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University-Related Travel

Motor Vehicle Requests

Old Dominion University has vehicles available for specific trip assignment not to exceed a three-week period. Departments desiring to utilize this pool should contact Enterprise Rental, 683-0435, and give notice of their need, allowing ample lead time (at least 24 hours) so that arrangements can be made for reserving a vehicle. Reservations are not confirmed until an "Authorization for Use of Motor Vehicle" form, signed by an official of the department authorized to sign the request, is received in the Physical Plant Office, Room 102. The driver, when picking up the vehicle, must indicate where the vehicle will be left when returned. At this time, the driver must present a valid driver's license (operator's permit). Vehicles will be issued to the extent of the supply available. It is required that seat belts be worn when operating or riding in the front seat of a vehicle. Hours of operation for issuing motor vehicles are 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.



In the event of a breakdown, the driver should contact Enterprise Car Rental.



In all accidents involving a rental vehicle, follow the directions provided by Enterprise Car Rental.


State Employee Safety Seat Belt Policy

All state employees who drive or occupy the front seat of state vehicles or a privately owned vehicle on official state business shall wear their safety belts at all times when the vehicle is in motion and equipped with safety belt systems.

           The only exemptions to this policy are those consistent with state law.


Travel Policy

The following are the two types of travel funds budgeted by the Commonwealth of Virginia:

           Travel in the line of normal business may be budgeted to a department or other administrative unit whose members are required to travel in order to perform the department's regular function. This type of travel covers such activities as regular instructional field trips, supervision of student teaching, and travel to locations where off-campus instruction is being conducted. According to state policy, travel to conventions, workshops, or similar gatherings must be charged to the appropriate subobject code. Each department having need of travel should request funds for this purpose in its regular budget and must stay within the amount allocated to it in the budgeting procedure. Also included in this item are funds, allocated by the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs for prospective faculty members being brought to the campus for interviews in the process of faculty recruiting. Expenditures for this purpose must have the prior approval of the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, from which detailed instruction concerning recruiting funds may be obtained. Travel vouchers are to be coded to the applicable subobject codes.

           Convention and education travel funds are allocated to the office of each academic dean and to directors of other administrative units. These funds may be used for participation in conventions, workshops, and similar gatherings that advance the interest of the university and the Commonwealth of Virginia. The principal purposes for which these funds may be expended are the following:

  1. Advancement of the research and service functions of the university by support of faculty members who are reading papers at conventions or participating as principal officers in professional societies;

  2. Assistance in faculty development by attendance at workshops (not routine conventions) that are designed to enhance faculty skills in their areas of expertise or in teaching; and

  3. Support of one member of a department who is engaged in recruiting at a convention, provided that the department has a vacant faculty position and has made prior arrangements for interviews.

           Funds for mere attendance at a convention are rarely available, and in any case, mere attendance at a convention would receive the lowest priority for the use of travel funds. The dean of each college and the directors of other university divisions are accountable for ensuring that university travel funds are used in the best interests of the university. Travel vouchers for convention and educational travel must be coded to the applicable subobject codes.

           The following travel regulations represent a brief overview and apply to all travel expenditures. These regulations are required by the state comptroller's office, and travel vouchers will not be honored by the state unless these regulations have been met. Additional guidelines, sample forms, and instructions for the preparation of the travel forms can be obtained from the Accounts Payable Disbursements Office (http://www.odu.edu/af/humanresources/ training/officefinance.htm).


Travel Regulations

  1. All university travelers are bound by the rules and regulations published in the Commonwealth of Virginia Accounting Policies and Procedures Manual, Section 2035. Copies of this manual are available online at www.DOA.STATE.VA.US/docs/AdminServices/CAPP/ capp1.htm.

  2. The travel voucher must be submitted to the Accounts Payable Disbursements Office within five days after the completion of the trip.

  3. Each travel voucher must contain a concise statement explaining the purpose or reason for the travel, the name(s) of the person(s) for whom the expense was incurred, and the reason for the expense. Expenses must be itemized and each day's expenses must be shown separately. Supporting receipts that serve to support the claims for reimbursement for lodging, registration, automobile rentals, transportation, and all other available receipts must be submitted. No payment will be made for unspecified costs.

