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Faculty & Staff Procedures

Travel Policy for Faculty, Staff, Student,or Student Group Travel


Although travel funds are limited, the University encourages attendance at off-campus professional activities by assisting with travel expenses.   It is expected that the budgets of all departments will be adequate to provide some financial assistance for professional travel.  At the same time, employees may be expected to share the cost of professional travel, especially when meetings are held at a great distance from the campus.

Vehicles Dispatched by the University (University owned or rented) University vehicles are to be used when available but cannot be taken on trips extending over a considerable time period.  When vehicles are dispatched by the University, they will be charged to the Department's budget at the rate of 54 cents per mile or the cost of the rental and fuel. The 2014-2015 General Appropriations Act in Proviso 117.20.J provides for mileage reimbursements at the standard business mileage rate established by the Internal Revenue Service. Beginning on January 1, 2016, the Internal Revenue Service rate will be 54 cents per mile (IRS Revenue IR 2013-95). Reimbursement for trips taken on or after January 1, 2016, will be at the rate of 54 cents per mile.

Link to Facilities Management- Vehicle Reservations/ Rentals.

Travel Request and Reimbursement Forms

The form to be used in conjunction with travel is available from Accounting.  The upper travel request portion of this form is to be completed by the Traveler and submitted to the Department Chairman or Supervisor in advance of a scheduled trip.  The gold copy of the approved request should be submitted to Accounting if registration fees and/or airline tickets are to be paid in advance, if a vehicle is to be rented, or if a travel advance is requested.  The pink copy of the approved request is submitted to the Facilities Management Office to reserve a vehicle.  Upon return, the Traveler completes the reimbursement portion of the form, obtains appropriate approval and submits the original form to Accounting in order that the reimbursements for approved expenses can be made.

Any foreign travel of a State employee must be reported by the University to the President of the Senate, the Speaker of  the House, and the Budget and Control Board at the end of the fiscal year.  For the purpose of this regulation, foreign travel is defined as any destination outside the continental limits of the United States except Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, Puerto Rico, or the Virgin Islands.  Other travel is reported by individual as requested by the Office of the Comptroller General.


The traveler should make inquiries several weeks before the trip in order to receive the best rates.  If a pre-approved travel agency is used to book the ticket, Accounting must receive an approved travel request with ticket cost and appropriate budget number in order to authorize the charge.  The traveler may do an online purchase and receive reimbursement upon return from the trip.  A receipt showing proof of payment must be indicated on the itinerary for the cost of the ticket.  The traveler may have to return to the website 24 hours later to print a receipt or in some cases, the traveler may receive a receipt via e-mail.  Credit card statements are not valid receipts as indicated on the travel request form.  The traveler may also call Accounts Payable to set up an appointment to purchase the ticket online with the University's travel card.  The traveler must have an approved travel request with estimated ticket cost and appropriate budget number.


Employees traveling on official business of the University may, upon presentation of a paid receipt, be allowed reimbursement for actual expenses incurred for lodging, limited to in-state costs per night of $125.00 and out-of-state costs of similar amounts except for large urban cities which should be limited to $175.00 per night.

Employees may also be reimbursed for the actual expenses incurred in the obtaining of meals except that such costs shall not exceed $25.00 per day in-state and $32.00 per day out-of-state.

The mileage reimbursements at the rate of 54 cents per mile will be made when an employee uses a personal automobile in travelling on University business.  Travel by commercial airlines is encouraged so valuable time will not be spent in slower ground travel.   Total transportation allowance will not exceed tourist airfare.

Special Rules

  1. Reimbursement will be made for meals for trips of a day's duration or shorter.   Regulations appearing below will apply.  In accordance with Internal Revenue requirements, the appropriate tax form will be generated reflecting such reimbursements.
  2. Receipts for meal and taxi expenditures are not necessary.  Receipts for all other expenditures must be submitted.  The State will not accept cancelled checks or copies of credit card invoices in lieu of receipts.
  3. No reimbursement for overnight accommodation will be made within fifty (50) miles of the traveler's official headquarters and/or residence.
  4. Registration receipts must accompany travel voucher.
  5. Employees earning frequent flyer premiums while traveling on State business must use them to reduce the cost of subsequent business travel whenever possible.

Method of Determining Maximum Subsistence

This procedure should be used in completing the Travel Request portion of the form prior to departure and the Travel Reimbursement section of the form on returning from trips.

