Travel Policy

The Travel Office works with Procurement and General Counsel to manage the contract process as efficiently as possible in Workday. The process is outlined below.

  • Department Representative gets contract from vendor. 
  • Contract, any signed addendums, and LRF sent to Travel Office from Dept Rep.  
    • Vendor name 
    • Budgetary Unit (four letter code is fine) 
    • Due date: this must be an actual date, not “ASAP” or “April” 
    • Email Carol Wade at cawade@uark.edu
    • Subject or body text of email must include: 
    • Documents must be helpfully named: “BSVC Contract Embassy Suites Workday 2020", “LRF BSVC Contract Embassy Suites Workday 2020,” “BSVC Contract Embassy Suites Workday 2020 signed hotel addendum.”  
  • Travel Office forwards contract, addendums, and LRF to General Counsel noting due date. 
  • General Counsel reviews contract, addendums, and LRF and sends back to Travel Office with signed LRF or requests additional signatures/documentation.  
  • Travel Office sends signed LRF, contract, and any adjustments or addendums to Agency Procurement Official (APO) for signature.  
  • APO reviews all documents and signs if acceptable. Forwards signed contract/addendums back to Travel Office. 
  • Travel Office forwards signed contract back to Dept Rep.  
  • Dept Rep sends signed contract to Vendor.
  • Dept Rep then renders payment by purchase order or t-card.
  1. No reimbursement will be allowed to any traveler for personal entertainment, clothing, valet services (unless that is the only parking available at the hotel), flowers, alcoholic beverages, personal telephone calls, traveler's check service charges, laundry or cleaning, printing items, or any other items not considered to be official business expenses unless specifically authorized by the Travel Office in writing. Tips associated with porter, room service, taxi, etc. are allowable per federal regulations related to the maximum meal per diems, BUT the tip must be associated with the meals, and the total of all meals and tips may not exceed the federal per diem rate allowable for meals. These tips are considered incidentals.
  2. Car rentals outside of the state contract without prior approval.
  3. Meals without an overnight stay.
  4. No expenses for meals or lodging will be allowed within the city or town of the employee's "Official Station"(unless specifically authorized by Travel Office and Department).
  5. Employees are to claim their own expenses. One employee may not pay for another employee’s expenses. For example, if two employees share a hotel room, the bill needs to be split in two and each employee should pay their half of the room and tax.
  6. Expense payments will only be rendered to the party who incurred travel expenses. Payment will not be rendered to corporations.
  7. No expenses will be allowed for rental of space, entertainment, or other arrangements in connection with banquets held solely for the benefit of employees.
  8. Trips involving the need for transportation to and from the airport and/or to and from place of lodging do not justify "car rental." It is the responsibility of each department to authorize the mode of transportation most economical before travel occurs. If a taxi is more economical than a car rental due to the limited number of miles to be traveled, then that should be authorized.
 When a non-university employee, official guest or job applicant travels on behalf of the University, he shall be allowed reimbursement for "actual expenses." 

It is the responsibility of each department to ensure these individuals are not being reimbursed from any other source for their travel expenses.  Federal employees who travel for the university shall be regarded as a university employee and shall be reimbursed as such.  The Expense Report should show that this employee is on the payroll of the federal government and assigned to the university. 

Alcoholic beverages are NOT allowed to be reimbursed.

If your department utilizes the services of volunteer workers who perform duties like university employees, they are subject to the same rules and regulations governing university employees.  Unless specifically related to employment recruitment or being part of the University of Arkansas official party at an event, reimbursement for spouse’s expenses will not be allowable.

  • All faculty and staff traveling outside of the United States on a U of A related activity are required to register their travel with Office of Study Abroad before they initiate a request for a Spend Authorization.
  • All students must be approved through the Office of Study Abroad for any university related travel outside of the U.S. and no university funding may be committed prior to that approval. 
  • Individuals whose travel is supported by federal funds should follow the guidance provided in the Fly America Act, regarding using American flag carrier airlines.
  • The Travel Office does allow the purchase of a business class ticket for international flights that are more than a normal domestic flight. Preferred seating will also be an allowable expense when flying internationally.

What Constitues Group Travel?

