IV:04:09 Comprehensive Travel Regulations
These regulations, having been promulgated by the Tennessee Board of Regents, shall constitute the official policy regarding travel at University expense. The following policy applies to the travel of all employees of Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) in the performance of their official duties. Provisions of this policy may also apply to individuals other than employees who are authorized to travel at University expense. Authorization for travel will not be granted and expenses will not be reimbursed unless the travel is made and reimbursement claimed in accordance with this policy and any approved exceptions hereto. University P-Cards may be used for the payment of registration fees and required advance airline payments as outlined in the following sections. University P-Cards may NOT be used for expenses incurred during actual travel time except in instances of team/group travel.
This policy and specific reimbursement rates for travel expenses allowed under this policy shall be consistent with those of the Comprehensive Travel Regulations of the State of Tennessee. Exceptions, which may be deemed necessary and approved by the Board, shall be submitted for consideration by appropriate State officials. Current reimbursement rates shall be issued as an addendum to TBR Policy 4:03:03:00 General Travel.
All travel must be consistent with the educational, research, and professional needs of the TBR System. Employees must conduct all travel with integrity, in compliance with applicable laws, policies, and procedures, and in a manner that excludes considerations of personal advantage. Employees must exercise good judgment and conduct all aspects of travel in a cost-efficient manner.
All forms referenced in this policy are available on the Business and Finance website.
I. GENERAL PROVISIONS
A. No authorization for travel by any employee shall be granted, and no reimbursement for travel expenses shall be made, except in accordance with the provisions of these policies and procedures. Reimbursement for travel expenses shall be limited to expenses incurred upon travel authorized in advance in accordance with Section II.
B. Travel which may be authorized, and pursuant to which expenses may be reimbursed, shall be limited to the following:
1. Travel which is necessary for the proper execution of official University business, or in justifiable pursuit of the University's educational and research objectives; or
2. Travel to meetings and conferences of a professional nature, which will increase the attending employee's usefulness to the University.
C. Travel shall not include, and no reimbursement for expenses shall be made for, transportation in connection with an employee's official station of employment. The employee's "official station" is his or her regular area of employment activity, e.g., official headquarters, campus, or designated location of an employee established in the field.
1. The official station of an employee shall be designated by the appropriate approving authority.
2. It is normally expected that the official station is Middle Tennessee State University or that location at which the employee spends greater than 50% of his or her working time.
3. For an employee required to be on call (as determined by his or her job description), either overnight or on weekends, the official station of the employee while on call becomes his or her residence, or the location at which the employee receives the call.
4. Reimbursable mileage begins at the location at which the employee receives the call.
D. When traveling on university business the employee is considered to be on official travel status, and eligible for reimbursement of travel expenses at the time of departure from the employee's official station or residence, whichever is applicable.
1. Expenses for meals will be allowed only when overnight travel is required outside the county of the employee's official station or residence.
2. En route lodging will be allowed for only one day each way on trips of long duration.
3. Expenses for lodging will only be allowed in cases where the approved and most direct or expeditious mode of travel will require more than ten (10) hours of continuous travel for trips of long duration.
E. The limitations on travel expenses contained herein are maximum amounts above which reimbursement shall not be made. Employees are expected to be as conservative as possible in incurring travel expenses.
F. Reimbursement for travel expenses shall only be allowed for actual expenses incurred, subject to the maximum limitations shown on the Addendum in TBR Policy 4:03:03:00 General Travel.
1. Original legible receipts must accompany claims for reimbursement for all expenses exceeding the amount cited on the Addendum in TBR Policy 4:03:03:00 General Travel.
2. Receipts are not required for meals, taxi fares, tolls, and ferry fees.
3. Lodging receipts are required and must itemize room charges and taxes.
4. No expenses shall be reimbursed until after travel has been completed.
G. Internet travel sites such as Expedia, Travelocity or Kayak can be utilized to purchase single travel services such as an airline ticket. Internet travel sites cannot be used to purchase a package of one or more travel services. Purchases of travel packages that combine services such as lodging, airline, or vehicle rentals are not allowed. These package deals do not usually provide sufficient itemized pricing for each service purchased and therefore do not allow for proper comparison to CONUS or conference rates as required by policy.
H. Travel reimbursement of university personnel whose expenses are to be paid from special grant or contract funds will be in accordance with these regulations except when the grant or contract instrument specifies and requires a different method of reimbursement.
