The Drew University Travel Policy is established to provide a standard for all University employees who engage in business travel. All travel processed through the University is governed by this policy, regardless of the source of funding. This policy supports Drew’s compliance with the Internal Revenue Service’s code and regulations and establishes guidelines to assure that expenses reimbursed by or charged to the University are not taxable.
It is the responsibility of any employee who plans to travel to read and understand this policy, before transactions occur.
Vice Presidents, Deans, Supervisors (Department Heads/Directors) are required to review and approve all travel and business entertainment expenditures in order to ensure the consistent administration of this policy. (The roles of such officers are explained below.) They are also responsible for the adequacy of T&E documentation processed by their staffs to be submitted to the Accounts Payable Office.
This policy governs the appropriate use of University funds by employees who engage in business travel. The policy applies regardless whether the funds are expended on or off campus and regardless of funding source or method of payment. It shall be used in conjunction with the University entertainment policy.
University employees are responsible for travel costs and after travel is completed, may request reimbursement via the TE expense report using itemized receipts.
Airfare may be booked through our contracted travel agency eliminating the need for individuals to personally expense (see below).
Legitimate Business Expenses
The University will provide funding for travel and business entertainment when such expenses have been incurred in accordance with the provisions of this policy. Expenses related to travel and business entertainment may be charged to the University only when they meet the following criteria:
- The expense is essential to transacting the official business of Drew University.
- Sufficient funds exist within the specified budget.
- The expense has the prior approval of the appropriate Supervisor/Dept. Chair/Director and Vice President/Dean.
- The expense is transacted in accordance with the fiscal policies of Drew University.
- The expense is supported by appropriate documentation.
- An Expense Voucher detailing the expense has been completed and submitted to the Accounts Payable Office.
- The employee has made a sincere effort to keep costs at the lowest possible level.
- The employee involved does not profit financially in any way.
Alcohol – Alcoholic beverages include beer, wine, and any other distilled spirits.
Allowable – Refers to expense which is permitted under this policy.
Approving Authority – The individual responsible for approving expense reports; it may also refer to the Vice President of Finance and Administration or President as those who may approve exceptions as described in this policy.
Cabinet – Cabinet members are those designated as serving as a member of the President’s cabinet. Continental United States travel (CONUS) – travel within the 48 contiguous United States.
Outside Continental United States travel (OCONUS) – travel in which the destination or origin is outside the continuous United States including Alaska, Guam, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
International travel – travel in which the destination or origin is outside the United States and its territories.
Meal(s) – A Meal is a catered or restaurant-provided breakfast, lunch, or dinner at which
employees, students, or other individuals are present for the purpose of conducting
substantial and bona fide University business. Groceries and beverages purchased for
an event shall also be considered as meal(s).
Official Station – the office or station provided by the University to which the employee is regularly assigned. Unless written approval is given for an alternate location, the official station for all employees is the campus of Drew University in Madison, NJ.
Per Diem – Per diem is the designated amounts per meal.
Programmatic Activities – Activities, meals, light refreshments provided to students for University sanctioned events, etc.
Reimbursement – Payment to an employee who has incurred personal expense for approved expenditures.
Prohibited Expenditures – Expenses that are not permitted as described in this policy.
University Funds – Any source of funding managed by the University. For the purposes of this policy, there shall be no distinction between restricted funds, endowment funds, or operating funds.
Employees must obtain travel authorization from their supervisor prior to their trip or commencing with any reservations, trip planning, etc. A form is available for this and should be submitted for each trip and kept on file within the department.
Employees who conduct daily receptive travel for a singular purpose (i.e. Admissions recruiters, Athletics coaches, etc.), may submit a travel authorization form to cover an extended period of time not to exceed 6 months.
It is recommended that all conference registrations be paid in advance by Drew via submittal of a check request to Accounts Payable or by departmental credit card. If paid personally, conference fees will not be reimbursed until travel has been completed and expense report for trip is submitted.
