University of Northern Iowa - Travel
To define University of Northern Iowa travel
guidelines and procedures for faculty, staff, and other persons
traveling at university expense.
The university recognizes
travel as an absence from the University. The Office of Business
Operations is the designated university office to administer travel
reimbursement policies and procedures. Faculty, staff, and other
persons traveling at University expense are encouraged to use the
most economical and appropriate means of travel.
All employee travel must
be authorized prior to departure by the appropriate administrator
(vice president, dean, director, or department head). Employees
must complete a Travel
Authorization form, sign it, and obtain the signature of the
appropriate administrator. Travel Authorization Forms may be obtained
from the forms repository in MyUniverse
or in departmental offices. The signatures of all officials providing
travel funding should be obtained. Depending upon the traveler’s
departmental office procedures, the Travel Authorization form will
be retained by either the department secretary or the traveler.
The Travel Authorization form should be submitted to the Office
of Business Operations with the Travel Reimbursement form.
- The Travel Authorization form secures the approval of the administrator
for the travel and ensures that funds are available for travel
- Administrators may reimburse employee travel in accordance
with university travel policies or may place dollar limits on
a given trip. Administrators who intend to place a dollar limit
on the trip should state the limit on the Travel Authorization
- More restrictive limits in bargained contracts, federal grant
guidelines, and guidelines of other authorized agencies shall
take precedence over university policy.
Payments for Travel Expenses
- Can be purchased using the UNI Procurement Card when travel
is for university-related business. Shorts Travel Service, the
university's preferred travel agency, can maintain a travel profile
for travelers, which includes the traveler’s departmental
procurement card information.
- An itemized receipt must be attached to the Procurement Card
Statement. If the traveler uses a personal credit card, upon completion
of travel, an itemized receipt for airline tickets must be attached
to the Travel Reimbursement form.
- Fees should be prepaid by using departmental Procurement Cards
or by Request for Payment if credit cards are not accepted.
- Make deposit by personal credit card.
Advances - Cash, Deposits, or Prepaid Expenses
Travel advances are not
normally granted to faculty and staff for domestic travel, but advances
are available for international travel, student group travel, and
other group travel
Travel advances should
be requested by using the Cash
Advance Request form stating the name of the traveler, the proposed
amount of the advance, and the source of repayment. Travelers should
include the dates of travel, destination, and purpose of travel.
- Cash advances may be picked up at the Cashier's Office two
working days prior to the start of the trip.
- The Office of Business Operations may grant exceptions for
Travel advances must
be reconciled by completing a Travel
Reimbursement Form. Repayments of excess cash advances, if any,
should be made within two weeks from the date of return. Travel
advance privileges can be rescinded until the delinquent advance
has been cleared or repayment occurs. To clear cash travel advances
obtained for group meal per diems, a record signed by each person
in the group who received cash must be submitted to the Office of
According to Internal
Revenue Service Regulation 1.62-2(g), substantiation of travel expense
must take place within 60 days of travel. Funds remaining from a
travel advance must be returned within 120 days. Repayment delinquent
over 120 days will be reported as income to the traveler in accordance
with the Internal Revenue Service regulation.
for Domestic Travel
Individuals should submit
a Travel Reimbursement
Form within 60-days of travel. Travel expenses must be certified
by the claimant and approved by the administrator.
When an employee combines
vacation with business travel, reimbursement will not
be granted during vacation days.
Credit card receipts
are not acceptable as proof of payment.
When no other receipt is provided, duplicate check copies are acceptable
only if presented with a bank statement showing the check number
as a cleared item.
Reimbursements are mailed
to the individual's home address, campus address or held at the
Cashier's Office for pickup in accordance with instructions provided
by the traveler on the Travel
be by the most economical means available, giving consideration
to time, distance, and work requirements. If driving a personal
vehicle, mileage reimbursement is normally limited to round-trip
air transportation (priced at least 30 days in advance) plus round-trip
ground transportation. The method of travel should be indicated
in the description column of the Travel Reimbursement Form. Actual
round-trip transportation costs are allowed for travel by common
are reimbursed at tourist class rates. If the traveler personally
paid for the cost of the plane ticket, the itemized receipt should
be attached to the Travel
Tickets can be purchased
using the UNI Procurement Card for university-related business.
Recognizing that most
airfares are lower if the traveler stays over Saturday night, the
university will reimburse the extra hotel and meal expenses needed
to realize these savings. However, expenses in excess of airfare
savings will not be reimbursed.
If a Federal grant provides
funding for foreign travel, this travel should be in accordance
with the “Fly America Act” which normally requires that
employees use U.S. flag air carriers for international air transportation.
Charter Air Travel
Chartered Air Travel
may be authorized by the administrator when it is in the best interest
of the university. Decisions are based on savings including transportation,
lodging, meals, and time limitations. Contact the Purchasing Department
for Charter Agreement details.
