The following travel regulations are the established uniform
procedures governing the reimbursement of employees for
official travel. These regulations, issued in conformance
with the official Travel Regulations approved and issued
by the Travel Regulation Council, apply to all employee
travel regardless of source of university funds.
Designation of Official Headquarters
The official headquarters of a Regency System employee
is the designated primary post of duty or official station
in a specified location, the limits of which are no broader
than the corporate limits of the city or town in which
the employee is stationed.
The President or the Chancellor shall designate official
headquarters for each employee. Generally, the official
headquarters of an employee is the place where official
duties will require the largest part of the individual's
working time to be spent during the coming fiscal year.
For most employees, the city of DeKalb is their official
headquarters. In those instances in which the employee's
official headquarters is designated as a location other
than that at which official duties require the largest
part of the individual's working time to be spent, Form
TA-2 will be completed and filed with the Legislative
Audit Commission by January 15 and July 15 each year.
In the case of an employee who is required to travel
almost every working day, the official headquarters
may be the place of residence, certified and submitted
on Form TA-2. A request for official headquarters at
another location should be completed on Form TA-2 and
forwarded to the Provost's office. The TA-2 forms can
be obtained from the Provosts Office.
Authority to Travel
The University is responsible for maintaining a system
of controls over travel expenditures to prevent the obligation
of funds in excess of budget limitations and to hold travel
to the minimum required for the efficient and economical
conduct of its business. Authority to travel is established
by the Department Head for members of a given department.
Travel by Department Heads is approved by a Dean or Division
Head. Travel by a Dean or Division Head is approved by
the appropriate Vice President. Travel by a Grant or Local
Fund Advisor requires the approval of an appropriate upper
level staff member.
Although not a University requirement, departments
are encouraged to require their employees to prepare
a "Request for Authorization to Travel" form
prior to being placed on travel status. This is particularly
recommended where out-of-state travel is concerned.
Direct Billing to N.I.U.
- General Ruling--Direct billing to the University
by motels, restaurants, travel agencies, etc. for
expenses incurred by faculty and staff is not allowed
because individuals traveling for the University are
not authorized to obligate the University. All travelers
should pay their own expenses and submit a reimbursement
request on a travel voucher. N.I.U. personnel may
request a group travel advance for expected cash expenses
in situations involving group travel. See Procedure
4-34 for the minimum requirements as well as the conditions
that must be met to be granted a group travel advance.
- Reservation Deposits for Accommodations--A traveler
should pay motels and hotels for deposits required
to reserve accommodations.
- Group or Team Travel--An exception to the general
rule will be allowed for group or team travel, where
an individual cost may be billed direct if the cost
exceeds $300.00. A Purchase Requisition must be submitted
whenever the cost to any one vendor will equal or
exceed $2,500.00. The Illinois Purchasing Act specifies
that such items are subject to competitive bid procedures.
In these cases, a purchase order will be issued to
the successful bidder as authorization for the vendor
to bill the University direct. This policy statement
does not preclude the issuance of purchase orders
for obligations under $2,500.00 if the department
and/or vendor request a purchase order. Procurement
Services will be available for pricing and other help
which may be desired for orders under $2,500.00.
Direct billings to N.I.U. for group or team travel
will be charged to the appropriate line item, but
cannot be reported for reimbursement on a travel
voucher. They should be reported as memo items for
information only on the travel voucher. Payment
should be authorized by submitting a Purchase Requisition
form to the Accounting Office with vendor invoices
The following sections V. and VI. of these regulations
establish two distinct categories of allowable expenses:
Transportation Expense and Living Expense. Subject to
availability of funds, travel shall be reimbursed in accordance
with the provisions contained in sections V. and VI. of
these regulations. It is likely that resource limitations
will permit the reimbursement of only a predetermined
part of travel expenses. The university should, of course,
administer such reimbursement as equitably as possible.
Allowable Transportation Expenses
- Modes of transportation authorized for official
travel include automobiles, railroads, airlines,
buses, taxicabs and other usual means of conveyance.
The use of employee-piloted aircraft on University
business is not authorized. Transportation may include
fares and such expenses incidental to transportation
as baggage transfer, official telephone messages
in connection with items classed as transportation,
and reasonable gratuities.
- Reimbursement for taxicab fares incurred in the
efficient and economical pursuit of the Universitys
business will be allowed. When transportation by
airport limousine is available and convenient, it
shall be used in lieu of a taxi. All fares in excess
of $10.00 shall be accompanied by a receipt indicating
the amount paid.
