This policy provides the guidelines for reimbursement of expenses related to travel for the university. Authorization for travel and reimbursement of expenses must be in accordance with the provisions in this policy.
The travel must be necessary to execute official university business or educational objectives. Professional meetings, conferences, or workshops must be directly connected to the individual's duties and role within the university.
A complete reason must be provided to describe the purpose of the trip. Single words such as "meeting," "research," "conference," do not constitute an adequate reason. If unfamiliar acronyms are used, please give full entity name.
When traveling, employees should be as conservative as circumstances permit. Reimbursement for travel will be based upon the most direct or expeditious route possible. Employees traveling by an indirect route must assume any extra expense incurred. If attending a conference, supporting documentation showing dates of the conference must be attached to the expense report. Any dates outside the conference dates must be explained. It is the responsibility of the employee to be familiar with and adhere to established travel policies. Deliberate disregard of these regulations while traveling on university business or filing of an intentionally misleading or fraudulent travel claim is grounds for disciplinary action, including termination of employment.
A detailed explanation must be provided when travel begins or ends from any location other than the employee's official station. If there is an airport near the employee’s official station, the employee should use the official station airport or provide cost savings documentation for the use of an alternate airport. The cost of meals, lodging and mileage that will be claimed should be included in the determination of any potential savings.
In-route expenses are limited to one day each way. (See International Travel section.)
The entry and approval of the request to travel and the request for reimbursement of expenses must be processed in the IRIS system. Forms that can be used by travelers to provide this information to their departments and all other university financial forms are available on the Treasurer's Office web site, Travel Program.
The campus business officer (or designee) and the university treasurer (or designee) must approve any exceptions to this policy.
University travel regulations and procedures applying to senior-level administrators can be found in TRAVEL SUPPLEMENT NUMBER ONE. The chief financial officer must approve exceptions to policy for senior-level administrators.
Cash advances may be obtained when university travel would impose a financial burden and are available to the following groups or individuals. Advances are not available to employees or students who are not expected to be on campus to clear the advance.
Students traveling on university business
Person responsible for paying expenses and/or distributing cash to team
or group members
Employees traveling outside the continental United States
Cash advances for travel may be requested via the Travel Advance Form available from the Treasurer's Office or the applicable business office. Advances from university funds constitute a loan to an individual. The advance must be repaid within 30 days upon completion of the travel.
If a cash advance is not repaid within 30 days, a deduction may be made from the employee or student's payroll check. By requesting a travel advance, the traveler is authorizing this deduction. Any person for whom a payroll deduction is made will forfeit future cash advance privileges.
A Travel Advance Form must be completed to determine the amount of the advance. The form must include an itemized estimate of expenses. The form must be received by the appropriate business office in enough time to allow for audit, processing, and disbursement of funds. Normally, a cash advance will not be made more than five days before the travel departure date.
Advances are limited to a maximum of eighty percent (80%) of estimated reimbursable travel expenses. However, team, tour, and international travel may be advanced at one hundred percent (100%) of estimated travel costs.
Upon completion of the trip, the traveler should submit a Travel Expense Report for reimbursement of expenses incurred. The comments section of the report must be used to indicate that an advance has been given, including the amount, for the trip.
Travel advances cannot be made for items billed directly to the university.
In accordance with state of Tennessee legislation, reimbursement for airfare will be limited to standard coach fare. No business or first class fares will be reimbursed. There will be no exceptions to this restriction. If an employee elects to purchase business or first class fare, they will be reimbursed the cost of a discounted coach ticket. Support for this cost must be obtained through a quote in the manner described in #20 below. Employees must purchase their own airlines tickets. One employee cannot be reimbursed for another employee's airfare. When an employee is accompanied by a student, the employee may pay for travel expenses incurred by that student(s); however, if the student(s) requests reimbursement for other expenses, both the employee and student request for reimbursement must be forwarded to the applicable business office or Treasurer's Office at the same time.
Employees are encouraged to participate in the university's Designated Travel
Agency Program, World Travel. Internet airfares are available through Cliqbook,
the on-line reservation system offered by the Designated Travel
Agency Program. University-negotiated vendor discounts are available
only through the university's designated travel agency.
The cost of the ticket should be supported by the original passenger coupon. If the original passenger coupon cannot be obtained, documentation from the vendor will be accepted if it contains the name of the passenger, dates of travel, complete trip itinerary (including departure and arrival times), amount, and the name of the airline. Additionally, the coupon or receipt must contain the class of service. On the coupon or receipt, the class of service will be identified by either the word "coach" or "economy," or a letter (e.g., W, S, Q, L, etc.). Employees may be reimbursed for non-refundable and international airline tickets before the departure date.
A comparison quote must be obtained for airfare when any of the following circumstances prevails:
Personal travel is combined with business travel and includes additional destinations. If there is not an additional destination, the airfare is reimbursable and a quote is not needed.
Leaving from a destination other than the official station or flying into a city other than the business destination.
A first or business class ticket has been purchased.