Persons authorized to
travel on university business may use a personal airplane. A person
piloting his/her personal airplane does so at his or her own risk
and is personally responsible for all costs of operation. Reimbursement
is at the lesser of personal automobile reimbursement rates or round
trip airfare priced at least 30 days in advance.
Mileage should be computed
from home or permanent work address, whichever is less. Travel should
be by the most direct route. Any substantial deviations from distances
on maps need to be explained on the reimbursement request. Individuals
driving their personal automobile on university business are responsible
for all operating costs (e.g. car washes, repairs, road service,
and etc.). Operating costs will not be reimbursed.
Guide – Iowa
Guide - Out of State
Travelers will be reimbursed
at the following rates, based on travel circumstances, refer to
the table below for specific rates on relevant time periods:
Note: The reimbursement must include a statement from the Motor Pool indicating a vehicle was not available 48 hours prior to the departure date. Travel Reimbursement Forms submitted without the requisite statement will be reimbursed at the University rate. The Purchasing and Payables Manager may make exceptions when there is a bona-fide reason for not reserving a vehicle at least 48 hours in advance of departure.
Note: Mileage reimbursement for non UNI employees and students is at the discretion of the account manager, but may not exceed the IRS standard business mileage rate.
The Government Fleet Vehicle (GFV) rate as established by the
U.S. General Services Administration in the Federal Travel Regulations,
for travel if a motor pool vehicle is available, but the employee
chooses to use his/her own vehicle.
In situations when an individual must use a substantially modified or specially equipped privately owned vehicle the Purchasing and Payables Manager should be consulted to assist in determining the appropriate reimbursement rate.
For travel beginning:
IRS Business Rate
January 1, 2013
January 1, 2012
July 1, 2011
May 1, 2011
January 1, 2011
January 1, 2010
Rental cars may be reimbursed
if local transportation is not feasible by common carrier and if
approved by the administrator.
The original invoice,
from the rental car agency, must be submitted for rental car reimbursement.
The rental amount should be listed in the transportation column
of the Travel Reimbursement Form. Gasoline costs not included on
the rental invoice should be itemized in the transportation column
of the Travel Reimbursement Form by date of purchase. Gasoline receipts
should be attached to the Travel Reimbursement Form.
Rental Car Insurance
The Board of Regents
Motor Vehicle Insurance Program provides collision, comprehensive,
and liability coverage on vehicles owned by or rented by the university
or UNI’s representatives.
The purchase of additional
insurance on a rental car by University of Northern Iowa representatives
will not be reimbursed except for insurance
purchased on vehicles rented in foreign countries.
Types of coverage offered
by rental car companies that will not be reimbursed include:
liability insurance (LIS), Collision Damage Waiver (CDW), Loss Damage
Waiver (LDW), theft of personal effects (PAI), credit cards (PEC)
and health/life insurance etc. This list is not intended to be all
inclusive of the types of insurance the company may attempt to sell
the UNI representative and are not reimbursable.
Guests, job candidates,
speakers, consultants etc, who are not UNI representatives, will
be reimbursed for insurance on rental vehicles.
Parking, Bridge, and
Parking, bridge, and
road tolls will be reimbursed if properly itemized on the Travel
Reimbursement Form. Parking, bridge, and road tolls should be itemized
by date. In general, receipts are not required; however receipts
are required for single fees in excess of $25.
Taxi or Local Common
Taxi or local common
carrier fares, including a reasonable tip, are allowable expenses.
Itemize by date and indicate points of travel in the description.
Receipts are required for fares in excess of $25.
Taxi rides from the traveler's
place of lodging to a restaurant, entertainment etc. are considered
personal expenditures and are not reimbursable.
Rail travel charges including
pullman car and parlor car rentals are allowable. The cost of travel
by rail will be limited to the cost of round trip airfare booked
at least 30 days in advance plus applicable ground transportation.
Rail travel should be itemized by date. Receipts are required for
fares in excess of $25.
Persons on University
Reimbursements for lodging
will be limited to the single room rate plus applicable taxes. When
accompanied by a person or persons not on University-related business,
reimbursement of 90 percent of the charge will be made unless documentation
of the single room rate is provided. Acceptable documentation includes
an original room schedule provided by the conference or hotel that
indicates the single room rate or a statement from hotel management
on the hotel's business stationery indicating the single
Travelers are strongly
encouraged to request state, government, or corporate rates.
Staff staying with friends
or relatives will not be reimbursed for lodging.
In-room movies, athletic
facility use, laundry, dry cleaning, pressing, and other personal
items are not reimbursable.
The traveler should enter
itemized hotel charges by date in the column provided for
this purpose and attach the original itemized hotel bill to the
Travel Reimbursement Form.
Employees Sharing a
Under the Code of Iowa
Section 18.75 paragraph 8, the University of Northern Iowa is required
to report annually to the State of Iowa an accounting of the name
of all State of Iowa employees’ travel and subsistence for
the previous fiscal year. Employees who share a room and obtain
separate receipts from the hotel should submit separate Travel Reimbursement
Forms for each person’s portion of the room.
