Travel on official University business is essential in the performance of the duties of many faculty and staff of Loyola Marymount University/Loyola Law School. Travel for professional development is also encouraged within budgetary restrictions. Faculty and staff traveling on official business are expected to exercise the same care in incurring expenses that they would exercise on personal travel at their own expense.
Authority for travel by University faculty and staff is obtained from the appropriate Vice President, Dean, Director or Department Chair. These individuals will assess the necessity for travel, taking into consideration such factors as the value to be derived by the University, the estimated cost, and the effect of the absence from campus of the faculty or staff member.
Reimbursement for travel will be submitted by the traveler and approved by her/his office/department head in Concur. The expense report is to be filed within seven business days of return from the trip. It will detail the expenditures for which reimbursement is requested and their nature and business purpose; the expenditures will be supported by itemized receipts. Receipts that are not legible, or are inappropriately explained and supported, will be returned to the preparer.
As a general rule, all University faculty and staff should travel by the most economical means consistent with professional dignity. When public transportation is used, round trip tickets must be obtained unless valid reasons are presented for other arrangements. Travel by privately-owned vehicle may be authorized when it is the most economical means of transportation.
Air travel should be by the most direct route, by coach class and at the lowest available fare provided that fare does not result in
- greater total cost due to substantial loss of productive time,
- greater total cost due to increased costs for meals and/or lodging or
- undue hardship or inconvenience to the traveler.
The traveler is expected to make his or her travel arrangements at the earliest possible date in order to take advantage of available discount fares. The traveler is responsible for complying with airlines’ regulations concerning cancellation and for avoiding the penalties associated with them, unless this situation results from circumstances beyond the traveler’s control. Reasonable cost of transportation to and from the airport (usually by an airport van or limousine) is reimbursable.
When a privately owned vehicle is used for University business, reimbursement will be at the IRS standard Mileage allowance. IRS mileage rates are subject to change. Reimburseable mileage is based upon the starting point of the trip or the campus whichever is less. The traveler will be reimbursed for parking and toll fees incurred in the course or the trip. The mileage reimbursement is intended to cover all other costs of vehicle operation.
Generally, travelers attending a conference or visiting a metropolitan area would not require a rental car. If it becomes unavoidable to rent a car, travelers should select the most economical package available which meets the business requirements. When renting a car in connection with University business within the United States, no insurance coverages should be purchased since the University provides collision and liability coverage through its master policies. The gasoline tank should be filled by the individual prior to returning the car to the rental agency. Please make appropriate arrangements to avoid incurring the surcharge by the rental agency for filling the tank.
Receipts must be attached to the expense report for all hotel bills and other charges to obtain reimbursement. The choice of accommodations must be reasonable and is primarily the responsibility of the authorizing department, although charges considered excessive may be questioned and potentially reimbursed at the reasonable and customary rate as determined by the Controller’s Office.
Lodging for nights other than those directly attributable to the business purpose of the trip must be pre-approved by the authorizing department head. Approval of “extra” days of meals and nights of lodging is based upon “savings” accruing to the University from discounted hotel/airfares. For example, when an airline requires a Saturday night stay for the discount airfare and the airfare savings exceed the extra lodging cost for the weekend stay, the weekend lodging costs are reimbursable.
Lodging will be reimbursed at the single occupancy rate.
Itemized receipts for all meals must be attached to the expense report to obtain reimbursement. Meals will be reimbursed at the actual cost up to a maximum of $50.00 per day, including gratuities not to exceed 15%, based on service. This maximum daily meal allowance will be reduced for meals provided by a conference or another institution/organization, based upon $10.00 for breakfast, $15.00 for lunch and $25.00 for dinner. The maximum daily meal allowance will be increased by $10.00 per day when traveling to higher cost metropolitan areas, currently designated by the IRS as follows:
State of Alaska
State of Hawaii
Atlantic City, NJ
Ft. Worth, TX
Hilton Head, SC
Las Vegas, NV
Los Angeles, CA
New Orleans, LA
Newport Beach, CA
New York, NY
San Diego, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Jose, CA
Washington, DC and surrounding areas of Maryland and Virginia
Requests for advances are submitted in Concur. The request must be approved by the traveler’s office/department head.
All advances must be cleared by an expense report within seven business days of return from the trip. No additional advance will be given to a traveler until the previous advance has been cleared. Any advance not cleared by the timely submission of an Expense Report could be subject to payroll withholding.
An advance must be requested more than ten business days prior to the scheduled departure date.
Reasonable and customary gratuities are considered an expense of travel and are reimbursable.
It is expected that telephone charges submitted will relate to University business. Laundry charges are considered reimbursable only if the duration of the trip exceeds five days.
Expenses such as entertainment, sightseeing, hotel movies, personal telephone charges, and excessive laundry or gratuities are not reimbursable.
University travelers who combine a personal trip with official University travel are responsible for transportation costs in excess of the round-trip discount fare to the business destination. If a traveler’s family accompanies her/him on a trip, all expenses applicable to the family (other than those of the traveler at a single occupancy rate) must be excluded from the expense report.
Departments for which students travel on official University business will have appropriate written travel policies for distribution to students.