Policies and Procedures Manual

Chapter 4: Business & Administration

04:23:00   General Travel Policies & Procedures

Related Policies and Guidelines

TBR Policy General Travel

The following policy applies to the travel of all employees of Northeast State Community College. Authorization for travel will not be granted and expenses will not be reimbursed unless the travel is made and reimbursement claimed in accordance with this policy and any approved exceptions hereto. This policy and specific reimbursement rates for travel expenses shall be consistent with those of the Comprehensive Travel Regulations of the State of Tennessee and the TBR Policy All questions concerning travel should be directed to the division secretary.

1.     Authorization of Travel

  • In-state travel: All employees are authorized for in-state travel where overnight travel and conference fees are not involved. No additional written or verbal authorization is required. The president may designate exceptions to the authorization. Employees whose employment requires frequent in‑state overnight travel may obtain blanket authorization in writing for such travel. Employees paid by grant funds are not allowed to receive blanket travel. Regular full-time faculty members teaching on multiple campuses may have more than one official station per semester based on their regular teaching schedule.

Example 1:  When teaching Monday and Wednesday at the Blountville campus, and Tuesday and Thursday at the Kingsport Campus no mileage reimbursement can be claimed. Each campus is considered the official station for the day.

Example 2:  When teaching at the Johnson City campus then traveling to the Kingsport campus the same day to teach, mileage reimbursement can be claimed. Mileage will be reimbursed using the standard mileage scale between campuses as listed in Northeast travel procedures.

Any unexpected, second trips on the same day, or other not regularly scheduled travel would be reimbursed according to TBR and Northeast State policies. The Vice President for Academic Affairs will be the final approving authority for faculty travel between teaching sites.

In-state travel (where expenses associated with overnight travel and/or conference fees will be incurred) or Out-of-State travel:  Utilizing the SharePoint Travel system or the “Authorization for Official Travel” paper form, employees must obtain prior written authorization by submitting the request to the employee’s appropriate approving authority. Travel requires the approval of the employee’s supervisor and supervising vice president or their designees. Travel expenses in excess of $500 must be approved by the Chief Financial Officer. The president’s approval is required for excessive lodging rates and for all out-of-state travel. Claims for reimbursement for travel expenses should be submitted online or on paper no later than forty-five (45) days after completion of the travel.  Claims submitted after this period must include a written explanation for the delay in a memorandum to the Chief Financial Officer requesting approval. Authorization for travel by a student, regardless of the destination, shall be approved by the president. Additional student travel guidelines are available.

  • Out-of-State Travel (does not include Alaska, Hawaii or out-of-country): All employees must obtain prior written authorization for out-of-state travel from the designated vice president, other supervisor reporting directly to the president or one of the vice presidents’ or supervisors’ designees. The authorization must show the purpose of the trip, destinations, date of departure and return, mode of transportation, and estimated expenses. The division secretary has the responsibility for making hotel and airline reservations.

For out-of-state reimbursement rates, use CONUS U.S. General Service Administration rates at http://www.gsa.gov/portal/category/21287.

  2.   Transportation

  • Automobile Travel: When travel by automobile is appropriate, employees may use the College’s motor pool, use their private automobile, or they may choose to use a rental car. The College has negotiated a discount rate with a local rental agency. The automobile must be rented in the employee’s name. Insurance charges for rented cars that are to be operated solely inside Tennessee are not reimbursable. If the rental will be operated for business purposes outside Tennessee or the United States, insurance charges may be reimbursed. Car rentals at destinations may be allowed if commuting is necessary and must be approved, in advance on the travel authorization, by the budget manager. Whenever possible, employees should refuel before returning rental vehicles. 
  • Air Travel: NORCARD may be used for the advance purchase of airline tickets up to a maximum of $4,999.99 per transaction.  The purchase of airline tickets using the NORCARD requires all campus approvals before any purchase is made.  NORCARD may not be used for expenses incurred during actual travel time. 

  3.   Miscellaneous Expenses

  • Registration Fees: Registration fees will be prepaid when included on a travel authorization. Fees should be reported as a prepaid expense when filing a travel claim. Registration fees may be paid using NORCARD if authorized in advance by the appropriate approving authority. Registration fees should not be submitted on a purchase requisition.

  4.   Claims

Claims for reimbursement of travel expenses should be submitted online or on paper no later than forty-five (45) days after completion of the travel. Claims submitted after this period must include a written explanation for the delay in a memorandum to the Chief Financial Officer requesting approval.

Claims should be submitted to the division secretary who is responsible for certifying the claim for accuracy and adherence to TBR and Northeast State policies. Once the review is complete, the division secretary will initial the claim and submit it to Accounts Payable for processing.

The approving authority for travel claims will be the budget manager. Prior documentation (Authorization for Official Travel) will provide other necessary approvals.

   5.   Travel Advances

  • General: All faculty and staff travel advances must be approved by the Chief Financial Officer. 

   6.    Exceptions

The president shall have the authority to grant exceptions to any or all of the provisions of this policy when deemed appropriate and necessary.  

    7.   Addendum to Northeast State’s General Travel Policy

    1. See TBR Policy Addendum for current travel reimbursement rates.
    2. When traveling to a destination (city or facility) use mileage listed in the Travel Claim Spreadsheet.

Revisions prior to November 15, 2011 used Rand McNally Streetfinder and Tripmaker 2002 to obtain mileage.

Revisions after November 15, 2011 used Mapquest.com to obtain mileage.

Mileage for locations not listed may be obtained from a reputable Web site. A printout of the Web site showing the mileage must be attached to the Authorization for Travel form.

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Divisional Review Responsibilities Checklist: Finance

Revision History: Revision History: Revised Feb. 2004; May 2004; Nov. 2004; April 2005; Jan. 2006; Jan. 2007; April 2007; Nov. 2007; March 2008; Sept. 2008; Oct. 2008; July 2009; Nov. 2009; Jan. 2010; Dec. 2010; April 2011; Oct. 2011; Nov. 2011; March 2012; March 2013; July 2013; March 2015; Dec. 2017; Revised July 2019; Edited Feb. 2021