- Where the nature and location of the work at a
temporary duty station are such that suitable meals
cannot be procured there, the expenses of daily
travel required to procure meals at the nearest
available place shall be considered necessary transportation.
A statement of the necessity for such daily travel
shall accompany the travel voucher.
- Transportation between place of lodging and place
of business at a temporary duty station shall be
allowed as a transportation expense.
- Expenses associated with commuting between an
employees residence and headquarters are not
reimbursable. An employee whose travel does not
include a stop at headquarters shall be reimbursed
for all mileage.
- Routing of Travel--All travel shall be by the most
direct route. Travel by other routes may be allowed
when the official necessity therefore is satisfactorily
established. In case an individual travels by an indirect
route or interrupts travel by direct route only because
it is more convenient the extra expense shall be borne
by the traveler. Reimbursement for expenses shall
be based only on such charges as would have been incurred
by the most direct and economical route.
- Mode of Travel--All travel shall be by the most
economical mode of transportation available considering
travel time, costs, and work requirements.
- Airplane Accommodations
Travel on airplanes shall ordinarily be coach
- Reimbursement for first-class or business class
accommodations on commercial air carriers shall
be explained on the travel voucher and shall be
permitted only when:
- regularly scheduled flights between authorized
origin and destination points provide only first-class
or business class accommodations,
- space is not available in coach accommodations
in time to carry out the purpose of the travel,
- the president or the presidents designee
authorizes or approves the use of other than coach
accommodations as necessary for the conduct of
the mission or for reasons of the travelers
- Sleeping car accommodations: one standard roomette
when night travel is involved.
- Parlor car and coach accommodations: one seat
in a sleeping or parlor car will be allowed unless
the travel order or other administrative determination
specifies that coach accommodations be used. Where
adequate coach accommodations are available, officials
authorizing travel will assure that coach accommodations
are used to the maximum extent possible on the basis
of advantage to the agency, suitability and convenience
to the traveler, and nature of the business involved.
Use of Privately Owned Vehicles
- Employee use of privately owned vehicles in the
conduct of University business is not encouraged
except when such use is necessary or desirable due
to a lack of other convenient means of transportation
or is otherwise advantageous to the University.
Accordingly, when the use of a privately owned vehicle
is necessary or desirable and considered advantageous
to the University, reimbursement shall be at the
maximum rate per mile as set by the state annually.
To qualify for the mileage reimbursement the employee
must be a licensed driver and have vehicle liability,
bodily injury, and property insurance coverage set
- When the use of public transportation is a reasonable
alternative, the mileage payment to an employee
shall not exceed the cost of its use. A reasonable
alternative exists when the cost of travel, taking
into account transportation, time, and per diem
expenses, would be less if public transportation
- Mileage will be payable to only one of two or
more individuals traveling in the same vehicle.
The names of all travelers and their employing agencies
shall be stated on the travel voucher.
- Reimbursement for the cost of automobile parking
fees and bridge, road and tunnel tolls shall be
allowed. The fee for parking an automobile at a
common carrier terminal, or other parking area while
the traveler is away from his official headquarters
shall be allowed only to the extent that the fee,
plus the allowable mileage reimbursement to and
from the terminal or other parking area does not
exceed the estimated cost for use of a limousine
or taxicab to and from the terminal. Receipts are
required for any such charge in excess of $10.00;
cost centers may require additional receipts.
- When transportation by privately owned vehicles
is authorized or approved, distances between points
traveled will be as shown in official highway mileage
guides or an official State of Illinois map. Any
substantial deviations from distances shown in the
standard highway mileage guides shall be explained.
When no guides or maps are available, odometer readings
may be used. Travel within and in the near vicinity
of a city may be reported as mileage in and around
Use of Rented Vehicles¾The use of rented
automobiles, boats, or other such conveyance will
be kept at an absolute minimum, and then rented only
in an emergency or when it can be demonstrated to
be more economical in terms of total travel costs
as indicated in the "Mode of Travel" paragraph.
Every effort shall be made to obtain other suitable
transportation rather than to use rented vehicles.
Where rented vehicles are utilized, the most economical
vehicle available and suitable for the conduct of
the University's business shall be obtained. In these
circumstances, the actual cost may be charged and
a full explanation for use of a rented vehicle will
be provided with the travel voucher. The collision
damage waiver and personal accident insurance on rental
vehicles are not reimbursable. (NOTE: Charges
for rented vehicles away from a designated headquarters
and in connection with other travel shall be charged
to Travel and reimbursed by travel voucher. Charges
for vehicle rental not involving official travel shall
be charged to Contractual Services.)
