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VIII - 11.00 - Policy on Travel

I.  Purpose

The Bowie State University (BSU) travel policy is intended:  to provide full reimbursement for all necessary and allowable expenses; to help ensure fairness in the application and administration of travel expense reimbursement; and to control BSU's travel costs.

II.  Applicability

This policy applies to all BSU personnel traveling on BSU business.  An employee traveling on official business is expected to exercise the same care incurring expenses as would a prudent person traveling for personal reasons. Travel for business should be conducted at a minimum cost for achieving the success of the mission.  Travelers shall request reservations as far in advance as possible and shall utilize the lowest logical air/rail fares available.  All travel is to be documented.  Pre-approval is required for all travel that requires an overnight stay. 

III.  Procedures

A. Approval

A BSU Travel Request form  must be completed and approved for all travel except for travel to local meetings or travel occurring in the course of everyday duties.  Completion and submission of the Travel Request form one month or more prior to the date of travel will enable BSU to obtain the most economic airfares.  This document certifies:  that the travel is for BSU business; that the employee is approved to be away from their normal duties during the travel period; that expenditures are authorized for the amount indicated; and that funds are available to make these expenditures.  Signatures required for the approval of all types of travel are the traveler, the traveler's supervisor, the traveler's Dean or Director, the Provost or area Vice President, as appropriate.  Any travel that is funded by a grant or contract must also be approved by the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP).

B. Payment and Reimbursement for BSU Authorized Travel

1. BSU will reimburse employees for authorized and necessary travel and related expenses incurred by the employee.  BSU may not reimburse an employee for transportation, lodging, meal expenses, or any other costs incurred by a spouse, child or other person not essential to the business mission, who accompanies the employee on an official business trip.  BSU does not reimburse for alcoholic beverages.

2. Within 10 business days of completion of travel, the traveler must submit a properly completed and approved BSU Travel Reimbursement Form.    Original, detailed receipts must be attached for all amounts beyond the per diem for which reimbursement is requested.  The approved Request for Travel must be on file with the Controller's Office when the BSU Travel Reimbursement form is submitted.  BSU Travel Reimbursement forms submitted sixty (60) days or more after the date of travel or expenditure will not be processed for reimbursement.

3. The Tax Exemption certificate must be obtained from the Controller's Office and used when staying in-state to avoid payment of state tax charged on hotel expenses; however, BSU will pay the tax if the certificate is not used.

4. If an Expense Voucher is used to process payment for registration fees, the completed registration form from the sponsoring conference must be submitted with the approved travel request to the Accounts Payable Office.

5. If the method of payment is a corporate credit card, a copy of the approved Travel Request form and the original receipt must be submitted with the State of Maryland Expense Account Form.

6. For international travel, the traveler must provide documentation of the monetary conversion rate in effect at the time of travel and provide restatement of receipts in U.S. dollars for Accounts Payable verification.

C. Travel with Spouse

When spouses travel with BSU employees but are not themselves acting as agents of BSU, travelers should be careful to maintain a record of individual expenses.  BSU will not reimburse any expenses incurred on behalf of the spouse.  Airfare or any other travel expenses that are billed directly to BSU must not include expenses for the spouse.

D. Reservations and Ticketing

1. Travelers should ensure that all arrangements for hotel, airfare, rail-travel and rental cars are reasonable and appropriate.   Travelers are expected to make advance bookings for transportation using the least expensive fare. BSU does not purchase or reimburse for flight insurance.

2. Where a car rental is deemed necessary, BSU expects the least of the lowest priced vehicle which will accommodate the trip's requirements. 

a) BSU does not reimburse employees for any purchased car rental insurance, including Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) for vehicle rental within the United States but will reimburse for CDW for foreign rentals.

b) The state provides tort liability protection within Maryland.  Out-of-State, the employee must rely on the rental agreement, their own automobile policy or purchase the higher limits available.  However, BSU does not reimburse for additional liability coverage.

c) Cancellations and other penalties will be paid by BSU provided the cancellation or change was made for the convenience of BSU or was necessitated by circumstances of an emergency nature affecting the traveler.