A comparison quote of the lowest discounted coach price (for the business portion only) must be obtained from the same source using the same carrier and on the same day the original ticket was purchased. A quote obtained after the date the ticket was purchased is not considered sufficient support of savings. If a quote is not obtained at the time the airline ticket is purchased, a quote for the lowest discounted coach fare (from the same carrier and day of the week) for the business portion only with at least a 21 day advance purchase will be used to determine the amount of reimbursement. Instances where a qualifying quote is provided should not be treated as an exception. For example: an employee travels to a conference in Orlando on Monday July 1 and instead of returning on Thursday to his official station they travel to Tampa and return on Saturday from Tampa. The traveler should get a quote on the day that they purchase their ticket showing the cost of just traveling to the conference and back to their official station. If they fail to obtain this quote, they need to attempt to recreate the cost of just attending the conference by obtaining a quote at least 21 days out, departing on a Monday, returning on Thursday to their official station and using the same airlines. They will be reimbursed the lesser of the cost of their ticket or the quote for the business only flight.
Employees will be reimbursed fees for reissuing or revalidating a non-refundable
If the traveler leaves from a location other than their official station to take advantage of discounted airfares they can be reimbursed up to the per diem for meals, lodging and other expenses provided they do not exceed the airfare savings, and the trip does not include additional designations. To validate the savings the traveler must obtain a quote in accordance with the guidelines described in #20. A detailed explanation of all expenses and savings associated with extending the trip must appear in the Comments Section of the TRAVEL EXPENSE REPORT. See EXAMPLE OF PERSONAL TIME CALCULATION for examples of this calculation.
Any unused ticket or any portion of an unused ticket must be processed for a refund or the value of the ticket applied to a future trip. The traveler is responsible for managing and controlling this process. If the University has paid for the ticket with unrestricted funds and the traveler has not used the ticket within nine months after it was issued, the department should attempt to apply the value of the ticket to another traveler’s airfare. Otherwise, after nine months, the University may apply the credit to another traveler's airfare.
Mandatory fees imposed by the airline industry will be reimbursed, provided a receipt is provided for amounts of $50 or more.
Direct Bill of Airfare. Departments may purchase airline tickets through a direct billing process for employees, students, prospective athletes, members of a University sponsored group or team and non-employees authorized to travel at university expense.
After receipt of the request to purchase airline tickets, the appropriate business office will issue a transportation request authorization number to the travel agency. The department should call the travel agency to arrange for the purchase of their ticket.
The original invoice is sent to the Treasurer’s Office for payment and they will post the charges to the departmental ledger as an SA document. The traveler’s name and travel authorization number will be included with this transaction. Upon completion of a trip, departments must enter the amount of the airline ticket in the individual's Travel Expense Report as airfare company-paid and attach a copy of the airline ticket. They should not claim reimbursement for the airfare, since it was paid by the university.
Airfare involving additional destinations for personal reasons, business or first class tickets, or leaving from a destination other than the traveler’s official station may not be purchased through direct bill.
Fly America Act
Federal grant sponsors require awardees to make use of U.S. flag air carriers when service is available unless one of the following circumstances apply:
For travel originating in the United States, if a U.S. flag air carrier offers nonstop or direct service (no aircraft change) from the origin to the destination, the traveler must use the U.S. flag air carrier service unless such use would extend travel time, including delay at origin, by 24 hours or more.
For travel originating both within and outside of the United States, if a U.S. flag air carrier does not offer nonstop or direct service (no aircraft change) between the origin and the destination, the traveler must use a U.S. flag air carrier unless, when compared to using a foreign air carrier, such use would:
Increase the number of aircraft changes that must be made outside of the U.S. by two or more
Extend travel time by at least six hours or more or
Require a connecting time of four hours or more at an overseas interchange point.
U. S. carriers must be used even if foreign air carriers are cheaper or more convenient.
Most federal agencies accept code-sharing agreements between U.S. and foreign air carriers when the U.S. carrier’s designator and flight number are identified on the ticket or documentation. When the code share is between a U.S. air carrier and a non-U.S. air carrier, the ticket stock or documentation for electronic tickets must identify the U.S. airlines designator code and flight number as the marketing carrier to be in compliance with the Fly America Act. An example of this is:
UA 1002 (Operated by LH 1224) where UA = United Airlines (U.S. Carrier) and LH = Lufthansa (non-U.S. Carrier)
Transportation also may be provided by a foreign flag air carrier if the transportation is provided under an air transport agreement between the United States Government and a foreign government, which the U.S. Department of Transportation has determined meets the requirements of the Fly America Act. The U.S. Government has entered into several air transport agreements, called “Open Skies” agreements, which allow federally funded transportation services for travel and cargo movements using foreign air carriers under certain circumstances. For information on “Open Skies” agreements to which the United States is a party, please refer to the General Services Administration’s website at http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/103191.
Some funding sources may have more restrictive policies. Travelers using federal funding sources must comply with the most restrictive of the applicable policies.
University-owned Automobile. A university-owned automobile should be used when available. Whenever possible, gasoline and oil should be purchased from university motor pool facilities or state garages. A gasoline credit card is provided with the automobile to use when these resources are not available. In the event a gasoline credit card cannot be used and it is necessary to purchase gasoline with personal funds, a request for reimbursement must be made directly to the UT motor pool. This expense cannot be reimbursed with a Travel Expense Report. If the vehicle is assigned to a department, the gas expenses can be submitted on the Travel Expense Report.