To process group travel through the Travel Office, the event for which the group is participating in normally occurs away from their ‘official station’, which for most groups will be Fayetteville, AR.  The one exception is the athletic sports teams, where athletic events held in Fayetteville may be grouped for ease of processing of expenses for these events. 

In accordance with ACA 19-4-904 (d) state supported institutions of higher education may provide travel expenses for a group or number of students who, when accompanied by those who instruct the students in the fundamentals of a competitive sport and direct team strategy, must travel, and be recognized as a cohesive unit representing not only their institution, but exemplifying the State of Arkansas in their behavior, attitudes, interests, presentation, and conduct.

Group Travel may also include several guests along with a university employee traveling together for a particular event or circumstance.

In these circumstances the payment of group travel expenses, including those of students and employees, may be authorized.

Some examples of group travel functions:

  • Study Abroad
  • Intramural Sports
  • Archaeological digs
  • Athletic team events

Please Note:  Group Travel MUST include student representation or guest representation. A group of employees going to the same function DOES NOT constitute group travel.

Group Travel Advances

Group trips may receive up to a 100% advance.  A travel advance for a domestic group trip is to be reconciled within 30 days after the return of the trip. To meet the 30-day requirement, the Expense Report is to be in the Travel Office for auditing within 25 days after the return of the trip. 

A travel advance for an international group trip is to be reconciled within a maximum of 60 days after the return of the trip.  To meet the 60-day requirement, the Expense Report is to be in the Travel Office for auditing within 50 days after the return of the trip. 

Exceptions to the Travel Advance Policy will only be granted with written approval by the Travel and/or Treasurer’s Office.

If money is disbursed to students and other members of the group (federal per-diem limits are enforced for all recipients) the following information is required:

  • Signature sheet legibly (preferably typed) listing of all students and staff who received funds
  • Amount received broken out by Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Student ID or Employee ID (exception-ATHL where we have access to a team roster)
  • Signature of the recipient of the funds

 Group Travel Expenses

Please navigate to the expenses you may incur to find out what is required before and after traveling. 

 

Employee Travel Accident Insurance 

The University provides a group accident insurance policy to cover all active employees and directors of the University while on the business of the University during a bona fide trip. This policy provides coverage of $100,000 for Loss of Life and up to $100,000 for Loss of Limb, Sight, Hearing or Speech. The policy will pay double if the loss was incurred while wearing a seat belt or lap and shoulder restraint while operating or riding as a passenger in any private passenger motor vehicle designed for use primarily on public roads.

At age 70, the amount of the benefit is reduced based on age at Date of Loss.

Business Auto Insurance

The University's Business Auto Insurance Policy provides up to a combined single limit coverage for Bodily Injury and Property Damage liability losses of $1,000,000 for any automobile; medical payments of $5,000 per person; and comprehensive and collision coverage for specified fleet autos and for hired autos. The comprehensive and collision deductible is $1000 per occurrence for specific University vehicles. The comprehensive deductible for hired (rental) autos is $100 and the collision deductible is $1000. The rental coverage only applies to autos rented for official business use. The University of Arkansas should be shown as the renter in addition to the employee, if possible. Employees keeping a rented car for personal use after the business portion of a trip is completed are responsible for the vehicle and their liability for the personal use portion. They should arrange or verify their own insurance coverage for such use accordingly.

The University's Business Auto Insurance covers accidents or losses, which occur in the United States of America, its territories and possessions, Puerto Rico and Canada. Should you rent or operate a car in a country not covered by the University's insurance, an employee should purchase whatever insurance is needed to adequately cover damages or liability. The cost of such coverage will be reimbursed if the cost is within the maximum limits of an employee's spend authorization.

Employees using their personally owned vehicle for university business travel must carry at least the minimum limit of auto liability insurance as is required by law.

For car rental use within the United States of America, its territories and possessions, Puerto Rico and Canada, the optional Collision Damage Waiver (Loss Damage Waiver) offered by car rental companies should be declined by employees, since the University's Business Auto Insurance provides this coverage. The University will not reimburse an employee for the cost of CDW or any other optional insurance offered by the car rental company unless the car will be operated in a foreign country.

