted but must be noted as such on the travel expense report.

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Frequent Flyer Programs

The University will not reimburse for tickets purchased with frequent flyer miles. Frequent flyer mileage programs should not influence the traveler’s flight selection or routing.

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Air Travel Payment Procedures

Federal tax on airfare is allowable and reimbursable.

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International Travel

International travel is defined as travel outside the United States. University employees must receive appropriate campus approval by the department head/director prior to traveling internationally. For more information on Insurance Coverage please see:

International Travel Insurance Summary , International Travel Brochure, and Out of Country Accident and Sickness ID Card.

There are also very specific rules and regulations regarding import/export compliance guidelines. For a complete list of policies, please refer to :

Passport and VISA expenses are reimbursable provided they were obtained to travel on University business.

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Immunization requirements are available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Please check the web site:
Any immunization that is required by the CDC for travel to a particular country on University business will be a reimbursable expense.

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Converting International Currencies

Travel expense reports must be submitted in U.S. Dollars with an explanation and translation of any international receipts and their conversions.

  • Travelers must use the currency rates that were in effect when the travel took place. Therefore, currency receipts should be saved and used for converting international currencies back to U.S. dollars on the travel expense report.

Use of the University Authorized Travel card eliminates the need to calculate international currency conversions and usually reflects favorable exchange rates.

To convert international currency the following calculation is used:

  • International Amount X Exchange Rate = U.S. Dollars
  • U.S. Dollars / Exchange Rate = International Amount

Rates may be obtained by using website. or contacting (508) 999-8189.

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The University's policy on lodging takes employee safety into consideration when making allowances for a choice of lodging. Travelers are entitled to accommodations that are suitably located and meet reasonable standards for safety, cleanliness and comfort.

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Travelers are expected to incur the least expense to the University when a selection of rooms and rates are available. The University’s designated travel agencies often have preferred rates not always available when reserving a room directly with the hotel.

  • Travelers may stay in a standard room, at a non-luxury hotel and are encouraged to take advantage of reduced rates by making reservations early. Travelers should request the hotel’s special rate, such as a government rate or college/university rate.
  • Travelers should request and record the hotel reservation number in case of billing disputes and to expedite the check-in process.
  • Travelers should be aware of the hotel’s late check in procedures. 
  • When traveling to a conference, the University assumes travelers will stay at the hosting hotel even if the rate exceeds a non-luxury hotel rate. If there is a choice of hosting hotels, travelers are expected to stay at the least expensive property.

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Hotel Upgrades

Hotel room upgrades are not reimbursable expenses. Travelers may choose to upgrade a room, but the difference in the price of the standard  room rate and the upgrade is the traveler’s responsibility.

  • Hotel room upgrades must be explained on the travel expense report.

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Hotel Cancellations

Charges caused by failure to cancel guaranteed reservations are not reimbursable

  • Travelers should ask for the hotel’s cancellation policy at the time of booking.
  • Travelers should request and record the reservation number for future reference such as billing disputes.

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Phone Calls and Other Personal Expenses

Personal expenses such as in-room movies, video rentals, in-room alcoholic beverages and mini bar services, baby-sitting, room service, and recreational activities are non-reimbursable expenses with exception of certain personal calls.

  • Unlimited business related calls are allowed. These calls should be itemized on the travel expense report or the original receipt, listing the area code, number called and actual cost (see expense reporting).
  • Two personal calls of not more than $10.00 each are allowed, usually for notification of safe arrival and prior to departure. If this policy is exceeded due to an emergency, the traveler must justify the exception on the travel expense report. Prior approval must be received from the Controller’s Office and the traveler's department head/director prior to reimbursement.
  • Taxes on hotel bills are reimbursable.
  • Hotel charges itemizing "valet parking" are reimbursable if the traveler is staying at the hotel or attending a conference at the hotel. If the traveler is not staying at the hotel and uses the valet for dinner, the expense is considered personal and is non-reimbursable.
  • Expenditures for laundry, barber, and similar items are considered personal expenses and are not reimbursable.

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Lodging in a Private Residence

Occasionally, a traveler on University business may stay in a private home in lieu of commercial accommodations.

