1501 - Policy on Business Travel

Introduction

Purpose

This policy was created to ensure compliance with state and University regulations; establish guidelines for approval, control and accounting for employees and others who travel on University business; and ensure fairness for both the traveler and the University.

Scope of Applicability

This policy applies to all employees (faculty, staff, employed students, senior University administrators) and non-employees (non-employed students, independent contractors, University affiliates, and guests).

Policy

Policy Statement

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a public institution governed by the State of North Carolina.

All business travel must support the mission of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, receive the appropriate approvals, and be carefully planned to ensure that expenditures are necessary and prudent, and that costs are held to a minimum. A University employee traveling on official business is expected to exercise the same care in incurring expenses that a prudent person would exercise if traveling on personal business and expending personal funds. Excess costs, circuitous routes, delays or luxury accommodations and services unnecessary or unjustified in the performance of official business are not acceptable under this standard.

Employees may have their travel expenses reimbursed by the University, subject to the limitations contained in these regulations. Pre-travel authorization must be obtained by submitting a Travel Request in Concur for all travel which includes airfare, lodging, and/or per diem. Employees shall submit an expense report in Concur within 30 days after the travel period ends for which reimbursement is being requested.

Students traveling for university business may be reimbursed subject to these limitations, provided approval by the department head (or designee) was obtained in advance. Pre-travel authorization is obtained by the department and students shall submit an expense report in Web Travel within 30 days after the travel period ends for which reimbursement is being requested. Student travel which is deemed to be financial-aid applicable must utilize GradStar for payment of travel expenses.

Non-University employees traveling on University business whose expenses are paid or reimbursed by University funds are subject to all University travel regulations, including statutory subsistence allowances. Pre-travel authorization is obtained by the department and reimbursement requests shall be submitted via Web Travel or Campus Voucher.

Booking Travel

Employee travelers are required to procure airfare for athletics travel, individual business travel, and group travel from the university-contracted travel agencies with whom the university has sourcing agreements. Additional information is available in Finance Procedure 1501.3 on Air Travel.

Employee travelers are required to procure rental car services from the university-contracted travel agencies with whom the university has sourcing agreements, except under limited circumstances when procurement of rental car services from a non-contracted agency is justifiably necessary. Additional information is available in Finance Procedure 1501.4 on Ground Transportation Expenses including Mileage Rates.

Employee travelers are required to procure commercial lodging reservations from the university-contracted travel agencies with whom the university has sourcing agreements. Exceptions are allowable when the traveler is attending an event which provides them access to negotiated lodging rates not available from the university's contracted agencies. Additional information is available in Finance Procedure 1501.6 on Lodging Expenses.

Personal Travel

Costs of personal travel before or after days of business travel, excess costs, indirect routes, and services unnecessary, unjustified, or for the convenience or personal preference of the employee in the performance of official University business are prohibited and must be paid for by the traveler.

Employee Certification

To comply with auditing guidelines, all University pre-travel authorization/travel advance/reimbursement requests must be certified as true and accurate by the traveler. To accomplish this, employees are required to submit their own Requests and Expense Reports in Concur. Upon submission, employees will be required to acknowledge their acceptance of a User Submit agreement. Students are required to personally sign/date a Travel Acknowledgement page when requesting a travel advance or reimbursement via Web Travel.

Exceptions

Travel expenses to be reimbursed by a third-party organization are not subject to UNC-Chapel Hill regulations.

When senior University administrators travel on official business on behalf of a third party (e.g., AAU, NACUBO, NCAA, etc.), travel expenses may be funded by this third-party organization. Pre-travel authorization is still required to document the travel and accompanying approvals.

Definitions

CONUS - Continental United States

Domestic Travel - Travel within the continental United States (CONUS), Alaska, Hawaii, and the non-contiguous U.S. locations of American Samoa, Guam, Midway Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Wake Island.

Duty Station - An employee’s official duty station is where he or she regularly works, as determined by the University.

Employee - a person employed for wages or salary.

