May 26, 2022  
Policies and Procedures Manual 
    
Policies and Procedures Manual

07:01:00 WSCC Employee Travel


Revision Responsibility: Vice President for Business Affairs
Responsible Executive Officer: Vice President for Business Affairs

Purpose

To provide guidance to WSCC employees for complying with TBR travel regulations as well as WSCC specific requirements.


Policy

I. General Travel

Reference TBR Policy 4:03:03:00, General Travel as if copied at length herein.

II. WSCC Travel Supplemental Requirements

The following supplements to the TBR travel policy provide detail relative to WSCC faculty and staff who are authorized to travel for official business-related purposes. Any conflict between these supplements and TBR policy will be governed by the TBR policy. It is significant and imperative for faculty and staff to obtain prior authorization for travel in accordance with the provisions of the TBR policy and Walters State’s supplements to minimize personal liability when conducting official college business. College motor pool vehicles should be used when available and to the extent feasible. Any request for authorization to keep a motor pool vehicle overnight at a personal residence shall require prior approval from the college’s president. Reimbursement claims, including appropriate approvals, should be processed in accordance with the section for claims of the TBR travel policy and should be submitted no later than forty-five (45) days to the Accounts Payable Department after completion of the travel. Approval of reimbursement claims should be consistent with approval of authorizations (i.e., the individual authorized/required to approve the authorization must also approve the reimbursement claim).

III. Travel within The State of Tennessee

Faculty and staff may receive authorization for official business-related travel within the State of Tennessee from the appropriate designated individual. A written request for travel should be made on the Authorization for Official Travel form and approved by the appropriate individual(s) prior to departure. For travel where overnight stay is required and/or conference fees are assessed, the travel authorization must be approved by the employee’s supervisor, the division vice president and the Vice President for Business Affairs. Additionally, the president must approve Authorization for Official Travel forms for out-of-state-travel or travel equal to or greater than $1,000. For travel where no overnight stay is required, nor conference fees assessed, the travel authorization must be approved by the employee’s supervisor and others as designated by the division vice president.

Exceptions:

The following travel authorizations must follow the approvals designated for overnight stay and/or conference fees.

  1. Any travel that will be charged to a grant.
  2. Any travel that will be reimbursed to the institution by another party.
  3. Any travel for a guest of the institution.

In-state Meals and Incidentals (M&I) - While on authorized travel, actual expenses not to exceed maximum amounts stated in the general TBR Travel Policy and Addendum will be allowed for meals. The maximum per diem rates include a fixed allowance for meals and for incidental expenses. The M&I rate, or fraction thereof, is payable to the traveler without itemization of expenses or receipts. Incidentals are intended to include miscellaneous costs associated with travel such as tips for baggage handling, phone calls, etc.

The breakdown of meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and incidental expenses is available on the TBR General Travel policy. Reimbursement for meals will not be permitted when overnight travel is not involved.

IV. Out-Of-State/Out-Of-Country Travel

Travel outside the State of Tennessee and out-of-country as well as Alaska, Hawaii, and Canada will require advanced written authorization from the president and, in specific instances, will also require approval of the chancellor or his/her designee as specified in TBR policy.

The M&I rates for out-of-state travel are available on the CONUS web site. For lodging, there is a standard rate for the continental United States, and a list of exceptions. In some locations a different rate is indicated depending on when the travel is occurring.

Out-of-country/International meals are reimbursed at actual expense with itemized receipts. If no receipts are provided, the maximum rate will be the maximum CONUS rate for out-of-state travel.

The breakdown of meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and incidental expenses is available on the TBR General Travel policy.

V. Blanket Travel Authorization

Blanket travel authorization is intended for use of college vehicles where faculty or staff travel on a regular recurring basis (weekly) within Walters State’s defined service area. Blanket travel authorizations should not be completed for faculty or staff who travel infrequently (i.e. once or twice a month). A standard travel authorization form should be completed for these trips, in accordance with the approvals provided in section III. It is intended to provide authorization for faculty/staff who travel to the same location on a repetitive basis as well as for employees whose primary job assignment requires them to travel on a regular basis. In all such situations, the Authorization for Official Travel form should be completed with appropriate detail to document the nature of the travel and to identify that the blanket travel destination is within the defined/extended services area as itemized below. Blanket travel authorizations may only be completed for a six-month period and should generally be processed for periods July through December and January through June.

The submission of a blanket travel authorization does not ensure a WSCC vehicle will be available at any time. Please make sure Facilities Management is notified in advance of your travel schedule.

