6.7 – Travel and Travel Related Expenditures

POLICY:  Spoon River College reimburses representatives for approved travel expenses such as transportation, meals, and lodging when traveling on behalf of the College.


This policy applies to all individuals eligible to seek reimbursement for travel from Spoon River College.


Work location:  The location where the employee is scheduled to perform job-related duties on a given work day.


  1. Commuting Expenses: As a condition of employment, employees incur commuting expenses between their residence and work location (refer to definition of work location above).  Employees will not be reimbursed for commuting expenses between residence and work location.  When it is necessary for an employee to travel from one work location to another work location in a single workday, mileage between work locations will be reimbursed.For local business travel, mileage expenses, tolls, parking fees, or expenses associated with college business are reimbursable from work location and/or residence.  However, if college-provided transportation is available (for example, a rental car) and offered to the employee and the employee chooses to drive their personal vehicle, then no reimbursement for mileage will be given to the employee.

    Scenario 1:  Employee A is full time and regularly scheduled to work in Macomb on Tuesday.  She begins her day at the Macomb Campus, then travels to the Canton Campus in the afternoon (single workday).  Employee A would receive mileage reimbursement from one work location (Macomb Campus) to another work location (Canton Campus).

    Scenario 2:  Employee A is full time and regularly scheduled to work in Macomb all day on Tuesday.  She begins and ends her day at the Macomb Campus.  Employee A would not receive mileage reimbursement.

    Scenario 3:  Employee A is full time and regularly scheduled to work in Canton.  A special event occurs in Havana. She begins her day at the Havana Center, then returns to the Canton Campus in the afternoon (single workday).  Employee A would receive mileage reimbursement for the round trip.

  2. Advanced Approval Required: Travel and anticipated expenses should be approved in advance and are subject to limitations within the respective budget.  Employees should use the most direct route and the most economical transportation, taking into consideration travel time, expense, absence from campus, and convenience.
  3. Audit of Reimbursements: The Vice President audits reimbursements that have been approved by the appropriate supervisor and has the authority to disapprove expenses that do not comply with college policy.  The College reserves the right not to reimburse expenses for (1) employees who travel without following college policy and procedures, and (2) expenses that exceed the amount approved.
  4. Proper Documentation: Travel expenses must be properly documented and approved on an Expense Report form.  It is each employee’s responsibility to adhere to this policy when incurring expenses on behalf of the College.  Further, it is the responsibility of the approving supervisor to review expenses for compliance with recognized policy.
  5. Responsibilities of the Traveler: Travelers are expected to:
    1. Exercise good judgment with respect to travel expenses.
    2. Determine the most economical means of obtaining lodging, meals, and transportation within the established guidelines.
    3. Accurately submit all expenses with the required documentation within the lesser of:
      1. 30 days after travel,
      2. One week after the end of the College’s fiscal year, or
      3. One week after the end of the grant year if the travel is paid for by a grant.
    4. Coordinate travel, when possible, with other college employees to minimize the cost of travel.
  6. Responsibilities of the Approving Supervisor: Approving supervisors are expected to:
    1. Closely review all expenses.
    2. Verify all expenses are reasonable and in compliance with college policy.
    3. Approve expense reports promptly to ensure timely reimbursement and recording within the fiscal year (and grant year if applicable) of occurrence.


  1. Travel Status: Employees are on travel status while away from campus on authorized college business.  Travel status begins when the employee leaves the College, their residence, or other authorized location and goes directly to their destination.  Travel status ends when the employee returns directly to the College, their residence, or other authorized location after completing college business.  An employee’s normal commute is not considered as part of travel status.
  2. Travel Authorization: Employees must complete the “Out of State, Overnight and/or Conference Request” form and obtain proper approvals before making any reservations.
  3. Claim for Reimbursement: The traveler submits their request for reimbursement of travel expenses on an Expense Report Form.  The Expense Report Form is submitted to the Vice President upon approval from the employee’s supervisor.
  4. Reimbursable Expenses: In all cases, reimbursement is limited to only actual and necessary expenses incurred while on travel status within the limitations set forth in these policies.  Actual and reasonable expenses that are allowable include:
  5. Transportation:
    1. Air Travel: When booking a flight, the traveler should choose the least expensive logical airfare via the most direct route, or reasonable alternative route if it results in a lower fare.  Travelers may not specify a particular airline in order to accumulate mileage or promotional plan, such as frequent flyer programs, if it results in a higher airfare.  Employees should work with the President’s Office to arrange travel via a travel agency. The expense will be charged to the College credit card and a requisition will be created by the purchasing department.  Any frequent flyer miles will be considered property of the employee.
    2. Rented Vehicles: When using rented vehicles, employees must obtain the most economical vehicle available that is suitable for college business.  Vehicle rental must be approved prior to travel to be reimbursed for the expense.Spoon River College does carry a policy that covers employees in case of accidents.  The Collision Damage Waiver and Personal Accident Insurance provided by the rental agencies should be declined.  If the insurance option(s) are accepted the employee will not be reimbursed for them.

      Traveler’s should also decline the fuel option offered by car rental agencies and fill the rental vehicle themselves before they return it.  The fuel option expense, if chosen, will not be reimbursed.

    3. Personal Vehicles: Reasonable and necessary local miles will be reimbursed at the IRS Federal rate, which will take effect on January 1 of each year.     Mileage is limited to actual distance needed for the purpose of authorized travel.  The mileage reimbursement claim should not exceed the cost of a coach airline ticket to the destination.  Mileage will be payable to only one of the two or more people traveling in the same vehicle.When using a personal vehicle on college business, the employee must be licensed and carry the minimum insurance required by the Illinois Vehicle Code, 625 ILCS 5/7-203 (1998).  The College’s liability plan does not provide coverage for physical damage to an employee’s privately owned vehicle.
  6. Claims for Accidents: If applicable, claims arising from injuries to college employees traveling on college business are considered under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Acts.  Report accidents causing damage or injury as soon as possible to the Vice President.
  7. Meals: The College will reimburse employees traveling on college business for meals.  The employee will need to submit an Expense Report form with receipts for all meals.  A maximum of $30 (including tip) per day will be allowed for meals.  When traveling to large metropolitan cities (i.e. Chicago, St. Louis, etc.) the maximum meal allowance is $50 (including tip).  When an employee purchases the meal for others besides themselves, they are required to write the names all included in the meal on the back of the receipt.  The College does not reimburse for alcoholic beverages or cannabis infused foods or beverages.  When attending a conference where meals are provided, the employee is not reimbursed for meals included in the conference.
  8. Lodging: Lodging will be reimbursed for actual cost of room and taxes.  The actual costs of accommodations will not be in excess of the rates provided at the hotels in the information provided for the conference, convention, meeting, etc.  Any frequent hotel points will be considered property of the employee.
  9. Incidental Business Expenses: The following are examples of incidental travel expenses that are reimbursable by the College: (1) taxi/airport shuttle, (2) parking, (3) business telephone charges, and (4) reasonable flat-fee internet access charges (in order to check work email in hotel).
  10. Conferences/Seminars/Workshops: The College provides registration fees and other associated costs for conferences, seminars, and workshops.  Lower pre-registration fees should be obtained whenever possible.
  11. Other: Any other expenses not covered in this policy must be explained on the Expense Report form and be approved in advance of travel.
  12. Non-reimbursable Expenses: The College does not reimburse alcohol, cannabis, entertainment, or personal incidental expenses.
  13. Receipt Requirement: Original receipts are required for all amounts expended.  If an original receipt is not available a signed statement with an itemized list of expenses may be accepted when attached to the expense reimbursement request.  Grant expenditures may require original receipts.