In general, members of the faculty and staff traveling on College business are expected to exercise the same care in incurring expense as a prudent person traveling for personal reasons. Individuals traveling on behalf of the College are expected to seek the least expensive option that allows them to do their job effectively and safely when incurring any expense that will be charged to the College.
Reservations: The College has designated two local travel agents, Accent Travel and Milne Travel, as preferred vendors for travel services. Members of the faculty and staff may make air and rail reservations using these two agencies. The preferred vendors also negotiate with major chains for preferential auto rental and hotel room rates for College personnel. Except when attending a conference through which special hotel rates are provided, travelers are encouraged to consult with the travel agents prior to making hotel or auto rental reservations. The preferred travel vendors will bill the College directly when an employee's ID number and appropriate budget number are provided to them. Travelers should be sure to provide the specific departmental or grant budget code for the trip at the time of booking.
Some travelers may elect to make their own reservations using Web-based services. Travelers choosing this course are encouraged to obtain a competitive quote from the preferred agents before finalizing alternative bookings. As always, controlling the institutional costs of College travel and maximizing budget resources should be the goal of everyone traveling on college business. Travelers booking fares independently use a personal or College credit card and submit original copies of the card statement along with accounting codes to be charged and a clear explanation of the itinerary in order to receive timely reimbursement.
Use of Personal Cars, Mileage Reimbursement, and Use of Driver Services
The College reimburses members of the faculty and staff using their own vehicles on trips for official College business on a per-mile-driven basis. It reviews the reimbursement rate annually. All requests for reimbursement must be submitted to the Controller's Office on the official expense voucher form and must be approved by the department head. The submitted forms must include details of the dates, points of departure and arrival, and miles driven.
The College anticipates that employees traveling by rail or air on College business will determine whether to use their personal vehicle or a taxi or driver service based on which will cost the least. For a short trip, employees usually will travel to departure points by personal vehicle and the College will reimburse mileage and parking expenses. For trips of longer duration, the cost of parking plus mileage may exceed the round trip cost of a driver service, in which case the latter is preferred. If a faculty or staff member chooses to use a taxi or limousine to travel from Middlebury to rail or air departures when that would not be the least expensive option, costs will be reimbursed at only standard mileage and daily parking rates as though a personal vehicle had been used.
Allowable expenses include essential transportation and associated costs such as parking and tolls; lodging; meals for the faculty or staff member; meals for the donor/s, volunteer/s, or other individual/s whom the faculty or staff member is visiting on behalf of Middlebury; and customary tips associated with these business activities. Appropriate thank-you gifts for a dinner or event host should be brought from the College; anything else must receive advance approval from the department head.
No expenses for a spouse/partner accompanying the faculty or staff member may be charged to the College, with the exception of the cost of a meal if the spouse/partner's presence is essential to the event and where there has been prior approval.
No personal expenses may be charged to the College, including (but not limited to) traffic and parking tickets; rental, repair and replacement of clothing items; personal entertainment such as sporting-event or theatre tickets and in-room movies; alcoholic beverages other than those customarily taken with a meal that is part of College business; and any item which an individual would normally purchase for him/herself if not traveling.
Corporate Card program
Middlebury College currently has a corporate procurement card program with JP Morgan/Chase VISA. This program is designed to facilitate the procurement of goods and services and College travel and to minimize the issuance of cash advances. VISA procurement cards display a College logo along with the department and employee name.
Charges made on the VISA card are billed directly to the College and a statement is also sent to the cardholder. The cardholder is responsible for completing an on-line review on the JP Morgan website and his/her supervisor is additionally responsible for approving these charges on-line. Charges are allocated to the cardholder's primary department account and allocation of charges to alternative accounts can be accomplished on-line during the cardholder's review of expenses. Cardholder charges are uploaded into the College's accounting system twice monthly from JP Morgan/Chase.
The College makes available travel advances for individuals who do not have a College credit card or whose itinerary requires substantial cash expenses, such as athletic team or class group travel. Requests for travel advances must be submitted on a proper voucher form indicating travel dates, business purpose, and the amount of advance requested, and must be approved by the department head. Travel advance checks are available in the Cashier's Office on 48 hours notice with proper supporting documents.
Formal accounting for travel advances and/or reimbursable travel expenditures made by an individual must be submitted to the Controller's Office immediately upon return from a trip. This accounting must include original receipts for meal, hotel accommodations, transportation, etc., and must be approved by the department head.
Internal Revenue Service regulations require that adequate records substantiate all expenditures for travel and entertainment. This substantiation must include information relating to the:
- Amount of the expenditure;
- Time and place of the expenditure;
- Business purpose of the expenditure; and
- Names and the business relationships of individuals (other than the traveler) for whom the expenditures are made.
Reasonable incidental expenses of $10 or less do not require documentation but need to be enumerated.
Travel advances in excess of expenses submitted must be returned to the Cashier's Office immediately upon return from a trip.