Personally Owned Automobile. A personally owned automobile may be used for official travel. The Travel Expense Report must indicate the traveler's itinerary and show the official business mileage. If an indirect route is used, mileage as indicated in the Rand McNally Road Atlas or a comparable mileage table will be considered official. See the TRAVEL REIMBURSEMENT RATE SCHEDULE for the standard mileage rate. In lieu of mileage, gasoline purchases can be claimed, as long as the total is not more than the mileage charge.
Local Mileage. Employees may be reimbursed for the use of their personal automobile for local travel for university business. Local travel is defined as travel within a 75-mile radius of the official station. Reimbursement may not be requested for commuting from the traveler’s home to their official station regardless of the frequency of these trips per day or if it occurs after business hours or on weekends. See the TRAVEL REIMBURSEMENT RATE SCHEDULE for the standard mileage rate. Requests for the reimbursement must be submitted on the Travel Expense Report along with a daily log that includes the specific origin and destination of each trip, number of miles (odometer or trip meter), and the purpose (purpose of the trip must be specifically identified) of the trip (see below). The total mileage from this log should be attached to the Travel Expense Report. Reimbursement requests for local mileage should be submitted no more than once a month, but an employee may make requests on a quarterly basis. At the end of each fiscal year, these requests must be submitted by June 30.
Required Log for Local Travel:
Automobile Rental at Official Station. When it is necessary to rent a vehicle at an official station, actual expenses will be reimbursed provided a rejection slip is obtained from the motor pool and submitted with the Travel Expense Report. If there is no motor pool operation serving the employees official station, such statement will satisfy this condition. If a rejection slip is not obtained, reimbursement will be the lesser of the total rental expense (including gas receipts) or the amount determined by using the standard mileage rate and the number of official miles driven.
Automobile Rental at Domestic Destination. Employees will be reimbursed for a rental automobile at the domestic destination when necessary to conduct University business. Reservations are encouraged through the university-designated travel agency to obtain discounts negotiated with auto rental vendors. Rental of 15 passenger vans is prohibited due to safety reasons.
Whenever possible, travelers should refuel the automobile prior to returning the automobile to the rental agency. This usually saves the University money. If gasoline convenience fees are incurred, they should be processed as an exception and an explanation for incurring this cost should be provided.
Automobile Rental at International Destination. Employees will be reimbursed for a rental automobile while on international travel status. The university recommends that collision damage waiver insurance be purchased. The cost of this coverage will be reimbursed to the traveler.
Personal Accident Insurance. This coverage offered by car rental agencies provides personal benefits and is not reimbursable by the university.
Collision Damage Insurance-Domestic. The university is self-insured for loss due to physical damage to automobiles and other vehicles leased or rented by the university and its employees on official university business. Therefore, collision damage waiver insurance should not be purchased as part of the rental or lease agreement and are not reimbursable. Rental vehicles should be inspected for existing physical damage before rental. In the event of any damage to a rented or leased automobile or other vehicle, the university employee must report the damage immediately to the Risk Management section of the Treasurer's Office. When physical damage occurs, the employee's departmental account or other responsible account will be responsible for the first $1,000 of the loss.
Personal Liability Insurance. See USE OF UNIVERSITY VEHICLES (FI0725), 2i for a discussion on liability insurance
coverage for employees driving university vehicles out of state. The University
maintains a blanket university policy for non-owned automobiles and accordingly
such vendor offered coverage is redundant and not reimbursable.
University Flight Operations has contracts for charter flights and will
coordinate all charter flights for the university. See UNIVERSITY AIRCRAFT (FI0735).
Generally, university faculty and staff whose duties require travel will use commercial ground and air carriers or a university-owned automobile or aircraft. However, a chartered aircraft may be used if time and/or distance preclude ground travel, if commercial air service is either unavailable or does not meet the needs of the traveler(s), or if a university-owned aircraft is unavailable.
The chief executive officer of each campus or institute should assign the following duties to a responsible official: (a) reviewing and approving requests for charter air services, (b) scheduling charter flights with Flight Operations, and (c) informing those who request charter flights of the charter company's policy on canceling scheduled flights.
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.
The charter company must provide Flight Operations 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.
Charges for charter services will be billed to University of Tennessee Flight
Operations. Charges will be distributed by Flight Operations to the appropriate
departmental accounts by internal transfer.
Individuals will not be reimbursed for charter air services.
Reimbursements for individuals associated with personal service contracts
must be requested by submitting a NON-IRIS TRAVEL
EXPENSE REPORT (Form T-6) with receipts to the applicable business
office, who will forward it to the Treasurer's Office for processing.
Reimbursement of these expenses will be in accordance with university policy,
unless otherwise noted in the contract.
All amounts in IRIS are in U.S. dollars. Any currency conversions must be done outside IRIS. The conversion rate and computation must be shown on each receipt, or the conversion can be calculated on a conversion website and attached to each receipt. The conversion rate and date must correspond to the date shown on the receipt (i.e., conversion rate - 9/01/08; receipt date - 9/01/08). Conversions shown on credit card statements are also acceptable if they contain the amount claimed and are attached to each receipt. A credit card charge that combines all hotel charges (lodging, taxes, food, internet, etc.) cannot be used because each of these expenses must be claimed separately.
All expenses related to the conversion of U.S. dollars will be reimbursed.
Expenses to obtain funds at automated teller machines (ATM) are not reimbursable.