1.  Single Calendar Day-When reimbursements for meals are claimed, the time of arrival and departure as well as the starting point and destination must be shown.  In determining the maximum amount of subsistence for meals which may be reimbursed, the following time schedule will be adhered to:





If Departure Time Is:

And If Return Time Is:

In State




Maximum $25/day

Maximum $32/day

1.  Before 6:30AM

*1.  After 11:00AM

*2.  After 1:30PM (Lunch)

*3.  After 8:30PM (Dinner)

*$  6.00

*$  7.00


*$  7.00

*$  9.00


2.  6:30AM or after
     and before 11:00AM

*1.  After 1:30PM (Lunch) 

*2.  After 8:30PM (Dinner)

*$  7.00


*$  9.00

3.  11:00AM or after
     and before 5:15PM

*1.  After 8:30PM (Dinner)



2.  Overnight Travel-When a University employee is traveling in or out of the State on official University business, the following maximum reimbursement for subsistence will apply:

  • Meals - The cost of meals will be reimbursed up to the maximum amount as provided for in the single calendar day schedule above.  The time limitations for breakfast will not apply for overnight trips.  Time of Departure and Time of Arrival must be indicated for the first and the last day of the trip.
  • Hotel/Motel - Actual hotel/motel costs will be  reimbursed when a paid original receipt is presented and attached to the travel voucher.  It is expected that persons traveling for Francis Marion University generally will limit in-state hotel/motel costs to $125.00 and out-of-state costs to similar amounts except for large urban cities which should be limited to $175.00.  Exceeding these limits will require special justification to be approved by the appropriate Vice President.
  • Parking - Parking fees for State-owned and privately owned vehicles are reimbursable upon presentation of a paid receipt.
  • Porterage and Gratuities - Gratuities are not an allowable reimbursement for state employees.  When paid as part of a billing for a banquet, luncheon, etc., gratuities will be allowed.  Porterage, in general, is not an allowable reimbursement for state employees.  It may be reimbursed when an employee flies to a major city out-of-state where there is no option concerning baggage handling.   Porterage may also be reimbursed when an employee has heavy, excess equipment needed to conduct official University business.

Travel Request forms may be obtained from Accounting.


Responsibility      Action
Traveler 1.  Completes the upper travel request portion of the five-part travel form
  2.  Sends all five copies to Dean or Department Head prior to departure
Dean or Department Head 
3.  A.  Approves the request and amount and forwards the five copies to the appropriate Vice President or approved representative
       B.  Disapproves request and notifies employee
Vice President or Approved Representative 4.  A.  Approves the request, and routes all five copies back to the Traveler
       B.  Disapproves, notifies Dean or Department Head, and returns forms to Dean or Department Head
Traveler 5.  Forwards pink copy to Facilities Management if a University vehicle is to be reserved (Facilities Management calls Traveler to confirm vehicle reservation.)
  6.  Forwards gold copy to Accounting if mode of travel is by airline.  Contacts travel agency to arrange schedule and charges ticket to University.  Travel agent will verify charge with the University.  Accounting must have received a copy of the approved travel request before the charge can be made.  (Note:  Air travel has become quite competitive.  The air traveler should make early inquiries, several weeks before a trip if possible, in order to receive the best rates.)  Should rental car services be desired, obtains rental card from Accounting.  If registration is to be paid by Accounting, attaches appropriate information.
  7.  Retains white, green and yellow copies to be completed and approved upon completion of the trip.


Responsibility Action




1.  Completes the reimbursement request section of the travel form in triplicate and attaches lodging, airline, registration, gasoline, parking and other necessary receipts if applicable to the white copy

2.  Submits both copies to Dean or Department Head for approval on a timely basis so that appropriately approved documents will reach Accounting within 30 days of travel

Dean or Department Head




3.  Reveiws reimbursement request for validity and limitations

4.  a.  Approves request and forwards to Vice President or approved represtative for approval


4.  b.  Rejects reimbursement request and returns to Traveler for required adjustments

Vice President or Approved Representative



5.  a.  Approves reimbursement request, retains yellow copy, and routes green and white (original) copies to Accounting


5.  b.  Rejects reimbursement request and returns all three copies to Dean or Department Head for required adjustments


6.  Processes payment.  Issues check to Traveler and charges proper department budget account.  Sends green copy to traveler with check.  Files white (original) copy in check folder

Reimbursement for Personal Consumption Items at Employee’s Official Headquarters contains additional reimbursement information.


The Appropriations Act provides authority for advance travel payments as follows:

    "That a State agency may advance travel and subsistence expense monies to employees of that agency for the financing of ordinary and necessary travel required in the conducting of the business of the agency.  The Budget and Control Board is directed to develop and publish rules and regulations pertaining to the advancing of travel expenses and no State agency shall make such advances except under the rules and regulations as published.  Provided, all advances for travel and subsistence monies shall be repaid to the agency within thirty (30) days after the end of the trip or by the end of the fiscal year, whichever comes first."

