Faculty Travel Policy

Faculty Travel Policy 2021-2022

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 15, 2021 through May 20, 2022.

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. Multiple "research attend only" conference will not be funded. 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 (August 15, 2021- May 20, 2022) for travel to academic conferences. To be reimbursed at 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 annual allowance 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. 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 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. Funds are limited, so please plan requests accordingly.

Procedures for Submitting Requests for Professional Research and Pedagogical Travel: Please complete and submit the appropriate on-line travel funds request form at least two weeks in advance of your proposed trip.  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 associated with conference travel undertaken without prior approval.

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 on how to submit expense reports, receipts, and how to reconcile statements.

Food: Food costs are reimbursed at a rate of $30 per day without receipts or $45 per day (not including tips) with itemized 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. 

Cash Advances: If you need a cash advance for a trip, please indicate so when completing your initial travel funds request form. This should be done at least two weeks before your departure. Cash advances will not be issued if the traveler holds a University travel card. Cash advances will be approved for 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 of the trip. Please note: if you do not clear your advance with the Associate Dean’s office within 15 days of traveling, you may not be eligible to receive another advance during the academic year. An approved expense report must be submitted to substantiate the expenses paid within 20 business days after the trip. Any advance funds not used must be returned with the expense 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 cash advances have been cleared. 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, tours, 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: Please submit a separate expense report for each trip to the office of the Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs, not to the Business Office. Expense reports and receipts are due within 15 days of the conclusion of your travel. Please use the Travel Expense Report to calculate your expenses and reimbursement amount. A submitted expense report that includes non-reimbursable expenses will be adjusted accordingly. All expenses must be submitted with original itemized 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.