The recommended website for conversions is OANDA - http://www.oanda.com/. The ‘average’ bid rate should be used.
World Travel Services, Inc. is the university's designated travel agency. University-negotiated vendor airfare discounts are available only through the university's Designated Travel Agency. Employees are encouraged to participate in the university's Designated Travel Agency program, World Travel Services, inc. Internet airfares are available through Cliqbook, the on-line reservation system offered by the Designated Travel Agency Program. World Travel service includes rental car and assistance in lodging for CONUS rates (see the section on lodging for additional information).
Extended travel status applies to those employees on continuous travel for a period of more than two weeks. Employees on extended travel status may elect to rent an apartment rather than live in a motel or hotel. While this option is left to the discretion of the employee and the employing department, department head approval is required prior to renting an apartment. The monthly rental allowance shall include rental furniture and payment of utilities, and shall not exceed the standard university lodging per diems.
Travel expenses for grant or contract (restricted funds) will be paid in accordance with the provisions and reimbursement limitations of university travel policies unless otherwise stipulated by the grant or contract with the exception of airfare. Airfare will be reimbursed at standard coach fare, regardless of the funding source.
Guidelines and procedures in this section apply to guests, such as consultants,
candidates for positions, and other individuals who are authorized to travel
at university expense. [See the applicable rates in the TRAVEL
REIMBURSEMENT RATE SCHEDULE]. Non-resident alien guests must submit
a copy of their visa as a part of reimbursement documentation. Non-resident
guidelines can be found on the Payroll web site.
Any guest with expenses must be entered
into the IRIS HR system as a Guest Traveler and assigned an employee number.
An e-form is now available to request the personnel number for a guest traveler.
A RECORD A GUEST
TRAVELER WORKSHEETis available for collecting the guest information for entry into IRIS. A Travel Request is required for all out of state or foreign travel.
Destination. If a guest traveler's destination is somewhere other than a
university location, the benefit to the university for the visit must be explained.
Meal Allowance. The meal allowance will be reimbursed in
accordance with applicable per diems.
Lodging. Lodging should be arranged at a hotel or motel
that honors State or CONUS rates. If such rates are not available, actual lodging
expenses will be reimbursed or can be direct-billed to the university.
Transportation. Transportation expenses may be paid by the guest or billed directly to the university. Guests are covered under the university's Hired and Non-owned Automobile Liability Insurance for business use. When renting automobiles guests should purchase collision damage waiver insurance. Additional insurance to cover personal exposure is at the discretion of the guest, but not reimbursable by the university.
Individuals Accompanying a Guest. These travel expenses
must be entered in IRIS as "Other Exceptions to Policy" on the guest's Travel
Expense Report with an explanation given in the Comments section.
All signatures on the Travel Expense Report should be original. In situations
where the guest cannot sign, a faxed, signed copy or an e-mail of the document
showing the amount to be reimbursed will be accepted.
Any other documentation (for example, a TRAVEL EXPENSE
REPORT (FORM T-3) or a letter from a guest traveler) used to submit
documentation to the department for entry into IRIS can be signed by the traveler
and attached to the TRAVEL EXPENSE REPORT in lieu of a signature
on the expense report.
University employees who engage in professional activities (such as speaking
engagements or serving on accreditation committees) as representatives of the
university occasionally receive honorariums from outside organizations. In such
cases, if the university reimburses the employee for the travel expenses, the
employee must remit the honorarium in full to the university. The honorarium
will then be credited to the account charged for the travel expense. If the
university does not pay the travel expenses, the employee may retain the honorarium.
Employees cannot be reimbursed for the same travel expenses from an outside
organization and the university.
Reimbursement rates for lodging, meals, and incidentals will be in accordance
with the Federal rates (OCONUS) for the city and country for all international
travel. Note: OCONUS rates for lodging include all taxes therefore reimbursements
are limited to the OCONUS rates for that city and country.
If enroute travel time lasts more than 13 hours, 1 additional day of lodging and meals will be allowed.
Reimbursement for upgraded coach airfare that provides additional leg room will be allowed for flights from your official station to destinations outside of North America. The upgrade can’t include first or business class. Any comparison quotes that may need to be obtained in accordance with #20 of this policy can include a similar upgraded coach airfare instead of the discounted coach airfare.
Non-Conference Lodging: Lodging expenses will be reimbursed subject to the maximum amounts shown in the Travel Reimbursement Rate Schedule. Original receipts are required and must include the address of the hotel, name of the individual occupying the room, the daily room charge, applicable tax, and total charges.
To expedite reimbursements and minimize staff time in locating rates within the CONUS schedules World Travel (the university's designated travel agency) can assist travelers to secure CONUS rates. In the event World Travel cannot secure a CONUS rate for a trip, a World Travel consultant will document that a CONUS rate is not available and the rate booked is the lowest rate available at the time of the booking. The documentation will be in the form of an e-mail and must be attached to the reimbursement request along with the hotel receipt. Travelers who use this process will not be required to process the lodging as an exception.
NOTE: The reimbursement rate for lodging and meals is based upon the city where the employee spends the night.