Rental Vehicles – Use of a rental vehicle is authorized when it is deemed the least expensive way to reach a destination. University travelers may only rent compact cars at University expense unless a group traveling together requires a larger car or van. Fines due to motor vehicle infraction are the responsibility of the operator and may not be charged to the University.
The University will not pay or reimburse the traveler for additional insurance offered by the car rental company. The exception is for International travel; when renting outside of the U.S., it is recommended that travelers purchase liability insurance because of unique laws in foreign countries, complications in settling claims, and personal policy restrictions.
Add-ons and optional services offered by car rental companies – such as GPS systems, car seats, fuel service etc. – are not allowable.
Employees renting vehicles are not subject to mileage reimbursement. Allowable expense includes rental car expense, fuel and tolls where applicable.
Rental vehicles are only authorized for destination transportation, meaning as a means to get to their destination and return to home/University. If ground transportation is only needed for travel between the airport and lodging location and/or work site (conference location), university travelers are required to use shuttle services and taxis. Use of a rental car for travel to/from restaurants and sightseeing is deemed to be personal and will not be allowable.
The University holds a contract with Enterprise for the rental of cars and is the preferred vendor when authorized to rental a vehicle. Employees renting cars with another vendor will do so at their own risk and any costs in excess of the University agreed upon rates with Enterprise shall be the responsibility of the employee.
To reserve a car through Enterprise, please use the E&I Cooperative code XZ24106 or XZ243A4 for contracted rates.
Personal Vehicles – Use of a personal vehicle is authorized when it is deemed the least expensive way to reach a destination. All employees using privately-owned cars on Drew University business must have proof of insurance indicating that insurance coverage is in full force and effect.
Employees traveling in their personal vehicle on University business are eligible for mileage reimbursement. The standard mileage rate is set annually by the Purchasing department and is designed to cover all fixed and variable costs of automobile use for business purposes.
The mileage reimbursement rate for calendar year 2018 is set at $.545/mile.
This rate includes consideration of maintenance, repairs, tires, fuel, oil, insurance, license/registration fees, and depreciation. In offering this reimbursement rate, the University is supporting the cost of automobile insurance on the personal vehicle that is being used for business purposes, and so, the owner’s privately owned insurance will be considered primary coverage. Local travel is considered travel that is within a 5 mile radius of the Drew University campus. Travel within this radius shall not be eligible for mileage reimbursement. Tolls are separately reimbursable but must be accompanied by a receipt or other proof of payment (i.e. EZ Pass statement).
When an employee is authorized to travel from the University to another location and using their personal vehicle, he/she will be reimbursed for the round trip mileage from the University to the temporary assignment.
Ex: Bill has a 1pm meeting in New Brunswick, NJ. Bill leaves Drew to attend the meeting and returns to Drew once the meeting has ended. Bill may be reimbursed for round trip mileage from Madison to New Brunswick.
When an employee is temporarily assigned to another location or is on daily University business-related travel, and leaves from home to that temporary assignment, he/she will be reimbursed for either, the mileage from the University to the temporary assignment OR from home to the temporary assignment, whichever is less.
Ex: Bill lives in Trenton and has a 9am meeting in Edison. Bill leaves directly from home to Edison for the meeting and returns home after the meeting. Bill may not be reimbursed for mileage as the trip to Edison is less than his normal commute from Trenton to Madison.
When an employee is authorized to travel to another location and either returns to or leaves from Drew, he/she will be reimbursed for mileage that is in excess of their commute to/from home.
Ex: Bill lives in Trenton and has a 12pm meeting in Montclair. Bill comes to Drew in the morning as he would normally, then leaves Drew to attend the meeting. Bill returns home after the meeting. Bill’s normal commute is 100 miles round trip, but on this day has driven 140 miles due to having attended the meeting at Montclair. Bill will be reimbursed based on the additional mileage of 40 miles.