I. Travel reimbursement will be made in accordance with the laws of the U.S. Immigration Service. Reimbursements for non-U.S. citizens will not be made until all immigration papers are reviewed by Accounting Services and a determination made as to whether the individual can lawfully be reimbursed for travel expenses.
A. Approving Authorities – Requests for Travel Authorization forms will be prepared by the traveler and approved by the next higher level of authority. For in state travel where the expected expenses will not be substantial, or when there is no advance notice of the circumstances necessitating the travel, such approval may be given orally. Authorization for travel by a student, regardless of the destination, shall be approved by the appropriate activity or department head.
B. In-State Travel – All employees should obtain prior written authorization for in-state travel by the employee's appropriate approving authority. However, written authorization may not be necessary for in-state travel where the expected expenses will not be substantial or when there is no advance notice of the circumstances necessitating the travel and such travel is approved orally by the appropriate approving authority. Employees whose employment requires frequent in-state travel may obtain blanket authorization in writing for such travel.
C. Out-of-State Travel – All employees must obtain prior written authorization for out-of-state travel, which must be approved by the appropriate approving authority and filed with Accounting Services prior to the travel return date. The Request for Travel Authorization must show the name of the person traveling, purpose of the trip, destinations, date of departure and return, mode of transportation, estimated expenses, and availability of funds. If, in the normal course of official business, the employee must routinely travel into another state and back in the same day, such travel will be considered in-state travel and shall be subject to the in-state travel provisions. This exception applies for trips that do not exceed 50 miles into another state. Employees whose employment requires frequent out-of-state travel may obtain blanket authorization in writing for such travel.
D. All Other Travel – Authorization for travel by an employee to Alaska, Hawaii, and out-of-country travel shall be subject to approval by the President or designee. Authorization for travel to Alaska, Hawaii, and out-of-country travel by the President shall be subject to approval by the Chancellor (or designee).
E. Group Travel – For team or group travel (athletics, band, debate, etc.), a list of those persons expected to travel in the group must be attached to the travel authorization and a signed list of actual participants must be attached to the claim. Refer to Section X. Athletic and Other Group Travel for further guidance.
A. General – All travel must be by the most direct or expeditious route possible, and any employee who travels by an indirect route must bear any extra expense occasioned thereby. When work is performed by an employee in route to or from the official station, reimbursable mileage is computed by deducting the employee's normal commuting mileage from the actual mileage driven in performing the work in route to or from the official station.
For example, if an employee normally commutes 10 miles (20 miles round trip), and performs work on the way home from the official station which results in 12 miles driven, the mileage reimbursement will be for 2 miles only, as that is the amount of mileage in excess of the employee's normal commute. In no instance shall mileage claimed for reimbursement exceed actual miles traveled.
B. Mode of Transportation – Transportation for employees traveling singly should be by common carrier (air, train, or bus) whenever practical. The use of air travel is recommended when time is an important factor or when the trip is so long that other methods of travel would increase the subsistence expense. Automobile transportation may be used to save time when common carrier transportation cannot be satisfactorily scheduled, or to reduce expenses when two or more employees are making the trip. Reimbursement for personal vehicle use may be claimed at the lesser of the standard mileage rate or comparable cost of commercial transportation including taxi fares and/or limousine charges. The employee is responsible for documenting the comparison of the standard mileage rate cost to airfare or other common carrier modes for the dates of travel and submitting with the claim for reimbursement.
C. Common Carrier Travel – When travel is by common carrier, the fare must not exceed the standard coach fare charged the general public, and advantage must be taken of round trip rates when available. The employee is responsible for making appropriate travel arrangements. The employee's copy of the ticket, or an acceptable receipt, must be submitted for reimbursement of common carrier expenses.
When flying, if the airline offers different fare options based on services and benefits, only the lowest fare option will be reimbursed. A list of available flight options on the day the flight is booked should be attached to the travel authorization or travel claim. Personal preference add-on fees including, but not limited to, priority seating and early check-in are NOT reimbursable and should not be charged on the University P-Card when in group travel status.
Baggage fees will be allowed when necessary. A receipt is required for reimbursement.
Charges for trip insurance are not reimbursable. The State of Tennessee is self-insured and does not purchase separate insurance and therefore will not reimburse for insurance purchases made for trips.