Conference Lodging:Employees attending official meetings (such as a conference, seminar, or workshop, but not just a meeting of several individuals) and lodge in the designated conference hotel or overflow hotel will be reimbursed for room and tax at the conference rate. A conference brochure/agenda must be attached to the reimbursement request and contain the name of the designated conference and/or overflow hotel(s). The absence of the conference brochure/agenda will limit the reimbursement to the CONUS/OCONUS rate.
In the event the employee lodged in a hotel of their choice, the amount of the reimbursement will be limited to the rate of the conference hotel, documented by conference literature, and attached to the expense report. In the event the conference materials do not contain a conference-lodging rate, CONUS/OCONUS rates will be applicable.
Employees must pay for their own lodging. However, if two employees share
a room and the room rate total for both employees is less than or equal to the
allowable lodging per diem for each employee, one employee may pay the entire
amount and claim the expenses. The Travel Expense Reports for both employees
must identify the other employee.
When employees share a room and the amount exceeds the allowable lodging per diem for each employee, each employee must pay for his or her share of the lodging. Both employees should request their own receipt. If it is not possible for both employees to get a receipt, a copy of the original receipt is acceptable. The Travel Expense Reports for both employees must identify the other employee.
If a university employee shares a room with a non-employee, the actual cost will be allowed up to the maximum reimbursable amount. The receipt for the entire amount must be submitted with the Travel Expense Report.
Early departure and other hotel fees will be reimbursed, provided a receipt is obtained.
Deposits or advance payments will be reimbursed prior to a trip if required by the terms in a contract or if deposits or advance payments are standard practice.
Daily meal allowances are provided in the TRAVEL REIMBURSEMENT RATE SCHEDULE. The meal allowance will be in accordance with the per diems for locations of travel and will be based upon the city where the employee spent the night.
Reimbursement for meals for the day of departure and the day of return will
be calculated based on the number of hours the traveler is in travel status.
Day of Departure:
Time of Departure
Hours in Travel Status
% of Per Diem
0:00 - 5:59
18:01 - 24:00
6:00 - 11:59
12:01 - 18:00
12:00 - 17:59
6:01 - 12:00
18:00 - 23:59
0:01 - 6:00
Day of Return:
Time of Return
Hours in Travel Status
% of Per Diem
0:01 - 6:00
0:01 - 6:00
6:01 - 12:00
6:01 - 12:00
12:01 - 18:00
12:01 - 18:00
18:01 - 24:00
18:01 - 24:00
If any meal is provided as part of a sponsored training session, conference, or entertainment, the employee should deduct the cost of that meal(s) from the per diem for that day, using the meal deductions in the Travel Expense Report. If the traveler elects not to eat the conference provided meal, the deduction should still be taken. Failure to do this would result in the University purchasing two meals for one traveler. Deductions are not required for continental breakfasts which are not considered a meal. A continental breakfast is a light breakfast consisting typically of coffee, cereal, and pastries. This also applies to the day of departure and the day of return; however, deductions on day of departure and day of return can cause incorrect reimbursement amounts. The following table provides the percentage of a day's meals deducted from the day's meal per diem based on the type of deduction:
Percentage of Full Day's
Per Diem Deducted by Meal Type:
Meal Allowance for One-Day Trips. Reimbursement for a single meal (or meals) for employees on one-day travel status with no overnight stay is not permitted.
Non-employees who are being paid under a personal services contract:
Travel expenses for these individuals should be entered on a Form T-6 with
attached receipts and sent to the applicable business office. These items
will then be forwarded to the Treasurer's Office for processing.
b. Employees in IRIS who are in a "withdrawn" status: Anyone who has a personnel number in IRIS but is in a withdrawn status should be reimbursed for travel expenses using Form T-6. This includes retirees, casual laborers, and persons who have left the university but still have an affiliation that requires the university to reimburse their travel.
When using the Form T-6, all receipts must be attached to the form and
routed for all required approvals before being sent to the central business
office for audit and processing.
All reimbursement should be based upon the traveler's official station.
An explanation must be given if the reimbursement is based upon a location other
than the official station.
The official station of an employee is his or her office
headquarters or designated work location. The official station is typically the
location from which the employee performs the major portion of his or her assigned
duties and should be identified as the employee's "Primary Office" address in their
IRIS record. The workstation closest to an employee's residence should be designated
as the official station for employees with multiple workstations.
In the event that an employee is temporarily reassigned to a work location other than his or her usual official station, that location shall become the employee's official station. The employee will not be eligible for reimbursement unless he or she can demonstrate that by commuting to the temporary location he or she has incurred additional expense over the cost of the commute to his or her usual official station. Expenses incurred at an employee's official station will not be reimbursed by the university and are considered personal.
Several Internet sites are now offering travel packages that are designed to reduce the overall cost of travel. Many of these packages include the cost of the airline ticket, lodging, and/or automobile rentals. The university will reimburse employees when a travel package is purchased to obtain the best overall cost for a trip. However, the package must not contain any expenses not covered by fiscal policy, any first-class airfare, or any lodging or meal allowances that exceed the per diem for the location of travel. Either an itemized receipt, statement from the vendor, or TRAVEL PACKAGE ITEMIZATION (FORM T-40)must be provided for documentation for the expenses covered by the package.
The preferred receipt is an itemized receipt or statement from the vendor.
The itemized and the beginning and ending dates.