  • The traveler may submit original receipts for a one-time token of appreciation costing up to $25 per day, not to exceed a total of $100 per trip.
  • When traveling under a federally sponsored project, the above token of appreciation expense is not allowed.

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Rental of a Private Residence

Rental expenses for a private residence are reimbursable when the owner, indicating the amount paid, signs an original receipt. This must accompany the travel expense report. 

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Automobile and Other Vehicle Rental

Rental Guidelines

The use of rental automobiles such as cars, vans, and mini buses must be justified. Automobiles may only be rented when public transportation and taxis are impractical, more expensive, or not available. The traveler is encouraged to seek the most economical pricing by contacting the UMass Dartmouth Procurement Department for more information on rentals. 

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Short Term Rental

Short-term automobile rental is a reimbursable expenditure (less than 10 days) Travelers will be reimbursed for the rental of a compact, economy, or mid-sized car, unless a specific business, physical, or medical reason, which must be explained on the travel expense report necessitates another class of rental.

Reimbursable items include the daily rental fee, gasoline charges, tolls, and parking.Non-reimbursable expenses include, but are not limited to, tickets, fines, traffic violations, and car repairs. For a more detailed explanation please refer to the link below:

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Long Term Rental

Automobiles rented for more than 10 days must be processed with a purchase order.  

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Rental Agency Requirements

Travelers should ask the rental agency about any additional requirements and charges associated with the rental of an automobile. The following are examples of such charges and requirements:

  • 25 years minimum age to lease and/or operate a rental automobile.
  • Major credit card required for reservation.
  • Gasoline charges assessed when an automobile is returned to the agency with less than a full tank.
  • Additional surcharges for dropping off the automobile at a different city than the original Airport/City.
  • Only student groups, with prior permission from the University, are allowed to rent vehicles. Also it should be clear on the rental forms, who the drivers will be. The rental form must be rented in the University name with a University Purchase Order.

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  • Travelers involved in an accident while driving a rental, state, or personal vehicle on approved University business, must complete the Automobile Loss Notice form as soon as possible. Forms may be obtained from on-line at

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Bus/Motor Coach Rentals

The University has field trip buses available and contracts for motor coach rentals. Please contact the UMass Dartmouth Procurement Department at (508) 999-8806

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Personal Automobile

The University will reimburse travelers the standard Internal Revenue Service (IRS) mileage allowance. Standard Mileage Rate for Personal Autos 2016 This mileage rate covers all automobile expenses such as fuel, maintenance, towing, repairs, tires, depreciation, and insurance.

  • In addition to the standard mileage allowance, necessary and reasonable charges for the following automobile-related expenses are allowed: tolls, parking, and fees for ferries, bridges, tunnels, etc.
  • Non-reimbursable expenses include: car repairs, towing, storage, traffic violations, fines, and/or citations.
  • No reimbursements are allowed for any costs or damage to the vehicle or vehicle contents caused by accident, vandals, theft or natural phenomenon.
  • If two or more employees travel in the same vehicle, only the employee who owns the vehicle can be reimbursed.
  • Travelers will be reimbursed for mileage based on the Household Good’s Carriers’ Bureau Mileage guidelines used by the Controller’s Office Travel section. The most direct route is considered the shorter distance from the traveler’s home or Dartmouth to the destination point. If there is a deviation from the rate, justification must be noted on the travel expense report.
  • When submitting reimbursements for mileage, a Mapquest or Google Map must be provided.


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Personal Automobile Insurance

The University does not provide insurance coverage for employees operating a privately owned vehicle. The owner/driver is solely responsible for automobile insurance coverage.  The owner/driver will be responsible for any damage caused to third party property and any damage to the employee’s own vehicle, regardless of fault.

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Commuting Expenses

Commuting between an employee’s home and the University is not a reimbursable expense.

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Ground Transportation

Travelers are expected to travel via the least expensive, most direct, and efficient means available. This includes University-owned vehicles, taxis, limousines, transporter services, and rail service.

  • Employees traveling to the same destination should consider sharing ground transportation whenever possible.

