Overview of EKU Travel Regulations
Eastern Kentucky University follows the travel requirements and procedures found on EKU's Policy and Regulation website. These regulations apply to everyone traveling on official University business. This includes employees, students, and contractors.
COVID Restrictions: Effective November 23, 2021, all faculty, staff, students, alumni, and guests are permitted to travel both domestically and internationally with or on behalf of Eastern Kentucky University Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, individuals traveling with or on behalf of the University shall adhere to the following travel protocols to ensure the safety and wellness of our campus community:
Reimbursement of Travel Expenses
A Travel Expense Voucher must be properly completed and documented, inclusive of the entire travel period, properly approved and forwarded to the University Accounts Payable Office as soon as possible but no later than 60 days.
- Travelers should be aware that Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations (26 CFR 1.62-2) require that Travelers report all travel expenses accurately and completely within 60 days or the amount will be treated as personal wages on the Traveler’s IRS Form W-2. Travelers must include sufficient documentation as described herein (or original documentation as required herein) to support the amount, time, place, and business purpose of the travel expense. Travel expenses that are not accurately and completely reported are required to be included as personal wages on the Traveler’s IRS Form W-2.
- Travel voucher forms are generally updated at the beginning of each quarter. You should ensure that the correct form for the appropriate time period is completed.
- Do not split one trip between two separate vouchers unless the trip includes travel in two different quarters. If more than one source of funding is used for a trip, the one travel voucher should include all budget account numbers to be charged along with the appropriate financial manager's signatures.
- Vouchers must include documentation for all expenses incurred during the trip whether paid by EKU or by the traveler.
- A Travel Expense Voucher must be submitted even when all travel expenses are paid with a University procurement card.
- Vouchers are processed on a first-in, first-out basis. Vouchers submitted without all required documenation will not be processed until the documentation has been received.
Travel to Canada: All amounts shown on the travel voucher must be converted to U.S. funds with documentation attached certifying the actual exchange rate of currency during the trip. Please visit www.oanda.com or other online currency conversion websites for assistance with obtaining exchange rates and conversions.
Travel Outside of the United States and Canada:
- Meal reimbursement is based on actual expenses, not per diem.
- You must submit original receipts, including meal receipts, with the travel voucher; and,
- All amounts shown on the travel voucher must be in U.S. funds. All receipts must be converted to U.S. funds with documentation attached certifying the actual exchange rate of currency during the trip. Please visit www.oanda.com or other online currency conversion websites for assistance with obtaining exchange rates and conversions.
Travelers shall use the most economical, standard transportation available and the most direct and usually-traveled routes. Expenses added by the use of other transportation or routes shall be assumed by the individual.
- Buses and subways are encourgaged for city travel. Taxi fare shall be allowed if more economical transportation is not feasible.
- Commercial airline travel shall be the lowest negotiated coach or tourist class. Additional expense for first-class travel or other upgrades shall not be reimbursed by the University.
- State owned vehicles with their credit cards may be used for state business travel if available and feasible. Mileage payment shall not be claimed if state-owned vehicles are used.
- Vehicle rentals shall adhere to the following:
- Rental vehicles may be used only for Approved Business (as defined in the Motor Vehicle Use Regulation). All drivers of rental vehicles must qualify under University’s Motor Vehicle Use Regulation.
- Vehicle rentals for Approved Business are covered by the University’s automobile insurance policy in generally the same way as coverage is provided for University-owned vehicles. Various forms of insurance (Collision Damage Waiver [CDW], Loss Damage Waiver [LDW], Physical Damage Waiver [PDW], Liability Insurance Supplement [LIS], Personal Accident Insurance [PAI], Personal Effects Coverage [PEC], etc.) if purchased from the rental agency by the Traveler are neither authorized nor payable as an approved University travel expenditure.
- When renting a vehicle, ensure that Eastern Kentucky University is listed as the lessee (i.e. "Eastern Kentucky University / Jane Doe").
- Employees should seek the most practical and economical vehicle for rental.
- The use of or rental of fifteen (15)-passenger vans is not permitted.
- When returning a rental vehicle, please adhere to the rental agency’s policy regarding refueling and do not purchase fuel through the rental agency.
Mileage reimbursement rates are established on a sliding scale according to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report average retail fuel cost for Kentucky. The rate is adjusted quarterly on July 1, October 1, January 1, and April 1.
- The current mileage rate and history is maintained on the Kentucky Finance and Administration Cabinet's website under "State Employee Travel."