In the event an itemized receipt cannot be obtained, a Travel Package Itemization Form and a copy of the online receipt must be completed and attached to the request for reimbursement. The information must represent the traveler's best costs estimate of the cost for each item.
Charges for routine parking while on travel status will be reimbursed. Receipts
must be furnished for parking fees of $50 or more. Parking sites must be identified
on the Travel Expense Report.
If travel is by air, the employee can be reimbursed for one of the following: (a) the allowable mileage reimbursement for one round trip and airport parking; or (b) the cost of one round trip taxi fare from the employee's official workstation or residence, or (c) the allowable mileage reimbursement for two round trips from home and short-term parking when driven by a friend or relative.
Fees and expenses incurred for the purchase of passports and visas for university business travel will be reimbursed prior to the trip. Expenses, including a receipt for the passport or visas, must be fully documented. Expenses related to passports and visas as a condition of employment are considered a personal expense.
When a stay at a business location is extended either prior to or after the business mission for personal reasons, the entire airfare may be reimbursed. Other expenses incurred during the personal portion of the stay such as meals, lodging and other transportation are not reimbursable and the traveler should exercise care not to seek reimbursement for these. If any destinations not pertaining to official university business are included on the airline ticket, the airline ticket may not be used for reimbursement purposes and the traveler must provide a quote in accordance with #20 of this policy.
The University will prepay conference registrations through a procurement card in the Treasurer’s office or at a campus business office. The University will also prepay non-refundable and international airfare on a procurement card in the Treasurer’s Office. These expenses cannot be prepaid or reimbursed more than six months in advance of the date that the expenses will be incurred.
To be reimbursed for the use of a private, employee-owned aircraft, the employee must request and receive advance approval from The University of Tennessee Risk Management section of the Treasurer’s Office and have the following documents on file with the University’s Risk Management Office:
Current copy of FAA Certificate of Airworthiness
Current copy of pilot’s license and supporting documents indicating the employee has a certification appropriate to the aircraft and weather conditions being flown
Current copy of Certificate of Insurance evidencing aircraft liability insurance in the amount of at least $1,000,000, naming The University of Tennessee as an additional insured while the aircraft is being used on approved University business. Evidence of such insurance must be in the form of an original endorsement from the insuring company and a Certificate of Insurance naming the University of Tennessee as an additionally named insured while the aircraft is being used on approved university business.
Signed acknowledgment by the employee that the University will not be responsible for any loss or damage to the employee’s aircraft.
The required documents must be filed with the University’s Risk Management Office prior to any travel using a private, employee-owned aircraft for approved University business. Reimbursement will be denied if the employee has not requested and received advance approval for such travel and if all required documentation has not been filed with the University’s Risk Management Office before the date of travel. See the TRAVEL REIMBURSEMENT RATE SCHEDULE for applicable rates.
The purchase of insurance required by this section is not intended to waive sovereign immunity or any employee’s immunity. University employees are not authorized to waive any rights under Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 9-8-307(b) and (h) absent the express consent of the State. In the event of a lawsuit arising out of an employee’s use of a private, employee-owned aircraft for approved University business, only the Attorney General’s Office, or its delegee, will assert the § 9-8-307 defenses on behalf of the individual state/university employee(s), if applicable, and the sovereign immunity defense on behalf of the State.
The purchase of the insurance required by this section is made pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. § 9-8-307(e) and is intended to conform the monetary amount recoverable against the State in the Tennessee Claims Commission to the insurance policy limits; it is not intended to expand the subject matter jurisdiction of the Claims Commission.
Fees Paid Directly by the University. The University will pay registration fees directly to the vendor by submission of an itemized invoice from a conference, seminar, etc. or via the CONFERENCE AND SEMINAR REGISTRATION PREPAYMENT (FORM T-30). In addition, if on-line registration requires a user id and password, please include the appropriate conference log-in information (NOT YOUR UT OR IRIS NETID AND PASSWORD) on the Form T-30 or invoice. To initiate the payment, an approved Travel Expense Report must be in the IRIS Travel system with the expense type "Reg/Conf/Train Company Paid" showing the amount of the registration. The department is responsible for making this entry on the Travel Expense Report and for recording the trip number on the Form T-30. To expedite the processing of these fees and to reduce costs, it is suggested that all applicable documents (T-30, conference material and/or invoices) should be scanned and attached to the Travel Expense Report in the IRIS Travel System. These will then be routed through workflow to the applicable business office for approval and processing. Instructions for scanning and attaching travel documents are located on the IRIS website under their training material. Some campus units require that registration payments be processed in this manner. If you are unsure of your campus procedures, please contact your business office.
When an invoice is used, the invoice must be billed to the university and contain (1) the name of the individual attending the conference, (2) date and location of the conference, and (3) an itemization of all items included in the fee. IF THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INCLUDED ON THE INVOICE YOU WILL NEED TO SEND THE BACKUP DOCUMENTATION YOU WOULD NORMALLY SEND WITH THE T-30. This invoice must be sent to the applicable business office and can be processed either before or after the conference.