E. Hotel, Meal and Other Expense Reimbursement

1. The cost of hotel accommodations will be reimbursed on the basis of receipts. Reservations should be made at the single room rate.  The traveler is to take every step possible to keep the cost of the hotel room to a minimum.  Less expensive hotels should be used, as long as they are available and as convenient as the more expensive hotels.  Original receipts must be attached to the Travel Reimbursement form.

2. Any cost above the single-room rate which is a result of non-official travelers using the accommodations will be the personal financial responsibility of the traveler.

3. For domestic travel, meal expenses will normally be reimbursed on per diem rates for standard and high-cost areas.  Foreign travel is reimbursed at actual cost with detailed receipts or at the applicable U.S. Department of State meal and incidental (M&IE) rate without receipts.

a) Travelers are not required to provide individual meal receipts when using the meal allowances at the rates established by the Board of Regents . 

b) When an employee is in travel status involving absence from home overnight, all meals are reimbursable.

c) The cost of breakfast is reimbursable when an employee in travel status has to leave home on official business 2 hours or more before the beginning time of the employee's place of business.

d) The cost of dinner is reimbursable when an employee in travel status cannot get home within 2 hours after the employee's normal quitting time.  In both cases E.3.c, and E.3.d, the 2 hours are in addition to the normal commuting time.

e) In cases when an employee meets both of the conditions (E.3.c and E.3.d) and is in travel status for the entire day, but not overnight, the employee's lunch is also reimbursable.

f) Reimbursement for either breakfast or dinner may not be made because of the hour at which an employee is required to leave home or at which the employee returns home, because of commuting to and from the employee's normal place or places of employment.

g) Except as provided in E.3.b and E.3.e above, an employee may not be reimbursed for the cost of lunch.

4. If the registration fee for a conference, convention, seminar or training meeting includes the cost of meals, BSU will reimburse the employee for the full registration fee.  However, the employee will not be reimbursed separately for the included meals.  

5. Reimbursement will not be made for the cost of alcoholic beverages.

6. Foreign travel is reimbursed at actual cost with detailed receipts or at the applicable U.S. Department of State meal and incidental (M&IE) rate without receipts.  Any circumstances that may warrant a level of reimbursement above the per diem rate must receive prior approval from the appropriate Vice President or Provost and be accompanied by detailed receipts.

7. Miscellaneous expenses, such as business telephone calls, laundry/valet, parking fees, etc., are reimbursable. Traveler must maintain receipts for miscellaneous expenses for reimbursement. BSU will not reimburse for personal calls.

F. Use of Personal Vehicles

1. Use of institution-owned vehicles is governed by BSU Transportation Policy.

2. Properly insured personal vehicles may be used for travel on BSU business. The use of a personal vehicle will be reimbursed at the rate established in UMS Policy on Schedule of Reimbursement Rates. 

3. If an employee prefers to use a privately owned vehicle when the BSU owned vehicle is available for conducting official business, the employee will be reimbursed at one-half the rate allowed for the use of a privately owned vehicle. 

4. Authorized employees will be reimbursed for reasonable parking and toll expenses incurred while conducting BSU business in a privately owned vehicle and with the submission of receipts attached to the Travel Reimbursement form.

5. BSU will not reimburse BSU employees for any increased insurance premiums for the use of their vehicle for business. Reimbursement for insurance is reflected in the mileage reimbursement rate.

6. Reimbursement for BSU employees that use private vehicles will be made only when mileage exceeds their normal daily mileage to and from BSU.

a) An employee who leaves the office to conduct business in the field and returns to the office may be reimbursed for all mileage directly connected with the business trip.

b) An employee who leaves home to conduct business without stopping at the assigned office may be reimbursed for all mileage directly connected with the business trip.

c) An employee who conducts business prior to coming into the assigned office or on the way home from the assigned office, may be reimbursed for all mileage in excess of the commute miles normally traveled.

d) This policy applies to any normal working day, after hour's business travel and business travel on Saturday, Sunday or Holidays.  BSU will not reimburse employees for commute mileage traveled in a private vehicle, including weekends and holidays.

IV. Definition

In-state travel for purpose of this policy is defined as travel within the State of Maryland and the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area.


Effective Date:  07/01/1993
Revised Date:  06/11/2012