A5500.15 Travel on College Business

  1. General Guidelines

    1. Travel should always be arranged to find the most economical combination of expense, time and convenience.
    2. To be authorized for official college travel, an individual must file an application for attendance at professional meetings form with the appropriate supervisor for approval.
    3. Travel by an employee of the college must be consistent with budgeted funds for travel purposes.
    4. A Divisional Administrative Assistant will be responsible for making flight, train, and hotel arrangements using the college credit card. After an employee is given permission to travel, he/she should contact the divisional Administrative Assistant to complete travel arrangements.  The maximum cost for transportation expenses will be at the most reasonable and cost effective rate.  Once travel arrangements have been made, the employee will be instructed to create a requisition/purchase order for the cost of the transportation and/or hotel.  All travel is approved through the President’s Office.
    5. Upon return from authorized travel, the employee must complete the travel reimbursement/repayment form and submit it to the appropriate supervisor(s), who will then forward it to the business office so the reimbursement can be processed. Expenses are to be reported on the college travel expense voucher, which must be filed within 30 days of the travel.
    6. Detailed receipts are required for lodging, food, public transportation, and conference registration expenses. These expenditures will not be recognized or be reimbursed without appropriate receipt.
    7. Types of official business for which travel, meal, and lodging expenses are allowed include but are not limited to:
      1. A meeting, conference, or program which requires representation by the college
      2. A visitation, conference, or convention for the purpose of professional improvement which has a direct relationship to the employee’s responsibilities at the college.

  2. Allowable Travel Expenses

    1. Transportation – Employees shall utilize the mode of transportation, whether it is college vehicle, public transportation or private automobile, which will result in the least expense to the college. Exception can be made with the authority of the President for long distance travel or where time is of extreme essence.  Employees will be reimbursed for approved travel for personal use of their automobile at the current IRS mileage rate, reimbursed for traveling tax exempt by public transportation with receipts and reimbursed for rental vehicles for actual charges from receipts.  Parking charges, taxi and tolls will be reimbursed upon submission of receipts. Travelers driving privately owned vehicles are expected to be properly licensed and protected at their own expense by personal liability and property damage insurance at the level currently required by law.
    2. Lodging – The maximum allowable expense without board approval for lodging is based on the IRS High-Low cost method or the conference rate when travel is for the purpose of a conference. The Administrative Assistant to the President will have a current list of the high-low costs and the locations associated with those costs.
    3. Registration and Enrollment Fees – Registration/enrollment fees for meetings, conferences, courses, seminars, workshops, or similar events are reimbursed when the college employee or representative is authorized to attend when supported by receipts. Meals and Incidental Expenditures – The maximum allowable expense without board approval for meals is based on the IRS High-Low cost method which is updated annually on the IRS website in October.  The Administrative Assistant to the President will have a current list of the high-low costs and the locations associated with those costs.

      Per Diem value schedule:

      Breakfast – 1/6 of the per diem rate, to the nearest 50 cents
      Lunch – 1/3 of the per diem rate, to the nearest 50 cents
      Dinner – 1/2 of the per diem rate, to the nearest 50 cents

      Per Diem rules for meals are as follows:

      Breakfast – Payable when an employee is in travel status and leaves the college or residence (if reporting directly to the destination) at or before 7:00 a.m.
      Lunch – Payable when an employee is on travel status and leaves the college at or before 10:30 a.m.
      Dinner – Payable when an employee is on travel status and arrives back at the college or residence (if reporting directly from the destination) at or after 7:00 p.m.

      (The established meal and incidental allotment includes and defines incidental expenses as tips for porters, baggage carriers, bellhops, hotel maids, hotel servants in foreign countries, and stewards or stewardesses and others on ship.

      No per diem meal is allowed if the meal is included in a conference registration fee.  Per diem allowances are only allowed if they are ordinary and necessary expenses of traveling away from home for business purposes per the Internal Revenue Service guidelines.

      In the event an employee requests reimbursement for meals during a meeting with a client(s) (recruits, community members, campus visitors, etc.) reimbursements will be based upon actual charges and an itemized receipt showing what was purchased must be submitted for payment.

      The maximum allowable amounts for reimbursement of travel expenses will be determined according to these established procedures.

  3. Travel advances will be authorized in accordance with these guidelines:

    1. The total cost must exceed $500.00 for in-state or out-of-state travel before an advance will be made except when the travel involves students.
    2. Advances should not be given except to prevent hardship on the traveler.
    3. Upon return the travel reimbursement/repayment form must be completed and returned with any remaining travel advance funds. Any remaining funds need to be returned to the business office on the next work day after the trip and the receipt needs to be attached to the travel reimbursement/repayment form.

  4. The following items are strictly prohibited:

    1. Entertainment (including, but not limited to, shows, amusements, theaters, circuses, sporting events or another place of public or private entertainment or amusement unless ancillary to the purpose of the program or event)
    2. Alcoholic beverages
    3. Personal telephone calls
    4. Any expense related to guest’s accompaniment without express written approval of the appropriate Vice-President or the President.

  5. Electronic devices while driving

    1. Employees are prohibited from conducting college business using electronic devices while driving.
    2. Employees shall not use college-owned or employee-owned electronic devices, including, but not limited to, cell phones and computers, to conduct college business while driving.   This policy includes talking, texting, and e-mailing with an electronic device while driving a motor vehicle for college purposes.
    3. Should an employee need to make/answer a college-related business call while driving, he/she should locate a lawfully designated area to park before placing or accepting a call. Employees are not expected to make calls and do other college work while driving.
    4. Under no circumstances are employees allowed to place themselves at risk while driving to fulfill college business needs.

Revised:  July 2012, July 2016, February 2017, October 2019