Date Established: 11/18/2019
Date Last Updated: 11/10/2023
Administration and Governance
Vice President for Finance and Administration
The University at Buffalo pays for the reasonable business expenses actually incurred by individuals traveling on official university business in accordance with New York State, Research Foundation, and UB Foundation rules and regulations.
The University at Buffalo (UB, university) will reimburse individuals for actual, reasonable, necessary, appropriate, cost-effective, and approved travel and business expenses incurred while conducting university business. Reimbursement for travel and business expenses may be paid from State, Research Foundation (RF), or UB Foundation (UBF) funds and must comply with the requirements detailed in the Travel Policy Charts.
The traveler must submit an Expense Report to obtain reimbursement for their travel-related expenses through the travel and expense reimbursement system.
The traveler should submit the Expense Report for processing within thirty days after the last day of travel. University fiscal year-end (June 30) reporting may require an Expense Report to be submitted less than thirty days after the last day of travel. When an Expense Report is submitted more than 120 days after the last day of travel, the traveler must complete the Policy Exception Request.
Expense Reports submitted more than thirty days after the last day of travel may be treated as taxable and reported on the employee’s W-2.
The traveler’s supervisor must approve the traveler’s Expense Report. Supervisor approval authority may be delegated only if the supervisor is unable to fulfill this responsibility as a result of extraordinary circumstances (e.g., extended vacation, disability leave, Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), sabbatical). The delegation of supervisor approval authority:
The Expense Report also requires cost approval. A supervisor may be a cost approver if they have signature authority on the account used for reimbursement. Cost approver delegation is not permitted. Cost approvers must have authorized security access in the travel and expense reimbursement system.
Circumstances may allow for certain exceptions on a case-by-case basis. The Policy Exception Request must be initiated by the traveler and approved by the individual authorized to approve the traveler’s Expense Report. The Policy Exception Request must also be approved by the Unit Business Officer (UBO) for State and UBF funds or the RF Operations Manager (OM) for RF sponsored and non-sponsored funds, as appropriate.
The University at Buffalo understands that travel is essential to the teaching, research, and public service missions of the university. UB is committed to meeting the needs of the traveler by reimbursing reasonable business expenses actually incurred by the traveler. To accomplish this, the university must establish cost effective practices that are consistently applied and comply with State, sponsor, and regulatory requirements.
This policy applies to all travelers and travel expenses reimbursed and paid from State, RF, and UBF funds.
Role assigned to individuals officially designated as authorized signatories on accounts.
Official station is generally the address of the office to which the employee is assigned; an employee can have only one official station. The designation of official station is determined by the university in the best interest of the university and not for the convenience of the employee. The purpose of the official station is to determine when the traveler is in travel status and eligible for reimbursement of travel expenses. Travel between the employee’s home and official station is considered commuting and is not reimbursable.
Role assigned to individual officially designated as the employee’s time and attendance supervisor. Generally, the supervisor is one level senior to the employee.
Individual who travels on behalf of UB.
A traveler is in travel status (i.e., eligible for reimbursement of lodging and meal expenses) when they are engaged in official university business at a distance of more than 35 miles from the designated official station and place of residence.
|November 10, 2023||Updated the Travel Policy Charts to specify that early check-in fees and seat selection fees are not reimbursable when the source of funds is Research Foundation federally-funded awards (Miscellaneous Expenses - State, RF, and UBF)) |
|May 11, 2023||Updated the Travel Policy Charts to clarify that early check-in fees and seat selection fees are reimbursable only with receipt, justification, and UBO approval and require completion of the Policy Exception Request (Miscellaneous Expenses - State, RF, and UBF) |
|October 25, 2022|| |
Updated the Responsibility section of the policy to require the:
Updated the Travel Policy Charts to specify that:
|July 25, 2022||Updated the Travel Policy Charts to specify that upgrade seat selection fees (e.g., first class) are not reimbursable (Miscellaneous Expenses - State, RF, and UBF)|
|June 30, 2022 ||Updated the Travel Policy Charts to allow reimbursement for early check-in and seat selection fees (Miscellaneous Expenses - State, RF, and UBF): |
● Early check-in fees are reimbursable only when approved by the UBO; complete the Policy Exception Request
● Seat selection fees are reimbursable only with receipt and justification
|July 2021||Interim policy revision made permanent.|
|October 2020|| |
Interim policy revision. Updated the policy to:
Updated the Travel Policy Charts to require the traveler to complete the Policy Exception Request when the Expense Report is submitted more than 120 days after the last day of travel (Expense Report Submission Time Limit - State, RF, and UBF).
|June 2020||Updated the Travel Policy Charts to clarify reimbursement of spousal travel expenses when part of student, guest, or candidate travel: |
● State - reimbursement of spousal travel expenses is not allowed
● RF - spousal travel expenses may be reimbursed only when allowed by the sponsor and budgeted in the grant
● UBF - a candidate's spousal travel expenses may be reimbursed; the request for reimbursement must be approved by the UBO prior to making travel arrangements
|March 2020|| |
Revised the policy statement to include "cost-effective" in the requirements for reimbursement of travel and business expenses.
Updated the Travel Policy Charts to specify that lodging and meal reimbursement may not be requested if you are staying in your personal residence. Your personal residence includes your home address as well as a remote residence that you own (Meal Eligibility Requirements - State, RF, and UBF; Overnight Lodging and Meal Reimbursement - State, RF, and UBF).
|January 2020||Updated the Travel Policy Charts to clarify that when employees are traveling on RF funds, NYS taxes are not reimbursable; this applies to sales tax, hotel occupancy taxes, and NYS taxes on car rentals and hotels (Tax Exemption Guidance - State, RF, and UBF). |