Steward Faculty and Provost
Previous Version Academic Field Trips/Travel (archived 11/24/2014)
Full Text of the Policy
The college recognizes that travel for both faculty and students is a valid and important part of the process of learning and development. The cost of such travel is also a legitimate educational expense. However, constraints on the college budget restrict the funds available for travel. Faculty travel for professional development and/or college business other than instruction is paid for from the professional travel budget or other college budgets. All other academic travel is paid for through program budgets (for day trips) or student fees (for overnight trips). Because of potential issues of legal liability to faculty as well as to the college, faculty are strongly encouraged to use college vehicles or public transportation for all college travel. The college is obligated to offer a reasonable option of travel in a state vehicle or public transportation on all field trips. Students are adults, however, and we have neither the need nor the power to require them to travel in state vehicles. When planning field trips, faculty should remind students that travel in their private vehicles will typically cost them more than travel in college-provided vehicles. No travel authority form will be authorized for faculty use of private vehicles on field trips without prior authorization from the budget dean.
A travel authority form must be submitted to the Academic Budget Office whether or not there is any cost to the college for any travel construed as college business and/or on "college time." This includes students. If a group is going on a college-related trip, all may be listed on a single travel authority. The faculty should reserve college vehicle(s) at the motor pool and submit the proper forms. Faculty or their program secretaries must make their own public transportation and hotel/motel reservations. The business office will be notified through the travel authority of dates of travel and methods of transportation. Faculty must sign the travel authority prior to departure. Travel expenses should be submitted as soon after the trip as possible, and no later than the tenth day of the following month. (For more details on travel procedures, see the Policy and Procedures document on the Academic Deans website
The college has a motor pool: vehicles can be reserved in advance. If no college vehicle is available, college motor pool personnel will make other arrangements either through the state motor pool or through a private rental agency. Non-motor pool or private rental vehicles must be picked up and returned to the state motor pool by the user, but satisfy the definition of college-provided vehicles. Recharge rates for the use of college vehicles are set by the college motor pool in consultation with the using units. State vehicles are only to be used on official state business.
Driver's license requirements
In order to qualify as a driver of a college motor pool vehicle, the operator must possess a valid driver's license. (Note that some private rental agencies may impose additional requirements, such as that the driver must be 21 years of age or greater.)
The college does not maintain insurance on its vehicles. Instead, the college participates with the rest of the state agencies in a self-insurance program. Under this program, the college is primarily liable for all claims if the driver of a motor pool vehicle involved in an accident was on official college business and was acting in good faith.
Day trips are charged to your program budget. Request for these funds should be made through the annual program budget request process.
Overnight trips are charged to the student fee budget for your program. You must include information regarding student fees for overnight field trips in your program catalog description in order for a student fee account to be set up. This request must be made prior to student registration in your program, so that each student can be billed separately by the Student Accounts Office.
To use the funds collected by Student Accounts for your overnight field trip, please contact the Academic Budget Office. Reservations for parks, hostels, motels, etc. can be made by the staff in this office. If you need funds for food purchases prior to or during your trip please request from the Academic Budget Office a petty cash fund at least one week prior to the date you need the funds. This fund must be reconciled within 10 days of your return to campus. You must provide detailed receipts for all of the expenditures from the petty cash fund. Any excess cash must be returned to the Academic Budget Office along with the receipts.
In order to travel on hazardous field trips and for all foreign travel, students are required to fill out travel waivers. Faculty are strongly encouraged to ask their students to sign voluntary waiver, release and indemnity agreement forms before every field trip.