Financial Administration

UW System Travel Regulations


  1. Travel policy is set forth in sections 16.53 and 20.916, Wisconsin Statutes, and in the Uniform Travel Schedule Amounts (UTSA). In accordance with s. 20.916(8), Wis. Stats., the Secretary of the Department of Employment Relations, with the approval of the Joint Committee on Employment Relations, establishes the UTSA. These include: automobile, motorcycle and personal airplane mileage reimbursement rates; porterage tips; moving expense temporary lodging allowances; and meals and lodging rates. The approved travel schedule amounts are incorporated into the compensation plan under s. 230.12(1), Wis. Stats. Provisions in labor agreements for represented employees which apply to travel supersede the analogous provisions under the UTSA.

    All travel paid or reimbursed from university-administered funds must be done in compliance with the university travel policies, regardless of the funding source, i.e., federal grants and contracts, auxiliary operations, general operating funds and restricted funds. At the discretion of an institution, and where not in conflict with union contracts, more stringent travel policies may be established.

  2. The UW System Travel Regulations are published by the UW System Travel Office. Revisions are communicated periodically through issuance of replacement pages. Information related to travel and changes in travel policy are communicated by the UW System Travel Office to Chief Business Officers and Controllers. In addition, each institution has designated a Institutional Travel Manager who is responsible for travel-related communication and administration.

    UW institutions through UW System Administration, under delegation from the Department of Administration (DOA), are responsible for the audit of travel expenses to ensure compliance with the UTSA.

  3. Employees who travel are expected to exercise good judgment when incurring travel costs. An employee may be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary travel expenses actually incurred in the performance of official duties in accordance with the provisions herein.

  4. A claimant shall not seek reimbursement for goods or services provided free of charge, not personally paid for by the claimant, reimbursed by another source, or which will be paid or reimbursed from another source. Any reimbursement which is received by the employee from another source for the same costs reimbursed by the UW shall be deposited back to the UW funding source which was initially charged.

  5. Only travel expenses related to the conduct of UW business may be reimbursed. When an employee claims reimbursement for expenses incurred in providing services, such as guest speaker, to a non-UW entity, an explanation of the benefit to the UW must be provided. Generally, the non-UW entity would be expected to reimburse the employee for such expenses. Fees, honoraria and expenses reimbursed by non-UW sources, when the employee is acting as an official representative of the UW in the presentation of papers, talks, demonstrations, etc., must be used to reduce, dollar for dollar, any corresponding travel expenses paid by the UW and must be deposited in the State Treasury for the benefit of the UW.

  6. The State/UW has contracts with travel vendors, i.e., travel card, car rental, hotel, travel agency, etc. In most cases, it is mandatory to use the contract vendors listed in the appendices.

  7. Because of potential liability implications, all UW official business travel should be specifically authorized and approved by the employee's supervisor in advance of departure. The employee, and the employee's supervisor, along with any other approving authority, are responsible for ensuring the travel is appropriate and necessary to the mission, responsibility or duties of the department.

  8. University employees, while on official travel status, may be covered by various insurances. In addition, other coverage is included in connection with contracts which the UW System has with corporate travel vendors such as travel card, car rentals, etc. For more details on existing coverage, employees should contact their business or risk management office.

  9. An employee who seeks a disability-related accommodation for university travel should follow the institutional procedures for requesting a reasonable accommodation. The request should be in writing and should describe the nature of the claimed physical or mental disability, identify the functional limitations with respect to the disability, and identify the requested accommodation(s). If the accommodation request involves issues or expenses that are significant, the ADA representative should consult with the employee's supervisor before making a decision. Once a request is reviewed and approved according to the institution's reasonable accommodation policies and procedures, the approval should be communicated to the Pre-Audit office.