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Academic Travel

The following supplements policies and procedures in the University Statutes.
Any deviation must be pre-approved by the Dean of A&S Faculty.

The purpose of academic travel funds is to encourage faculty to actively participate in the life of their professional organizations. Our purpose should be to accommodate as much of this participation as possible. The funds available for academic travel may not be sufficient to cover all department travel expenses. The Chair’s responsibility will be to apportion the available funds equitably and within the limits of the department’s budget.

Determination of Department’s Travel Budget:

  • Academic travel expense requests are submitted by Department Chairs by September 15. Submissions should include travel already taken on or after July 1st and anticipated through June 30.
  • Submissions should include:
    • Faculty member’s name
    • Rank
    • Tenure status
    • Name of conference, destination (city), conference dates
    • Type of conference: national, regional, international, etc.
    • Nature of participation: primary author of paper, other author of paper, panel member, officer
    • Trip status: planned, completed, or canceled (if applicable you may also use Reimbursed or Other Funding)
    • Cost of major transportation
    • Other transportation costs
    • Hotel costs
    • Actual cost of meals and local travel – (See guidelines on per diems below)
    • Registration fees
    • Approved miscellaneous expenses
    • Total cost
    • Comments or explanations
  • Support is reserved for those faculty who are presenting and listed on the conference program. There is no funding for conference attendance otherwise than as a direct participant (presenter, panel chair, or officer).
  • Travel funding is offered primarily for tenured and tenure-track faculty.
  • Budget allocations will be based on three-year average actual expenses.
  • Department Chairs will receive the department’s budget for the year by Oct. 1

Disbursement of Department’s Travel Budget:

  • October 10: An initial budget transfer in October of each year will increase the Department’s operating budget on account line 7100. Calculation of the amount of the initial transfer will be based on 50% of the 3-year minimum actual expenses incurred.
  • Only faculty academic travel expenses can be charged to this account line. The funding provided for academic travel from the Dean of A&S Faculty cannot be used for other expenses or for travel costs from a prior fiscal period. The amounts transferred into the Department’s 7100 line may not be transferred to other lines.

Note: Per the University’s Accounts Payable policy, travel expenses must be submitted for reimbursement no later than 30-days after the last date of travel. In addition, care should be taken to submit the request before the University’s fiscal year-end deadline which is typically mid-July. If the Department Chair elects to cover a faculty member’s travel costs from a prior period, the expense should still be charged to account line 7100. Using a budget transfer form, funding from another account line (7xxx’s only) should be transferred into 7100 to cover the charge.

  • February 1: Department Chairs will submit an updated travel report by February 1. Based on the updated report and actual financial activity, another budget transfer will add funds to the Department budgets on account line 7100. The amount of the transfer will generally be 50% of the remaining budget allotment but could be adjusted by information on the updated report and actual financial transactions to date. Budget adjustments beyond this second transfer will be made as expenses are recorded on account line 7100.
  • June 15: A final update on the travel report will be requested by June 15. At this time, the department may request additional travel funds beyond the amount spent to date and the original amount allotted. The request can include actual expenses from previous travel not yet reimbursed. Additional funding will be provided on a case by case basis, when available. If there are any unused funds on 7100 not needed to cover approved expenses from the June 15 report, they will be transferred out.

Note about the change in transfer procedure: The hope is that the change in the budget transfer process/schedule will reduce the number of Accounts Payable holds on reimbursement requests due to insufficient funds. The change will require Department Chairs to actively manage their operating budgets (including provided travel funding). Without the collaboration of Department Chairs, the amount of additional funding typically provided each June may diminish. In previous years, 100% of requests for additional funding to Department Faculty Travel Funding allotments have been provided.

Collaboration by Department Chairs includes the willingness to be good stewards of the funding: the funding may not be used to cover any other expenses and costs. If a department uses academic travel funds for other purposes, the Dean of A&S Faculty may need to return to transferring only the exact amounts spent throughout the year. Future budget allotments may be monitored.

A&S Academic Travel Reimbursement Guidelines:

The Chair will determine the proper reimbursement for each trip. Appropriate evaluation of requests may involve taking into account the relative importance of trips in terms of the trip’s impact upon the individual’s and the University’s academic standing. All departments should follow certain basic guidelines:

  • All travel receipts should be processed within 30 days of the conclusion of travel.
  • The title of the paper given (or other basis for reimbursement) should be shown under Explanation of Items on the Travel and Expense Check Request (T&E Request) form.
  • Faculty with discretionary funds, start-up allowances or external grants should use those sources before the department’s travel funds.
  • Reimbursement for hotel is limited to three (3) nights.
  • Per diems are not allowable. Meals, local travel, other allowable incidental expenses are reimbursed only at or as a proportion of actual cost, supported by original receipts. Total of meals and incidental expenses should not exceed per diem rates for that location.
  • Airfare should be reimbursed fully for the first two trips, if possible.
  • Priority should be given to allow up to two (2) trips for each faculty member before reimbursing any part of their third trip.
  • Special permission is not required for international travel within the budget.

Reimbursement Procedure:

  • Department Chair reviews the travel and expense check request form and, if satisfied that the request is appropriate, determines what proportion of the cost can be paid from available funds, notes that amount on the form, and submits the request to the Accounts Payable department for payment. The submission should include an accompanying memo explaining the expense. Each faculty member and the Department should keep a copy of the entire travel reimbursement request.

End-of-Year Reimbursement for Previously Unreimbursed Funds:

Accounts Payable has hundreds of check requests coming at the end of the year and you want your request to be as clear as possible:

  • Photocopy the front page of the original T&E Request that was partially reimbursed (do not include the backup documentation).
  • Complete a new T&E Request form. Include a description identifying that this request is for previously unreimbursed expenses; in red ink circle the amount you want them to reimburse and write and circle the current FY as shown on the sample.

Academic Travel Allowable Expenses