4.3.1 Travel Program

A. Purpose

This policy sets forth the general rules governing the University’s travel program and informs University travelers of the travel services available. 

B. Persons Affected

All persons traveling on official state business for The University of Texas at Tyler (UT Tyler), i.e. employees, students, prospective employees, guest lecturers, etc.

C. Definitions

N/A

D. Policy and Procedures

  1. Rules Governing University Travel. Travel by University employees is governed by the General Appropriations Act, the Rules and Regulations of the Board of Regents, official interpretations of the State of Texas Travel Regulations Act by the State Comptroller of Public Accounts, and University policies and procedures. All employees are required to be aware of the laws, rules, and regulations governing travel by state employees. For employees failing to comply with these provisions, the University shall assume no liability and the employees may not be reimbursed for travel expenses.
  2. Travel Authorization.

    General.  A traveler must obtain prior approval for all University travel that causes absences from the home campus (Tyler, Longview, Houston, or Palestine) of half a day or more during the normal working period, whether or not there is a cost to the University. Before the trip and before making travel arrangements, the traveler must obtain the appropriate authorization(s), depending on the nature and destination of travel Special Approvals. Special approvals may be required, as indicated below: 

    Washington, D.C – all travel to Washington D.C requires prior notification to the Office of State-Federal Relations or The University of Texas System’s Office of Federal Relation depending upon the purpose of the travel.

    Foreign Travel
    .  All foreign travel, other than Canada, Mexico, U.S. territories (Virgin Islands and Guam), and U.S. protectorates (Jamaica) must have prior additional approval.  A “Request for Approval of Foreign Travel” form must be submitted at least 45 days before the date of the employee’s departure.  UT Tyler employees and students traveling abroad on University business are required to register on-line with the International SOS.

    For detailed policies and procedures regarding travel authorizations, see the Financial Services website under “Travel Services.”

  3. Conservation of Funds.  Travel must be planned to achieve maximum savings and efficiency. The travel expenses must be the most cost-effective considering all relevant circumstances. A department may adopt expense reimbursement and payment rates lower than the maximum rates. The department's employees must be notified in writing before the lower rates are implemented. 
  4. Travel Contracts.  To provide a cost-effective travel services program, the University of Texas System has mandated the use of contracted travel agencies and rental car companies for transportation.services.
  5. Charge Cards.  The University participates in the state charge card program established by the Texas State Comptroller of Public Accounts. To be eligible for a charge card, the employee must be full-time and expected to take at least three (3) trips or spend at least $500 per fiscal year for University business. For credit card policies and procedures, see the Financial Services website under “Travel Services.”
  6. Transportation
    1. When employees from the same agency travel on the same dates with the same itinerary, they must coordinate travel. 
    2. All 12-passenger vans are centrally billed and reserved through UT Tyler’s travel office. Due to insurance requirements, certification is required for the operation of 12-passenger vans.  Certification is provided through Campus Police.  Note:  The use of 15-passenger vans is prohibited. For detailed policies and procedures regarding transportation, see the Financial Services website under “Travel Services.”
  7. Lodging.  Departments may make lodging arrangements directly with vendors or through UT Tyler’s designated travel agency.  For detailed policies and procedures regarding lodging, see the Financial Services website under “Travel Services.”
  8. Meals.  For travel requiring an overnight stay, travelers may claim the actual cost of meals up to the current maximum allowable rate. The maximum allowable rate should not be claimed unless the actual expenditures equal or exceed the maximum allowable rate. For travel that does not require an overnight stay, there shall be no reimbursement for meals, lodging, or incidental travel expenses except for the cost of transportation.  For detailed policies and procedures regarding meals, see the Financial Services website under “Travel Services.”
  9. Incidental Expenses. The traveler is entitled to reimbursement of other incidental travel expenses. For detailed policies and procedures regarding incidental expense, see the Financial Services website under “Travel Services.”
  10. Travel Reimbursements. For detailed reimbursement procedures, see the Financial Services website under “Travel Services.”
  11. Audit of Travel Vouchers. Under Texas Government Code, Section 403.071, and Section 2171.056, the State Comptroller of Public Accounts is required to audit travel vouchers for compliance with the rules regarding contracted travel services when the purchase is from state funds.

E. Responsibilities

Financial Services, is responsible for administering the Travel Services Program and ensuring compliance with University and state travel rules and regulations.

F. Review

This policy shall be reviewed by Financial Services every five years or as legislation changes.

ORIGINALLY APPROVED:  12/01/2001

LAST AMENDED:  04/15/2016