If during the operation of the private vehicle while on Drew University business an accident, theft or mishap of any kind occurs, the responsible insurance company will be the car owner’s and a claim must be sent to the owner’s insurance company. The owner of the vehicle is responsible for payment of the deductible. Fines due to motor vehicle infractions are the responsibility of the operator and may not be charged to the University.
Taxis, shuttles, car services
Taxi/Car Service/Ride Share expenses between hotel and airport at destination are allowable. Further, it is allowable for transportation between home and airport when proven to be less expensive than if employee were to use personal vehicle and airport parking. Employee will be reimbursed for lesser of these 2 options. All other taxi/car service/ride share expenses are not reimbursable.
Tips for taxi/car service/ride share or limousine service are reimbursable. Tip amount is to be reasonable at the traveler’s discretion but are only reimbursable for a maximum of 20%.
Travelers are strongly encouraged to book airfare through our contracted travel agency(s), Key Travel by contacting them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Travel must be at the lowest, logical (considering cost and time) fare which is defined as coach/economy class. First class fare is not reimbursable.
Most airlines assess fees for checked baggage. Drew will reimburse travelers for 1 checked bags per person at the lowest possible rate (reserving in advance vs. at counter).
Food & drink purchases fall under per diem allowances.
Additional services or upgrades such as internet access, seat upgrades, etc. are considered personal and the responsibility of traveler.
Airport parking will be reimbursed at actual cost when accompanied by a receipts not to exceed “economy” or similarly named lowest cost parking option.
On-site parking at destination is allowable when no other parking is otherwise available. Employees will be reimbursed for actual costs when accompanied by receipt up to a maximum of $12/day.
Lodging – Travelers are encouraged to book through Drew’s contracted travel agencies.
Travel to locations within 75 miles of the traveler’s official station or their principal place of residence are not authorized for overnight lodging.
Lodging will be reimbursed for actual allowable costs not to exceed the applicable GSA rate with itemized receipts that include: traveler’s name, hotel name and address, check-in and check-out dates or dates of stay, total paid or amount charged, and detail of all charges.
Depending on location, the University may be exempt from certain sales taxes. A tax exempt certificate by state is available on our website. Employees should provide the hotel a copy of the applicable certificate to have applicable tax removed from their bill.
Tips and incidentals are not reimbursable.
Meals – Drew University business travelers may only be reimbursed meals with an overnight stay.
Employees are authorized to charge meals to the University provided that itemized receipts are provided and the costs per meal do not exceed the per diem rates as set forth below:
Breakfast – $11
Lunch – $12
Dinner – $23 [based on GSA rate standard for NJ]
Meal per diem for students & athletes – $30/student per day (B=$7, L=$10, D=$13).
– Students and athlete per diem is subject to the availability of funds within each departmental budget.
Tips for individual meals are not separately reimbursable; these tips are provided for as a part of meal per diem. Gratuities shall be allowable for meals at restaurants at a rate not to exceed 20%.
Employees will be reimbursed actual allowable costs not to exceed these per diem rates, gratuity included.
Any alcohol purchases are not reimbursable.
Employees traveling on University business may not charge the following to the University:
• First Class or Business Class Airline Tickets
• Flight Insurance
• Telephone calls
• Personal grooming
• Reading matter
• Laundry and dry cleaning
• Room service, except for meals up to the per diem limit
• Health club fees
• Expenses of spouse, children or other travel companions
• Changes to reservations except in case of emergency
• Personal entertainment including extra-cost social events at conferences or conventions
Steps/Procedures for Employee Travel
1. Employee identifies need to travel
2. Employee obtains pre-authorization from supervisor for approval.
3. Upon approval by supervisor, employee may commence with trip planning.
4. Trip occurs
5. Upon return of trip, employee prepares expense report with itemized receipts serving as backup.
6. Employee submits expense report to supervisor for approval.
7. Upon approval by supervisor, expense report can be submitted to Accounts Payable for review and processing of reimbursement.
*It is incumbent on the individual traveling to insure the appropriate approval – pre-trip and expense report – are routed as needed and applicable backup is provided as required or requested.