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Policy Title: Travel

Boise State University Policy #6180
Effective Date: July 1978
Revised: October 2007
September 2014
March 2015
October 2017

To provide guidance for those traveling on university business and ensure the best use of university resources.

Additional Authority:
Idaho Code §49-117(18)
Idaho Code §67-2004 et seq.
Idaho Code §67-5250

This policy applies to all individuals who travel and use funds administered by the university.

Responsible Party:
Vice President for Finance and Administration, 426-1200

Allowable Expense – A necessary, reasonable, and appropriate expense incurred for the primary benefit of Official University Business and therefore permitted to be reimbursed or directly charged based on the permission of the university or by the terms of federal or primarily sponsored agreements.

Commuter Miles – The non-reimbursable miles traveled between a person’s home and Official Station, no matter the time of day or day of the week.

Disability – An individual is disabled if they (1) have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; (2) have a record of such an impairment; or (3) are regarded as having such an impairment.

Guest – A visitor of Boise State who receives an honorarium of less than $600.

Incidental Expense – Fees and tips given to porters, baggage carriers, bellhops, hotel maids, and others for personal services performed. An allowance for incidental expenses is included within the daily subsistence rates (see per diem) for the area of travel. These are not reimbursed separately and should not be requested.

No Cost Travel – Employee travel paid for by employee or a 3rd party.

Official Station – The primary work area or office assigned to the employee; may be subject to telecommuting agreement.

Official University Business or Business Purpose – An activity that directly carries out Boise State’s mission of instruction, research and service or that provides support to the university’s instruction, research, and service activities.

Per Diem Expenses – Reimbursement for meals, meal gratuities, and incidental expenses.

Personal Expenses – Expenses for personal items such as clothing, toiletries, and entertainment.

University Sponsored Travel – Pre-authorized travel that is funded (in part or whole), supported, and/or coordinated by Boise State University. Student travel may be

University Sponsored whether or not the travel was pre-authorized. See also Section XVII.

Vicinity Travel – Travel within a one-hundred (100) driving mile radius of an employee’s Official Station. Safety exceptions to the radius requirement may be granted on a case by case basis.


I. Policy Statement
Boise State appreciates the efforts of those who travel on university business and wants to ensure that traveling individuals do not gain or lose funds on business trips. The university expects travelers to spend Boise State funds sensibly, follow the travel policy and obtain reimbursement for all expenses on a timely basis to meet compliance requirements.

Business travel expenses will be paid by the university if they are reasonable, necessary and meet policy and compliance requirements.

II. Travel Guidelines

A. Reimbursement

1. Travelers must submit reimbursement requests with required supporting documentation within sixty (60) calendar days of incurring the expense or returning from the trip.
2. Reimbursement requests submitted after sixty (60) calendar days will be taxable to the traveler.
3. Reimbursement requests submitted after one hundred twenty (120) days will be denied. See University Policy #6290 (Accountable Plan).
4. Payment of travel expenses by the university is limited to costs authorized in this policy. Departments and employees may negotiate a lower travel reimbursement than allowed by this policy. In this situation the traveler will pay the remaining expenses as personal expenses.
5. Reimbursement for prepaid expenses will not be made until trip is complete.

B. Resource and Environmental Considerations

1. The transportation chosen should be the least costly, while considering the travel time for the employee as well as the itinerary and business requirements of the trip.
2. Individuals should also consider the environmental impact of all available travel options as Boise State is committed to a low carbon footprint.

III. Travel Authorization

A. All employee travel must be preapproved, prior to commencement of travel and incurring expenses, using the online Travel and Expense module.

B. The following are exceptions to the use of the Travel and Expense module for travel authorization:

1. Recurring Vicinity Travel may be approved by the department by using a Travel Authorization form that covers a period of no more than one (1) year.
2. No Cost Travel must be preapproved within the traveler’s department using the No Cost Travel  (pdf) form.

i. If foreign travel is involved, a copy should be sent to the Office of Risk Management and Insurance.
ii. If travel will initially be paid with university funds with reimbursement by a 3rd party, a Travel Authorization is required.

3. In limited circumstances, certain Guest travel expenses may be paid by the department sponsoring the travel but only with preapproval from Accounts Payable. See the university  travel webpage for additional information
4. Travel expenses of independent contractors, as defined by University Policy #6150, must be paid by the contractor.
5. University guests other than job candidates must receive pre-approval for travel expenses.
6. Airfare and lodging for job candidates may be paid via the University Purchasing Card (P-Card) without preauthorization. Reimbursement or per diem payment for candidates requires submission of a Candidate Interview Expense Summary.

