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Travel Reimbursements

Travel Requests

An official travel request should be in place in IRIS for any out-of-state or international travel incurred for the university prior to their trip. For your assistance, a Travel Request Worksheet (T-18) can be found on the Forms page.

The travel request should include dates and times of departure, destination, detailed explanation/reason of trip, account number to be charged and other pertinent information necessary for the approver in IRIS to review. An approved travel request in IRIS is the official authorization for the employee to travel. An approved travel request is required for direct bill of airfare, unless no other expenses are being submitted for that trip.

Please note a travel request is not required for travel incurred within the State of Tennessee unless required by your department or unit. Please submit forms to the BSO for entry into IRIS.

Reimbursement Procedures

Employees should submit claims for reimbursement of travel expenses using a T-3 form no later than 30 days after completion of the travel, with the exception of local mileage logs.An IRIS Travel Expense Reimbursement Report will be printed and the T-3 with original signature along with necessary original receipts will be used for entry into IRIS by BSO.

Please note all signatures on the printed travel expense report should be original. In situations where the employee cannot sign, a faxed or scanned signed copy will be accepted when original signatures are not available provided the amounts to be reimbursed are detailed on the document, required receipts are attached and an explanation is given.

Per Diem Rates

In order to obtain the most current per diem reimbursement rate amounts, please review the Travel Reimbursement Rate schedule and Please note the lodging and meal per diem will be determined by the CONUS/OCONUS rate for the hotel address “where you lay your head” not the meeting destination.


An acceptable original, itemized receipt must be submitted for lodging, registration fees, airline tickets, rental cars, or any other allowable expenses of $50 or more.

Airline Tickets

Reimbursement for airfare will be limited to standard coach fare. No business or first class fares will be reimbursed. There will be no exceptions to this restriction.

An acceptable receipt for the cost of the ticket should be supported by the original passenger coupon which includes proof of payment. If the original passenger coupon cannot be obtained, documentation from the vendor will be accepted if it contains the name of the passenger, dates of travel, complete trip itinerary, amount, and the name of the airline. Additionally, the coupon or receipt must contain the class of service. On the coupon or receipt, the class of service will be identified by either the word coach or economy or a letter (e.g., W, S, Q, L, etc.).

Any unused ticket or any portion of an unused ticket must be processed for a refund or the value of the ticket applied to a future trip. The traveler is responsible for managing and controlling this process. Mandatory fees imposed by the airline industry will be reimbursed provided a receipt is provided for amounts $50 or more. An example is Baggage Fees now incurred by airlines.

Non-Conference Lodging

An original receipt is required and must include the address of the hotel, the name of the individual occupying the room, the daily room charge, applicable tax, total charges and proof of payment.

To expedite reimbursements and minimize staff time in locating rates within the CONUS schedules World Travel (the university’s designated travel agency) can assist travelers to secure CONUS rates. In the event World Travel cannot secure a CONUS rate for a trip, a World Travel consultant will document that a CONUS rate is not available and the rate booked is the lowest rate available at the time of the booking. The documentation will be in the form of an e-mail and must be attached to the Travel Expense reimbursement request T-3 along with the hotel receipt.

NOTE: The reimbursement rate for lodging and meals is based upon the city where the employee spends the night.

Conference Lodging

Travelers attending official meetings (such as a conference, seminar, or workshop) and lodge in the designated conference hotel or overflow hotel will be reimbursed for room and tax at the conference rate. Conference lodging will be reimbursed at the conference rate with back-up documentation such as a brochure/agenda stating the name of the conference, conference dates, destination, conference hotels and/or overflow hotels and most important the conference lodging rate. The absence of the conference brochure/agenda will limit the reimbursement to the CONUS/OCONUS rate for the hotel destination.

If the traveler chooses to lodge in a hotel of their choice, the amount of the reimbursement will be limited to the rate of the conference hotel, documented by conference literature, and attached to the expense report. In the event the conference materials do not contain a conference-lodging rate, CONUS/OCONUS rates will be applicable.

Registration Fees

Employees may pay registration fees with personal funds either in advance or at the conference site. This expense is reimbursed via a Travel Expense Report upon completion of the trip. An itemized receipt for the registration must be attached to the printed Travel Expense Report. In some instances, lodging and all meals may be included in a registration fee. In these cases, the following criteria must be met:

  • The lodging and meals must be part of a package arrangement and listed on the registration form.
  • Both the registration fee and lodging/meal fee must be made payable to the same vendor.
  • All meals, banquets, or proceedings to be paid by the university must be directly related to the official purpose of the conference.
  • For meals purchased at an event, an itemized receipt must be obtained from the association, the cost must be supported by conference literature, and it should not include any items of personal nature that are listed in item (5) below. The employee should claim meals actual on their expense report instead of the per diem.
  • Expenses included in the registration fee that are purely of a personal nature are not reimbursable (e.g., golfing fees, bus and/or historical tours, theater and sporting event tickets).

Rental Car

Employees will be reimbursed for a rental automobile at the domestic destination when necessary to conduct University business. Reservations are encouraged through the university-designated travel agency, World Travel, to obtain discounts negotiated with auto rental vendors.

Whenever possible, travelers should refuel the automobile prior to returning the automobile to the rental agency. Gas receipts should be obtained and submitted for reimbursement when submitting the Travel Expense Form (T-3).

Personal Accident Insurance, Collision Damage Insurance and Personal Liability Insurance are not allowed and should not be accepted with an automobile rental agreement. They are not reimbursable by the university.

Employees will be reimbursed for a rental automobile while on international travel status. The university recommends that collision waiver insurance be purchased. The cost of this coverage will be reimbursed to the traveler.

Other Receipts

Please note any expense $50.00 or over must have an itemized receipt regardless of the type of expense incurred.

The following is a list of reimbursable expenses provided the necessary information is noted on the travel reimbursement in IRIS:

  1. Business-related cellular phone charges while in travel status, including international travel will be reimbursed for airtime, roaming, and applicable tax for individuals who do not have a cell phone allowance or a university phone. The calls must be identified on the travel expense report to include the name and location of each call, date of the call, and purpose of the call.
  2. Printing, duplication, and promotional materials required for official business.
  3. Parking sites such as Airport, Hotel, etc. must be identified on the travel reimbursement report.
  4. Fees and expenses incurred for the purchase of passports and visas for university business travel, including a receipt for the passport or visas, must be fully documented. Expenses related to passports and visas as a condition of employment are considered a personal expense.
  5. An explanation for personal computer connect charges to access or connect to the university must be provided on the travel expense report.
  6. Reasonable taxi, bus, or shuttle charges to and from airports, between lodging and meeting sites, and to and from restaurants: regardless of the amount of the fare, the destination and reason for each fare reimbursement claimed must be listed on the Travel Expense Report under “Transportation, Ground.” Credit card statements showing ground transportation charges can be submitted as reimbursable receipts.
  7. Business-related local and long distance telephone calls provide the name and location of each party called, date of the call, purpose of the call, and an explanation for the charge are provided on the Travel Expense Report.
  8. The tip amount for meals and taxi services should not exceed twenty percent (total before taxes). The addition of a tip on a receipt does not constitute an alteration of the receipt.
  9. Tolls.

If you still need assistance or have questions, please contact Richard Johnson at 974-7794 or