Travel - Authorization and Funding

Effective: Moved to Policy Library from UPM 8.1(1)
Reviewed and Updated: March 2016
Contact: Controller's Department


This policy clarifies authorizations required for university business-related travel. Employees and non-employees are subject to the same reimbursement limits.

Policy Statement

An individual traveling on university business should neither gain nor lose personal funds as a result of that travel. Travelers are expected to choose the least costly method of transportation that also meets their scheduling needs. Travel reimbursements must be university business-related, properly documented, and clearly exhibit prudent use of public funds.

This policy applies to travel paid from all university accounts. Grantors funding travel often have policies that are more or less restrictive than those of the university. The more restrictive policy must always be followed. Likewise, academic and administrative units may have limited resources, and therefore may find it necessary to place more stringent controls on allowable expenses. The traveler must be aware of any limitations. In addition, all travel must be in accordance with the Expenditures - Allowable, Appropriate, Documented policy (see Resources below).

Travelers must obtain permission to travel, before travel begins, from a supervisory or designated authority.

When personal and business travel is combined, expenses must be well documented and may not exceed the lowest available cost of a direct or uninterrupted route. If the traveler uses an indirect route or interrupts travel by direct route for personal convenience, any additional expenses incurred will be the sole responsibility of the traveler.

Through the use of credit or debit cards and prepayment of registration fees or deposits, travel advances should not be necessary. However, if this is not practical, an employee or graduate assistant may obtain a travel advance. Advances must be repaid within ten days of the completion of the trip to avoid a finance charge. As a condition to issuance of travel advances, travelers must agree to permit withholding of overpayments or unallowable charges from paychecks up to the amount permitted by federal law. Travelers will be given an opportunity to contest withholding prior to deduction.