Student Travel Accident Insurance Policy

Risk Management provides an insurance policy for university departments to use (at their option) in providing travel accident insurance for students traveling on university sponsored/supervised trips. Departments wishing to ensure students traveling under this policy should send or fax a memorandum showing the dates of the trip, the number of students traveling (preferably the name of each student) and a cost center to charge for the premium. This information should be sent no later than immediately after the trip begins (preferably before).

Insurance provides up to $2,500.00 for Medical/Dental expenses with a deductible of $25.00 and a $10,000.00 maximum amount for Loss of Life, Limb or Sight for each insured. The Aggregate Limit per any one accident is $500,000.00. Coverage begins at the actual start of the trip from the original point of departure and will end when the insured arrives at the return destination point. The policy is with Trustmark Insurance Company (a member company of the National Accident Insurance Group).

Accidents and Insurance Questions

Reports of any travel related accident and any questions regarding insurance coverage should be directed to 
the Department of Risk Management & Insurance, Uptown West. Phone: 479-575-4195; Fax: 479-575-3128.

All accidents must be reported without delay so that claims can be handled as promptly as possible.

 

Reimbursement for lodging is limited to the single room rate, plus applicable taxes. If a safe is in the room, the cost of the safe, if applicable, may be included with the hotel amount.

If more than one person occupies a room, the single room rate must be noted on the receipt. If the room rate is the same regardless of number of people in room, then this too must be noted.

The maximum allowance, without justification and approval from the Travel Office will be limited to the Federal-per-Diem rate depending on the location for the entire trip. Requests for lodging where the rates exceed the maximum federal-per-diem must be included in the Spend Authorization and/or Expense Report prior to travel.

In most instances, each employee staying in the room MUST claim their portion of the room expense.  Most hotels will split the cost of the room on the receipt.  Only in those instances where the Travel Office has granted an exemption may one person be allowed to claim the entire room expense.

Itemized receipts for lodging are required. A credit card receipt is not acceptable.

Per Arkansas State Travel Regulations, we are only allowed 75% of the per-diem rate for the first and last day of travel for meals. Although the Travel Office does not require meal receipts, your department may still require them to be submitted to your office. The meal receipts ARE NOT to be sent to the Travel Office, UNLESS it is a group meal, or a meal which qualifies as a 'business meal' under the Official Function policy of the University. In those instances, the meal receipt must be itemized. Alcohol is not an allowable reimbursable expense and should NEVER be purchased using a university credit card.

When traveling on behalf of the university, reimbursement for meals and lodging shall be limited to actual expenditures. While there is a maximum rate set by the federal government, reimbursement is for actual expenses up to the maximum. Total reimbursement for both travel and room and board shall always be based on the most economical means of travel.

Meals Included in Conference Registration

Meal reimbursement requests must be reduced for meals provided as part of the conference registration by deducting the appropriate amount as shown under the Meals and Incidental Expenses (M&IE) breakdown at http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/104877.

Allowances may be made in writing to allow the traveler to claim meal reimbursement if any of the conditions below are met:  

  1. The traveler is unable to consume the meal provided because of medical requirements or religious beliefs;
  2. The traveler purchased substitute meal(s) in order to satisfy their medical requirements or religious beliefs;
  3. The traveler was unable to take part in the provided meal due to the conflict of official business.

Complimentary Meals

Meals provided by a common carrier, or a complementary meal provided by a hotel/motel does not affect the maximum meal allowance per the Federal Travel Directory.

 Meals with an Overnight Stay

The maximum full day meal allowance will be the Federal-per-Diem rate. The federal per-diem rate which includes tax and a tip up to 15%. The traveler is only eligible for 75% of the daily allowance for meals on the first and last day of travel. The breakdown for breakfast, lunch, and dinner shall be calculated at a 25% breakfast, 25% lunch, and 50% dinner. Tips are allowable on meals not to exceed 15% unless a student group event, in which case the maximum tip is 20%. The Federal-per-Diem rates are located on the Federal-per-Diem site. When travel is overnight, reimbursement of meals en-route and from the employee's official station will be subject to the following rules:

  1. Claims shall not exceed the maximum daily allowance plus applicable sales tax. Reimbursement is to be claimed for actual expenses incurred. MAXIMUM MUST NOT BE CLAIMED unless expenditures were actually made.
  2. Note: regardless of time in transit only 75% of the daily allowance may be claimed for meals on the first and last day of travel.