  4. The use of state-owned cars or use of personal vehicles for official business travel is permitted. Mileage reimbursement for official travel in personal vehicles will be allowed at a standard rate set by the commonwealth and within the policies and guidelines set forth by the university in this handbook and other publications.

  5. Claims for tolls (bridge/tunnel and turnpike) and parking fees must show the name of the facility as well as the name and reason for inclusion of any charge for passengers. If the claim exceeds $10, a receipt is required.

  6. Travel must be the most direct practical route and the amount claimed shall not exceed that of coach common carrier accommodations.

  7. University employees who wish to travel out-of-country (outside the United States) must receive prior approval from the president or provost and vice president for academic affairs via their vice president before a travel advance can be granted and before the travel takes place. The form for out-of-country travel must be prepared by the traveler and sent to the provost and vice president for academic affairs. A minimum of 30 working days should be allowed for the approval or disapproval for the out-of-country travel. The original form will be returned to the traveler either approved or disapproved. If approved, a copy must be attached to the travel advance request form. The original must be attached to the travel expense reimbursement voucher when submitted to the Accounts Payable Disbursements Office for payment. The form and additional guidelines can be obtained from the Accounts Payable Disbursements Office.

  8. Expenditures for meals and lodging must be reasonable. Meal charges are subject to review by the vice president, the state auditors, and the Accounts Payable Disbursements Office. Alcoholic beverages are not a reimbursable expense.

  9. Phone calls, telegrams and facsimiles that pertain to official university business may be reimbursed. If calls are made by the traveler, full disclosure must be made pertaining to the party called and the reason for the call.

  10. Meal and certain other incidental travel expenses are reimbursable only for overnight official business travel outside the traveler's official station. Reimbursement for such expenses (including all related taxes and tips) shall be made to the traveler based on a fixed allowance. The fixed allowance is referred to as the Meals and Incidental Expense per diem. Specific rules apply for travel days. Contact the Accounts Payable Disbursements Office for details.

  11. Expenses for meals may be reimbursed if the employee is required to work on a non-work day such as Saturday, Sunday, or a holiday, provided prior approval is obtained from the vice president responsible for the department or, in the case of the faculty, from the dean of the college. Contact Accounts Payable for full details and requirements for reimbursement of non-overnight meals.

  12. Gratuities (tips) are not reimbursable since they are included in the Meals and Incidental Expenses per diem. Where actual meal costs are reimbursed under the non-overnight travel meal reimbursement policy, meal tips are reimbursable within the applicable meal rate, but should not exceed 15% of the cost of the meal.

  13. Miscellaneous expenses may be reimbursed if they directly relate to official business while the individual is in travel status and are not covered under the Meals and Incidental Expenses per diem policy (contact Accounts Payable Disbursements for details). Examples of reimbursable expenses include:
    • Funeral attendance expenses are reimbursable for one employee selected by the agency head to represent the agency, provided the employee must travel outside of his/her official station. No reimbursement shall be made if the services are held within the employee's official station.

    Examples of nonreimbursable expenses include:
    • Lost or stolen articles;

    • Alcoholic beverages;

    • Excessive meals and lodging (see item 23 below);

    • Damage to personal vehicles, clothing and other items;

    • Services to gain entry to a locked vehicle;

    • Movies charged to hotel bills; and

    • All expenses related to the personal negligence of the travelers, such as fines;

    • Entertainment expenses;

    • Towing charges; and

    • Expenses for children, spouse, and companions while on travel status.

  14. Travel credits, frequent flyer mileage, reduced rates, or free service received from public facilities (i.e., airlines, car rental agencies, motels, etc) by persons for whatever reason, accrue to the Commonwealth. Any such credit, reduced rate, or free service must be reported to the Office of Finance and must be deducted from the amount of travel expenses claimed. Failure to comply with this requirement may result in disciplinary action.

  15. Those traveling on official business should be conscious of the fact that they are spending public funds and they should travel by the most economical means available. Travel expense accounts are open to the public and must be able to sustain the test of public review.

