Faculty Travel Policy ~ 2017 - 2018

July 13, 2017

MEMO TO: Members of the Faculty
FROM: Evelyn Jennings Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs
RE: Travel to Professional Meetings and Pedagogy Conferences

Institutional policy at St. Lawrence University recognizes the importance of participating in professional meetings in the development of faculty members as scholars and teachers. This memo outlines the Dean’s office support for such participation and outlines the basic policies and procedures for faculty travel to conferences from August 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018.

Faculty Travel Guidelines for Disciplinary, Academic, or Professional Conferences

Tenured and tenure-track faculty may be reimbursed for expenses for up to three trips per fiscal year (July 1-June 30) to academic conferences at which they are participating in the conference program (presenting scholarship or creative works or serving as chair, discussant, or presiding officer, e.g.). The cost of trips within the continental United States and Canada will be reimbursed up to $1400 per trip. The cost of trips outside the United States and Canada will be reimbursed up to $2100 for the first trip and up to $1500 for a second international trip. Tenured and tenure-track faculty may also be reimbursed up to $500 for travel to attend one conference at which they are not participating in the program. Reimbursement for all conference travel expenses accrued in a single fiscal year shall not exceed $4200 for each tenured and tenure-track faculty member.

Full-time visiting faculty may access up to $1400 per academic year for travel to academic conferences. To be reimbursed to the maximum level of $1400, the faculty member must be participating in the conference program (presenting scholarship or creative works or serving as chair, discussant, or presiding officer, e.g.). Up to $500 of the $1400 yearly allotment may be reimbursed for travel to attend one conference at which the faculty member is not participating in the program.

Faculty Travel Guidelines for Pedagogy Conferences

Tenure-track and tenured faculty members may also access funds to attend pedagogy conferences. If the faculty member is presenting at a pedagogy conference (including but not limited to presenting a poster or paper, running a workshop or participating on a panel), then conference-related expenses will be reimbursed up to $1400. If the faculty member is attending and not presenting at the conference, reimbursement will be up to $1100. Each faculty member is eligible to attend one pedagogy conference per year. Requests should be for conferences dedicated to the improvement of teaching and learning that either cross disciplinary boundaries and focus on teaching or for discipline-specific conferences devoted to the improvement of teaching and learning in that discipline. Requests for funding for faculty travel to professional disciplinary meetings that, along with the usual scholarly panels, also contain a small number of sessions on pedagogical approaches, are not eligible for this funding, and should be funded through the regular professional travel process through the Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs’ office. Funds are limited, so plan requests accordingly.

Important notes:

Procedures for Submitting Requests for Professional Research and Pedagogical Travel: Please complete and submit the appropriate on-line travel request form at least two weeks in advance of your proposed trip: for travel to present or attend a professional conference use the on-line Professional Travel Funds Request Form (available on the Academic Affairs, Forms and Resources page) and for travel to attend a pedagogy conference use the on-line Pedagogy Travel Funds Request Form (available from the Center for Teaching and Learning website, under Funding Opportunities). Approval by e-mail will normally occur within 5-7 business days. Please keep a copy of your approval and make a note of the amount approved, in case it differs from the amount requested. Reimbursement is not guaranteed for expenses for conference travel undertaken without prior approval.

When making conference travel arrangements, faculty are encouraged, but not required, to use the University’s online reservation system operated by Travel Guard. Using this system will allow faculty to charge the cost of flights directly to the University using a University budget code (see below). Faculty choosing not to use Travel Guard will be reimbursed for approved travel expenses booked through another provider, but faculty are encouraged to seek the least expensive travel arrangements from providers including, but not limited to, Travel Guard. University policy stipulates that the cost of airfare should not exceed $150 over the minimum fare available for that route on that day unless a valid reason is provided.

The e-mail message approving a travel request will include a University object code and account number to which the cost of airfare can be billed if using Travel Guard. Insert these numbers where requested by the on-line reservation system, or if purchasing airfare on an individual credit card, insert zeroes where account and object code numbers are requested.

University Travel Cards: Employees who, “regularly incur reimbursable travel and entertainment expenses while on University business” (University Travel Card Policy) may request a free corporate travel card. The Academic Affairs Office strongly recommends faculty read the responsibilities associated with using a University corporate travel card and receive training in how to submit expense reports and receipts and how to reconcile statements.

