University Supported Travel
Date of Current Revision: April 2014
Primary Responsible Officer: Assistant Vice President for Finance
This policy outlines requirements for all official travel for James Madison University.
The Board of Visitors has been authorized by the Commonwealth of Virginia to govern James Madison University. See Code of Virginia section 23-164.6; 23-9.2:3. The board has delegated the authority to manage the university to the president.
The policy applies to university-supported travel by faculty and staff members, administrators, students, and visitors regardless of the source of the funds.
Travelers should exercise prudent judgment when arranging travel and making payments. Travel expense accounts are open to the public and must sustain the test of public review.
The university will reimburse individuals traveling on official university business for reasonable and necessary travel expenses. Actual amounts spent are not justification for reimbursement. Expenses must meet the test for reasonableness and comply with state and university policies and procedures. Persons using a car during any part of the trip with identical travel plans will carpool. Exceptions to this requirement must be approved by the appropriate AVP or dean.
6.1 Travel Procedures:
The JMU Financial Procedures Manual (Section Name: Travel, Section Number: 4215) provides detailed travel procedures including the following:
- Travel planning and regulations
- Meal and lodging guidelines
- Form preparation instructions
6.2 Travel - Personal Expense:
Individuals traveling for the university at personal expense must request approval of the department administrator before the travel. The university does not provide vehicles for "personal expense" travel. The JMU Office of Finance does not require a Travel Authorization form for travel at personal expense.
6.3 Contracted Travel Agencies:
The university engages the services of one or more travel management agencies to aid in the efficient and cost effective procurement of travel services. University travelers may either arrange for airline tickets through these agencies or purchase tickets online using their JMU MasterCard small purchase charge card or their JMU MasterCard travel charge card. When travel agencies are utilized, the university requires the traveler to give the agency a credit card number to secure tickets. (i.e., direct billing by travel agencies for the purchase of airline tickets is not allowed.) These travel agencies are also available - in conjunction with air or rail travel - to arrange vehicle rentals upon request.
Individual travelers may make hotel reservations using the JMU MasterCard travel charge card. The traveler must request government rates unless a special conference rate or other rate is lower. Upon request, JMU contracted travel agencies will arrange lodging accommodations in conjunction with air or rail travel.
6.5 Prospective Employees, Employee Recruitment, and Campus Visitors:
James Madison University may reimburse the travel expenses of visitors and prospective employees. Travel expenses for the spouses and dependent children of candidates are limited to those expenses associated with recruiting deans, assistant vice presidents, directors and positions above that level. Travel for recruitment purposes may not exceed three days. Actual expenses of university employees as part of employee recruitment are allowable provided they do not exceed amounts approved by the department head or director, or state travel regulations. Visitors and prospective employees may arrange travel through a JMU-contracted travel agency.
7.1 Administration of Travel Program:
The Assistant Vice President for Finance controls university-supported travel in the following ways:
- Recommending policy
- Developing, publishing and enforcing appropriate procedures
- Comparing requests for reimbursement to reasonable allowances and disallowing excessive charges
- Reviewing reimbursement vouchers for legality, legibility and completeness
- Returning to the originator those requests for reimbursement not in conformity with travel regulations and procedures
The traveler is responsible for the legality, legibility and completeness of Travel Expense Reimbursement Vouchers. Any falsification of payments is fraud, and the university must treat it as such.
7.2 Approving Authority:
The department approving authority must sign the Travel Authorization form and the travel expense reimbursement document. Individuals may not approve their own travel.
In advance of all travel, the appropriate vice president, assistant/associate vice president, dean, associate/assistant dean or the director of intercollegiate athletics must approve the following:
- Attendance at conventions/conferences involving overnight stays for more than three employees (including both presenters and attendees) from JMU to a single destination.
- Cost benefit analysis to justify attendance by five or more employees at off-site seminars, training programs or workshops.
- Reimbursement requests that exceed the meal and lodging limits, in certain justifiable circumstances, limited to 50 percent in excess of applicable guidelines.
7.3 Reimbursement Limits:
The approving authority may limit the amount approved for reimbursement to an amount less than authorized by state travel regulations. The approving authority must advise the traveler and show the amount approved for reimbursement on the travel authorization form.
Employees who fail to adhere to this policy are subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination.
Authority to interpret this policy rests with the president of the university and is generally delegated to the assistant Vice President for Finance.
Previous Version: June 2011
Approved by the President: October 2009