Faculty Travel FAQs
STARK FACULTY TRAVEL FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: I didn't realize that I was supposed to request authorization for travel before I left for a conference, performance or exhibition. Now that I'm back, can I still request reimbursement if I have all my receipts and proof that I gave a paper at the conference, performance or exhibition?
A: No. Even though you have to pay your expenses up front and are reimbursed after you return, you can be reimbursed only if you submit a travel authorization request by the relevant deadline. University regulations dictate that travel be pre-authorized.
Q: Who approves faculty travel requests?
A: Faculty Travel Approval and Funding Requests are overseen by the Professional Activities Advisory Committee (PAAC). PAAC makes recommendations to the assistant dean, who must officially approve all requests for travel funds. Apply for Faculty Travel Approval & PAAC Funding.
Faculty Travel Approval Requests are directly submitted to and reviewed by the Office of Academic Affairs, which must officially approve all faculty university/professional travel. Apply for Faculty Travel Approval.
Q: What kind of travel is covered by the faculty travel fund that PAAC oversees?
A: This fund is allocated exclusively to travel to professional conferences, performances, and exhibitions that are relevant to your teaching and/or research.
Q: My artwork is often in exhibition for anywhere from a month to a year. What can I be reimbursed for in relation to exhibition expenses?
A: Your allocated fund can be used for mailing the art or travel to deliver it, to install the art, attend the exhibition opening, present an artist talk at the exhibit and dismantle and return (or mail back) the art.
Q: Who is eligible to receive travel money?
A: All full-time faculty, whether TT or FTNTT, are eligible for travel funds from their first semester on this campus. Adjunct faculty are currently not eligible due to budgetary constraints.
Q: How much travel money can I get each year?
A: At present, all full-time faculty members (TT and FTNTT) are eligible for up to $1,200 per year. The travel year begins on July 1 and ends on June 30.
Q: Does the university reimburse 100% of my travel expenses?
A: The amount of your reimbursement depends on your role in the conference, performance, or exhibition:
- Travel within Ohio (one day only): up to 50%
- Travel within Ohio (more than one day) AND travel out-of-state or country:
- Attendance only, office holder, session chair, etc.: up to 45%
- Presentation of paper or poster, performer, or exhibitor: up to 90%
Q: I'm confused. I was not reimbursed for per diem (meals or lodging) when going to Columbus for a conference. I didn't stay overnight to save money.
A: IRS regulations prohibit providing per diem (meals) when there is no overnight stay. Even if you have receipts for meals, you will not be reimbursed for meal expenses. For a one-day event with no lodging in the state of Ohio, 50% of allowable expenses are reimbursed (registration, mileage, etc.) This rate applies regardless of the extent of your participation, that is, attendance, office holder, presentation, performer, artist in exhibition.
Q: If I choose to stay with friends or relatives, what do I need to do to receive reimbursement for other expenses?
A: Due to IRS regulations, travelers must document where they have stayed while on university business. They may do this by simply including the name and address of where they stayed in with their receipts or in the comment section of the expense reimbursement form.
Q: I am planning to share a room with a colleague and split the cost. What documentation do I need?
A. Be sure that your name appears on the lodging receipt, along with your colleague if he/she plans to submit the expense for reimbursement at his/her institution. Hotels are accustomed to this practice, but be sure to make this request prior to check-in (preferably during reservation).
Q: Flights and hotel deposits are expensive. Can I get reimbursed in advance if I have to pay for these expenses ahead of time?
A: Unfortunately, the method of reimbursement for faculty travel is upon return from the trip. This has always been the case. Since faculty are reimbursed a percentage of their expenses, no deposits, advances, prepayments, etc. are allowed. As we cannot reimburse canceled trips, we cannot reimburse for trips that have not happened yet.
Q: I didn't use all my travel money last year. Can I add the amount I didn't use to my allocation for this year?
A: No. On June 30 of each year the slate is wiped clean. On July 1 everyone starts out with a new allocation.
Q: I don't plan to travel at all this year, but a colleague of mine is taking several big trips. Can I give my allocated yearly amount to him/her to use?
A: No; the money is not transferable, and there's a good reason why. The amount allocated for each faculty member is based on recent travel patterns to make projections for the next year's travel. In reality, if every single full-time faculty member used the total allocated yearly amount, we would quickly run out of money before the academic year was over.
Q: What are the deadlines for submitting travel requests?
A: Requests must be submitted by the 15th day of the month preceding that in which travel departure date will occur. For example, requests for travel beginning any time during the month of October should be submitted by September 15. Early requests are always welcome.
Q: I lost track of the deadlines and didn't get my request in on time. I can still get money, can't I?
A: No! You will need to pay for the entire trip yourself. University regulations require that all travel is pre-authorized.
Q: But I'm entitled to the total allocated annual amount no matter what, right?
A: No. Full-time faculty are eligible for travel funds each year, but they must follow the proper procedures -- just as your students must meet the deadlines you set for your class. If the smartest student in the class doesn't show up for the test, he or she can't get credit for it, no matter how deserving he or she might be.
Q: The travel form indicates that I have to submit documentation of acceptance, but I haven't heard yet whether my proposal is accepted or not. Can I wait to apply for funds? What should I do?
A: You need to apply by the deadline or you will not get funding. When you submit your request, you should also send a message to PAAC in which you explain your situation. If everything else is in order, PAAC will recommend that your request be funded pending acceptance. When you receive your official acceptance, you must forward it to PAAC immediately. You must make sure that PAAC has your acceptance prior to leaving to get funding. If your proposal is not accepted after all, notify PAAC so the overall budget can be adjusted. You may still qualify for 45% reimbursement for attendance.
Q: I've used all my travel money, but I still need to go to another conference, performance/exhibit. Is there any other way that I can get money?
A: Yes. You can apply for additional funds from the University Teaching Council (UTC) and/or the University Research Council (URC).
- UTC offers the Teaching Conference Travel Grant for "reimbursement for travel and related expenses associated with efforts to advance teaching pedagogy at Kent State University."
- URC for "professional conference travel costs” that forwards your research.
Q: What should I do if I still have questions?
A: The best way to reach us is to email firstname.lastname@example.org.