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University-Owned Vehicles

  • University-owned vehicles shall be used for official business only.
  • An operator of a University-owned vehicle shall only transport passengers traveling on official University business.
  • A mileage log must be maintained for each University-owned vehicle, identifying the date and purpose of each trip and the beginning and ending odometer reading.
  • Reimbursement will be allowed for necessary expenses, such as charges for fuel, oil, garaging, parking fees, toll charges, and reasonable charges for car washing.
  • Any operator of a University-owned vehicle must be employed by, or working on behalf of, the University and have a valid driver’s license to be covered by the University's Automobile Insurance Policy.

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Accidents Involving University-Owned Vehicles

Any accident in which a University-owned vehicle is involved must be reported in writing to the UMass Dartmouth Controller’s Office (508) 999-8076, as soon as possible

  • Travelers are advised to give the other driver the University’s insurance company’s name and number

Hartford Ins. Co.
Insurance Center of New England
West Springfield, MA 01090

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Limousine/Transporter Services

  • Limousine and transporter services are allowed as reimbursable expenses only if the cost is less than, or equal to, the cost of a customary taxi charge and/or airport parking.
  • Service for these modes of transportation that exceed the costs of a customary taxi charge are allowed only when justified business reasons preclude the use of more economical modes of transportation.

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Rail Service

Travelers may use rail service as a means of transportation when convenience and financial savings are achieved.

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Domestic and Personal Meal Expenses

The full per diem rate is allowed when an employee is traveling for at least 24 hours. Also in accordance with GSA guidelines, the campus will allow up to 75% of the daily CONUS per diem allowance on the first and last calendar day of travel. (overnight stay required.) The IRS does not consider per diem for travel that is not accompanied by an overnight stay as a reimbursable expense. The University will continue to reimburse these requests at 75% per diem rate, but they will be recorded as a taxable benefit. Refer to •.

Prior to 12/1/2015 for travel in the high rate cities as established by the GSA, the per diem rate is $71.00 per day. For travel in all other cities within the United States, the per diem rate is $46.00 per day. For a list of the high rate cities as established by the General Services Administration (GSA) refer to Per Diem Top Rate Cities on the travel expense form.


Meal Provided

Amount to subtract
for $71.00 cities

Amount to subtract
for $46.00 cities













Effective 12/1/2015

The table also lists the portion of the M&IE rate that is provided for incidental expenses (currently $5.00 for all tiers)

Meal Provided

Amount to subtract for $51.00 cities

Amount to subtract for $54.00 cities

Amount to subtract for $59.00 cities

Amount to subtract for $64.00 cities

Amount to subtract for $69.00 cities

Amount to subtract for $74.00 cities

Continental Brkfst/Breakfast





















This table lists the amount that employees will receive for the first and last calendar day of travel when the trip includes an overnight stay.

                              Total                                 First and Last Day of Travel (75%)

                            $51.00                                                $38.25

                            $54.00                                                $40.50

                            $59.00                                                $44.25

                            $64.00                                                $48.00

                            $69.00                                                $51.75

                            $74.00                                                $55.50

Questions may be referred to the Accounts Payable Department (508) 999-8189

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Business Meal Expenses

Documentation for business meals while on travel status must include a statement of business purpose and a list of attendees in order to meet University and IRS guidelines.

  • For business meals, original itemized receipts must be submitted with a completed Business Expense Form .
  • Tips included on business meal receipts will be reimbursed. As a general rule, travelers should not tip more than 20% of the bill. (Any amount over this will not be reimbursed.)
  • The value of any meals considered business meals should be subtracted from the daily meal per diem rate based on the schedule listed above depending on dates of travel.

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Alcoholic Beverages

The Board of Trustees Business Expense Policy states “Purchase of alcoholic beverages is highly discouraged due to the expense of the potential liability involved. However, when written authorization is obtained prior to the event, or when specific campus policies are followed, the purchase may be allowed.” (Board of Trustees Policy, Doc. T92-031, 405.5)

Alcohol consumed at a business meal must be reasonable (generally not to exceed 25% of the total bill) and be served in conjunction with a meal.

  • Federal regulations prohibit charging alcoholic beverages to sponsored grants and/or contracts.
  • Should there be any questions regarding the use of alcoholic beverages for business functions, please contact the Controller’s Office.