Meals Without an Overnight Stay

NO meals are allowable for a trip where there is no overnight stay, regardless of whether you are traveling in-state or out-of-state. This change went into effect July 1, 2016.

Reimbursing Tips

  1. Tip on meals for individual travel cannot exceed 15%.
  2. You are limited to the Federal-per-Diem Rate allowable. This amount is to include your meals, incidentals, and Tips.
    Example: A full day of meals in Dallas, TX is $59.00 plus applicable sales tax.  This will still be the maximum allowable, but now you can legitimately include your tip and incidentals as part of the expense. (Example: taxi tip)
  3. If you are processing a ‘group’ trip where you are providing itemized meal receipts for the entire group (this will be mainly student functions such as athletic team events or other student-oriented trips) the tip maximum is 20%.
  4. Departments can require the submission of all meal receipts,including those for individual travel, even though the State does not require individual meal receipts. Receipts for group meals, or meals that qualify under the "Official Function" policy, are always required.

Reimbursement for Meals that fall under the Official Function Policy.

  1. When asking for reimbursement for meals that fall under the Official Function Policy of the U of A, an itemized meal receipt is always required.  Any gratuity, regardless of description, shall not exceed 20% of the total bill without authorization and approval by the Agency Procurement Officer, Business Manager, Associate Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs, or Travel Manager. An explanation of why the increased amount should be allowed must be included for consideration of an exception. 
  2. The completed Official Function Form-Meals & Entertainment is required for each meal that is considered an official function. 

All miscellaneous expenses incurred in connection with travel reimbursement requests require a business justification and must be clearly identified and explained in detail and provided in the Expense Report.

Bag Fees and Shipping of Supplies

Reimbursement of bag fees is limited to one bag per trip at the standard airline bag rate.  Additional bags must have full documentation of the event that resulted in multiple bags.  Only those situations where additional materials were required for the event will be allowable.

Reimbursement for the shipping of supplies to the travel destination for the purpose of the trip may also be reimbursed.

Registration Fees

Cost of registration at conventions and meetings is an allowable expense when supported by a receipt, canceled check, or organization notice of meetings, which states the amount. When a registration fee payment includes the cost of such items as meals and lodging, the traveler must not claim the same items separately.

Registration fees can be paid using administrative or traveler t-card, with personal funds, or a purchase order. A copy of the registration form MUST be submitted to the Procurement Office before the purchase order will be sent to the vendor. When the administrative t-card is used for the purchase, a copy of the registration form and the receipt must be associated with the appropriate expense report. If a traveler t-card or personal funds are used, a copy of the paid registration receipt is required to be included with the expense report.

Parking Fees and Toll Charges

Parking fees and toll charges for private, rental, or University-owned vehicles are reimbursable and may be claimed on the Expense Report, with appropriate receipts attached.

When parking at XNA you are to utilize long-term parking NOT short-term or garage parking when overnight travel is involved. If short-term or garage parking has been utilized, reimbursement will be limited to the cost of long-term parking unless prior approval has been given by the Travel Office.

Taxi/Uber/Lyft Charges

Taxi/Uber/Lyft charges may be claimed on the Expense Report. Receipts are required for taxi charges. If a tip is included with the taxi, this tip charge must be considered as part of the meal expense as tips are part of the 'incidentals' of the federal per-diem rate for meals.

Moving expenses are considered taxable, and thus not processed through the Travel Office. See below for instructions for how to claim this type of reimbursement.

Relocation Expense Information

The traveler may include personal time in U of A business travel and/or choose another mode of transportation. 

  • A flight comparison is required. The flight comparison needs to reflect the business days of travel. If the actual cost of the flight for the personal days of travel is more than the flight comparison cost of the business days of the travel, the traveler can only be reimbursed for the lesser amount.
  • The flight comparison needs to be created at the time the decision is made and using the same booking tool for the most accurate comparison.
  • All personal travel expenses must be funded by the traveler's personal funds. If the flight will cost more to include personal days, then personal funds must be used to purchase airfare.
  • The flight comparison must be included in the Expense Report.
  • Email uatravel@uark.edu for additional information.