C. Forms for travel authorization discussed in section III are available on the Boise State Travel and Expense website or the university forms website.

IV. Approval Authority
The following individuals (A and B below) will approve travel authorizations and expenses:

A. The person responsible for the Department ID or funding source from which travel expenses will be charged.

When the employee is the person responsible for the funding source to be charged for the travel expenses, their travel and expense reimbursements must be approved by a higher authority, e.g. the Dean or Vice President.

B. The traveler’s supervisor or department head.

V. Travel Advances
Travel advances can be issued to university employees when travel to a foreign country warrants it. Such requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Travel advances can be issued for up to one hundred percent (100%) of the estimated travel cost. Generally, no advance will be issued if another advance is outstanding. Additionally:

A. Travel advance requests should be submitted no later than fifteen (15) working days prior to the start of a trip.

B. Advances must be repaid or reconciled within fifteen (15) working days after return from a trip.

VI. University Purchasing Card (P-Card)

A. The University P-Card is the preferred method of payment for employee business expenses: airfare, registration, lodging, and other approved travel expense. P-Card may not be used for meals and incidental expenses while traveling. See the University P-Cardholder User Guide (pdf) for allowable travel expense.

B. When the P-Card cannot be used to make payment for travel-related expenses, a university check can be processed. Requests must be submitted according to standard University Travel procedures available on the Travel and Expense website.

VII. Personal Travel in Conjunction with Business Travel

A. When personal travel is scheduled in conjunction with business travel, all expenses must be paid with personal funds. Reimbursement for the business portion of the trip will not be made until after the trip is complete.

B. At the time travel authorization is requested, a complete itinerary of the business portion of the trip is required along with a statement of the beginning and end time of the personal portion of the trip.

C. The traveler must document a cost comparison for transportation for the business portion of the trip. This cost comparison is required at the time the cost is incurred and must be submitted with the reimbursement requests.

VIII. Air Travel

A. Travelers are expected to book the lowest available economy class airfare consistent with business requirements. First class and business class upgrades are not considered an allowable expense. However, coach or economy class upgrades or seating charges are allowable if approved by manager.

B. In accordance with the Fly America Act of 1974, US flag air carriers or shippers must be used when traveling or shipping items and the costs are charged to a federal grant or contract. Exceptions apply, including Open Skies, which allows for use of air carriers from countries who have transportation agreements with the US government – consult with the Office of Sponsored Projects for details.

IX. Foreign Travel
All foreign travel for Official University Business must be reported to the Boise State Risk Management and Insurance Office (RMI). Notification should be made at least 14 days in advance of travel to allow sufficient time to secure foreign travel insurance and address any other applicable requirements. See

A. The foreign travel per diem allowance (FTPDA) is based on the most current publications of U.S. Department of State maximum travel per diem allowances for foreign areas.

1. The daily FTPDA will be 100% of the listed Meals and Incidental Expenses (M & IE) rate.
2. The FTPDA is intended to cover the costs of meals at adequate, suitable and moderately priced facilities as well as mandatory service charges, taxes, laundry and dry cleaning.

X. Lodging

A. Travelers are expected to book a reasonably priced lodging consistent with business requirements.

B. Travelers should book lodging through traditional vendors, but when costs would be significantly lower to secure lodging through officially recognized sharing economies, travelers may request exceptions from their department heads or supervisors who will consider both safety and cost before approving alternative lodging arrangements.

XI. Ground Transportation
Travelers are expected to use the lowest cost ground transportation consistent with business needs that are also the safest and least time consuming option. For example, many hotels offer free airport shuttles which should be used when available.

A. Within Idaho, University vehicles are the preferred mode of travel. See University Policy #7005 (Background Investigations) and University Policy #7000 (University Vehicles) regarding operation of university owned vehicles.

B. Vehicle Rentals may be authorized when it is an economical and practical means of transportation. Travelers must use the University’s contracted rental car provider when available. See the Department of Purchasing for state contract information.

C. Private Transportation may be authorized when such use is more advantageous to the university as determined by the manager or travel approver.

1. Privately Owned Vehicles (POV) must be used legally and safely per Idaho Code § 49-117(18).
2. The traveler must use their personal automobile insurance while driving on Official University Business. See the RMI webpage for more information.
3. If a traveler uses a POV, the cost of transportation is reimbursable at the university’s allowable rate. Note: Charges for repairs, tires, gasoline, or other operating expense will not be separately reimbursed as they are considered covered by the university’s allowable mileage rate.