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International Per Diem

International travelers may use the U.S. Department of Defense Foreign Per Diem rates

International per diem rates can be used to obtain reimbursement for authorized travel outside the United States. The U.S. Department of Defense Foreign Per Diem rate is broken down into food, incidentals, and lodging so the applicable categories can be applied. We do not allow rates in the incidental column as they apply to laundry/valet/dry cleaning etc. and those are personal, non-reimbursable expenses. They are only allowed to use the local meals column amount. 

Please note that in the event the city is not cited specifically in the listing of the country, the traveler must use the "other" category at the bottom of the list for the per diem allowance.








The current federal per diem rate is applicable to international travel and may be used in all cases of international travel unless the traveler chooses to request reimbursement for actual expenses. In this case, receipts may be submitted with a travel expense voucher but cannot exceed the per diem rate.   If a traveler chooses the per diem rate method and does not want the full amount, he/she must indicate the allowable and the actual being requested.  The value of any meals provided while on international travel status should be subtracted from the daily meal per diem rate.    

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Reimbursable Expenses 

The following items are examples of reimbursable expenses:

  • Air travel booked at lowest available fare (federal tax is reimbursable).
  • Lodging for approved business travel in a standard room, single room rate, at a non-luxury hotel including all taxes.
  • Meals while on travel status at current per diem rate for domestic travel.
  • Mileage for private vehicle use can be located at the link
  • Reasonable tips for business meals only - 20% maximum.
  • Taxi/Shuttle Service
  • Business related telephone calls and faxes. Two personal calls, limited to $10.00 each, to communicate arrival and departure arrangements. Use of the University issued telephone credit card is recommended.
  • Parking and tolls, including airport parking.
  • Ground transportation (taxi, bus, subway, airport shuttle, etc.).
  • Rental of a compact, economy, or mid-sized automobile.
  • Conference registration fees.
  • Reasonable trip cancellation insurance
  • Passport, passport photos, VISA fees for international business travel. 

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Non-Reimbursable Expenses

The following items are a representative list of non-reimbursable expenses (not all-inclusive):

  • Airline stopover charges, flight changes or additional rerouting of air flight when made for personal convenience. Please note that if additional charges for flight layovers, hotel expenses, taxis, shuttles, etc. are incurred due to the fact that your business travel was extended for personal reasons, even due to weather delays, then these expenses will not be reimbursed by the University and become the sole responsibility of the traveler.
  • Excess baggage fees (1 bag allowed)
  • Air travel life insurance
  • Car rental charge over the mid-sized rate unless directed by a specific physical or medical reason.
  • Driver’s license or renewal fees.
  • Actual operating expenses for personal vehicles.
  • Traffic or parking violations and fines; court fees.
  • Transportation between home and work location.
  • Personal expenses i.e., laundry/dry cleaning, toiletries, salons/barbers, city tours, golf fees, country club dues, health and fitness fees, pet care, shoe shine, souvenirs, personal entertainment, baby-sitting, hotel in-room movies and mini-bar services, newspapers, damaged luggage or attaché.
  • Articles and/or cash stolen or lost.
  • Air phone usage.
  • Traveler’s check fees & currency exchange fees
  • Late fees for University corporate VISA card past due charges.
  • Fees for personal credit cards.
  • Tips for luggage assistance, housekeeping services, taxis, shuttles etc.
  • Unauthorized trips or entertainment.

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Commercial General Liablility 

The University maintains a Commercial General Liability Insurance policy, which provides liability coverage for employees, volunteers, agents and others while working for or on behalf of the University. The policy limit is $1,000,000 with a $50,000 deductible. The coverage can provide protection in cases involving bodily injury, property damage, and personal injury caused by the negligence of an insured while carrying out his or her duties.  There are coverage exclusions where certain types of claims are not covered, e.g., discrimination, personal automobile, watercraft, etc. To be covered by the University’s policy, individuals on travel status must be working in official capacity at the time of an accident. The facts and nature of the suit will dictate whether coverage will apply.  

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Travel Expense Report Completion & Submission 

The University strongly recommends that travelers file their on-line  travel expense report within twenty-four hours of trip completion. Travelers on extended work assignments away from campus should file monthly expense reports, at minimum.