Round trip mileage reimbursement rates:
Ogdensburg = $20.00 (40 miles x $0.50)
Ottawa = $93.00 (186 miles x $0.50)
Syracuse = $130.00 (260 miles x $0.50)
Other destinations are reimbursed at $0.50 per mile. Please see the University Travel Policy for more information about rental cars, own vehicle usage and insurance coverage.

Food: Food costs are reimbursed at a rate of $30 per day without receipts or $45 per day (not including tips) with receipts. Please see the University Travel Policy for more details on meals and the University’s policy on alcohol while traveling on University business.

Tax Exempt Forms: A number of states have granted SLU full sales tax exempt status, and others have granted SLU sales tax exemption on items other than meals and lodging. Please see the Sales Tax page maintained by the University Business Office for details and an up-to-date listing of states granting SLU employees traveling on business sales tax exemptions. Tax exempt forms to be presented at hotels etc. are available on the Sales Tax page. If a faculty member chooses not to use the tax exempt certificate provided, the tax amount will be deducted from receipts submitted for reimbursement. Note that most hotels require use of a University credit card (or direct billing to SLU) in order to grant tax exempt status. For questions on international travel and taxes please call Mary Cosmo (x5564) in the Business office.

Travel Advances: If you need a travel or cash advance for a trip, complete the information on the on-line Professional Travel Funds Request Form for research conference travel and the Pedagogy Travel Funds Request Form for pedagogy conference travel at least two weeks before your date of travel. Cash advances will not be issued if the traveler holds a University travel card. Travel advances will be approved for an amount up to 50% of out-of-pocket expenses, not to exceed $500. Upon approval of the trip, a check request will be produced by the Associate Dean’s office and submitted to the Business Office. The advance will be available within ten days prior to the date of departure for the trip. Please note: if you do not clear your advance with the Associate Dean’s office within 15 days of traveling, you will not be eligible to receive another advance during this academic year. Moreover, the University Travel Policy states, “An approved expense report must be submitted to substantiate the expenses paid with the advance within 20 business days after the trip. Any advance funds not used must be returned with the report. If an expense report to clear an advance is not received within the required timeframe, the Business Office will send a reminder. An advance not accounted for with an expense report within 120 days will be reported to the appropriate vice president and deemed taxable income to the employee. Appropriate payroll taxes will be withheld in the employee’s next salary payment.” In addition, University policy requires that no reimbursements for other business expenditures can be made until an outstanding advance is substantiated. Please refer to the Travel Advance section of the University Travel Policy for more information on travel advances.
Entertainment: Entertainment expenses, e.g. movies, shows, theatre, museums and alcohol, will not be reimbursed by the University. Personal telephone use is not considered to be a legitimate travel expense and will not be reimbursed by the university. If these expenses are included on your hotel and restaurant receipts, please subtract them on your expense report.

Submitting expense reports: For each trip submit separate paperwork for reimbursement to the office of the Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs, not to the Business Office. Please submit expense reports and receipts within 15 days of the conclusion of your travel. You can use this Excel spreadsheet of the Travel Expense Report to calculate your expenses and reimbursement amount. An expense report submitted to the office of the Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs that includes nonreimbursable expenses will be adjusted accordingly before approval and submission to the Business Office. Faculty members traveling together to conferences must submit separate paperwork. All expenses must be submitted with original receipts for reimbursement. We recommend that you keep copies of all documents submitted (receipts and expense reports).

Cancellation Policy: In the event that the faculty member is unable to travel to a conference due to a cancellation of the conference (e.g. due to severe weather emergency), personal or family emergency or illness, the Associate Dean’s office will work with the faculty member to try to attain refunds of expenses paid for the conference (e.g., registration fees, prepaid hotel costs). Any costs for which reimbursement is not given can be covered by the institution at the faculty member’s request. However, in that case, these costs will count toward the faculty member’s allotted travel budget for the year.

Faculty members who do not have an emergency or illness and decide not to attend a conference will not be reimbursed for their out-of-pocket expenses and may owe money to the University for expenses paid by the institution for which the university cannot be reimbursed, and the faculty member must re-pay travel advances.