If separate receipts
are not provided, the employee paying for the lodging should submit
a Travel Reimbursement Form for the entire cost of the room. In
the Account Code Information/Charge Account section of the Travel
Reimbursement Form a line must be entered for each traveler with
one-half the cost of the lodging and their employee number listed.
The traveler must be
in travel status during the following time frames to qualify for
individual meal reimbursements. Travel status is defined as the
time the traveler leaves his/her home or office until the time the
traveler returns to his or her home or office.
Must Leave Prior
- If guest meals are included, the guest(s) must be named, the
time and place of the meals must be listed, and the business purpose
of entertaining the guest stated. A receipt is required any time
an employee pays for another individual's meal.
- Meal costs reimbursed to faculty and staff for non-overnight
trips will be subject to withholding and reported as taxable income
in accordance with Internal Revenue Service regulations.
- State policy does not permit reimbursement for alcoholic
- Banquet meals included with conference registrations may be
reimbursed above these limits with appropriate documentation (a
copy of the conference brochure or the banquet ticket.)
- Reimbursement will not be made for meals included
with air fares or conference fees.
Reimbursement will be
made for the actual meal cost, including a reasonable gratuity,
subject to the following maximums:
Out of State
- For partial days of travel, the actual amount for each meal
will be reimbursed.
- For a whole day of travel, the total amount for each day applies
and allows individual meal flexibility.
- Receipts are not required for meals.
- The traveler should itemize meal costs (including tips) by
day, showing the cost of each meal in the columns provided for
Allowable charges including
reasonable tipping should be noted in the miscellaneous column.
The traveler should itemize each charge by date and explain the
charge in the description column.
business calls, internet fees and facsimiles by date.
Registration fees should
be itemized in the description column. Receipts are required for
registration fees. Fees paid for personal memberships, recreational
activities, tours, or other social events are not reimbursable.
Baggage Handling and
Baggage handling, storage
charges, and related tips will be reimbursed only for University
Charges for personal
insurance, baggage insurance, laundry, entertainment, valet, alcohol,
and similar items cannot be reimbursed.
Travel and Lodging Discount
may participate in certain travel and lodging discounts extended
to the university, but do so subject to the understanding that any
volume rebates or other concessions are the property of the University.
- International Travel
Policies and rates for
meals and lodging approved by the U.S. Department of State will
be applied unless granting agency regulations are more restrictive.
The maximum travel per diem allowances for foreign areas are listed
on the U.S.
Department of State per diem rates. Per diem allowances can
be found by the month travel was completed.
If a traveler requires
paid lodging, she/he may claim the full lodging per diem for that
city. A receipt is required. The actual cost to the traveler need
not be calculated. If a traveler does not require paid lodging,
no lodging per diem is allowed.
According to the Internal
Revenue Service, lodging for the entire trip must be at per diem
rates or actual cost. Selected days cannot be at actual cost while
others are at per diem rates. Some federal agencies restrict reimbursements
for lodging to the lesser of actual or per diem rates.
For partial days of travel,
one-fourth of the rate for a full day will be reimbursed for each
six-hour period or the fraction thereof that the traveler is in
The traveler may be reimbursed
at up to 150 percent of the per diem rate approved by the U.S. Department
of State when requested in advance of travel and justified to and
approved by the appropriate University officials. Exceptions to
advance approval may be considered and authorized only after careful
review and consideration of any unanticipated costs. The traveler
must provide an explanation of the extenuating circumstances and
original receipts supporting all lodging and meal expenditures.
Reimbursements in excess of the U.S. Department of State rates will
not be approved if prohibited by granting agency regulations.
When using per diem rates
for lodging, the actual city name must be shown for each day on
The meal per diem must
be prorated for meals not purchased.
A traveler may claim
a meal per diem, even though he or she does not claim lodging.
Passport and visa charges
Forms must be completed in U.S. currency by date and item showing
the rate of exchange used for conversion. Rates of exchange may
be obtained from the website
OANDA.com or a financial institution. Receipts for currency
conversion, if available, should be attached to the Travel Reimbursement
The cost for traveler’s
checks is an allowable item unless prohibited by federal regulations
when using a grant account financed with federal funds. Call the
Grants and Contracts office for information regarding specific grants.
Federal grant regulations
normally require that employees use U.S. flag air carriers for international
- Persons Other than Faculty and Staff
Persons, other than faculty
and staff, traveling on university business are subject to the same
regulations as faculty and staff.
Meals will be reimbursed
up to the above stated maximums. Receipts are not required.
for non UNI employees and students is at the discretion of the account
manager, but may not exceed the POV rate.
Direct inquiries to the
Director of Business Operations
before travel if an expense is anticipated which does not
seem to be included in the procedures above.
Revision Date: January 3, 2007