1,401: Travel

Revised: June 2018

Purpose

The University reserves the right to determine whether and when employees and students may travel for approved university-related activities. This policy specifies the process for obtaining approval to travel and seeking reimbursement for approved travel expenses. It also specifies which travel expenses are allowable. 

Scope

All employees must have prior approval for any university business-related travel lasting more than 24 hours, including travel in and out of Nevada and travel with no cost to the University. Employees whose job duties expressly include specified travel responsibilities may not be required to obtain prior approval for in-state travel (for example, travel to Board of Regents meetings or for statewide duties in Cooperative Extension).

Students must have prior approval for any university-funded travel. For policies on group and team travel, see UAM 1,490

The processes for requesting approval to travel, obtaining authorization to spend university funds on travel, and seeking reimbursement after travel vary as specified below. Some of these processes occur in Workday; others occur through other means.

International travel has additional requirements; for international travel policies, see UAM 1,404.

Policy

Approval to Travel 

Employees must request and receive approval to travel prior to any university business-related travel. The request and approval occur in Workday. "Spend Authorization" is the process by which an employee is approved to travel and any university funding is formally approved. A Spend Authorization must be filed even if no university funding is requested.

Colleges and departments may have additional procedures outside of Workday for requesting travel funding prior to the filing of a Spend Authorization. For the procedure required by the Office of the Vice President for Research & Innovation, see UAM 1,495.

Allowable Travel Expenses

Employees shall receive reimbursement for personal lodging expense based on the federal U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) lodging per diem rate for that locality. A receipt will be required for all lodging reimbursement. All GSA lodging amounts exclude taxes.

For travel within Nevada, refer to the State Administrative Manual (SAM) for exceptions to the established lodging rates for surveyed areas. For GSA non-surveyed (not listed) areas in Nevada, exceptions may be made up to 150% of the federal per diem lodging rate for each specified destination. 

For travel outside Nevada, exceptions to the maximum lodging rates must be approved in advance through the Spend Authorization process. For GSA surveyed areas, exceptions may be made for up to 175% of the federal rate for each specified destination. For GSA non-surveyed areas, exceptions may be made for up to 300% of the federal rate for each specific destination. 

If a personal vehicle is used for the convenience of the employee, the employee will be reimbursed at one half the rate established when using a personal vehicle for the convenience of the University. Employees using personal vehicles for the convenience of the University will be allowed reimbursement at a rate equal to that allowed as a deduction under federal income tax laws. The current reimbursement rates can be found at the State of Nevada Per Diem Rates website

Persons traveling shall receive reimbursement for meals at no more than the GSA per diem rate listed for that locality regardless of actual cost and only when the meals are not covered by event fees. Receipts are not required for meals.

When registration fees provide for a meal, employees should not request additional reimbursement for the meal. When a meal is provided at an event and is listed as an optional item on the registration form at a cost exceeding the reimbursement rate, the excess amount will not be allowed as part of the registration fee. The employee is personally responsible to pay the excess amount. 

For trips of 24 hours or less employees must travel a distance more than 75 miles away from their duty station to receive reimbursement for meals. 

Individuals on approved travel status may claim per diem meal reimbursements for the following time frames:

  • Breakfast: 12:01 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
  • Lunch: 10:01 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
  • Dinner: 3:01 p.m. - 12:00 a.m.

Breakfast per diem will not be reimbursed for travelers who depart their home city after 9:00 a.m. Dinner per diem will not be reimbursed for travelers who return to their home city before 5:00 p.m. 

When employees receive free meals or lodging, no reimbursement is allowed.

Reimbursement for Approved Travel Expenses

To claim reimbursement for approved travel expenses funded by university sources, the employee must file an "Expense Report" in Workday with scanned copies of all required receipts. 

Reimbursement for employee travel will not be paid if the Expense Report totals less than $10. Employees may submit multiple trips together so they total more than the minimum reimbursable amount.