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General Description
Requirements
Policy Provisions
Performance Evaluation
Subject Experts
Travel Expenses
Policy

Document Number: HR--158 Revision #: 1.0
Document Owner: Executive VP Date Last Updated: 08/17/2012
Primary Author: VP of Business and Finance Status: Approved
Date Originally Created: 01/17/2012

General Description
Description:

Information about travel expenses relative to HR policy.


Purpose:

Delineation of policy.


Scope:

All faculty, staff, students, and administrators


Responsibility: Human Resources
VP of Business and Finance

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Requirements
Relevant Knowledge: In order to comply with this policy you should know:
Current University policy

Terms and Definitions: Additional training

Corrective Action

Loss of privilege, general

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Policy Provisions
1.

Travel Expenses


Some faculty and staff travel on University-related business as part of their professional responsibilities. The University reimburses eligible expenses the employee encounters while traveling on job-related assignments. Responsibility for the conformity and enforcement to the policy lies with the immediate supervisor. However, employees are expected to keep copies of all receipts and expense reports for a period of one year.

 

No faculty, staff, or coach should stay in a hotel room with a student during CU sponsored events (either conference or athletic game travel).

 


1.1

Recognized Travel


1. Travel of members of administration, faculty and staff on behalf of the University.

2. Travel of participating students to represent the University in intercollegiate events.

3. Travel of members of administration, faculty and staff designated as delegates to conventions or seminars.

4. Authorized travel of guest lecturers, speakers, and others who are called upon to contribute time and services to the University.

5. Authorized travel of persons invited to the campus for consideration for appointment to faculty or staff positions.

6. No faculty, staff, or coach should stay in a hotel room with a student during CU sponsored events (either conference or athletic game travel).

 


1.2

Authorization


1. Travel at the expense of Cumberland University will only be authorized when the purpose will benefit the University. Examples include, but are not limited to, recruiting, training, development, intercollegiate events, and administrative events.

2. All travel at the expense of the University will be under the control and must be approved by the employee's immediate supervisor.

3. All travel and expenses associated with Conference Travel will require preapproval from the immediate supervisor. A copy of the preapproval must be attached to the expense report. Authorization forms are available on the computer P-Drive.

4. Payment of travel expenses will be subject to availability of funds in the departmental budget concerned.


2.

Business Related Travel


2.1

Method of Transportation


The most cost effective, direct and usually traveled route must be used by authorized employees. Costs incurred by indirect route will be the responsibility of the employee.


2.1.1

Motor Vehicle


Travel by motor vehicle shall be used for University travel unless it is documented that utilization of another method of travel is more cost efficient or practical. Authorized travelers must have valid State's driver's license in his/her possession and proof of insurance as mandated by the State of Tennessee. Safety belts shall be used by the driver and passengers of vehicles. All accidents, major and minor, shall be reported first to the local police department or appropriate law enforcement agency. Accidents should then be reported to the appropriate administrative officer and the Vice President for Finance.

 

 


2.1.2

Personally Owned Vehicles


1. Mileage reimbursement will be authorized for employees using their personal vehicles on University business travel using an allowable government rate per mile rate. Certificates of insurance coverage for personal vehicles used for Cumberland business will be required for reimbursement. Contact the Vice President for Finance for the current rate per mile.

2. Mileage shall be computed by either the odometer readings from point of origin to point of destination or preferably by using a website mileage calculator, such as Map Quest. When computing reimbursable mileage to an authorized point of destination from the employees place of residence, the lesser of the miles from the University to the point of destination or the employees residences to the point of destination must be claimed. The odometer readings or the mileage calculator sheet must accompany the travel expense form.

3. The University is not responsible for operating expenses of the personally-owned vehicles, including fuel, repairs, and insurance.

 


2.1.3

Rented Motor Vehicles


Cumberland University staff members who travel frequently may choose between using a personal vehicle or renting a vehicle from the university-approved vendor, depending on which is most cost- effective. A general rule to follow for renting a vehicle: if the rental is for a short term (3 days or less) and the mileage will be 400 miles or over, a rental vehicle may be the most cost-effective. If the rental is for a longer term (more than 3 days), a weekly rental for 400 miles or less or use of a personal automobile may be the most cost-effective. The use of a rental in lieu of a personal vehicle must be approved by the immediate supervisor. The Cumberland University employee must meet the criteria of rental car agency and carry/will be responsible for insurance on the rental vehicle (no vendor-added insurance will be reimbursed). Expense reimbursement will consist of the cost of the rental car and gas charges only if this mode of transportation is used. Cumberland University will not reimburse for mileage if a rental car is used.