D. Chartered Aircraft – Generally, faculty and staff (including group travel and athletics) whose duties require travel will use commercial ground and air carriers or a University automobile. However, a chartered aircraft may be used if time and/or distance preclude ground travel or if a commercial air service is either unavailable or does not meet the needs of the traveler(s). The following guidelines apply:
1. The President shall assign the following duties to a responsible official:
a. Reviewing and approving requests for charter air services;
b. Scheduling charter flights; and
c. Informing those who request charter flights of the charter company's policy on canceling scheduled flights.
2. Charter services will be obtained only when it can be shown that the charter does not exceed the sum of all traveling costs by commercial carrier (e.g. transportation, meals, and lodging) or that circumstances necessitate travel when no other means is available.
3. The charter company must provide the University with an original, itemized invoice showing the beginning and ending dates of the charter, the origin and destination of each flight, and the names of passengers on each flight.
E. Automobile Travel – When travel by automobile is appropriate, employees should use state-owned automobiles whenever available and feasible. However, state-owned vehicles should be used only on official business.
1. State Owned Automobiles – When transportation is by state-owned automobile, all necessary repair bills, tolls, parking, gasoline, and storage expenses are allowable. When using motor pool automobiles, employees will be furnished with courtesy cards for purchase of gasoline, oil, and other automobile services, and such expenses should not be claimed by employees as travel expenses. Emergency out-of-pocket expenses, such as towing or emergency repairs, will be reimbursed but must be accompanied by proper receipt identifying the automobile and itemizing the services. Such expenditures must be of an emergency nature when immediate service is required and access to a state facility is not possible. Major repairs should be approved by campus officials prior to work being performed. Such expenditures are allowed but should be filed for reimbursement separately. Parking, tolls, and ferry fees should be claimed for reimbursement on the standard claim for travel expenses form when using a State owned automobile.
2. Personally Owned Automobiles – Use of a personally owned automobile must be authorized. The authorized mileage allowance rate approved by the Department of Finance and Administration includes all operating expenses such as gas, oil, and repairs precluding any separate claim for such items. Employees may use reputable websites to determine point-to-point and/or vicinity mileage. Printed support of the mileage from the website must be included with the travel claim.
Commuter Mileage – Procedures for calculating mileage are based on the fact that the State is prohibited from reimbursing employees for normal commuting mileage.
a. If an employee begins or ends a trip at his/her official station, reimbursable mileage will be the mileage from the official station to the destination.
b. If work is performed by an employee in route to or from his/her official station, reimbursable mileage is computed by deducting the employee's normal commuting mileage from the actual mileage driven.
c. If an employee begins or ends his/her trip at his/her residence without stopping at his/her official stations, reimbursable mileage will be the lesser of the mileage from the employee's residence to his/her destination or his/her official station to the destination. On weekends and holidays, the employee may typically be reimbursed for actual mileage from his/her residence to the destination.
d. If an employee travels between destinations without returning to his/her official station or his/her residence, reimbursable mileage is the actual mileage between those destinations.
3. The travel claim must indicate the employee's itinerary and must show the official business mileage with attached support. Business mileage as indicated by the official state map, and that published by reputable websites will be regarded as official. Vicinity mileage must be reported on a separate line and not included with point-to-point mileage. Only mileage on official business may be claimed.
4. Necessary charges for hotel and airport parking will be allowed.
F. Limousine and Taxi Service – When travel is by common carrier, reasonable limousine, and taxi fares will be allowed for necessary transportation. Bus or limousine service to and from airports will be used when available and practical. After arrival at destination, necessary taxi fares for traveling between hotel/lodging and meeting/conference will be allowed. No receipt is required for reimbursement of reasonable taxi fares.
G. Car Rentals at Destination – Charges for automobile rental shall be allowed whenever it is more economical than alternative methods of transportation or it is the only practical means of transportation. Charges for insurance for rented automobiles are not reimbursable. The State of Tennessee is self-insured and does not purchase separate insurance, and therefore will not reimburse for insurance purchases made for rental vehicles. Whenever possible, employees should refuel before returning vehicles.
H. Tolls and Ferry Fees – Reasonable tolls and ferry fees will be allowed when necessary. No receipt is required for reimbursement of tolls and ferry fees.
I. Daily Parking Fees – Those employees required to utilize commercial parking facilities in the daily performance of duties, or while on travel status will be allowed reimbursement for actual costs. A receipt is required if the fee exceeds the maximum indicated per day (see Addendum in TBR Policy 4:03:03:00 General Travel).
