Office of the Controller

Travel

The ISU Travel Department assists University departments by relaying information, explaining and interpreting travel policies and procedures, processing Travel Authorizations, processing Travel Reimbursements, and keeping accurate travel records. We will make our best effort to ensure that you will receive reimbursement for travel expenses within five working days from the time your complete and accurate expense report has been fully approved. 

Official University travel is defined as travel by University personnel, non-University personnel, and University students when the authorizing individuals consider such travel to be in the professional and/or business interest of both the traveler and the University. Such expenses may include transportation, lodging, subsistence, and registration fees. Travelers are expected to observe the University's policies and procedures in the type and amount of expenses incurred. In order for your reimbursement to be non-taxable, you must follow ISU's Accountable Plan Guidelines. ISU will only pay for travel that is properly authorized.

International Travel Warnings/Alerts: The Vice President of your area or Provost must review and approve faculty/staff/student travel to countries/areas for which the U.S. State Department has issued a Travel Warning or Alert (see U.S. Department of State Travel Alerts). Approvals will also be needed if the U.S. State Department issues a Travel Alert or Warning after the initial authorization was granted, but prior to the date of the actual trip. It is the responsibility of the traveler to get approval prior to departure. Please see the International Travel section below for additional information.

Visit the tabs below to learn more about the travel policies and procedures of the University.

COVID Travel Constraints: Domestic business travel will only be allowed in limited circumstances and with approval from the appropriate Vice President. Please attach the email approval as a pdf file to the pre-approval prior to submission. University-sponsored international travel will not be approved until further notice.

University-sponsored/funded student travel is suspended for the fall semester. Exceptions can be granted only with approval of the appropriate Cabinet member.

Employees who travel to areas with an outbreak of COVID-19 will be expected to remain home for a period of fourteen (14) days.

Rideshare and Car Rental:

It is recognized that vehicles could pose a risk for COVID-19 transmission considering the smaller airspace and the challenges with maintaining the suggested 6 food separation between individuals. No employee will be required to rideshare with multiple passengers when conducted University business travel. Limit the number of passengers in a vehicle to only those necessary. Wear a face mask and ride in the rear seat of the vehicle when possible. Travel by multi-passenger vans will not be approved without prior approval by a VP or Cabinet member.

Reservations of vans for local transportation of students to field sites or other locations is prohibited. Exceptions can be granted only with approval of the appropriate Cabinet member.

Transportation & Lodging

The most economical means of transportation and lodging should be used when traveling on University business. Click on the headings below to learn more about topics related to transportation and lodging. Please note that travel allowances are not granted within the confines of Vigo County.

Travel Packages

Travel Packages

As a way to save money, some travelers may consider booking a package with airfare, hotel and/or car rental on a discount website such as Expedia, Orbitz or Priceline. The IRS requires that the expense of each travel component (airfare, hotel, car, etc.) be listed out separately on an itemized statement from the vendor. When purchasing travel packages, it is important to make sure an itemized statement is obtained because, without proper substantiation, expense reimbursements will be treated as taxable income and will be reimbursed through Payroll. Please see airline travel guidelines below

Airline Travel

Airline Travel

All airline travel using University funds must be purchased through the University's preferred travel agency or online provider (See Direct Billing tab above). Tickets will be direct billed to the University. The preferred travel agency has a professional staff that is familiar with the University's guidelines and travel procedures. They are trained to find the lowest fare possible that meets the traveler's needs.

First class travel is not allowed.

Airfare upgrades and additional fees: Airlines may offer you a number of options to make your flight more comfortable. These upgrades may include but are not limited to:

  • Premium seating — more leg room, closer to the front of the plane, etc.
  • Early check-in
  • Seat changes

This type of cost can only be interpreted as an upgrade and beyond what is considered the standard airfare and baggage costs that the university would consider reimbursable. If you elect to purchase one of these options, it will be at your own expense and would not be reimbursed.

Airport Parking

Airport Parking

Airport parking will be reimbursed up to the equivalency of the long term economy parking rate at associated airport. See the following websites for airport parking options:

Indianapolis Airport

World Airport Guides

FastPark ISU Enrollment - IND Airport

Privately-Owned Vehicles

Privately-Owned Vehicles

Travel in private vehicles is reimbursed as mileage. The amount paid for mileage is intended to compensate the traveler for wear and tear and gas. The official station (starting point) will be the location of the traveler's permanent office or home, whichever is less. Whenever an employee travels other than by the shortest route, an explanation must be indicated on the Expense Report. Mileage reimbursement will be calculated in Chrome River using Google maps.

Only one round trip mileage to and from the Indianapolis airport is allowed for reimbursement with the exception of picking up a candidate or an honoraria person. University employees are expected, when possible, to share a vehicle when traveling to common events.