The college’s defined service area includes Claiborne, Cocke, Grainger, Greene, Hamblen, Hancock, Hawkins, Jefferson, Sevier and Union counties of Tennessee. Walters State’s extended service area includes the following counties: Knox, Washington, Sullivan, Carter, Unicoi, and Johnson counties in Tennessee; Lee County, Virginia; Bell and Whitley County, Kentucky; and Yancey, Mitchell, Haywood, Swain and Madison counties of North Carolina. Blanket travel authorizations cannot be used for travel to any area outside the above listed counties. 

Blanket travel authorizations may also be granted for individuals who use their personal vehicle to conduct college business on a regular basis and when a college vehicle is not available or it is not appropriate to use a college vehicle. A separate Authorization for Official Travel form should be completed, following the same procedures as for travel using college vehicles. Travel authorizations for a personal vehicle cannot be combined with travel authorizations for a state vehicle. If the possibility exists for an employee to request reimbusement relative to the blanket travel, an estimated amount must be included on the blanket Authorization for Official Travel form.

Reimbursement claims for blanket travel where a personal vehicle was used should also be processed in accordance with the section for claims of the TBR travel policy and should be submitted no later than forty-five (45) days to the Accounts Payable Department after completion of the travel.  Employees should advise their departmental supervisor prior to departure when using their personal vehicle for official college business.

VI. Transportation In Private Vehicle

  1. All travel must be by the most direct or expeditious route possible and any employee who travels by an indirect route must bear any extra expense occasioned thereby.
     
  2. Business and/or vicinity mileage will be calculated using Mapquest and attached to the Claim for Traveling Expense when submitted. Vicinity Mileage must be reported on a separate line on the Claim for Traveling Expense. Only mileage on official business may be claimed.
     
  3. When work is performed by an employee in route to or from the official station, reimbursable mileage is computed by deducting the employee’s normal commuting mileage from the actual mileage driven in performing the work in route to or from the official station.
    1. If an employee begins or ends a trip at his/her official station, reimbursable mileage will be the mileage from the official station to the destination.
    2. If work is performed by an employee in route to or from his/her official station, reimbursable mileage is computed by deducting the employee’s normal commuting mileage from the actual mileage driven. For example, if an employee normally commutes 10 miles and performs work on the way home from the official station which results in 12 miles driven, the mileage reimbursement will be for 2 miles only, as that is the amount of mileage in excess of the employee’s normal commute.
    3. If an employee begins or ends his/her trip at his/her residence without stopping at his/her official station, reimbursable mileage will be the lesser of the mileage from the employee’s residence to his/her destination or his/her official station to the destination.
    4. On weekends and holidays, the employee will typically be reimbursed for actual mileage from his/her residence to the destination.
    5. If an employee travels between destinations without returning to his/her official station or his/her residence, reimbursable mileage is the actual mileage between those destinations minus commuter miles
    6. In no instance shall mileage claimed for reimbursement exceed actual miles traveled.

VII. Travel Advances

Advances to employees for anticipated travel expenses will be made if the employees have submitted the Authorization for Official Travel form, including the specifically identified amount requested. When temporary travel is authorized for an employee, the employee may receive an advance, provided a request for the advance, including estimated expenses, is submitted to the appropriate approving authority with the request for written authorization for the travel, no later than two weeks prior to travel, and is approved. An amount equal to 80% of the estimated out of pocket expenditures will be allowed as an advance; however, no advance less than $100 will be made. All employees are required to sign and agree to a memorandum of understanding, located in the Business Office, authorizing payroll deduction for any portion of an unused/undocumented travel advance not timely remitted to the college.

VIII. Miscellaneous Expenses

Personal Expenses: Expenses for entertainment (employee or others), laundry, tips and gratuities, etc., are personal expenses and will not be reimbursed in excess of the incidental portion of the M&I rate.

Telephone, Telegram and Fax Expenses: Charges for long distance telephone calls, telegrams, internet connection, and/or fax for official school business will be allowed. Charges for necessary local calls on official business will be allowed.

Registration Fees: registration fees for events will be processed from an electronic requisition for purchase subject to the approval of the appropriate approving authority. Documentation (registration brochure, etc.) of registration fee should be attached to the requisition.

  1. Other Miscellaneous Expenses
    Such as charges for baggage fees, airport parking fee, cab fare, etc.: Cab fare will be allowed if necessary for travel. After arrival at destination, necessary taxi fares for traveling between hotels or lodging and meeting or conference will be allowed and no receipt is required for reasonable fares. Baggage fees will be allowed when necessary and a receipt is required for reimbursement. Maximum parking fees without receipt are $8.00 per day. Fees for handling of equipment or promotional materials - $20 per hotel. Receipts are not required for meals, taxi fares, tolls and ferry fees. Charges for trip insurance are not reimbursable. The State of Tennessee is self-insured and does not purchase separate insurance, and, therefore, will not reimburse for insurances purchases made for trips or rental cars. 01/15; 05/16; 11/19