J. Unnecessary meals and lodging expenses, which are occasioned by the use of an automobile for reasons of the employee's personal convenience, or which are due to travel by an indirect route, will not be allowed.
K. If travel is by common carrier, the employee will be reimbursed for expenses in traveling to and from the common carrier including related parking expenses.
Receipts must be furnished on airport and hotel parking exceeding maximum parking allowance shown on the Addendum in TBR Policy 4:03:03:00 General Travel.
A. In State Lodging – Lodging expenses incurred within the state while on authorized travel will be reimbursable to the maximum shown on the Addendum in TBR Policy 4:03:03:00 General Travel provided the lodging receipt clearly documents the room rate and applicable room taxes. Lodging expenses for in-state travel incurred within 50 miles of employee's official station will only be allowed if employee is a conference coordinator and must remain on-site. Conference brochure/documentation must be provided showing employee is a conference coordinator.
For example: Nashville, being within the university's 50 mile radius, would not be considered reimbursable except for conference participation as a coordinator. If Nashville lodging reimbursement is requested by an employee for any other reason than previously stated, it would be considered a travel policy exception requiring prior written approval from the President.
B. Out-of-State Lodging – Lodging expenses incurred out of the state while on authorized travel will be reimbursable to the maximum shown on the Addendum in TBR Policy 4:03:03:00 – General Travel provided the lodging receipt clearly documents the room rate and applicable room taxes. The maximum reimbursement rates for out-of-state travel are the same as those maintained by the US General Services Administration for federal employees within the continental United States (CONUS).
The CONUS list, available as a link on the Accounting Services website, contains a standard reimbursement rate for lodging and meals and incidentals, and several pages of exceptions. Most destinations for out-of-state travel fall within the list of exceptions.
En route lodging will be allowed for only one day each way on trips of long duration. En route lodging will only be allowed in cases when the approved and most expeditious mode of travel will require more than ten (10) hours of continuous travel. (Refer to Section I.D.4. for explanation of en route lodging expenses.)
Lodging receipts obtained from reservations obtained through internet providers where the receipt is not directly from the hotel should clearly state the room rate and applicable taxes per night and the lodging dates. Receipts that do not provide room rate breakdowns are not adequate.
C. Out-of-Country Lodging - Lodging expenses incurred while out of the country will be reimbursed at actual expenses with receipts.
D. Additional Lodging Expenses – Sales taxes on lodging costs will be reimbursable.
Higher rates for lodging at the location of a convention or conference will be allowed, without special approval, up to the amount indicated in the convention or conference brochure or conference website. The convention or conference brochure, which indicates the lodging rates, must be included with the travel claim. Otherwise, reimbursement will be limited to the applicable lodging rate as provided in these regulations.
Additional lodging for the President will be approved on the same basis as approval is granted for other employees. Any exceptions must be approved by the Chancellor.
E. Shared Lodging – When a room is shared with other than a university employee on authorized travel, the total cost of the room will be allowed, subject to the maximums set forth on the Addendum in TBR Policy 4:03:03:00 General Travel. The receipt for the entire amount should be submitted with the expense account.
When employees share a hotel room, both employees should attach an explanation to his/her travel claim detailing dates and other employees with whom the room was shared. The lodging cost may be claimed by the employee who incurred the cost, or one half the double occupancy charges may be allowable for each employee.
A. In State and Out-of-State Meals – Meals while on authorized travel will be reimbursed, subject to the meal allowance provided on the Addendum in TBR Policy 4:03:03:00 General Travel. The maximum per diem rates include a fixed allowance for meals and for incidental expenses (M&I). The M&I rate, or fraction thereof, is payable to the traveler without itemization of expenses or receipts. Incidentals are intended to include miscellaneous costs associated with travel such as tips for baggage handling, phone calls home, etc.
The M&I rates for out-of-state travel is the same as those for federal employees, and are available on the General Services Administration's web site. As with lodging, there is a standard rate for the continental United States (CONUS), and a list of exceptions.
Reimbursement for meals and incidentals for the day of departure shall be three-fourths of the appropriate M&I rate (either the in-state rate or CONUS rate for out-of-state travel) at the rate prescribed for the lodging location. Reimbursement for M&I for the day of return shall be three-fourths of the M&I rate applicable to the preceding calendar day. To assist in this calculation, refer to TBR Policy 4:03:03:00 – General Travel which contains a table listing partial per diem rates for meals and incidentals for in-state and out-of state travel.