  16. Employees must prepare an estimate of the total cost of any proposed overnight travel. Written approval must be obtained in advance of the travel. The term "total cost" means all costs associated with transportation, lodging, meals, associated gratuities, conference registration, and any other travel costs or course fees. Deans and budget unit directors reporting directly to a vice president may approve the Estimate of Total Cost of Proposed Travel form. The original form must be attached to the travel voucher. All official travel must have the prior approval of the director of the budget unit in which the travel funds to be expended have been allocated.

  17. The departure and arrival times must be shown on all travel vouchers.

  18. All registration fees should be paid using limited local purchase orders with the exception that registration fees over $2,000 require a purchase requisition form. The traveler who pays these costs personally cannot be reimbursed until the trip is completed.

  19. The state will not reimburse rental car deductible waiver or additional liability insurance (except individuals traveling outside of the territorial United States, including Canada, Puerto Rico, who are required to purchase and will be reimbursed for Liability Damage Waiver and Collision Damage Waiver insurance). Refueling charges for rental vehicles will also not be reimbursed.

  20. The university will not advance funds for airfare. The university has committed to the exclusive use of CI Travel for travel arrangements. Comprehensive traditional travel services available include airline, train, hotel, car, and bus reservations. For university-related business, it is required that reservations for these services be made through CI Travel. For more information, call the accounts payable manager.

  21. Meal expenses not involving an overnight stay are generally not reimbursable. Reimbursement may be allowed if documentation supporting the reimbursement clearly establishes that the meal is taken during overtime work periods or for official business reasons. To be eligible for reimbursement, such meals must be considered essential to the agency's mission and be a business necessity. The Business Related Meal Expense Statement must be submitted with the travel voucher when requesting reimbursement of non-overnight business-related meals. Contact Accounts Payable Disbursements for full details.

  22. Maximum allowable meal and lodging guidelines have been established and apply to all travelers. Travel expenditures are monitored to ensure that exceptions appear reasonable and appropriate. Guidelines are subject to change by the Commonwealth Department of Accounts.

  23. An overtime meal allowance is a fixed dollar amount allowed while working or traveling in an overtime status. Overtime status is when work or travel time occurs beyond an employee's normal, scheduled work hours, but not overnight. Therefore, overtime meal allowance does not apply during overnight travel status. In the case of overnight travel, per diem rates apply.
    An overtime meal allowance is allowed when overtime worked is:
    • Essential to the agency mission,

    • Permitted by agency policy,

    • Approved by appropriate agency personnel, and

    • In excess of the employee's normal, scheduled work hours

    The Overtime Meal Allowance policy described in the following table must be followed.
IF... Are worked or traveled AND the overtime occurs... THEN an overtime meal allowance is... Documentation Required
2 or more overtime hours during a normal workday$5.00 ($7.50 if outside theofficial station) Workday and
Start/End Times
5 or more overtime hours on a Saturday, Sunday, holiday or an alternate work schedule day off* $5.00 ($7.50 if outside the official station) Overtime
Start/End Times
10 or more overtime hourson a Saturday, Sunday, holiday or an alternate work schedule day off* $10.00 ($15.00 if outside theofficial station)Overtime
Start/End Times

*Note: Or if comparable overtime is necessitated by shift schedule or beyond a routine, scheduled 40-hour work period.

Information on meal and lodging guidelines for selected cities and information on use of the Meal and Incidental Expense per diem guidelines are available at www.DOA.STATE.VA.US/docs/AdminServices/CAPP/cappl.htm.


Travel Arrangements

The university maintains contracts for travel arrangements through CI Travel (for airline ticketing, out-of-town hotel accommodations, and other travel-related services) and for corporate credit card travel services. The use of these contracts is mandatory for all faculty travel unless an exception is granted in advance or a lower rate can be obtained and supported.

           For further information call the Department of Materiel Management at ext. 3-3105.


Internet Usage to Purchase Travel Services

In addition to all other policies set forth in the university's travel policy and regulations, the following policies must be adhered to when using the Internet to purchase travel services.

           Usage of the Internet to procure travel services is allowed. Use prudent judgment when choosing an Internet travel service site. A cost/benefit analysis must be performed prior to purchasing services via the Internet to ensure that it is cost beneficial for the Commonwealth. The traveler must comply with procurement guidelines, receive prior approval from the University Controller's Office before procuring services via the Internet and include such approval with the reimbursement voucher.