The following travel policy, which includes most of the provisions of the State Travel Regulations, are applicable to all members of the University of Arkansas staff, students, and official guests.

A Spend Authorization is required when non-employed undergraduate or graduate students are traveling, when traveling internationally, or when requesting a cash advance. 

Spend Authorizations must be approved by the manager, cost center manager, and the Travel Office.  When traveling internationally you MUST register your traveler with the Study Abroad Office PRIOR to processing any travel request to ensure that the destination is approved for travel.

Effective February 1, 2017 any request for travel accommodation must be approved prior to making any travel related purchase.  Employees requesting an accommodation, must do so by submitting an accommodation request to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Compliance (OEOC).  Travel accommodations include but are not limited to requests for:  extra leg room, bigger seat, or larger car.  If the accommodation is approved, the OEOC will provide the Traveler with a notice of approval that must be attached to every Spend Authorization/Expense Report submitted to the Travel Office where the accommodation is utilized. 

Receipts are required for the following items:

  • Lodging (itemized receipt). A credit card receipt is not acceptable. Reservation confirmation notice is not acceptable documentation.
  • Commercial Airfare: The complete itinerary with passenger name, dates of travel, date and proof of purchase, seat class, and any service fees associated with ticket purchase. (Note: a confirmation notice is not acceptable documentation). This includes receipts from Anthony Travel.
  • Train
  • Registration fee
  • Car Rental (Note: reservation confirmation notice is not acceptable documentation)
  • Taxi
  • Items purchased while on travel status. (Example: film, ice, hardware, etc. A detailed explanation of why these misc. items had to be purchased is also required.)
  • Parking
  • Toll Fees
  • Communication expenses
  • Bag Fees
  • Meals IF group student meals, or a meal that qualifies under the 'Official Function' policy.

Travel may be achieved by plane, train, bus, taxi, private vehicle/aircraft, rented or state-owned automobile; whichever method serves the requirements of the university most economically and advantageously.

If choosing to drive rather than fly, the University of Arkansas will reimburse at the lower rate of flying verses driving. The comparison will include any additional fees associated with the type of travel (i.e., airport parking, gas, lodging costs due to extended travel, etc.). All comparisons must be done prior to travel and provided with the expense report documentation. 

Commercial Airfare

  • Individuals whose travel is supported by federal funds should follow the guidance provided in the Fly America Act, regarding using American flag carrier airlines.
  • Travel by commercial air shall utilize coach class fare. In most instances, travelers purchase economy coach, non-refundable tickets, BUT if there could potentially be a conflict with your travel, you have the option of purchasing a fully refundable coach ticket.  Please Note: these tickets are more expensive, so should only be utilized when there is the potential to change the flight dates and/or times or cancel the flight.
  • Tickets should be purchased at least 14 days in advance when possible.  Airline tickets purchased less than 14 days in advance require additional justification.  This justification can be supplied within the Concur Booking tool, OR if you used personal funds to purchase your ticket, the justification can be written on the itinerary or expense report. 
  • No business or first-class tickets may be purchased without written approval by the Travel Office prior to purchase. For international flights, fares up to business-class may be purchased without prior authorization if the department allows it.
  • Preferred seating for airline tickets should not be selected by travelers unless no other seating is available and must be justified in writing with the expense report. With special authorization by the Travel Office, preferred seating may be allowable.  When flying internationally, preferred seating is an allowable expense.
  • No upgrades in airline cost are permitted for the personal comfort of the traveler.  (i.e., upgrade from economy class just for additional leg room on flight).

  • The purchase of travel insurance is not normally reimbursed unless there is a specific reason that the trip may have to be postponed.
  • TSA Pre-Check fees are not allowable.

When purchasing an airline ticket, you may use a university t-card or personal funds.

  • If using a university t-card, the airfare must be purchased using either the Concur Booking Tool or by contacting Anthony Travel directly (unless an exemption has been granted by the Travel Office).  Information regarding the use of Anthony Travel or the Concur Booking tool is available hereNote:  Payment made for an airline ticket using the Administrative or Traveler T-card includes $500,000 life insurance in the event of an airline disaster. 
  • If purchasing a ticket with personal funds you have the option of using any reputable source; however, you must be aware that you will not be reimbursed for this amount until AFTER the trip has ended and the Expense Report has been processed by the Travel Office. This is very important to know since many times these tickets are purchased well in advance of your trip.