To determine reimbursement for a single meal, when appropriate, refer to TBR Policy 4:03:03:00 General Travel. Reimbursement for meals will not be permitted when overnight travel is not involved.
B. Out-of-Country Meals - Out-of-country meals are reimbursed at actual expense with receipts. If no receipts are provided, the maximum rate will be the maximum CONUS rate of out-of-state travel.
C. Official Banquets – When the expense for one official banquet of a meeting or conference is in excess of the meal allowance, the excess will be allowed provided a receipt or proper explanation of the charge is submitted.
DC. Business Meals – See MTSU Policy IV:04:13 Purchase of Meals and Refreshments for both On and Off Campus for criteria on reimbursing business meals.
VI. MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES
A. Personal Expenses – Expenses for entertainment (employee or others), laundry, tips and gratuities in excess of per diem rate, etc., are personal expenses and will not be allowed for reimbursement purposes.
B. Telephone, Internet and Fax Expenses – Charges for long distance telephone calls, internet and/or fax on official business will be allowed. Charges for necessary local calls on official business will be allowed.
C. Registration Fees – Registration fees for approved conferences, conventions, conventions, seminars, meetings, etc., will be allowed including cost of official banquets and/or luncheons, if authorized in advance by the appropriate approving authority, and provided receipts are submitted with the Claim for Travel Expenses.
Registration fees may be prepaid by the university by sending the completed registration form to the accounts payable office with the Request for Travel Authorization. Receipts are not required for registration fees paid directly by the university. No separate claim will be allowed for meals included in registration fees.
Also, the University P-Card may be used by faculty, staff, and on behalf of students for the payment of registration fees where advance payment is required. The types of registrations allowed on the University P-Card are; conferences, workshops, and booth/exhibitor fees.
The following are NOT allowed on the University P-Card; entertainment, tours, banquets, or charges for spouses. Original receipts for registration should be maintained by the department in accordance with University P-Card procedures and a copy of the receipt attached to the individual's travel claim.
D. Handling Fees – Fees for the handling of equipment or promotional materials will be allowed up to the maximum indicated (see Addendum in TBR Policy 4:03:03:00 General Travel).
E. Card Fees – Personal charge card fees and interest charges will not be reimbursed by the university.
A. Claim form – The standard Claim for Travel Expenses form shall be used for reimbursement of expenses. The form must show movement and detail of expenses on a daily basis, be signed by the employee/traveler, and be approved by the next approving authority prior to reimbursement. A claim for travel expenses should be submitted no later than thirty (30) days following the completion of any travel. Employees with blanket travel authorization should submit a Claim for Travel Expenses at least once for every 30-day period.
Signatures on the Claim for Travel Expenses must be original or electronic in accordance with TBR policy. The approving official is responsible for the reasonableness of the claim. Original receipts for appropriate expenses must be submitted with the claim for reimbursement. Expenses for books, supplies, postage, and other items that do not constitute actual traveling expenses should not be included in the claim form.
Supporting documents for international travel should be translated in a manner that easily identifies the vendor/purchase and amount being claimed.
The travel claim form should include total expenses associated with the trip with MTSU paid expenses and University P-Card charges being deducted to calculate balance due claimant.
B. Separate claim for each claimant - A separate claim for reimbursement of expenses must be filed by each claimant. The University makes all payments for travel expenses on a reimbursement basis. No employee is authorized to have expenses billed to the University.
C. Foreign Nationals – Travel claims for non-U.S. citizens should include a copy of the VISA, passport, IAP-66 or I-20 papers, and a Foreign National Information Form. MTSU Faculty and Staff should not agree to reimburse travel for non-U.S. citizens until all of the immigration paperwork has been completed and reviewed by Accounting Services.
D. Team Travel/Student Abroad Travel:
1. In all cases, team transportation will be arranged through established University procedures, and travel itineraries are to be arranged in advance.
2. A team/group roster of all individuals participating on the trip must be included with the Travel Authorization. A Team/Group Travel Roster and Certification Form must be signed by all participating individuals and be included with the Travel Claim. For study abroad travel, a Travel Authorization must be filed for the faculty member, including the names of the students traveling abroad, even if the students are paying their own expenses.
3. Original receipts are required for all travel expenses and must be legible. Prepaid gas receipts are unacceptable; gas receipts must show actual amount paid and gallons pumped.