Suggested sites include:

  • Priceline.com

  • Expedia.com

  • Orbitz.com

  • Travelocity.com

When paying for services via the Internet, the following methods may be used:

  • Travel Charge Card - may be used for all types of purchases (i.e., hotel, transportation tickets)

  • Small Purchase Charge Card - may only be used for transportation tickets (i.e., rail, air, bus)

In addition to other documents required by policy, the following supplementary documents must be submitted with the Travel Expense Reimbursement Voucher when procuring services via the Internet.

  • Hardcopy final page from Internet site showing total cost and confirmed service.

  • Cost/benefit analysis showing that the Internet procurement saved money for the Commonwealth. Some Internet sites charge a fee for their services so the cost/benefit analysis would need to take these charges into account.

  • Confirmation from the hotel of actual lodging costs since an invoice may not be created if the Internet travel provider is paid in advance. (For example, when purchases are made on Priceline.com, the employee may have to pay for hotel services with a travel charge card at the time of booking. In that case, a typical hotel bill will not be produced since the hotel has been paid via other means. Therefore, the employee would need to obtain another type of confirmation of actual lodging costs.)

  • Airline confirmation of the type of ticket purchased (e.g. coach, business)


American Express Corporate Travel Charge Cards

The American Express corporate travel charge cards provide travelers with a means of charging expenses incurred while conducting official State business. Charge cards should typically be issued to individuals who travel frequently, such as twice per year. The American Express contract currently provides cards at no fee to the Commonwealth or the traveler. The Commonwealth incurs no financial liability through the use of charge cards.

           All charge card bills are sent by the charge card vendor to the individual cardholder who is responsible for the charges. Travel expense reimbursement requests must be processed on a timely basis to ensure cardholders receive travel reimbursements in time to pay charge card bills within the timeframe prescribed by the charge card vendor. Travel expense reimbursements will not be made from charge card statements or tissue receipts except for meals.

           The disbursements processing manager in the Accounts Payable Disbursements Office is the travel charge card coordinator. The Accounts Payable Disbursements Office is responsible for issuing cards and canceling and retrieving the charge cards of terminated employees. The Accounts Payable Disbursements Office conducts a periodic review of reports provided by the charge card vendor to ensure balances are paid on a timely basis. Employees are also sent reminder notices of any past due balances reported to the university.

           Personal charges are not allowed on the Corporate American Express Card. Noncompliance with charge card policies by cardholders is grounds for revocation of charge card privileges without alternate cash advance privileges.

           Travel advances are not provided to full-time employees who do not have a Corporate American Express card. For cardholders, travel advances should be limited to the minimum amount necessary for out of pocket expenses. No travel advances are issued for less than $25.

           Cardholders must comply with the following policies:

  1. Charge card balances must be paid by the cardholder when due. Late fees or finance charges should be avoided. However, if they occur, they are the responsibility of the cardholder.

  2. Charge cards may be used only for reimbursable expenses incurred while conducting official State business. Personal expenses that cannot be reasonably separated from reimbursable expenses may be charged. Examples include a personal phone call included in a lodging bill or a spouse's dinner included in a restaurant bill. These charges must not be claimed on the Travel Reimbursement Expense Voucher when it is submitted for reimbursement. It is the employee's responsibility to pay for these charges from personal funds within the payment terms specified by the charge card vendor.


Nonrefundable Airline Tickets

The following guidelines should be used when arranging air travel:

  1. Airline tickets must be purchased at the lowest possible cost. However, careful consideration must be given to the degree of certainty that the travel will occur as planned. If the travel plan is not definite, nonrefundable tickets must not be used.

  2. When an airline ticket that is refundable cannot be used, the ticket must be returned to the travel agency (CI Travel) for a credit or a refund.

  3. If a nonrefundable airline ticket cannot be used due to an extreme and unforeseen emergency, the ticket must be paid for from the departmental budget.

  4. If a nonrefundable airline ticket is not used due to cancellation occurring based on ordinary circumstances, state funds may not be used to pay for the unused ticket.


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