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Travel and Entertainment Expenses

9/18/91 Policy # 2.30.010


It is the policy of the University of Denver to reimburse employees and approved non-employees for necessary and reasonable travel and entertainment expenses incurred for departmentally authorized, official University business. Employees traveling on University business are expected to operate in the best interest of the University at all times. Employees are to utilize the most cost effective means for business travel consistent with the objectives of the assignment and good business practices.

The Vice Chancellor for Financial Affairs may designate one or more travel agencies with which all University-reimbursed travel must be arranged and negotiate other service agreements with travel vendors as appropriate to obtain more cost-effective travel services.

The Controller's Office maintains current information on the University's allowances, per diems and guidelines for reimbursable expenses. In addition, this information shall be regularly distributed to Budgetary Heads.


A. Airline Travel

Travelers are to utilize the lowest coach air fare available on non-stop flights to a destination point. First class or business class travel will not be permitted except in extenuating circumstances with prior approval from the Budgetary Head of the unit.

B. Automobile Reimbursement

The University will reimburse employees for the business use of their personal automobiles at a per mile rate set annually by the University. Total mileage reimbursement for automotive travel shall not exceed the applicable coach class airfare. Travelers are required to have personal auto insurance as required by the State of Colorado.

C. Other Transportation:

1. Train or bus transportation requires that receipts and reimbursement for such travel will not exceed coach airfare.

2. Travel by charter aircraft, personal aircraft or ship will not be normally advised unless there is a special reason for using the alternate form of transportation. Approval by the University's Risk Manager is required before travel by personal aircraft will be allowed.


A. Travel Time

Travelers will fly on either University or personal time based on best flight times. If travel is on personal time no extra compensation is due to the employee.

B. Airline Clubs/Frequent Flyer Program

Airline club memberships will not be paid by the University except with special approval of the Vice Chancellor for Business and Financial Affairs. University travelers who believe they have a serious business need for such memberships must request the Vice Chancellor's approval in writing. The Vice Chancellor will respond in writing by sending a copy of the decision to the Accounts Payable office.

Membership in airline frequent flyer programs is an individual matter and the benefits of such programs belong to the member. Travelers may not select a carrier at a higher cost simply to earn extra miles when another airline offers a lower price.

C. Flight Insurance

The University provides specific insurance in the amount of $100,000 for employees traveling on University business. No reimbursement will be made for additional insurance purchased by a staff member.

D. Spouse Travel

Spouses may accompany employees during business trips at the employee's cost except when the spouse's presence is needed for University business.

E. Taxi/Limousine Expense

All reasonable and necessary taxi, bus and limousine expenses will be reimbursed. Employees should use judgment in determining the most reasonable cost alternative (car rental vs. taxi/limousine) based on the length of stay and geographic area.


The cost of rented automobiles is reimbursed if the nature of the trip and the location to be visited is such that other means of transportation are not available or practical, or the relative expense of other means of transportation would exceed the cost of renting an automobile.

The employee should select the car rental company which offers the best daily rate, or those with which the University or the travel agency has negotiated special rates. Receipts must be submitted for the reimbursement of car rental as well as gasoline and lubricants. Economy to mid-size cars should be used depending on the number of people traveling together and the purpose of the trip.


A. Reimbursement Rates

A traveler on University business shall be reimbursed for actual lodging expenses plus a per diem meal allowance determined by the University. With this method, airline or other transportation receipts and lodging receipts must be submitted. No meal receipts are required.

When necessary and appropriate for conduct of University business actual meal expenses may be reimbursed. This requires complete receipts and must be accompanied by a written explanation of the meeting's purpose.

A full per diem allowance for lodging and meals must be used for all foreign travel and when required for travel under a government contract.

The Accounts Payable office will distribute to division and department heads a travel manual containing approved per diem rate for locations within the United States guidelines for University related business travel, current insurance coverages, etc.

B. Hotel Selection/Rates

The reasonable cost of hotel or motel accommodations on approved business trips is reimbursable. Employees are expected to patronize reasonably priced establishments near their work location. Employees traveling together are entitled to separate hotel rooms and should use those hotels with which the University or travel agency has negotiated special rates.

The room type to be selected normally should be a standard room with double bed unless the room is needed to conduct meetings. In this case, a suite may be appropriate as determined by the budgetary head.

C. Laundry/Valet Service

Laundry and valet expenses are normally not allowed on trips of five working days or less. However, if laundry and valet expenses are justified for business reasons in connection with trips of five working days or less, an explanation must be attached to the expense report for the charges regardless of the amount.

D. Loss of Personal Property

The University's insurance does not cover loss of personal property. Employees should check their homeowners/personal property coverage to make certain personal property is covered while traveling. If travelers must take valuable items with them, it is suggested they take precautions to protect them.


Special rates may be available with certain airlines, hotels and car rental agencies for federal contractors. If traveling on a federal contract, please bring this to the attention of the travel agent. In some cases, a contract may specify the method of reimbursement related to travel expense which shall take precedent over the University policy on reimbursement.


Employees will be reimbursed for the reasonable expenses incurred while meeting with current and prospective faculty/staff or other authorized guests who are in a position to benefit the University and carried out in a way which appropriately and reasonably furthers the conduct of the University's business.

The reporting of reimbursement for tax purposes is the responsibility of the employee. The Internal Revenue Service limits deductibility for such expenses based on it being directly related to the active conduct of the business and its justification as being ordinary and necessary. IRS regulations require complete documentation of all business expenses.

Receipts must be submitted for each expenditure regardless of cost.