Budget and Control Board policy regarding travel advances:

  1. No travel advance shall be made to an employee for travel within the State of South Carolina without specific approval of the State Budget and Control Board.
  2. No travel advance shall be made for more than 80% of the estimated amount of the total travel expense, excluding airline transportation and registration.
  3. No advance shall be made in instances where 80% of the estimated travel expense does not exceed $250.00.

Travel advances should be requested from Accounting at least three (3) working days prior to departure.  Request for Travel Advance forms may be obtained from Accounting.


Responsibility Action




1.  Completes Request for Travel Advance in Accounting

2.  Submits Request for Travel Advance along with properly approved Travel Request to Assistant Vice President for Accounting

Assistant Vice President for Accounting




3.  a.  Approves request and amount


3. b.  Disapproves request and notifies employee 

Cashier's Office


4.  Advances travel funds in accordance with Budget and Control Board policy



5.  Upon completion of trip, submits reimbursement request (on Travel Request form) within proper time frame and reimburses Cashier's Office for travel advance



For any course or Student Life activity involving travel by students, responsible faculty or staff must, in addition to following normal Travel Request procedures, issue and complete the appropriate release form.

  • If student travel is required for a course, the professor must on the first day of class issue to each student in the course a "Field Trip/Off Campus Academic Activities Release Form."  This form may be attained from each Schools Dean's office or the Provost's Office.  Each student who acknowledges this travel requirement and wishes to remain in the course must sign and date the form and write in his/her Social Security number.  The professor must then collect these forms, sign them, and obtain the school dean or department chair's signature.  Once the forms are complete, all white copies must be forwarded to the Provost's Office and the yellow copies delivered to the students.
  • If student travel is associated with any Student Life activity, each student member of the club/organization will be required by the faculty/staff sponsor to complete a "Student Life Travel Release Form" prior to traveling, including a parent/guardian's signature if the student is under 18 years of age.  This form may be obtained from the Student Affairs Office.  The faculty/staff sponsor must then obtain the signature of either the Assistant Vice President of Student Development or the Vice President for Student Affairs.  Once the forms have been completed, the faculty/staff sponsor must forward all white copies to the Student Affairs Office and the yellow copies to the student.

The responsible faculty or staff member will note on travel request forms that all students traveling have completed an appropriate release form.


I.       As soon as trip plans are known and no later than two weeks prior to departure date, Faculty/Staff Advisor of Student Group:

  1. Completes the upper portion of the five part travel request and forwards to the Provost or the appropriate Vice President for approval.  The amount of money requested should follow the same state guidelines used for faculty and staff.
  2. Completes a purchase requisition if lodging is not to be charged on personal credit card and forwards to the Provost or appropriate Vice President for approval.
  3. Upon approval from the Provost or appropriate Vice President, forwards gold copy of travel request, along with a list of students and faculty/staff members who will be travelling, to Accounting and forwards pink copy of travel request to Facilities Management.
  4. If appropriate, forwards purchase requisition to the Purchasing Office.

II.      At least two days before departure date, Faculty/Staff Advisor of Student Group:

  1. Calls Accounting to verify availability of check for advance for meals and to schedule a time to pick up funds.  Money will not be advanced before two days prior to departure date.
  2. If Faculty/Staff Advisor of Student Group cannot personally pick up the check advance, consults with Provost or appropriate Vice President and obtains written approval for a designee.
  3. Calls the Purchasing Office to confirm motel has been prepaid or company has agreed to bill the University.

III.     Not more than two days prior to departure, Faculty/Staff Advisor of Student Group may pick up check advance in Accounting.

IV.     During trip, Faculty/Staff Advisor of Student Group:

  1. Obtains receipts for all money spent.  Credit card receipts are NOT acceptable.
  2. Obtains signatures of those receiving meals and/or cash for meals.
  3. Ensures State and University guidelines are followed concerning meal amounts and times of arrival and departure.

V.    Within 1 week after return date, Faculty/Staff Advisor of Student Group:

Completes bottom portion of travel request and forwards to Provost or appropriate Vice President for approval.  Returns completed travel request and any money not spent to Accounting.


Foreign Travel

While on foreign travel actual lodging expenses will be reimbursed. Fees for the purchase of traveler's checks, passports and visas will be reimbursed provided a receipt is furnished. All expenses claimed must be converted to U.S. dollars and the conversion rate be properly documented.

If receipts are not provided, only the maximum daily rate established by the Federal Government for meals and incidentals can be claimed. When claiming reimbursement for actual expenses of meals that exceeds the daily rate, receipts are required. To locate the Foreign Per Diem Rates, including a breakdown of meals and incidental expenses, follow this link: http://aoprals.state.gov/web920/per_diem.asp

Last Published: January 7, 2016 10:04 AM
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