4. Individual meals associated with team travel will follow the MTSU Comprehensive Travel Regulations.
5. Students must sign the Team/Group Travel Roster and Certification Form, which certifies participation on the trip, date, and the amount of the cash received, if any. This certification must accompany the Travel Claim.
6. Lodging expenses shall not exceed the rates established by the MTSU Comprehensive Travel Regulations.
E. The employee is eligible for reimbursement of travel expenses if the trip was entirely business related. If the trip was primarily for business and, while at the business destination, the employee extended his/her stay, made a personal side trip, or had other personal activities, the employee can obtain reimbursement for only business related travel expenses. These expenses include the travel costs of getting to and from the business destination but do not include additional lodging, parking, and per diem for the days not required for the business travel. Additional days are not considered business related unless they are necessary to provide rest or sleep required for the employee to properly perform his/her duties.
VIII. TRAVEL ADVANCES
A. General – Normally, travel expenses should be paid when incurred by an employee, with reimbursement made to the employee for actual expenses upon proper submission of a Claim for Travel Expenses. Advances to employees for anticipated travel expenses may be made under the circumstances hereinafter described as (1) permanent travel advances and (2) temporary travel advances. All travel advances must be approved by the approving authority on the Request for Travel Authorization. In addition, refer to Section IX.C. for employees not eligible to receive advances.
B. Permanent Travel Advances – When an employee has blanket travel authorization, and is expected to travel the major portion of each month, the employee may be placed on permanent travel status. Upon determination of the employee's estimated monthly expenses, if such expenses exceed $100.00, the employee may be provided with a single advance in an amount sufficient to cover such expenses for one month, provided such amount may not exceed semimonthly salary of the employee. Subsequent to the initial advance, the employee shall submit appropriate claims and be reimbursed as heretofore provided, with any unused portion of the advance to be returned upon termination of the employee's permanent travel status.
C. Temporary Travel Advances – When temporary travel is authorized for an employee, the employee may receive an advance in the following circumstances:
1. When an employee is traveling with a group of students and the employee is responsible for disbursement of all funds for the trip on behalf of the group.
2. When a trip involves international travel.
All temporary travel advances must be finalized and closed out with Accounting Services no later than 30 calendar days from the travel return date or June 15th, whichever is earlier.
Registration fees may be prepaid by the university by sending the completed registration form to accounts payable with the Request for Travel Authorization. Airline tickets may be paid directly by the university when reservations are made through the contracted travel agencies. An amount equal to 80% of the estimated out-of-pocket expenditures will be allowed as an advance, however, no advance less than $100 will be made.
Students traveling under individual authorizations or an employee who is responsible for disbursing all funds for student travel may be advanced 100% of the amount of the authorization. Students receiving cash must sign a certification statement indicating the date and the amount of cash received. This certification statement must accompany the Travel Claim.
D. Payroll Deduction Authorization – Each employee receiving a permanent or temporary travel advance agrees to allow the University to recover the advance from any salary owed the employee in the event of termination of employment or failure to submit a Claim for Travel Expenses. This authorization is included as part of the Travel Authorization Form. The deduction from payroll should be used as a last resort only in the event all other efforts to collect the advance have failed.
E. Expense Claim – Upon return, the employee should submit a Claim for Travel Expenses detailing his/her actual expenditures. This claim should show the total expenses incurred and show movement and detail of expenses on a daily basis. The advanced amount should be subtracted from this total.
No advance should exceed actual expenses. However, should this happen the excess must be returned immediately by the employee to the business office for deposit as a credit against the original advance with proper distribution being made of the actual expenses incurred. The Claim for Travel Expenses should be forwarded to the Business Office along with a duplicate copy of the cash receipt.
F. Non-business Expenses - You are eligible for reimbursement of travel expenses if your trip was entirely business related. If your trip was primarily for business and, while at your business destination, you extended your stay, made a personal side trip, or had other personal activities, you can obtain reimbursement for only your business travel expenses. These expenses include the travel costs of getting to and from your business destination but do not include additional lodging, parking, and per diem for the days not required for the business travel. Additional days are not considered business related unless they are necessary to provide rest or sleep required for you to properly perform your duties.
IX. CORPORATE CARD
A. General – The University or State has established a corporate card account for certain University employees.
B. Membership – Corporate cards are made available to designated employees, with the employees personally responsible to the credit card company for all amounts charged to the corporate card.