D. Travelers and their department heads/supervisors should consider ground transportation options and officially recognized private ride share/sharing economy options, with consideration of safety, time, and cost in that order.

XII. Chartered Transportation. The decision to use a private aircraft, bus, van, driver or other service should be made by the traveler and manager or travel approver based on cost and business needs. Prior to entering an agreement for chartered transportation, the traveler must contact the Office of Risk Management and Insurance for information regarding insurance and licensing requirements.

XIII. Meal Expenses
For meal expenses, no receipts are required except for athletic team travel. Meal expenses are reimbursed via per diem.

A. Per diem rates for in-state travel are set by the State of Idaho. Per diem rates for out-of-state destinations are consistent with the amounts set by the U.S. General Service Administration (GSA), up to the maximum allowed for all official travel that includes an overnight stay. See the university travel webpage for rates and additional information.

B. Per diem reimbursement is not allowed for Vicinity Travel.

C. Partial Day Reimbursement is allowed in certain instances only – Review the university travel webpage for detail regarding Partial Day Reimbursement rates and limitations.

D. Business meals will not be reimbursed if they have been paid for by other means such as per diem or meals included in prepaid conference fees.

XIV. Other allowable Travel Expenses

A. Taxi or bus fares to and from depots, airports, and hotels.

B. Parking fees.

C. Charges for transportation, handling, and storage of university equipment.

D. Registration fees, conference fees, and workshop fees required as admittance or attendance fees for official participation in conferences, conventions, or other meetings.

E. Laundry expenses for official domestic business trips of five days or longer away from the employee’s Official Station. Laundry expense will not be reimbursed for foreign travel as it is calculated as a portion of the foreign Meals and Incidental Expenses (M &IE) rate.

F. Fees for one checked personal bag.

G. Travelers with a Disability may require reasonable accommodations. Please consult Human Resource Services’ EEO/AA Director for guidelines and necessary forms.

H. Other items not specifically described herein that are necessary to the performance of official university travel may be allowable provided there is an approved business purpose.

XV. Third Party Reimbursements, Rebates, and Promotions

A. When a third party pays for or intends to reimburse a Boise State employee for travel expenses, the employee may only submit a reimbursement request for Allowable Expenses not covered by the third party.

B. If the third party reimburses an employee for expenses after the employee has been reimbursed by the university, the employee must repay Boise State the lesser of (i) the total amount paid by the third party or (ii) the total amount reimbursed to the employee by the university. It is the traveler’s responsibility to initiate reimbursement and to ensure that any funds received are remitted to the university.

C. University employees may not use personal funds to pay travel expenses on behalf of faculty, staff, students, guests or colleagues unless extenuating circumstances exist and there is no other means of payment. In such a case expenses will not be reimbursed until the trip is complete and the trip expense report is submitted. Check with Travel Services before committing personal funds.

XVI. Personal Expenses (not eligible for payment with p-card or reimbursement)

A. Expenses of a personal nature incurred solely for the convenience or sentiment of the traveler

B. Expenses for Commuter Miles or for other non-official purposes

C. Expenses incurred while on personal leave even if scheduled in conjunction with University Sponsored Travel

D. Per diem expenses and lodging while on Vicinity Travel

E. Airfare obtained with frequent flyer miles or credits or program equivalent, travel vouchers, credits, gift cards, and other non-monetary methods

XVII. Student Travel

A. Students who intend to go on University Sponsored Travel must complete the Student Travel and Field Trip Expectations and Consent Agreement. These forms must be submitted to the Office of Risk Management and Insurance.

B. Travel advances are allowed for student travel for up to 100% of the estimated travel cost. The following provisions apply to student travel in addition to this policy’s other provisions:

1. University Sponsored Travel, whether group or individual, must comply with Travel Services procedures and any additional requirements imposed by the department sponsoring the travel.
2. Educationally beneficial Vicinity Travel may be scheduled by the department chair or unit head at their discretion.
3. Students traveling abroad for graduate studies, field work, research or other educational purposes must contact the Center for Global Education prior to travel to ensure safety and medical issues relating to foreign travel are properly addressed.

C. To comply with the Jeanne Clery Act, the University is required to collect and publish statistics on crimes occurring on and off campus property. All campus units who organize student travel must complete the Clery Act Student Travel Form.