Allowable Living Expenses
Personal living expenses for all employees shall be reimbursed
on the basis of either "expense incurred" or
a per diem allowance.
- Living Expense Incurred--When travel does not qualify
for the per diem allowance as defined in B. below,
living expenses shall be allowed on the basis of living
expenses incurred. Maximum amounts per meal, including
gratuities, which can be allowed to an individual
traveling on the basis of living expenses incurred
are as follows:
the State of Illinois
the State of Illinois
For employees to receive the breakfast allowance,
they must leave their official headquarters or homes
(if reporting directly to a destination other than
their official headquarters) at or prior to 6 a.m.
To receive the dinner allowance, employees must leave
their official headquarters or homes (if traveling
directly from a destination other than their official
headquarters) before 6:30 p.m. and return on or after
7 p.m. An employee on travel status may not claim
reimbursement for lunch unless the travel involves
an overnight stay.
Employees on travel status may pay the meal expense
of a guest, including lunch, in reasonable and proper
amounts, so long as the expense is incurred in connection
with official state business and the guest is not
a state employee. For purposes of reimbursement, reasonable
and proper shall mean a guest meal costing up to 50%
in excess of the maximum per meal allowance as provided
in the travel regulations (i.e., lunch $5.50 plus
$2.75 = $8.25 total).
It is not necessary for employees to submit receipts
with their travel vouchers to support their own meal
allowances. They must, however, submit receipts to
support expenditures in excess of $10.00 for meals
purchased for guests. The name and affiliation of
each guest must be included on the travel voucher.
Employees may not submit receipts for meals for other
- Per Diem Allowance¾The per diem allowance
is allowed only when the travel period includes overnight
lodging or is 18 hours or more. The per diem allowances
provided in these regulations represents the maximum
amounts allowable and is given in lieu of the expenses
allowed on the basis of "living expenses incurred."
The per diem allowance for travel on official business
consists of the following elements and may be authorized
and approved within the following maximums:
- Within the State of Illinois, $28.00; Outside
the State of Illinois, $32.00 to cover the following:
- The cost of meals
- Gratuities related to food
- Room service and other hotel meal/refreshment
Receipts need not be submitted to support this
In computing the per diem for continuous travel
of 18 hours or more or when a nights lodging
is required, a day is defined as a unit of time
from midnight through 11:59 p.m.
For fractional parts of a day at the start or end
of travel which qualifies for per diem, one fourth
of the daily allowance will be allowed for each
period of 6 hours or a fraction thereof. Such 6-hour
periods commence at midnight, 6 a.m., noon, and
6 p.m. A chart of the per diem allowance for departure
and return times during these 6-hour periods is
shown below. The travel period commences with the
departure from headquarters or the travelers
home and ends with the return to headquarters or
the travelers home.
Between Hours of
Diem Allowance (within Illinois)
Diem Allowance (outside Illinois)
Between Hours of
Diem Allowance (within Illinois)
Diem Allowance (outside Illinois)
The actual cost of accommodations not to exceed:
- $60.00 per day plus tax in all other downstate
counties in Illinois.
- $130.00 County of Cook
- $80.00 per day plus tax in the Chicago area
(the Chicago area is defined as the counties of
Will, DuPage, Kane, McHenry and Lake)
- $90.00 per day plus tax when traveling out of
state, excluding Washington, D.C. and New York
City, or a reasonable amount for travel out of
- $150.00 per day plus tax in Washington, D.C.
(also includes the cities of Alexandria, Falls
Church, and Fairfax and the counties of Arlington,
Loudon, and Fairfax in Virginia: and the counties
of Montgomery and Prince Georges in Maryland
- $110.00 per day plus tax in New York City (includes
the boroughs of the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan,
queens, and Staten Island: Nassau and Suffolk
- $70.00 Downstate IL (includes counties of Champaign,
Kankakee, LaSalle, McLean, Macon, Madison, Peoria,
Rock Island, St. Clair, Sangamon, Tazewell, and
Receipts with a daily listing of room and tax charges
are to be submitted with travel vouchers to support
accommodation expenses claimed.
Reimbursements for special expenses
as provided in paragraph VI.D.
Time of Departure and Return
- If meal expense reimbursement is being requested,
the date and hour of departure and the date and
hour of return shall be shown on the travel voucher.
Other points visited shall be shown on the voucher.
