Southeast Missouri State University

B. Professional Travel Provisions

Each academic year funds are allocated to every department and college on a full-time-equivalent faculty basis to help faculty members defray the costs of attending professional meetings. Each department and college should establish procedures for the distribution of travel funds. Specific requests for travel funds must be approved by the department chairperson and the dean of the college.

Departments or divisions are responsible for establishing internal procedures for obtaining the required authorizations prior to the commencement of travel. Travel expenses are reimbursable only when the required authorizations are obtained prior to incurring the expenses.

All travel outside of the continental United States requires prior written authorization from the President or appropriate Vice President or Provost. All travel, both outside and within the state of Missouri, except local travel, requires prior written authorization from the appropriate supervisor. Unless otherwise required by the appropriate supervisor, authorization when such travel is necessary to job requirements is assumed for travel within the University's service area (as defined by Missouri statutes) or within a 150-mile radius of the campus.

Satisfactory arrangements for missed classes are to be made by the faculty member and recorded on the Request to Be Away From Assigned Duties form which must be approved by the department chairperson and dean.

Reimbursement is made for necessary and reasonable travel expenses incurred for authorized University business. Reimbursement is not allowed for personal expenses, such as extra meals, alcoholic beverages, travel insurance, laundry, or for business expenses not in compliance with University policies and procedures. For sponsored projects, reimbursement of travel expenses must be in full compliance with the specific terms of the project, as well as with University policy and procedures. If a sponsored project specifically provides for special accountability of travel expenses, this fact must be noted on the Monthly Expense Report. Exceptions to allowed travel expenses guidelines must be approved by the Vice President for Business and Finance. The following are general guidelines on reimbursable expenses. Consult the Travel section in the Business Policies and Procedures Manual for additional explanations and procedural information.

Lodging. An itemized statement furnished by the hotel is required for reimbursement of actual costs. Summary statements or credit card receipts are not acceptable.

Meals. Reasonable and necessary amounts are allowed for meal expenses. Consult the Business Policies and Procedures Manual for current rates. Meal allowances in excess of these rates may be reimbursed only with approval by the Vice President for Business and Finance. Meal receipts are not required for reimbursement purposes except for meals which exceed standard per diem allowance rates.

Tips. Reasonable amounts (not to exceed fifteen percent for meals) will be reimbursed.

Telephone, Telegraph, Fax and Copying. Expenses incurred for official business will be reimbursed. A receipt is required if the cost is $20.00 or more.

Meeting Expenses. Registration or other meeting expenses may be claimed when necessary to carry out the purpose of the trip. A receipt on the form normally used by the organization is required if the fee is $20.00 or more.

Transportation. To be fully reimbursed by the University, the traveler must use the most economical and feasible mode of transportation available consistent with the authorized purpose of the trip. If a more economical transportation price can be obtained by traveling on non-working days (e.g., a Saturday layover), a justification statement outlining the realizable savings and including documented airfare rates and additional meal and lodging expenses should be attached to the request for funding.

Commercial flights should be by air coach, tourist or its equivalent where possible. Air travel may be charged to personal credit cards, but arrangements can also be made in advance using a Purchase Requisition form. The customer ticket/receipt stub bearing the cost and destination and all unused tickets must be submitted for reimbursement.

If a personal vehicle is used, the driver will be reimbursed at a mileage rate not to exceed the State of Missouri Travel Regulations based on map mileage of the most direct route. Consult the Business Policies and Procedures Manual for current rates. The mileage rate is subject to reduction by the department chairperson, dean or administrative head. To be fully reimbursable, the total cost of driving (including meals and lodging en route) is not to exceed the equivalent cost of commercial air coach or tourist fare. If two or more authorized persons travel together in one personal vehicle, only the owner will be reimbursed at the established mileage rate. While using a personal vehicle on University business, the driver's personal auto insurance policy provides primary coverage.

A limited number of University vehicles are available for employee use. The Department of Public Safety schedules fleet vehicles for the use of employees traveling on University business. All University vehicles are assigned in accordance with University policy regulating their use. The driver of a University vehicle will be reimbursed for all necessary operations, such as gas, oil and repairs, if University credit cards are not available or honored and when receipts are submitted for reimbursement.

Other modes of transportation may be used when the cost is less than or equivalent to other methods or when scheduled commitments require deviation from normal means of transportation. Authorized persons are permitted to travel by rail using first class with a roomette. For local/regional travel, the University has a contract with a local car rental agency which provides economical rates. Contact the Purchasing Department for contract information. For distant travel, travelers may rent vehicles as required for business purposes. Unless specifically approved, subcompact, compact, or mid-size cars should be rented. The rental of luxury or sport model cars is not reimbursable. While renting a car on official business, employees are covered by the Missouri State Legal Expense Fund for liability, comprehensive or collision insurance. Collision damage waivers, loss and damage waivers, or other forms of insurance purchased from rental car agencies are not reimbursable.

Miscellaneous transportation and related expenses may include taxi, bus, airport limousine, tolls or parking expenses. A receipt is required if the expense is $20.00 or more.

A cash advance of up to 75% of the approved travel application, excluding airfare, can be made upon request for trips which have anticipated travel expenses of $75.00 or more. A Travel Application form must be submitted to the appropriate supervisor in sufficient time for it to be forwarded to the Controller's Office at least ten business days prior to travel. The travel advance check will be prepared the week prior to travel commencement and forwarded to the Bursar for pickup. Travel advances should be repaid within 30 days after the end of the month in which the travel was completed. Submission of a Monthly Expense Report with expenses greater than or equal to the amount of the advance constitutes repayment of the advance. If actual travel expenses are less than the advance, the difference is to be repaid to the University at the time the Monthly Expense Report is submitted. Monthly Expense Reports not submitted with a check to repay advances when applicable within thirty (30) days after the end of the month in which the travel was completed will result in the deduction of the advance from the employee's next paycheck. The Travel section in the Business Policies and Procedures Manual should be consulted for additional procedural information.

All authorized travel expenses are to be reported on a Monthly Expense Report. Monthly Expense Reports are to be submitted to the Controller's Office promptly upon completion of travel but no later than thirty (30) days after the end of the month in which travel was completed. Due to IRS regulations, suspension of travel privileges and/or the deduction of any outstanding travel advances from the employee's paycheck may occur for Monthly Expense Reports associated with travel advances which are not submitted within this time period. The Travel section in the Business Policies and Procedures Manual contains detailed information on completion of the Monthly Expense Report.

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