The university pays for business and travel expenses incurred in connection with university business that is appropriately documented and in accordance with IRS accountable plan rules.
The basic premise governing business and travel expenses is that an individual should neither gain nor lose funds in the course of conducting university business.
Appropriate examples of Business-related (non-travel) expenses include:
The department maintains a small fund to help with travel for students who are attending conferences and presenting research at meetings.
Appropriate examples of Travel-related expenses include (click for further details regarding each type of expense):
All expenses must have a valid business purpose. The university will not reimburse or pay for expenses that are inherently personal in nature. Below are some examples of personal expenses:
The class of air travel chosen is expected to be the lowest-priced coach airfare ticket available using a commercial discount or coach class or standard accommodations.
Frequent Flyer Programs
Travelers may personally retain frequent flyer plan rewards or other bonuses that may accrue from business travel. However, in no case may the traveler choose a reservation at a higher cost in order to accumulate additional plan rewards. The university will not purchase frequent flyer miles from travelers or reimburse them for tickets purchased with frequent flyer miles. Any membership fees to join frequent flyer clubs are considered personal expenses and will not be reimbursed by the university.
Checked baggage fees
Charges by airlines for checked baggage when traveling on University business are a reimbursable business expense.
Excess baggage expenses are reimbursable in any of the following circumstances:
A request for reimbursement for an upgrade for seats, premium boarding, etc. must include a description supporting the business purpose as to why the upgrade was appropriate and must be approved by the individual’s supervisor and designated departmental finance representative.
The university does not maintain any lost luggage/items insurance coverage for any loss of personal belongings of its employees while on university business travel. University employees are encouraged to make their own arrangements for this type of insurance coverage either through their personal homeowners/renters insurance company or with their travel agent at the time of travel. The university will reimburse for this type of insurance only if there is a valid business purpose and the expense is approved by the designated departmental finance representative.
Transportation to the airport
Airport or other business parking will be reimbursed, but travelers are urged to use long-term, lower-cost parking lots when available. If public transportation or a cab is taken to or from the airport or other business location, that will be reimbursed as well.
When the use of a personal automobile is necessary for university business, reimbursement for its use will be made at the mileage rate published by the IRS (55.5 cents/mile).
It is the responsibility of the traveler to ensure that the proper mileage rate is being used and the distance is based upon actual driving distance using the most direct route. The mileage reimbursement rate covers reimbursement for use of the vehicle as well as any repairs, gas charges, and the owner's personal automobile insurance coverage, which provides the coverage in case of an accident. Tolls and parking fees are reimbursable. The university will not reimburse employees for parking tickets, fines for moving violations, vehicle towing charges, or auto repairs and maintenance.
If you choose to rent a car, you must choose a standard car class or lower. The university will not reimburse for an upgrade to a higher car class. In addition to the payment for the cost of the rental car, the only other permissible expense for rental cars in most cases is the cost to purchase gasoline.
Vehicles rented for university business purposes for less than thirty (30) days are considered short-term rentals by the university’s current automobile insurance carrier. Coverage of short-term rentals under the university’s automobile insurance policy is subject to the following conditions:
The insurance coverages below should not be purchased by those traveling in the United States, any territory or possession of the United States, Puerto Rico or Canada. The university already maintains automobile liability insurance within these countries and territories. Costs for the following coverages will not be reimbursed:
For details on international rental cars, please visit the CMU Travel and Business Policy.
The university will directly pay or reimburse a traveler for lodging expenses for the single occupancy cost of a standard room incurred during university-related travel.
The university will not pay for free accommodations awarded in connection with hotel frequent guest programs or any complimentary room accommodations provided by a hotel or other third party.
The university will reimburse travelers for the reasonable cost of their own meals incurred during the time they are away from home.
As a general rule, travelers are expected to incur no additional cost for meals which are provided as part of a fee for attendance at conferences, workshops, hotel cost, etc., or which are provided by an airline while en route to their destination.
Alcohol may be reimbursed as long as the expense is deemed reasonable and is not being charged to a Federal grant.
Other travel expenses may include, but are not limited to:
Some important things to keep in mind:
Other things to keep in mind:
The university will not provide travel advances, pay directly or make reimbursements for the travel expenses of companions/spouses or non-employees who accompany anyone on university business, except in limited circumstances (See Companion/Spousal Travel and Business Expenses in the Carnegie Mellon University Business and Travel Expense Policy).
Have more questions? Consult the H&SS College’s site devoted to the full policy that the Department of Statistics follows. Available at: http://www.hss.cmu.edu/deans_office/faculty_staff/index.html
Better yet, contact Kira Bokalders at firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by Baker Hall 132D.
Need to be reimbursed? Follow this link to Reimbursement Procedures.