C. Advances – Travel advances, permanent or temporary, shall not be issued to a) any employee who is issued a corporate card, b) or any employee who is designated but chooses not to apply for a Corporate Card, or c) any employee who has had his/her corporate card cancelled or was refused a card based on the vendor's credit requirements.
D. Reimbursement – Reimbursement for travel expenses shall only be allowed for actual business expenses incurred, subject to the provisions of Section I.F. and the maximum limitations shown on the Addendum in TBR Policy 4:03:03:00 General Travel.
E. Cancellations – The University and/or the credit card company may cancel an employee's corporate card at any time. In the event of cancellation of a corporate card, the University shall promptly notify the employee of the cancellation and use its best efforts to obtain the canceled corporate card and return it to the credit card company.
F. Termination – The University shall notify the credit card company if a corporate card member's employment is terminated, and the effective date of such action. The corporate card must be returned before the final payroll check is released.
This policy is established by the university in recognition of the unique characteristics associated with travel by athletic personnel, teams and other groups. For purposes of this policy, other groups is defined as a group traveling as a single unit that does not consist entirely of university personnel. Generally other groups are student groups participating in programs or activities of the university; however, on occasion may include, or consist of individuals that are not university students. The purpose of the policy is to address practical considerations for travel related specifically to the performance of intercollegiate athletic recruiting, athletic team travel, and other group travel. The policy shall apply only to these functions; travel for other purposes by athletic personnel and other groups shall be subject to the MTSU Comprehensive Travel Regulations. All travel will be reimbursed subject to the MTSU Comprehensive Travel Regulations unless a specific exception is provided below. In addition, MTSU shall comply with all pertinent regulations of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the athletic conference of which the university is a member.
A. Athletic Recruiting
1. Travel Advances
A "permanent" travel advance may be made to staff members engaged in athletic recruitment travel. An advance request must be submitted in writing by the staff member for approval by the athletic director and President or his or her designee. The total advance may not exceed one-half of the staff member's monthly salary. The advance may be retained "permanently" by the staff member until the termination of employment or assignment to duties that do not involve recruiting travel, at which time the institution shall be reimbursed for the advance. Any disallowed expenses will be absorbed by the staff member and will not change the amount of the outstanding advance.
2. Reimbursement Rates
If a staff member has a "courtesy vehicle" or monthly automobile allowance due to his or her association with the university, the maximum rate allowed will be one-half of the rates allowed under the MTSU Comprehensive Travel Regulations. For staff members that do not have a "courtesy vehicle," standard reimbursement rates apply as detailed under the MTSU Comprehensive Travel Regulations.
3. Approval for Travel
The following are subject to prior approval by the President:
a. Blanket travel authorization for scouting or recruiting; and
b. The travel of visitors and guests at university expense for any occasion related to recruiting.
4. Guest Meals
The actual cost of guest meals may be claimed when incurred by a staff member for recruiting purposes. Such claims must be submitted in appropriate detail. Receipts are required.
5. Student Recruits
a. Staff members are responsible for compliance with pertinent NCAA and conference rules regarding student recruits.
b. Lodging in campus facilities should be arranged if space is available. If campus space is not available, arrangements may be made for lodging in local motels/hotels, and, with the approval of the athletic director, may be charged to the athletic department.
c. If available, the use of campus dining services should be arranged and costs may be charged to the athletic department. If necessary, staff members will be reimbursed at cost for off-campus meals, with reasonable and customary gratuities allowed. Receipts must accompany claims.
d. Transportation may be arranged through a local travel service and charged to the athletic department with the approval of the athletic director.
Also, with the athletic director's approval, a University P-Card may be used to purchase air fare for a student recruit at the cheapest rate that allows a refund back to the card in the event the recruit cancels the visit.
Automobile mileage may be reimbursed to a student recruit at the maximum rate allowed under the MTSU Comprehensive Travel Regulations for the use of a personal vehicle.
e. Entertainment expenses may be reimbursed at cost within NCAA and conference rules.
1. The President or designee must approve university officials and guests of the university who accompany the team on trips in advance.
2. In all cases, transportation will be arranged through established university procedures, and travel itineraries are to be arranged in advance. Documentation must be maintained in the athletic or other appropriate University department or office indicating that various cost alternatives have been explored before making all arrangements and reservations. However, if such arrangements are made by the university's purchasing office that office should maintain the appropriate documentation.
3. Travel Authorization - A roster of all individuals on a particular trip must be included with the Travel Authorization. For study abroad travel, a Travel Authorization must be submitted by the faculty member, which includes a roster of all individuals traveling abroad, even if the participants are paying their own expenses.
