Travel - Authorization and Funding

Effective: Moved to Policy Library from UPM 8.1(1)
Reviewed and Updated: March 3, 2020
Contact: Controller's Department

Please review THIS PROPOSED REVISION OF THE TRAVEL – AUTHORIZATION AND FUNDING policy [PDF]. Submit your comments and questions to by June 19, 2020.


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. Expense reimbursements must be university business-related, properly documented, and in compliance with university policies and procedures. Travelers can also use the Travel and Hospitality (T&H) Card as an alternative method to reimbursement. The T&H Card is to be used for qualifying travel related purchases. 

This policy applies to travel paid from all sources of university funding, which includes all programs, grants, gifts, or projects. 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. If the travel is international, travelers are required to register with the Office of Risk Management and are strongly encouraged to complete a spend authorization. International travel must be Fly America Act compliant. 

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 T&H 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 cash advance. An expense report must be completed within thirty days of the completion of the trip to avoid a finance charge on a travel cash advance.  As a condition of travel cash advances, cash advances will be deducted from reimbursement of other personally paid expenses or charged back through ISU University Receivables.