When the Form T-30 is used, the form must be sent to the appropriate business office ten (10) working days before the payment deadline with a legible approval signature OR the approver’s name typed underneath the signature. The Form T-30 must be accompanied by documentation (i.e., brochure) to support the cost of a registration fee and must specify the amenities included (for example, lodging, meals, membership fee). The documentation should also include conference dates, location and hotel name. If the documents are not scanned, the registration forms must be in duplicate and attached to the Form T-30. One copy of the registration form will be attached to the university's payment. Additional enclosures that need to be mailed with the check and form should accompany the Form T-30. The travel expense report should not be attached to the Form T-30. If you are unsure of your campus/unit requirements on scanning, please check with them.
Registration fees for local training at an employee’s official station may be charged to the departmental procurement card using G/L 449100 provided that no travel expenses, except for local mileage, will be incurred.
Registration will not be processed more than six months in advance of the date of the conference unless an “early bird” rate applies.
Fees Paid by and Reimbursed to the Employee. Employees may pay registration fees with personal funds either in advance or at the conference site. This expense is reimbursed via a Travel Expense Report upon completion of the trip. An itemized receipt for the registration must be attached to the printed Travel Expense Report. Registration fees will not be reimbursed prior to the trip.
Payment of Meals and Lodging. In some instances, lodging
and all meals may be included in a registration fee. In these cases, the following
criteria must be met:
The lodging and meals must be part of a package arrangement and listed
on the registration form.
Both the registration fee and lodging/meal fee must be made payable
to the same vendor.
All meals, banquets, or proceedings to be paid by the university must
be directly related to the official purpose of the conference.
For meals purchased at an event, an itemized receipt must be obtained from the association, the cost must be supported by conference literature, and it should not include any items of personal nature that are listed in item (e) below. The employee should claim meals actual on their expense report instead of the per diem.
Expenses included in the registration fee that are purely of a personal nature are not reimbursable (e.g., golfing fees, bus and/or historical tours, theater and sporting event tickets).
Employees should submit claims for reimbursement for travel expense no later than thirty (30) days after completion of travel, with the exception of local mileage logs. Failure to do so could significantly delay the reimbursement. Departments can more effectively approve travel when timely claims are submitted. Departments should review and submit claims to the appropriate business office as rapidly as possible to ensure prompt payment to their employees.
Reimbursement per diem amounts (meals, lodging, and mileage) can be found
in the Travel Reimbursement Rate Schedule.
Reimbursement of expenses incurred while on university business is subject
to the limitations in this policy. The limits do not indicate the amounts that
should be spent but provide maximum amounts that can be reimbursed.
An acceptable original, itemized receipt must be submitted for lodging, registration
fees, airline tickets, rental cars, or any other allowable expenses of $50 or
A Travel Expense Report must be processed in IRIS for all employees and
guests of the university for travel-related expenses.
A Travel Expense Report must be printed and signed by the traveler. All
required receipts must be attached to the printed expense report and routed
to the appropriate business office for audit. In addition, the approved electronic
Travel Expense Report will be electronically routed to the appropriate business
All signatures on the printed Travel Expense Report should be original. In situations where the employee cannot sign, a faxed or scanned signed copy will be accepted when original signatures are not available provided the amounts to be reimbursed are detailed on the document, required receipts are attached and an explanation is given.
Any other documentation (for example, a Form T-3 or a letter from a guest
traveler) used to itemize expenses to the department for entry into IRIS can
be signed by the traveler and attached to the Travel Expense Report in lieu
of a signature on the Travel Expense Report generated in IRIS. This document
must show the amount to be reimbursed.
An employee is considered to be on official travel status and eligible for
reimbursement at the time of departure from his or her official station or residence,
whichever is applicable.
University employees are allowed to earn points and miles associated with airline, hotel and rental car frequent travel programs for travel expenses incurred within applicable travel policies. The University will not purchase or reimburse employees any costs associated with redeeming these points even if the redemption is used for University business.
To reduce costs, improve efficiencies, improve record retention, and reduce the amount of time that it takes to process travel reimbursements, attaching scanned travel receipts to the reimbursement request in IRIS is encouraged and required by most campuses. Consult with your campus/unit business office if you have questions about this. The documents to be attached include but are not limited to worksheets, conference brochures, receipts, instructional notes, and all other pertinent documents supplied by the traveler. Instructions for attaching these documents can be located under training on the IRIS website at http://iris.tennessee.edu. Once the reimbursement request has been processed, the scanned, electronic documents in the IRIS system will serve as the official record for legal and accounting purposes. The department should keep the paper records for one year.
If an individual travels by common carrier, reasonable taxi, bus, or shuttle, charges to and from airports can be reimbursed. Reasonable taxi fares will also be allowed for travel between lodging and meeting sites and to and from restaurants. Receipts are required for expenses of $50 or more for taxis, or other types of ground transportation. Regardless of the amount of the fare, the destination and reason for each fare reimbursement claimed must be listed on the Travel Expense Report under "Transportation, Ground." Claiming expenses that were not incurred is considered theft and employees will be subject to disciplinary action, including termination. Credit card statements showing ground transportation charges can be submitted as reimbursable receipts.
The policy for team, group, and retreat travel applies when five or more
individuals are traveling together on university business. [See applicable per
diems on the TRAVEL
REIMBURSEMENT RATE SCHEDULE.]