  • Types of Employees:
    • Employed Student - Undergraduate or graduate students employed by the University.
    • Faculty - Any employee whose primary appointment is one of the specified faculty ranks:
      • Professor
      • Associate Professor
      • Assistant Professor
      • Instructor
      • Professor of the Practice
      • Teaching Professor

Senior University Administrator

  • Chancellor and direct reports to Chancellor
  • Deans
  • Members of Cabinet who report directly to the Chancellor, except for the President of the General Alumni Association
  • Vice Chancellors

Staff - Non-faculty employees, excluding students.

Federal Funds - Funds received from federal government agencies for support of programs on the state level. Federal funds are received through block grants, entitlement programs, and specific grants.

Group Travel - In travel, a 'group' is usually defined as three or more University students, employees or non-employees traveling together on the same itinerary.

International Travel - Travel to any country (including Mexico and Canada) or territory outside the continental United States (CONUS), Alaska, Hawaii and the non-contiguous U.S. locations of American Samoa, Guam, Midway Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Wake Island.

Itemized Receipt - A receipt that shows all the items, fees, and taxes that were purchased on a receipt.

Non-Employee - All persons other than paid employees.

  • Types of Non-employees:
    • Affiliate - Anyone who is working in collaboration with the University, requiring University Services, and is not a student and not paid by UNC Payroll. Affiliates have a UNC PID. They include, but are not limited to:
      • Visiting Scholar
      • Research Collaborator
      • Contractors and temps (not paid by UNC payroll)
      • Summer Groups
      • UNC Retirees
      • Volunteers
    • Guest -Includes, but not limited to speakers, student recruits (athletic or academic), job candidates, study subjects, family of other customer types.
    • Contractor - Contractor: A vendor or independent contractor who is engaged by the University to provide a service.
    • Non-employed Student - Undergraduate or graduate students who are not employed by the University.

OCONUS - Outside the contiguous United States: includes Alaska, Hawaii, and the US Territories

Per-Diem - Literally meaning 'per day' - is a daily reimbursement rate the University is allowed to refund UNC travelers for meals and minor items during business trips. Per Diem rates are set by the State.

Receipt - A bill of sale confirming that the seller received money from the purchaser. The receipt typically includes the date and a description of the item the purchaser bought. It also includes a description of the item the buyer purchased

Tips and Gratuity - A sum of money customarily given by a client or customer without obligation to a service worker in addition to the basic price for some service rendered.

Third-Party Lodging - An establishment rented out by a third party (an agency other than UNC or a designated business hotel - such as Airbnb or VRBO) or an establishment treated as an apartment building by state or local law.

Travel Advance - Funds given to students before a trip to help with out-of-pocket expenses. Travel advances can also be given to faculty/staff who are traveling internationally to help with out-of-pocket expenses.

Frequently Asked Questions

Policy on Business Travel Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Related Requirements

External Regulations and Consequences

University Policies, Standards, and Procedures

Contact Information

Policy Contacts
Subject Contact Telephone Fax Email
Travel Policy Travel Services 919-962-0210 919-962-2356 travel_team@unc.edu
Concur Travel Services 919-962-0210 919-962-2356 Concur@unc.edu

Details

Article ID: 131466
Created
Thu 4/8/21 9:09 PM
Modified
Thu 9/30/21 3:19 PM
Effective Date
If the date on which this document became/becomes enforceable differs from the Origination or Last Revision, this attribute reflects the date on which it is/was enforcable.
08/03/2021 12:00 AM
Issuing Officer
Name of the document Issuing Officer. This is the individual whose organizational authority covers the policy scope and who is primarily responsible for the policy.
Issuing Officer Title
Title of the person who is primarily responsible for issuing this policy.
Travel and Payment Card Services Manager
Last Review
Date on which the most recent document review was completed.
09/30/2021 9:54 AM
Last Revised
Date on which the most recent changes to this document were approved.
09/30/2021 9:54 AM
Origination
Date on which the original version of this document was first made official.
08/02/2019 12:00 AM
Responsible Unit
School, Department, or other organizational unit issuing this document.
Finance and Budget