- Mileage may be calculated using www.mapquest.com, www.randmcnally.com, or any similar mileage software.
- Mileage claims, based on official mileage maps, must be more economical than alternate means of transportation, including vehicle rental and air transportation. Please attach an airfare and rental car quote to your Out of State Travel Request form.
- Mileage commuting between home and workstation will not be reimbursed.
- Mileage claims for the use of privately-owned vehicles shall be allowed if a state vehicle was not available or feasible.
- If an employee's point of origin for travel is the employee's residence, mileage will be paid for the shorter of the mileage between:
- Residence and travel destination; or
- Workstation and travel destination.
- If an employee's point of origin for travel is the employee's workstation, and after proceeding to a travel destination, the employee's final destination is the employee's residence, mileage will be paid for the shorter of mileage between:
- Residence and travel destination; or
- Workstation and travel destination.
Lodging shall be the most economical, as determined by considering the location of the lodging. Reimbursement is made for actual expense incurred including tax but cannot exceed the single room rate. Traveler must attach a hotel folio as well as proof of payment to the travel voucher.
- Subsistence per diem is paid when the Traveler’s authorized work requires an overnight stay and a travel destination of more than 40 miles away (one way) from the Traveler’s Regular University Workstation or home, whichever is less. Lodging receipts are required to substantiate an overnight stay.
- The University subsistence per diem rate for Approved Travel meals, including associated taxes and gratuity (no more than 20% of the cost of the meal), is $30 for low rate travel areas and $36 high rate travel areas. The University will prorate the subsistence per diem rate for departure days and return days as shown by the chart below:
Subsistence Per Diem Chart Travel Days
High Rate *
*High rate travel areas: https://finance.ky.gov/office-of-the-controller/office-of-statewide-accounting-services/Documents/High%20Rate%20Travel%20Areas.pdf
- Receipts are not required for subsistence per diem reimbursements.
- Meal expenses that exceed the subsistence per diem rate are the personal responsibility of the Traveler.
- There is no subsistence per diem for meals included in the cost of lodging, conference or meeting registration expenses, or otherwise provided at no cost to the Traveler as part of the event. Travelers must deduct all included meals from the subsistence per diem rate as follows:
- Low rate areas: $7 for breakfast, $8 for lunch, and $15 for dinner
- High rate areas: $8 for breakfast, $9 for lunch, and $19 for dinner
- For international business travel meals, the reimbursement rate is the actual meal costs substantiated by an original, itemized receipt. Expenses associated with travel to Canada will be treated the same as travel in the U.S. Credit card receipts without itemization are not acceptable documentation. If the Traveler does not submit original, itemized receipts, then the Traveler will be reimbursed at the subsistence per diem rate of $36.
- The purchase of alcoholic beverages is not a permitted reimbursable expense and will not be paid or reimbursed by the University.
- Travelers attending a function such as a luncheon or dinner meeting may be reimbursed for the actual meal cost instead of subsistence per diem when the employee’s attendance is required. The Traveler must submit with the travel voucher the original, itemized receipt for the meal and a memorandum from his or her supervisor noting the employee’s required attendance.
- Employees chaperoning student group travel that does not include an overnight stay and who are required to remain on duty during a group meal may be reimbursed at 75% of the Away Day subsistence per diem rate.
- Students traveling on University activities with faculty and staff may be exempt from the subsistence per diem limits. Exemptions must be reasonable and justifiable and must be substantiated with original, itemized receipts.
Departmental pro-cards can be used to pay registration fees when credit card payments are accepted by the vendor. If the registration amount exceeds the limit on the departmental pro-card, please contact the Pro-card Administrator for assistance.
- Registration fees may be paid by University check. Complete a direct pay request and submit it along with the completed registration form to Accounting & Financial Services, Coates CPO 3A. If the vendor does not have an EKU ID number, please have them complete a W9 form and submit it to Purchasing. Once Purchasing has assigned the vendor an ID number, you will be able to complete the direct pay request in EKU Direct. Please submit your request in a timely manner so that a check can be processed and mailed to the vendor before any deadline.
- Registration fees prepaid by the University, either by check or pro card, should be listed on the travel voucher under "Prepaid Expense Items." Please attach supporting documentation.
- Travelers may elect to pay registration fees out of their personal funds. In order to be reimbursed for this expense, please list the amount on the travel voucher under "Other Expense Items" and attach your receipt and supporting documentation.
- Travelers cannot be reimbursed for registration expenses until after the registered event has occurred. Travelers are encouraged to use the University pro-card or University checks to limit their out of pocket expenses.