Other Budget and Travel Policies

1. OTHER BUDGET POLICIES

Careful attention is to be given to the non-proliferation of printed materials and communications. Specifically:

1.      Careful attention is to be given to the necessity of  printed brochures or other materials.  Consultation with Public Relations and prospective users is required to determine if requested orders are designed to the appropriate standards, or if alternative modes of communication would be more effective.

2.      First-class stationery or envelopes are not to be used for internal communications.  Recycled envelopes may be used for standard internal communications.

Items for the satisfaction of personal needs are not to be charged against any College budget.  Specifically, the following items are not to be charged against any College budget unless specifically approved in writing by the President or a Divisional Vice President:

1.  Coffee break supplies or equipment;

2.  Meals with staff and/or colleagues that do not have a clear business purpose;

3.  Items for personal use, such as books for private reading or clothing;

4.  Christmas cards or other special occasion cards;

5.  Gifts for individuals such as Christmas gifts or gift certificates for staff members.

The charge for photocopying for personal use is 5 cents per page.

When an employee or spouse is seriously ill or dies, the floral acknowledgment will be taken from the appropriate departmental College funds.  Under the same circumstances mentioned above, any other member of an employee’s family will be acknowledged by employee contributions.  When an employee terminates employment, fellow employees should provide the reception and gift.  Exceptions may be made for long term employees with approval from the Divisional Vice President.  If an employee is retiring, the reception and similar expense will be provided by the Human Resources Department.  If additional gifts are given, fellow employees should provide them.

While the beautification of personal offices and similar spaces on the campus is encouraged, expenditures for artwork, picture frames, pictures etc., are not to be charged against College budgets unless specifically authorized by the Divisional Vice President or President.

The use of College facilities for private purposes for monetary gain by any employee of the College should be clearly documented by a written contract approved by the Vice President for Business and Finance.  All such contracts are normally expected to provide some form of payment for use of College facilities and utilities.

2. AUTOMOBILE TRAVEL POLICIES

The College will reimburse at an approved rate per mile for all authorized and fully documented College business travel in personal vehicles.  Local travel within the Indianola community will be reimbursed for trips, which originate at the College and have a destination back to the College.  However, travel to certain nearby locations will be reimbursed at a fixed amount based on the approved rate.  A list of these cities and the fixed reimbursement amounts can be found in Appendix D.

Personal vehicles used for business travel are to be covered by insurance at the employee’s expense.  The College will not assume responsibility for normal depreciation and repairs, traffic fines, or damages encountered while traveling for business purposes beyond those covered by institutional insurance policies.  Costs for automobile service agreements, such as AAA or others are assumed to be the primary responsibility of the employee and not that of the College.  Commuting between work and home is not reimbursable.  When traveling in personal vehicles that will be reimbursed at the approved rate, purchases of gas are to be at the employee’s expense and should not be charged to a procurement card.

3. GENERAL TRAVEL REIMBURSEMENT POLICIES

Reimbursement for travel expense is designed to assure each employee’s prompt recovery of expenses incurred while performing their jobs.  The College does not assume responsibility for items or services that are associated with normal personal needs.  In no circumstances will the College assume responsibility for personal travel, or travel between home and the campus.

Following are the travel reimbursement policies:

1)     All travel expected to cost more than $1,500 including transportation, meals, hotel and conference fees, if applicable,  is to be pre-approved by the Divisional Vice President using the Travel Advance/Reimbursement Request form obtained from Accounts Payable.

2)     Procurement cards may be provided to employees engaged in travel.

3)     Telephone credit cards will also be available to employees traveling extensively for the College.  Such cards are not to be used in calls from the campus or for personal purposes.  Telephone credit cards are available from Accounts Payable.

4)     Reasonable meal costs will be reimbursed to employees on approved travel.  Employees should use discretion in selecting restaurants that are not excessively expensive for the location.  Receipts for meals must include the original charge card receipt AND itemized restaurant receipt showing the food/beverage purchased.  If meals for other individuals are included in the total to be charged to the College, staple the receipt to a sheet of paper and give their names and relationship to Simpson as well as the business purpose of the meal.  The College does not have a per-diem meal allowance as meals are reimbursed based on actual expenditures.

a)     On the first day of official travel, breakfast will not be eligible for reimbursement unless the employee’s itinerary requires departure from home before 7 a.m.

b)     On the last day of official travel, dinner will not be eligible for reimbursement unless the employee’s itinerary prohibits returning home until after 6 p.m.

c)      In no case is the cost of employee consumed alcoholic beverages to be included in expense claims to the College.

5)     Employees are urged to use modest housing facilities when traveling that are consistent with normal standards of safety and comfort.

6)     All employees requesting reimbursement from the College or charging travel costs to the College are required to maintain accurate records of costs including mileage driven and submit appropriate data and receipts with requests for reimbursement.  Travel documentation in support of pre-travel advances or post-travel reimbursement must be submitted within one month of return.  All employee requests for pre-travel advances or post-travel reimbursements must have supervisor approval. Travel Advance/Reimbursement Request Forms may be obtained from Accounts Payable.

7)     Checks for reimbursement of expenditures or pre-travel advances requested by noon Wednesday will be available by Friday at noon.  Requests for advances will only be given out approximately one week before the scheduled travel.

8)     The policy of the College is to provide assistance to its professional personnel in attending conferences directly related to fulfillment of job responsibilities with appropriate supervisor approval.  Approval must be given even though monies for such travel are budgeted.  Special conference travel restrictions are listed below.  These guidelines will prevail unless exceptions are approved.

a)     All faculty requests for conference attendance must be approved by the Academic Dean and all other requests must be approved by the Divisional Vice President.  Under normal circumstances, approval will not be given to all members of a department to be absent at one time at a conference extending beyond one day.

b)     Travel to regional conferences should normally be by surface means of transportation.  Regional conferences are defined as those within an orbit of Minneapolis, the Quad Cities, Kansas City and Omaha.

c)      Attendance at national level conferences may be approved, within budgetary limitations, when such conferences are deemed to be essential to the professional development or function of the employee involved.  The following guidelines apply:

i)        Air travel arrangements are to be made on the basis of least costly flight arrangements originating from the city of Des Moines.

ii)      Attendance for national conferences should normally not exceed one per year unless unusual circumstances prevail.

iii)    Expenses for any person accompanying an employee traveling on behalf of the College are personal and not normally eligible for reimbursement.

Approved by Cabinet August 31, 2006
Implemetation Date: October 1, 2006