2.1.4

Air


Common carrier may be used for out-of-state travel as long as it is the most cost effective means of transportation. Before travel plans are made, the immediate supervisor must approve this means of transportation based on documented justification submitted by the employee.


2.1.5

Other


1. The University will reimburse cost associated with subways, taxis, etc., when the expenses are incurred as part of approved University travel. At no time will reimbursements be made for taxis if rented vehicles or personally owned vehicles are being used.

2. Valet Parking: The University will not reimburse University travelers for cost associated with valet parking fees and/or valet tip. Exception would be considered if valet parking is the only means of parking at the point of destination.


2.2

Lodging


No faculty, staff, or coach should stay in a hotel room with a student during CU sponsored events (either conference or athletic game travel).

 


2.2.1

Rooms


Employees are expected to use the most economical means of lodging, using budget lodging, whenever practical. The University will not reimburse amounts in excess of the average area lodging rates. Rates, as published by the federal government on cost per individual city, will be used as a benchmark.

 

Exception would be considered in the case of authorized Conference Lodging. University travelers may be reimbursed expenses for conference hotel lodging if the reservations are made at the actual conference hotel. Room service will not be reimbursed nor approved for credit card purchases.  Room service charges on the credit card will be charged back to the employee.


2.3

Parking


1. The University will reimburse hotel parking fees when it is part of the lodging billing.

2. Parking fees incurred as part of the University-related business will be reimbursed. Parking fees incurred during times that the employee is on free time will not be reimbursed.

3. Valet Parking

 

The University will reimburse Valet Parking fees and tip only when this means of parking is the only option for the University traveler in completing his/her business on behalf of the University.


2.4

Meals


2.4.1

Single Day Travel


Meals are not eligible for reimbursement on single day travel. This means that when an authorized traveler is in travel status where no overnight stay is required, no meals are eligible for reimbursement.


2.4.2

Overnight Travel


University travelers may be reimbursed for meals according to the following schedule:

1. Breakfast - When travel begins at/or before 6:00 am on the first day of an authorized overnight stay, up to $6 will be reimbursed. Likewise for intervening days if the travel will extend to the following day.

2. Lunch -When travel begins at/or before 10:00 am on the first day of an authorized overnight stay, up to $9 will be reimbursed. Likewise for intervening days if the travel will extend to the following day.

3. Dinner - When travel begins at/or before 4:00 pm on the first day of an authorized overnight stay, up to $15 will be reimbursed. Likewise for intervening days if the travel will extend to the following day.


2.4.3

Authorized Conference Travel


Meals that are incurred as part of the conference may be reimbursed on an actual expense basis with submitted documentation of conference and agenda of such, not to exceed CU Meal Plan or IRS M&IE rate for the host city.

 

Alcohol - The cost of alcoholic beverages is ineligible for reimbursement.

 

Tips - Tips in excess of 15% will not be approved for reimbursement.  Tips in excess of 15% charged on the CU purchase card will be charged back to the employee.


2.5

Reimbursement for Other Expenses


The following expenses incurred while on business related travel:

1. Communications expense, such as hotel calls, in the event that the University issued cellular telephone system is inoperable or if the traveler is not a University authorized cell phone user. Only calls on official university business will be reimbursed.

2. Internet access charges for official University business from hotels or other travel locations.

3. Registration and Conference Fees upon the written approval of the appropriate administrative officer.


2.6

Visitors to the Campus


Upon the preapproval of an immediate supervisor, expenses relating to the travel, lodging and meals for a visitor to campus will be covered, pending submission of required documentation. Examples include, but are not limited to: Guest lecturers, visiting scholars, visiting dignitaries or executive-level persons from other institutions and/or businesses. Immediate supervisor approval is required.

1. Travel: Upon immediate supervisor approval and obtainment of purchase order number, the travel policy, as stated previously, should be followed. Payment/Reimbursement of travel costs will be subject to availability of funds in the departmental budget concerned.

2. Lodging: Upon immediate supervisor approval and obtainment of purchase order number, reservations should be made at area hotels that provide direct billing. Contact the Vice President for Finance for listings of such area hotels. Payment/Reimbursement of lodging costs will be subject to availability of funds in the departmental budget concerned.

3. Meals: Upon immediate supervisor approval, meals that are incurred as part of the visit may be reimbursed on an actual expense basis with submitted documentation and authorizing signatures. Payment/Reimbursement of lodging costs will be subject to availability of funds in the departmental budget concerned.

