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Engineering: Faculty/Staff Resources


Travel

Effective May 9, 2011

Purpose:
This procedure is designed to help faculty and staff adhere to reporting and accounting standards and regulations.  The college of Engineering encourages its employees to travel and conduct business in relative comfort while using good judgment and discretion when incurring business-related expenses.  This procedure:

  • Defines the college’s procedure pertaining to travel expense.
  • Outlines the types of expenditures that are and are not reimbursed.
  • Provides guidelines to those who travel and, also, to those who authorize and approve travel expenses.
  • Establishes a procedure so that travel expense can be monitored.

Introduction:
Travel is defined as absence from where one normally works for the purpose of conducting University business.  Travel guidelines have been developed to assist on all pertinent travel issues (see following page), and are applicable regardless of the funding source of the travel.    

Procedure - Travel between OMA and LNK campuses:
Updated April 2014

  • The College of Engineering (COE) has arranged for multiple vehicles from the UNL Motor Pool to be available at both the LNK and OMA campuses.
  • All COE faculty and staff are encouraged to use these college vehicles for travel between the LNK and OMA campuses to teach classes, attend meetings, or conduct other university business.
  • College vehicles may be reserved for use during normal business operating hours, M-F, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. from either the OMA or LNK Dean’s Office. http://engineering.unl.edu/faculty-staff-resources/resourcereservation.shtml
  • Faculty and staff must be approved as authorized drivers through UNL Transportation Services, prior to reserving and driving a college vehicle. http://transportation.unl.edu/
  • Faculty and staff are encouraged to carpool in the college vehicles as much as possible; please refer to the vehicle calendars for availability. http://engineering.unl.edu/faculty-staff-resources/resourcereservation.shtml
  • Priority will be given to those reserving the college vehicles for the following purposes in the order shown: (1) teaching purposes, (2) official college business, and (3) other university business.
  • Mileage reimbursement for use of personal vehicles for traveling between LNK and OMA will not be approved. If there is no college vehicle available, one can be reserved through Transportation Services on LNK campus.
  • In the event that a college vehicle is not available for travel between OMA and LNK, and all attempts have been made for carpooling without success, the college will reimburse the employee at the IRS rate for personal mileage.
  • College vehicle records will be maintained by the Dean’s Office, in both OMA and LNK.
  • For travel other than between OMA and LNK campuses or for longer than 1 day, please refer to college policies below regarding ‘All Other Travel’.
  • Overall responsibility for monitoring compliance with this policy will rest with the Dean of the College and the Assistant Dean for Business and Fiscal Affairs.
  • The Dean of the College of Engineering has the expressed authority to refuse reimbursement for any expense deemed inappropriate or excessive.

Procedure -- All Other Travel:

  • All travel must have prior approval in the form of a Travel Authorization.   If an approved travel authorization form is not completed prior to travel, no reimbursement will be made. 
  • Faculty and staff are encouraged to use the university’s prime vendor for travel arrangements.  
  • No advances for travel expenditures will be authorized. 
  • Expense reimbursement requests must be received in the Dean’s office no later than 30 days after the final day on which expenses were incurred. Each request must be fully itemized, including the amount, date and place of each expense incurred.   Forms submitted after this date may not be reimbursed
  • All expenses submitted for reimbursement must include an original, itemized receipt.  If the travel includes a foreign component/destination, all receipts must be translated to English and converted to US$ prior to submission.
  • A receipt is required for any non-meal expense in excess of $25 to qualify for reimbursement
  • It is the responsibility of each Department Chair to ensure consistent compliance of travel. 
  • Overall responsibility for monitoring compliance will rest with the Dean of the college and the Assistant Dean of business and fiscal affairs.
  • The Dean of the College of Engineering has the express authority to refuse reimbursement for any expense deemed inappropriate or excessive.

The following are offered as examples of appropriate reimbursable expenses

  • Air Travel
    • Coach class air travel will be reimbursed by the College. Any upgrades are the personal financial responsibility of faculty/staff.
    • Airline reservations should be made as far in advance of the date of travel as is reasonable and appropriate to take advantage of discount fares. 
    • On out-of-state trips when commercial air service could have been used advantageously, mileage will be reimbursed at the price of an airline (coach) ticket or at the prescribed mileage rate, whichever is less. No meals or lodging will be reimbursed while en route.
  • Ground Transportation
  • The most cost effective method of transportation should be used in all cases. 

    • Hotel shuttle vans are recommended.
    • Taxis should be used only when shuttle services are not available. 
    • Town cars and limousines are not appropriate modes of transportation and will not be reimbursed. 
    • Rental cars will be reimbursed when appropriate. 
  • Lodging expense
    • Itemized receipts are required for all lodging expenses.
    • Certain items provided by lodging vendors are considered personal items and therefore will not be reimbursed. Examples of non-reimbursed items include in-room movies, laundry, dry cleaning and shoe shine expenses
  • Meals
    • Meals purchased by an employee traveling on University business are reimbursable.
    • The reported cost of meals and beverages includes taxes and tips as applicable.
    • Itemized receipts are required detailing all meals and beverages.
    • Tips should be itemized separately from the cost of meals and beverages.
    • No reimbursement will be made for alcoholic beverages (Foundation discretionary funds may be used if so designated.)
  • Miscellaneous Expenses
    • Employees will be reimbursed for reasonable long-distance telephone calls (including access charges) with appropriate receipts
    • Tips to service personnel such as bellhops, porters and skycaps are reimbursed provided they are reasonable. 
    • Airport parking will be reimbursed with an appropriate receipt.  Recreational tours, programs, etc. offered as a part of a conference at a reduced price are not reimbursable expenses. 
    • Any non-employee expense associated with companion travel will not be reimbursed.
    • Additional baggage charges will not be reimbursed unless a business reason is authorized prior to travel.