1501.1 - Procedure on Pre-Travel Authorization



The purpose of this procedure is to explain when pre-travel authorization is required and how to submit for and gain approval for business travel.


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


Travel by Faculty, Staff, and Senior University Administrators

All overnight travel by University employees should be pre-authorized by the agency head (Chancellor) or Chancellor's Delegate.  Pre-authorization is also required for day travel which includes airfare.  For employees who are not designated as a Senior University Administrator, department heads or comparable administrators shall serve as the Chancellor's delegate for travel approval.

Travel by Senior University Administrators, per the definitions section of Finance Policy 1501, except for in-state day travel, requires pre-authorization and should follow:

  1. Travel by the Chancellor shall be authorized by either the Executive Vice Chancellor/Provost or the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Operations or their designees.
  2. Travel by Vice Chancellors and other who report directly to the Chancellor shall be approved by the Chancellor or a person designated to do so by the Chancellor.
  3. Travel by Deans and others who report directly to the Executive Vice Chancellor/Provost shall be authorized by the Executive Vice Chancellor/Provost or a person designated to do so by the Executive Vice Chancellor/Provost.

Pre-travel authorization must be obtained by submitting a Travel Request in Concur prior to travel.  When creating the Travel Request, travelers will be asked to detail the following information related to their travel:

  • Request/Trip Purpose
  • Request/Trip Start and End Dates
  • Request/Trip Type (i.e. In-State, Out-of-State, International)
  • Destination(s)
  • Personal Travel (if applicable)
  • Funding
  • Estimated expenses

Individuals who are designated to approve travel in Concur shall ensure that an approval delegate is available in cases where the principal approver is unavailable.

The North Carolina Office of State Budget and Management (OSBM) requires prior written approval by the department head (or designee) for the following expenses.  If a traveler expects to incur these expenses during travel, they must be included on the Travel Request:

  • Overnight Lodging
  • Reimbursement for meals (per diem)

If Excess Lodging and/or Excess Meals will be requested, they should be detailed on the Travel Request.

Once submitted, the Request will proceed through an approval workflow as determined by the funding information provided.  Additional approvals which may be required include, but are not limited to:

  • Export Compliance Office - if you are requesting travel to certain International destinations (not including overseas US Territories and Possessions).
  • Global Office - if you are requesting travel to an overseas destination which has been identified as high risk.
  • Office of Sponsored Research - if you are requesting to travel on a grant or project.

Personal Travel

If the traveler intends to combine personal travel with a business trip, they must provide the details of their person travel on the Travel Request. 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.

Travel that combines University business and personal travel may require special handling.

When combining business and personal travel, departments must confirm that the trip is primarily for business.  Personal travel must be documented on the Travel Request by indicating the dates of personal travel.  Personal travel expenses may be deducted from the Travel Request amounts prior to submission for approval.  Travelers may exclude personal travel days by requesting subsistence only for the dates of business travel.

If the trip includes airfare and the traveler has adjusted the route and/or dates of travel due to combining business and personal travel, they must provide a comparison quote as supporting documentation.  This quote must from the same airfare provider for a direct flight on their business dates of travel.  If the cost of the actual flight exceeds the cost of the comparison quote, the traveler will only be eligible to expense the cost of the comparison quote.

Travel by Students (both employed and non-employed) and all other Non-Employees

Students participating in university travel for university business are required to obtain pre-travel authorization from the department head (or designee) for travel which includes airfare, lodging, and/or per diem expenses.  Documentation of pre-travel authorization is maintained by the department.

Students participating in travel which is determined to be financial aid must follow the proper policies and procedures required for GradStar.

Non-Employee/Non-Student travel requires pre-travel authorization for university travel which includes airfare, lodging, and/or per diem.  Documentation of pre-travel authorization is maintained by the department.

Forms and Instructions


Please refer to Finance Policy 1501 - Policy on on Business Travel for a list of common definitions.

Related Requirements

External Regulations and Consequences

University Policies, Standards, and Procedures

Contact Information

Primary Contacts
Subject Contact Telephone Fax Email
Travel Policy Travel Services 919-962-0210 919-962-2356 travel_team@unc.edu
Concur Support Desk https://go.unc.edu/concursupport      
Print Article


Article ID: 134697
Fri 7/23/21 8:45 AM
Sun 5/5/24 11:05 AM
Responsible Unit
School, Department, or other organizational unit issuing this document.
Finance and Budget
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
Next Review
Date on which the next document review is due.
07/01/2024 12:00 AM
Last Review
Date on which the most recent document review was completed.
11/05/2023 12:00 AM
Last Revised
Date on which the most recent changes to this document were approved.
11/05/2023 12:00 AM
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
Date on which the original version of this document was first made official.
07/23/2021 12:00 AM