Travel (Policy 6180)
University Policy 6180
Last Revision Date
Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, (208) 426-1200
Scope and Audience
This policy applies to all individuals who travel and use funds administered by the University.
- Idaho Code §49-117(18)
- Idaho Code §67-2004 et seq.
- Idaho Code §67-5250
- 2 CFR 200.474
1. Policy Purpose
To provide guidance for those traveling on University business and to ensure the best use of University resources.
2. Policy Statement
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 reasonable, necessary and meet policy and compliance requirements.
3.1 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.
3.2 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.
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.
A visitor of Boise State who receives an honorarium of less than $600.
3.5 Incidental Expense
Fees and tips given to porters, baggage carriers, bellhops, hotel maids, taxi or shuttle drivers, 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.
3.6 No-Cost Travel
Employee travel paid for by employee or a third party.
3.7 Official Station
The primary work area or office assigned to the employee – may be subject to a telecommuting agreement.
3.8 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.
3.9 Per Diem Expenses
Reimbursement for meals, meal gratuities, and incidental expenses.
3.10 Personal Expenses
Expenses for personal items such as clothing, toiletries, and entertainment.
3.11 Travel Costs
Travel Costs are the expenses for transportation, lodging, subsistence, and related items incurred by employees who are in travel status on Official University Business (2CFR 200.474 (a)).
3.12 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 4.16.
3.13 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.
4. Responsibilities and Procedures
4.1 Travel Guidelines
a. Travel related expenses must be submitted with required documentation and paid to the traveler within sixty (60) calendar days of incurring the expense or returning from the trip.
b. Reimbursement requests for expenses older than sixty (60) calendar days will be taxable to the traveler.
c. Reimbursement requests for expenses older than one hundred twenty (120) days will be denied, see University Policy 6290 (Accountable Plan).
d. 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.
e. Reimbursement for travel expenses will not be made until the trip is complete.
4.1.2 Resource and Environmental Considerations
a. 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.
b. Individuals should also consider the environmental impact of all available travel options as Boise State is committed to a low carbon footprint.
4.2 Travel Authorization
a. All employee travel, including no-cost travel, must be preapproved, prior to commencement of travel and incurring expenses, using the online Travel Authorization (TA) module.
b. The following are exceptions to the use of the online Travel Authorization form:
(i.) 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.
(ii.) Travel expenses for independent contractors, as defined by University Policy 6150 (Independent Contractors), must be paid by the contractor.
(iii.) Airfare and lodging for job candidates, and other non-employees (excluding Independent Contractors), may be paid via the University Purchasing Card (P-Card) without preauthorization. Reimbursement or per diem payment requires submission of a Non-Employee Travel Reimbursement form. Consult with Tax Reporting before paying International visitors.
c. Forms for travel authorization discussed in section III are available on the Boise State Travel and Expense website or the University Forms and Documents website.
4.3 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.
4.4 Travel Advances
Travel advances can be issued to University employees as warranted when traveling to a foreign country. 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. Failure to account for cash advances may result in the full amount of the advance being deducted from the employee’s future reimbursements and/or paychecks.
4.5 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-Cards may not be used for meals and incidental expenses while traveling. See the University P-Cardholder 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 Reimbursement Services website.
4.6 Personal Travel in Conjunction with Business Travel
a. When personal travel is scheduled in conjunction with business travel only the business-related portion of the expenses may be paid with the P-Card. All Personal Expenses must be paid with personal funds. Any expenses that combine business and Personal Expenses and cannot be easily separated must be paid with personal funds and the business portion reimbursed after the trip is complete.
(i.) Airfare and other expenses such as parking and car rental where the personal portion of the expense cannot be easily separated, must be paid with personal funds and the business portion calculated and reimbursed upon the completion of the trip.
(ii.) The business days of the hotel expense may be paid with a P-card if the hotel can accommodate the separate billing process. Room and tax may be charged to the P-card. Internet and parking expenses for business days may be charged to the P-card if there is a valid business purpose.
(iii.) All other business related expenses may be paid with a P-card such as registration and ground transportation if the expense is one hundred percent (100%) business related.
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.
4.7 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 the manager.
b. In accordance with the Fly America Act of 1974, U.S. flag air carriers or shippers must be used when traveling or shipping items and the costs are charged to a federally funded sponsored project. Exceptions apply, including Open Skies, which allows for use of air carriers from countries who have transportation agreements with the U.S. government – consult with the Office of Sponsored Programs for details.
4.8 Foreign Travel
a. 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 30 days in advance of travel to allow sufficient time to secure foreign travel insurance and address any other applicable requirements (See the Office of Risk Management and Insurance website).
b. 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.
(i.) The daily FTPDA will be one hundred percent (100%) of the listed Meals and Incidental Expenses (M & IE) rate.
(ii.) 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.
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.
4.10 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 website 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.
(i.) Privately Owned Vehicles (POV) must be used legally and safely per Idaho Code §49-117(18).
(ii.) The traveler must use their personal automobile insurance while driving on Official University Business (See the Office of Risk Management and Insurance website for more information).
(iii.) 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 rideshare/sharing economy options, with consideration of safety, time, and cost in that order.
4.11 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.
4.12 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 and Expense Reimbursement Services website 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 (See the University Travel and Expense Reimbursement Services website for details 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.
4.13 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 under the ADA. (See the Human Resources website 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.
4.14 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.
4.15 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.
4.16 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 held and maintained within the department from which the student is arranging travel through, or the department who is sponsoring the travel.
b. Travel advances are allowed for student travel for up to one hundred percent (100%) of the estimated travel cost. The following provisions apply to student travel in addition to this policy’s other provisions:
(i.) University Sponsored Travel, whether group or individual, must comply with Travel Services procedures and any additional requirements imposed by the department sponsoring the travel.
(ii.) Educationally beneficial Vicinity Travel may be scheduled by the department chair or unit head at their discretion.
(iii.) Students who are not employed by the University, but who are traveling abroad under the auspices of Boise State University, must contact the Center for Global Education prior to travel to ensure the mandatory Student Travel Accident insurance is purchased and to ensure all safety and medical issues relating to foreign travel are properly addressed. This includes, but is not limited to, student travel related to graduate studies, field work, research, or other educational purposes.
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.
Clery Act Student Travel Form
6. Related Information
Office of Risk Management and Insurance website
State Contracts and Price Agreements
Travel and Expense Reimbursement Services website
October 2007; August 2014; March 2015; August 2017; October 2017; April 2019