4. Travel Claim – A team/group roster signed by all of the participating individuals must be included with the Travel Claim for proper accounting and auditing purposes. Students must sign the Team/Group Travel Roster and Certification Form, which certifies participation on the trip, date, and the amount of the cash received, if any.
5. A travel advance for athletic team travel and related groups in the amount of 100% of the estimated trip expenses may be allowed. One person from the athletic department or other appropriate University department or office who is familiar with the travel regulations will be responsible for the advance and all bills connected with team or group travel.
6. Receipts are required for all team or group travel expenses consistent with the MTSU Comprehensive Travel Regulations.
7. Actual lodging expenses (unless reduced by department) will be reimbursed. Documentation must be maintained in the athletic department or other appropriate department or office indicating that various cost alternatives have been explored before making all arrangements and reservations. However, if such arrangements are made by the university's procurement office that office should maintain the appropriate documentation.
8. Miscellaneous expenses, such as movies while on team trips, must be supported by receipts. Telephone calls by staff members for business purposes may be claimed consistent with the MTSU Comprehensive Travel Regulations.
9. Individual meals associated with team or group travel will follow the MTSU Comprehensive Travel Regulations.
All team or group meals, (including Pre-Game and After-Game meals for athletic teams) will be reimbursed at actual cost.
Gratuities not to exceed reasonable and customary rates are allowed. Appropriate documentation and receipts are required.
10. All travel claims and requisitions for team or group travel must be approved in writing by the appropriate approving authority.
11. University P-Cards may be used for travel expenses incurred during actual travel time in instances of team/group travel only as approved by the University P-Card administrator.
C. Other Travel Provisions
Travel by student groups or other groups of participants in programs or activities of the University may be reimbursed under the same provisions as included in Section B above. Sample waivers/releases and a discussion of liability issues have been provided by the TBR Office of the General Counsel. A waiver/release is not appropriate for travel that is required as part of an academic program.
XI. VISITOR TRAVEL
General – All terms and conditions of University travel regulations apply to official University visitors, except where specified below. Reimbursement rates apply to visitors. Lodging rates will be based on the in-state or out-of-state location where the lodging occurs. Meals will be presumed to be in-state if travel is Murfreesboro, unless a satisfactory explanation is provided.
If the airline ticket will be billed directly to the University, the department's travel coordinator will order the airline ticket from the University's Authorized Travel Agencies and reserve the hotel room. The lodging cost (room and taxes) of the hotel will be billed directly to the University. Meals and other incidentals must be paid directly by the visitor.
Notification of Travel Regulations – Authorized visitors should be provided a copy of the current University travel regulations prior to the trip.
Claims for expenses – Claims for reimbursement should be submitted on the standard Travel Expense Claim form. A separate claim for expenses must be filed by each claimant and original receipts must be attached.
The travel claim should include the airline ticket and the lodging as expenses even if paid by the University, but should be deducted from the total expenses if paid directly by the University.
Visitors may pay their own airline tickets or lodging expenses and claim reimbursement.
A. General – The Chancellor shall have the authority to grant exceptions to any part or all of the provisions of this policy when deemed appropriate and necessary. The Chancellor delegates to the President the authority to grant exceptions to any part or all of the provisions of this policy in individual instances when deemed appropriate and necessary; however, any exception directly affecting the President must be approved by the Chancellor. One standing exception to the policy is provided below.
B. Standing Exception
1. Provisions for travel contained in this Exception shall be applicable only to the Chancellor and his or her immediate staff, presidents of institutions, Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology directors, and System employees traveling in their company. This exception corresponds with Exception Number Three of the Comprehensive Travel Regulations of the State of Tennessee. All provisions of the Sections I through X of this policy shall be applicable unless superseded by the following.
2. Transportation: First-class travel on common carrier shall be allowed at the option of the above-designated persons when accompanying others not employed by the State who are traveling in first class accommodations.
3. Charges for automobile rental shall be allowed whenever it is more economical than alternative methods of transportation or whenever it is the only practical means of transportation.
Revisions: July 21, 2005; August 18, 2006; January 25, 2011; August 1, 2011; January 3, 2014; August 15, 2014.
Cross-References: TBR Policy 4:03:03:00 General Travel; MTSU Policy IV:04:13 Policy for Purchase of Meals and Refreshments for Both On and Off Campus.