- Where, for the travelers personal convenience
or through the taking of leave, there is interruption
of travel or deviation from the direct route, any
allowance allowed shall not exceed that which would
have been incurred on uninterrupted travel by a
usually travel route. (See Paragraph V.B.)
- The cost of other expenses shall be allowed if
reasonable. Expenses for which reimbursement may
or may not be allowed are shown in the following
and typing services
and handling of baggage
of room for official business
covered by the per diem allowance
calls on official business-includes safe arrival
call; must be designated as safe
of meals for other persons incurred in connection
with official state business up to the maximum
per meal allowance provided in these regulations
(however, meals for other State employees
or officers are not reimbursable)
check-out and room guarantee charges Collision
damage waiver and personal accident insurance
for rental cars Collision damage waiver and
personal accident insurance for rental cars
and dry cleaning if on travel status for at
least seven (7) consecutive days
for other State employees Parking or other
traffic tickets Transportation to procure
meals except as provided in Procedure 4-30,
section V 1-3.
All special expenses shall be itemized on the travel
voucher if separately claimed. Original receipts
are required in support of any single special expenses
in excess of $10.00. Reimbursement claimed for meals
purchased, while away from official headquarters,
for other persons in connection with official agency
business must be supported by a detailed statement
on the travel voucher stating why and for whom the
expense was incurred. The actual cost of such meals
shall be allowed up to the maximum per meal allowance
provided in these regulations.
- Meals at Headquarters (Procedure 4-37)
- Membership in Private Clubs (Procedure
- Expense incurred by Non-State Employees (Procedure
- Entertainment and Promotion (Procedure 4-37)
- Liquor--Any expense incurred for liquor is not
reimbursable from University funds.
Conference and Conference Hotel Expenses
When the cost of meals for approved seminars or official
meetings is an integral part of the registration fee
or when such meals are provided free of charge, the
per diem traveler shall deduct the following amounts
from the daily allowance and the traveler on "living
expenses incurred" shall deduct the following amounts
from the per meal allowance:
(outside of Illinois)
breakfast is included in the registration fee
lunch is included in the registration fee
dinner is included in the registration fee
NOTE: Registration fees exceeding $50.00 are to be
paid from Contractual Services. Registration fees
of $50.00 or less may be paid from Travel. A receipt
is needed for fees in excess of $10.00.
When an employee attends a recognized conference
in the conduct of official agency business and obtains
overnight accommodations at the hotel or motel where
the conference is being held, or at a hotel or motel
where conference officials arrange for accommodations,
the traveler may be reimbursed for room cost in an
amount greater than the maximum room allowance provided
for in these regulations if the room rate is the lowest
available in that hotel or motel or at a hotel or
motel in the immediate vicinity of where the conference
is being held irrespective of whether conference officials
made arrangements. However, travelers must assert
in writing that they did stay at the hotel where the
conference was being held or where conference officials
arranged for their accommodations or at a hotel or
motel in the immediate vicinity of where the conference
was held and rates (including transportation) did
not exceed rates for the lowest available conference-arranged
accommodations. This statement must accompany the
voucher when it is submitted for payment.
Special Lodging Expenses
If an employee attending an official meeting of any
board, commission, or system covered by travel regulations
issued by the Travel Regulation Council obtains lodging
at the hotel or motel where the meeting is being held
or at a hotel or motel where officials of the Agency
calling the meeting arrange for accommodations, reimbursement
for the room cost may be in an amount greater than
the maximum room allowance provided for in these regulations,
if the room rate is the lowest available at that hotel
or motel. However, it must be asserted in writing
on the travel voucher that the traveler stayed at
the hotel or motel where the meeting was held or where
Agency officials arranged for accommodations.
No allowance at Official Headquarters. No travel
expense shall be allowed an employee either at offical
headquarters or at the place of abode from which the
employee commutes daily to official headquarters.
Exceptions to Travel Regulations
Each properly approved travel voucher involving an exception
to these travel regulations, together with an adequate
explanation and justification of the exception, shall
be submitted to the University Controller. When appropriate,
the Controller will forward the requests to the Higher
Education Travel Control Board. Such exceptions to these
rules stated herein may be approved by the Higher Education
Travel Control Board when necessary to meet special
circumstances or are deemed to be in the best interests
of the Agency. Exceptions shall generally apply to situations
of a non-recurring nature. Amounts disbursed for travel
reimbursement claims that are disapproved by the Higher
Education Travel Control Board shall be refunded to
the University and deposited in the fund from which
payment was made.