Travel Procedures and Policies are intended as a guide for individuals with University-related travel and travel-related hospitality. The responsibility to comply with the guidelines rests with the traveler, the supervisor and the financial manager who certify conformance to these guidelines by approving the business purpose for the trip/activity. The same judgment and consideration applies to travel and travel-related hospitality as to any University transaction. Purchases and reimbursements should be authorized only for expenses that conform to University policy, are ordinary, necessary, and reasonable both in amount and relative to its purpose.
These policies apply to any employee or non-employee who incur expenses on behalf of the University of Southern Indiana (USI) while in travel status and seeks reconciliation/reimbursement for those expenses from the University, regardless of the source of funds. The University will pay for reasonable travel, meals/Per Diem, lodging and other out-of-pocket expenses, as per University policies, incurred in the transaction of University business up to amounts approved by the employee’s Financial Manager.
Travel Policies and Procedures document can be found at www.usi.edu/travel-procurement/university-travel-policy
Pre-Trip Travel Approval
Travel and travel-related hospitality receiving University support require a Pre-Approval Report. A Pre-Approval Report is created in Chrome River. Essential information for the University trip or activity is required, including traveler’s name, description and business purpose of trip/event, dates, destination, etc.
Travel Procurement is responsible for the Pre-Approval Report.
A traveler’s department or section may have internal processes that need to be followed prior to the submission of a Pre-Approval Report in Chrome River. Traveler is responsible for checking with the appropriate department chair or director for internal travel procedures.
When no expenses are to be incurred on behalf of USI while in travel status and, therefore, no reimbursement will be requested of the University, then a Pre-Approval Report is not submitted in Chrome River. However, in order to support the travel activity as business and to support workman’s comp coverage, it is important to document the activity with your supervisor and verify internal procedures with the appropriate department chair or director.
Reconciliation of Trip Expenses
All employee or non-employee travel-related reimbursements must be submitted on an Expense Report in Chrome River. Original documents are not submitted to Accounts Payable as backup documents are uploaded in Chrome River and attached to the Expense Report electronically. It is required that the submitter retain original receipts for two fiscal years.
Travel which has been charged directly to a University Travel Card must be reported on an Expense Report in order to reconcile the expense. A traveler who chooses to personally pay for travel arrangements will be able to request reimbursement by submitting an Expense Report after the business trip is completed.
Accounts Payable is responsible for the Expense Report.
PNC Corporate VISA Travel Card (TCard) is the University’s credit card provider used to help facilitate the payment of travel expenses for University business. The TCard, to be used for business purposes only, can be used by employees as a primary payment method for travel and travel-related hospitality expenses for approved business trips.
Egencia (an American Express Global Business Travel Company) is the university’s preferred booking tool for air travel purchases. It may also be used for hotel and rental vehicle reservations. Travel arrangements through Egencia are for University approved travelers only. Egencia is not to be used for nonbusiness approved travel.
Enterprise Rent-a-Car is the University’s preferred rental car company. Go to Travel Procurement’s webpage to access the Enterprise web portal and USI’s negotiated rental rates for both business and personal travel.
- Travel Procurement (Policy document, Travel Card, Vehicle Rentals, etc.) www.usi.edu/travel-procurement
- USI Chrome River (Guides, FAQs, training) www.usi.edu/travel-procurement/chrome-river
- Risk Management (Vehicle Safety Policy and Driver Authorization) https://www.usi.edu/riskmanagement
Out-of-Town Travel for Support Staff Employees
According to government regulations, a non-exempt employee who travels out of town on University business for one day need not be paid for time spent in traveling from home to the point of departure, but must be paid for all other travel time (except any time spent in eating while traveling). Employees who drive overnight are considered working all the time they are driving.
Where employees travel overnight on business (i.e., for more than one day), they must be paid for time spent in traveling (except for meal periods) during their normal working hours on their non-working days, such as Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, as well as on their regular working days. Travel time as a passenger on an airplane, train, boat, bus, or automobile outside of regular working hours is not considered work time by the U.S. Department of Labor. Any actual work the employee does while traveling remains work time. Additionally, if an employee drives a car without being offered public transportation, the travel time is considered working time. See Item D.11 for additional information regarding training for support staff.