Policy 4401
University Supported Travel

Date of Current Revision: June 2018
Primary Responsible Officer: Assistant Vice President for Finance

1. PURPOSE

This policy outlines requirements for all official travel for James Madison University.

2. AUTHORITY

The Board of Visitors has been authorized by the Commonwealth of Virginia to govern James Madison University. See Code of Virginia § 23.1-1600; § 23.1-1301. The Board has delegated the authority to manage the university to the president.

3. DEFINITIONS

For definitions regarding university-supported travel, refer to the JMU Financial Procedures Manual.

4. APPLICABILITY

The policy applies to university-supported travel by faculty and staff members, administrators, students, and visitors, regardless of the source of the funds.

5. POLICY

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.

6. PROCEDURES

6.1 Travel Procedures:
The JMU Financial Procedures Manual (Section Name: Travel, Section Number: 4215) provides detailed travel procedures including the following:

  • Responsibilities
  • Travel planning and regulations
  • Meal and lodging guidelines
  • Form preparation instructions

Current meal and lodging guidelines and mileage rates are available in the university’s electronic travel management system, Chrome River, as well as in Section 4215 of the JMU Financial Procedures Manual online. Travelers should address questions concerning travel to the JMU Office of Accounts Payable.

6.2 Travel - Personal Expense:
Individuals traveling on behalf of the university at personal expense must request approval from the appropriate approving authority for whom the travel will benefit before the travel. The university does not provide vehicles for "personal expense" travel.

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 Visa small purchase charge card or their JMU Visa 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.

6.4 Lodging:
Individual travelers may make hotel reservations using the JMU Visa 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. Refer to the Financial Procedures Manual Section 4215.340 for additional information.

6.5 Prospective Employees, Employee Recruitment, and Campus Visitors:
James Madison University may reimburse the travel expenses of visitors and prospective employees. This travel may be arranged through a JMU-contracted travel agency. Refer to the Financial Procedures Manual Section 4215.380 for additional information.

7. RESPONSIBILITIES

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 expense reports for legality, legibility and completeness
  • Returning to the originator those requests for reimbursement not in conformity with travel regulations and procedures

7.2 Department Traveler:
The traveler is responsible for the legality, legibility and completeness of expense reports. Any falsification of payments is fraud, and the university will treat it as such.  Refer to the Financial Procedures Manual Section 4215.710 for additional information.

7.3 Traveler’s Supervisor: 
Provides faculty and staff involved in official university travel access to university policies and procedures, ensuring travelers understand their responsibility for making a good faith effort to secure lodging within the guidelines before requesting exceptions. Refer to the Financial Procedures Manual Section 4215.720 for additional information.

7.4 Approving Authority:
The approving authority may limit the amount approved for reimbursement to an amount less than that authorized by state travel regulations. Refer to the Financial Procedures Manual Section 4215.725 for additional information.

7.5 Vice Presidents:
Refer to the Financial Procedures Manual Section 4215.730 for additional information.

7.6  All departments, offices and employees that generate, receive or maintain public records under the terms of this policy are also responsible for compliance with Policy 1109-Records Management.

8. SANCTIONS

Employees who fail to adhere to this policy are subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

9. EXCLUSIONS

None.

10. INTERPRETATION

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 2015
Approved by the President: October 2009

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