Nondiscrimination by Facilities Used. The Tennessee Civil
Rights Act of 1990 prohibits official university activities in locations, establishments,
or commercial facilities that do not grant full access or membership rights
and privileges to individuals based on sex, race, creed, color, religion, ancestry,
national origin, or disability. No university funds may be paid to such facilities,
and employees may not be reimbursed for using these facilities. Before arranging
to use a private facility for meetings, retreats, etc., university departments
must ascertain that no discriminatory practices exist.
Authorization for Official Travel. A single Travel Request
must be executed for out-of-state and international travel. All individuals
traveling in the group must be listed on the Travel Request in the Comments
section or on an attachment to the request. In lieu of a travel authorization
for in-state travel, the individuals traveling in the group must be listed in
the Comments section of the expense report on or as an attachment to the Travel
Transportation. Transportation can be provided by contracted
service, university motor pool vehicle, or personal vehicle.
Ground transportation obtained at the official station must be provided
by contracted services through the campus or unit purchasing department
or by a vehicle from the university's motor pool.
Ground transportation obtained at the destination may be secured by
contacting the vendor directly.
When transportation is by a chartered flight, a contract must be executed.
When it is necessary to rent a vehicle at an official station, actual
expenses will be reimbursed, provided a rejection slip is obtained, from
the motor pool and submitted with the Travel Expense Report. If a rejection
slip is not obtained, reimbursement will be the lesser of the actual rental
expense or the amount determined by using the standard mileage rate and
the number of official miles driven.
Lodging. Lodging expenses should be billed directly to
the university. When these expenses cannot be billed directly, the person responsible
for the trip may obtain a cash advance to pay for the lodging. If a hotel or
motel requires a purchase order, a requisition must be submitted directly to
the campus purchasing department.
Meals. Expenses for group meals should be billed directly
to the University of Tennessee whenever possible.
Whenever possible, group meals should be billed directly to the University.
The invoice or receipt for such expenses must identify the group for which
the charges are made, number of meals served, cost per meal, and total amount.
The person responsible for the trip may pay the group meal expenses
personally and request reimbursement by filing a travel expense report.
An invoice or receipt must be attached which identifies the group for which
the charges are made, number of meals served, cost per meal, and total amount.
The person responsible for the trip may obtain a cash advance to pay for
The person responsible for the trip may obtain a cash advance and distribute
cash to members of the group. The amount distributed may not exceed the
amounts shown for meal allowances in the Travel Reimbursement Rate Schedule.
The distribution of cash must be documented by obtaining a receipt from
each participant or by completing a roster. The roster must contain participants'
names, student IDs or employee numbers, and the amount distributed for each
meal. (See example below.) Each individual receiving cash must sign the
roster. The person responsible for the trip must submit all individual receipts
or the signed roster with their travel expense report in order to be reimbursed
by the university. The one-day guideline does not apply to group travel.
Charges for business-related local and long distance telephone calls made on official travel are allowed. The Travel Expense Report must list the name and location of each party called, date of the call, and purpose of the call. An explanation for the charge must be provided on the Travel Expense Report.
The Knoxville Telephone Service Department can provide prepaid calling cards or departmental phone cards for all campuses and all University personnel if needed. The departmental cards permit domestic long distance calls to be billed directly to your departmental account. Travelers should contact them if these cards are needed. If the domestic prepaid cards are not procured through them, reimbursement of these cards should be treated as an exception. International prepaid calling cards may be purchased and care should be taken to just procure amounts that will be needed for the travel period.
Any purchase of equipment or cell phone plans for international travel must be treated as an exception with documentation and justification provided.
Business-related cellular phone charges while in travel status, including international travel will be reimbursed for airtime, roaming, and applicable tax for individuals who do not have a cell phone allowance or a university phone. The calls must be identified on the Travel Expense Report to include the name and location of each call, date of the call, and purpose of the call.
Tips are considered a reimbursable expense and should be based upon the level of service, but should not exceed twenty percent of the total. Special situations or contractual requirements exceeding twenty percent should be processed as an exception. The addition of a tip on a receipt does not constitute an alteration of the receipt.
Individuals who engage in official university travel must file a Travel
Expense Report in order to be reimbursed for any business-related travel expenses.
The Travel Expense Report is recorded in the IRIS system and submitted for approvals
there. For the convenience of the departments, a Travel Expense Report (FORM T-3) is available. This form is strictly for intra-departmental communication and
is NOT to be submitted for approval or processing.
For non-employees paid under a personal services contract or employees in
a withdrawn status in IRIS, there is a Non-IRIS Travel Expense (FORM T-6). This form is only to be used in the situations mentioned above.
Employees, students, and guests who engage in official university travel must secure proper approval(s)
prior to a trip. The Travel Request processed in IRIS is the official authorization
In-State Travel. For most employees, a Travel Request is
not required for in-state travel. However, some campuses and units have the
option to require a travel request for all travel.
If an employee travels into another state and back in the same day and such
travel is less than 75 miles one-way, such travel will be considered in-state
for approval and reimbursement purposes.
Out-of-State Travel. A Travel Request is required for out-of-state
travel and must be approved by the department head (i.e., individual responsible
for all cost objects to be charged) or designee and the department head of the
traveler's responsible cost center or designee. If the traveler is the department
head, his or her supervisor must approve the travel.
International Travel. A Travel Request is required for
all international travel and must be approved by the department head or designee,
the department head of the traveler's responsible cost center or designee, and
either a vice president, chancellor, or his or her designee.