 

Candidates for employment at the University. Approval is required from the appropriate Vice President. Upon approval of the appropriate Vice President, and preview of the President, the policy, stated above will be followed.


2.7

Special Meals


There are occasions when it is appropriate to use university funds to provide a meal for a person or persons. All special meals must have prior written approval from the immediate supervisor. Such occasions include, but are not limited to:

 

Visitors to Campus

1. Guest lecturers, visiting scholars, visiting dignitaries or executive-level persons from other institutions and/or businesses. Immediate supervisor approval is required.

2. Candidates for employment at the University who are being hosted at a meal by the search committee. The number of University personnel participating should be kept to a minimum. Approval is required from the immediate supervisor.

 

Business Meeting Lunch

1. Officers are sometimes required to have business meetings during the lunch hour at an area restaurant. The officer may use the funds of the university to pay for the meal of the guest(s) as a matter of courtesy or necessity, if the business meeting was Cumberland University related. Administrative Officers are to submit dated, detailed receipts from the area restaurant and the completed travel expense report to the Vice President for Finance for reimbursement. The cost of alcoholic beverages is ineligible for reimbursement.

2. Employees other than Administrative Officers must have prior written approval from the immediate supervisor before using the funds of the university to provide meals for outside person(s) from the appropriate administrative officer. Employees are to submit the original written approval, dated, detailed receipt and completed travel expense report to the Vice President for Finance for reimbursement. The cost of alcohol beverages is ineligible for reimbursement.

 

Other Situations

1. Extraordinary situations when University employees are required by their supervisor to work more than a 12 hour weekday/weekend (when such are not normal working hours) to meet deadlines or handle emergencies.

2. The immediate supervisor may authorize a special meal to be served in conjunction with a working meeting. For example: A School Dean might have a light lunch served during a schedule faculty meeting at the lunchtime hour. Payment/Reimbursement of lunch costs will be subject to preapproval and availability of funds in the appropriate departmental budget.

 

Authorization

Requests to the immediate supervisor for special meal authorization must be under signature of the employee assuming responsibility. The request must include:

1. Name and position of the employee requesting authority to incur expenses and assuming responsibility for such.

2. State of the nature of the activity and clear justification of the necessity and appropriateness of the request.

3. Names, official titles and affiliations of all persons for whom reimbursement of meal expenses is being requested.


2.8

Intercollegiate Travel and Meals


All athletic personnel are required to follow the rules, regulations, and policies concerning travel, lodging, and meals, as stated in the current Athletic Handbook. The Athletic Handbook is available in the office of the Athletic Director.

 

No faculty, staff, or coach should stay in a hotel room with a student during CU sponsored events (either conference or athletic game travel).

 

 


2.9

Advances


All athletic personnel are required to follow the rules, regulations, and policies concerning travel, lodging, and meals, as stated in the current Athletic Handbook. The Athletic Handbook is available in the office of the Athletic Director.

 


2.10

Process for Reimbursement


To insure a timely reimbursement and/or payment, the following must be submitted by the authorized employee:

1. A completed Expense Report, bearing authoritative signatures, must be submitted to the Business Office. Expense reports are for the purpose of reconciling travel, lodging, and meal expenses. Expense Reports are available on the computer P-Drive and may be accessed, completed, and saved to the employees PC. Instructions are listed on the back page of this policy document.

2. Itemized, dated receipts of expenses must be attached to the Expense Report.

3. A copy of the prior written approval and authorization, if applicable, must be attached to the Expense Report.

4. Copy of Conference attendance documentation must be attached to the Expense Report.

 

Timely reimbursements and/or payments will not be forthcoming if:

1. The Expense Report is incomplete and/or does not include the authorizing signatures.

2. All itemized, dated receipts are not attached.

3. The employee, requesting the reimbursement, used their corporate credit card and an outstanding balance is present. For more information about the corporate credit card, refer to Cumberland University Corporate Purchase/Credit Card Policy.

4. There is a discrepancy in the Expense Report and/or supporting documentation.

5. Failure to submit the required documentation for charges to the University will result in the amount being referred to the Director of Human Resources for deduction of the responsible employee's payroll

 


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Performance Evaluation
Performance Metrics: Compliance with standard policy and procedure

Consequences: Further training
Loss of privileges

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Subject Experts
The following may be consulted for additional information.
Director of Human Resources

VP of Business and Finance

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