Guidelines for Submitting Expense Reports

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Late Travel Submissions

All travel expense reimbursements to employees must be accounted for within “a reasonable period of time” of when the expense was incurred. For IRS purposes, a reasonable amount of time is considered to be 120 days. Accordingly, all reimbursement requests must be received within 120 days of when the expense was incurred. Travel Reimbursement requests that are submitted after 120 days will need to be submitted as taxable travel on the expense form and will still be accepted but the IRS requires that the reimbursement be treated as taxable to the individual receiving payment.  This will result in the charges appearing on the employee’s W-2 at year end.

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Approval Process 

Once the traveler files and submits the on-line expense report, it will be sent electronically for the approving authorities signatures.

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Signature Delegation:

Authority and responsibility for approval and control of travel by employees rests with the department head/director. In certain circumstances, in the absence of the department head/director, another approving authority may be designated via a signed written document indicating such delegation. Delegating approving authority to anyone below the traveler’s immediate supervisor is not permitted. 

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Traveler's Certification 

By on-line submission of the expense report and electronic signature a on the  travel expense  form, travelers certify that the expenses claimed on the expense voucher are allowable, reimbursable travel expenses made under applicable University and campus travel policies and procedures. In the event the traveler has delegated someone else to enter the expense report for them it is mandatory that the traveler sign a copy of the printed form as certification of expenses claimed.

If any claimed expenses are subsequently determined by the University to be non-reimbursable expenses, subject to appeal, travelers will be personally liable for the repayment. Travelers must repay improper reimbursements within fifteen (15) calendar days after receipt of a written notice from the University. Travelers agree to these terms by signing the statement on the travel expense voucher form.

Should repayment not be received by the Accounts Payable office within the designated time period, the outstanding amount will be deducted from the traveler’s pay. 

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IRS Requirements 

To insure that reimbursements for travel do not become reportable taxable income to travelers, the following procedures are in effect:

  • Reimbursements  will be made for University business expenses only.
  • Travelers must provide a statement substantiating the amount, time, use, and business purpose of expenses within a reasonable time (not to exceed 120 days) after the expenses are incurred. Original receipts must be attached to travel expense report.

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Reporting & Receipt Requirements

The following information is required on or attached to the traveler expense report.

  • The business purpose for the travel
  • The itemized amount of each separate expenditure with written clarification for unusual expenditures.
  • Original receipts which include the name of the vendor, location, date, and dollar amount.
  • When an original canceled check is used as the required document, supporting documentation must be attached to include vendor, location, date, and dollar amount.
  • The dates of departure and return for each trip on University business.
  • The destination or location (name of city or town) of travel.

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Missing Receipts

If an original receipt is lost, but a photocopy is available, thephotocopy will be accepted only with a written detailed explanation on the expense report detailing the reasons why the original receipt is unavailable. The explanation must be made in writing, signed by the traveler and the approving authority, and attached to the travel expense report.

If an original receipt is lost and a copy is unattainable a missing receipt affidavit must be completed and signed by the traveler and the approving authority. It must include a complete explanation of the expense and the reason for the missing receipt. (The traveler is not permitted to claim more than a total of $30.00 in missing receipts per instance and/or per day)

In the event of a missing airline receipt (last page of a ticket stub), a missing receipt affidavit must be accompanied with the travel agency’s airline ticket copy. All agencies are required by the Airline Reporting Commission to keep copies of tickets issued.

  • If the traveler is unable to obtain a copy of the airline receipt, a copy of the itinerary and one of the following must be included with the Missing Receipt Affidavit  credit card charge slip
  • record of charge and billing statement

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  • Department heads are responsible for controlling expenses within budgeted amounts. Principal investigators are similarly responsible for controlling expenses within grant and/or sponsored projects.
  • Department heads/directors or principal investigators are expected to be diligent in their review of expense reports  for accuracy and for compliance with travel policies and procedures and/or sponsored project travel restrictions.
  • Travelers must repay any improper reimbursements, subject to appeal, which may be identified in an audit review. Travelers must repay improper reimbursements within fifteen (15) calendar days after receipt of a written notice from the University. Should repayment not be received by the Controller’s office within the designated time period, the outstanding amount will be deducted from the traveler’s pay.
  • Traveler’s wishing to appeal the audit review finding should contact the campus controller.
  • Intentional falsification of expense report documents and/or fraudulent submissions by the traveler may be grounds for termination of employment.
  • Travelers utilizing the University travel cards are expected to maintain their accounts in good standing

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