Privately Owned Aircraft

When a privately owned aircraft is used for travel on University business, the rate of reimbursement will be the rate as established by the Chief Fiscal Officer of the State. This rate is currently .52 cents per nautical mile. Please see Fayetteville Policy and Procedure 302.1 for mandatory requirements for approval of privately owned aircraft.

Charter Flights

When it is necessary for employees to charter a plane, the total cost is reimbursable. If, however, the plane was chartered only for the personal convenience of employees, reimbursement shall be limited to the cost of airfare for a "scheduled" airline flight to the same location.

Private Vehicle

If a private vehicle is used, mileage shall be reimbursed and computed using map mileage. Mileage shall be computed from the traveler’s official station or residence; whichever is less, to the destination. Reimbursement will be the rate as established by the Chief Fiscal Officer of the State, which is currently .42 cents per mile.

The university will reimburse for official miles driven only. The university assumes no responsibility for any maintenance, insurance, operational costs, accidents, or fines incurred by the owner of the vehicle while on official business for the university.

Individuals driving their own private vehicles on university business are entitled to vicinity mileage reimbursement. This amount must be listed separately from ‘official’ mileage. If traveling from Fayetteville to Northwest Regional Airport (XNA) a traveler is entitled to 35 miles each direction, for a total of 70 miles to be reimbursed.

Vehicle Rental

Vehicles should be rented only when it is more cost advantageous than driving your personal car or taking a taxi or shuttle when out of town.  When a vehicle is rented, unless you are renting the vehicle on foreign soil, you are not to take out the additional car insurance that will be offered to you at the rental agency. 

We have a mandated State contract for car rentals with Enterprise/National and Hertz. When renting vehicles within the State of Arkansas and where available within the United States, the mandatory Enterprise/National and Hertz rental car contracts must be utilized unless a documented exception is noted by the Travel Office. 

For more information about rental cars, please visit the Car Rental page.

Students: If driving (personal or rental vehicle), all drivers must complete the driver safety training module and take a short quiz on HogSync. The quiz can be found here.

The driver safety training module and related quiz needs to be successfully completed only once during your UofA college career unless changes are made to the program. If you have viewed the Drivers Safety video per the previous program, you do not have to complete the driver safety training module as is listed above. Questions concerning the program can be direted to the Office of Student Activities, ARKU A665, at 575-5255.

 

The only way to request a Cash Advance is to create a Spend Authorization in Workday.

See Policy 332.0-Travel Advances

 

Effective October 2017, the University of Arkansas will contract with Anthony Travel for the purchase of airline tickets IF an Administrative or Traveler T-card is going to be used for the purchase.

As part of this contract, we also have the option of utilizing the Concur Online Booking Tool for the purchase of our airline tickets, which would alleviate the need of contacting a travel agent directly.  Complete information regarding the contract and documentation for using the Concur Booking Tool can be found on the Travel Agency web page.

If the traveler uses personal funds, tickets may be purchased from any travel agency or online booking tool.  Reimbursement will be made to the traveler once the trip has been taken.

Travel Cards (T-Cards) are for business use only!

Travel Cards issued by Bank of America are special MasterCard credit cards. They work similarly to your personal credit cards, except the charges are billed directly to the University and paid by the University Business Office. See the Travel Card site for more information.

Expense Reports for individual domestic trips are to be processed within 15 working days after the return of a trip.  Domestic group trips and individual international trips are to be processed and in the Travel Office within 25 working days after return of the trip to be paid by the Travel Office within 30 days.  International group trips are to be processed and in the Travel Office within 50 working days after return of the trip to be paid by the Travel Office within 60 days.

Exceptions to this process will only be made with written approval by the Travel Office.  

Reimbursement will be made to the traveler once the trip has been taken.

Reimbursements are NOT at per diem. Except as otherwise noted herein, all expenses for travel reimbursement must be made by the traveler, and payment will be approved only upon the basis of personal reimbursement, unless otherwise approved by the Travel Office. Travel reimbursements will be processed online via Workday utilizing the Expense Report task. 

The Travel Office makes every effort to process Expense Reports within 10 business days.