Use of a private vehicle on University business will be reimbursed based on the current Federal mileage rate (these rates will be updated each time the Federal rates change):

    2019 Rates
  • Full Federal rate for the first 500 miles (currently 58 cents)
  • One half of Federal rate per mile for the next 2,500 miles (currently 29 cents)
  • 0 cents per mile for all miles over 3,000
    2020 Rates
  • Full Federal rate for the first 500 miles (currently 57.5 cents)
  • One half of Federal rate per mile for the next 2,500 miles (currently 28.75 cents)
  • 0 cents per mile for all miles over 3,000

ISU does not reimburse mileage for use of a personal vehicle within Vigo County.

Rental Vehicles

Rental Vehicles

The cost of renting an automobile while on University business may be reimbursed when suitable local transportation is not available, or when such rental is considered more advantageous to the University than the use of taxies or other local transportation due to routing or time factors. When reserving your car, you should request the least expensive practical vehicle. Do not purchase additional insurance when renting a car (see ISU car insurance policy).

Eligibility Requirements

To rent a vehicle for University business, all drivers must be 25 years old and take the Defensive Driving Course. To rent a 12 passenger van, the driver must take a driving test with a driver’s education instructor. Contact Sherry O'Neal in Risk Management at ext. 7946, or go to the Office of Risk Management website.

Direct Billing Rental

The University has direct billing contract with Enterprise. [NOTE: You must use your University Username and password to access the Enterprise site.] You must have a valid Travel Authorization number (TA) to direct bill a rental vehicle. When renting a car through Enterprise (Wabash Ave. branch), you will be required to refuel the vehicle at the same level as it was received before returning it to Enterprise. Maintain your refueling receipts, which will be submitted with your Expense Report. Please keep in mind that refueling rates charged by the rental agency are extremely expensive.

If you have questions regarding Enterprise/National direct billing, please contact a Travel Account Specialist (x3541) or Catherine Procarione (x3525).

Other Rental Arrangement

When renting a car that will not be direct billed through Enterprise, remember to refuel your rental car prior to its return and save the gas receipts for reimbursement. Refueling rates charged by the rental agency are extremely expensive. Your receipts will be submitted with the Travel Expense Report.

Drive Vs. Fly Rule

Drive Vs. Fly Rule

The mileage reimbursement cannot exceed the cost of comparable 30-day advance purchase airfare rates. Persons who choose to drive rather than fly long distances are allowed to claim subsistence and lodging one day prior and one day after official ISU Business for travel expenses.

Other Means of Travel

Other Means of Travel

Other means of travel are available in lieu of commercial airlines and cars. Unless noted otherwise, the Pre-Approval and Expense Report process is the same. Save all receipts related to these modes of transportation.

  • Train tickets are reimbursed up to the lowest airfare cost available for your destination.
  • Bus tickets are reimbursed at the actual cost of the ticket.
  • Motorcycle mileage is reimbursed using the same rates as privately-owned vehicles.
  • Trailers, motor homes, or camper mileage is reimbursed using the same rates as privately-owned vehicles, plus the actual cost of space rental. Trailer rentals or leases are not reimbursable.
  • Employee piloted aircraft (either rented or privately-owned) is not authorized or reimbursable travel.
  • Charter aircraft is contracted through the preferred travel provider.

Lodging

Lodging

Hotel reservations should be made using the ISU Hotel Reservation Program, which is offered in partnership with Hotels.com and related charges will be direct billed to ISU. You will need a Travel Authorization number before you can make your reservation.

Important – Lodging paid using a personal credit card will be reimbursed after the trip has been taken by completing an Expense Report.

Please note: The Hotels.com program does not offer conference rates. We advise you to check the rate offered through ISU’s program since it may often be equal to or less than the conference rate.

ISU employees can also use the ISU Hotels.com site for personal hotel reservations, but a personal credit card must be used.

Reimbursable vs. Non-Reimbursable Lodging

Reimbursable Lodging

The following are allowable reimbursements for lodging expenses:

  • Standard Occupancy room rate
  • Applicable taxes
  • 3 minute phone call home to say you have arrived safely
  • Hotel parking
  • Business faxes
  • Business photo copy charges

Non-Reimbursable Lodging

The following examples are non-reimbursable lodging expenses:

  • Movies
  • Room service
  • Mini bars (alcohol)
  • Gratuity
  • Porters

Sharing a Room

Sharing a Room

When sharing a room with an ISU employee or student, the total room charge may be claimed by only one traveler as long as it is noted on each of the Expense Reports involved.

If each person is claiming their prorated share of the total room charge, the travelers will need to request a hotel bill to be issued in both of their names showing payment by each person.

The Expense Report for each traveler must reflect that the room was shared and with whom it was shared.

Link Area

Contact

Holly Garrett
Travel Account Specialist
Ext. 3541