Faculty Handbook: Business Affairs Regulations
4.3.G  Travel

Current state and university travel regulations may be viewed at http://travel.uark.edu/.

Travel Authorization

Prior to traveling, a Travel Authorization (TA) should be entered in BASIS and approved by required cost center managers, with the Travel Office being the final approver.

Travel Advances

Employees who travel on university business and at university expense may apply for a travel advance. Travel advances must be requested by the department supporting the travel when the TA is submitted. Travel advances are generally limited to 50 percent of the allowable expenses, excluding airfare and registration which may be purchased with a U of A Purchase Order or a University Administrative Travel Card. Travel advances for lodging will be limited to those employees who do not have access to the Traveler T-card. A Traveler T-card should be used for lodging unless it is impractical to issue a card.

Travel advances will be made available 7 days prior to the day of departure (as indicated on the TA) for regular travel, 14 days prior for foreign travel, and 21 days prior for group travel to foreign destinations. Travel advances will be made by ACH (direct deposit), or mailed to the traveler’s campus address prior to day of departure if time permits; otherwise, the advance must be picked up by the traveler at the Treasurer’s Office. Upon issue of the first travel advance to an individual, a one-time promissory note must be signed prior to receiving the advance check (ACH is not available for the first check).

All advances are to be settled within 30 days of return from the trip, consistent with Governor’s Policy Directive No. 6. An advance is settled when the Travel Claim is processed with any amounts still owed repaid to the Treasurer's Office. Amounts left unpaid will be collected by payroll deduction from the employee's pay. If an employee has two payroll deduction collections in one calendar year, the employee's advance privileges will be revoked for the next 12 months.

Airfare Advance Purchase Requirement

Airfare should be purchased at least 14 days in advance of the trip. Any reimbursement submitted that does not meet this criteria will require additional justification as to the reason and necessity for the purchase less than 14 days in advance. Employees who purchase airfare or registration themselves (i.e. not with a U of A Purchase Order or Administrative T-Card) will not be reimbursed until after return from the trip.

T-Card Eligibility

Employees who travel a minimum of three times per year with annual travel expenses exceeding $2,000 will be eligible for a Traveler T-Card; if the employee and their department elect. The employee will have the option of charging airfare, registration, hotel, car rental, meals, and other travel related expenses to their T-Card. The T-Card is not allowed to be used for local official functions (travelers must be in travel status at least 10 hours and travel at least 200 miles round trip to use the T-card for an official function).

T-Card Settlement

Charges incurred against a traveler’s T-Card are offset by the filing of the cardholder's Travel Claim. The Travel Claim for a trip must be filed within five days of the employee’s return. Any amount still owed by the cardholder will be billed to the cardholder by the Treasurer's Office.

Meal Allowance

The State of Arkansas allows for an employee to be reimbursed for actual meal expenses incurred during travel (including 15% gratuity), but not to exceed the maximum allowance which is set by the Federal per diem limits.

Transportation Expenses

When a personal vehicle is used for university business, the employee will be reimbursed official mileage at the rate of $0.42 per mile. State regulations require use of the most economical means of travel (airfare, rental car, university vehicle, or personal vehicle). If a rental car is chosen as the means of travel, the State mandated Enterprise/National or Hertz contract must be used. The only exception made is in the event that one of the State contract dealers is unavailable at the destination or the type/size vehicle needed is unavailable from Enterprise/National or Hertz.

Notes: First class airline tickets are not allowed. Business class airline tickets are allowed only in the event of foreign travel, and with prior approval of the Travel Office. The cost of preferred seating should not be selected by travelers unless no other seating is available, and must be justified in writing with the reimbursement request. Reimbursement of bag fees is limited to one bag per trip unless documentation is made regarding the necessity of additional bags.

Required Receipts

Travelers are required to retain receipts as follows: detailed airfare itinerary, registration receipt, itemized hotel receipt, itemized car rental receipt, taxi/shuttle receipt exceeding $25.00 (tips may not be reimbursed), parking, gas receipts (if purchased for rental car), and for any miscellaneous items purchased (copies, materials, etc.). A Travel Claim for reimbursement of expenses should be filed within five days of return from the trip.