University-wide travel policy finalized; implementation underway
Following a six-month feedback and revision period, the University of Nebraska has finalized a system-wide travel policy that standardizes the travel process for faculty and staff across all four campuses.
The policy, available here, creates a uniform process – from travel approval through reimbursement – for faculty and staff traveling on university business and employees processing related expenses. It also ensures compliance with federal and state statutes and relevant requirements for international travel. The policy covers pre-travel requirements; protocols for transportation, lodging and meals; guidelines for international travel and travel with students; expense reimbursement; and other key areas.
The travel policy took effect at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and University of Nebraska at Kearney on July 1, concurrent with those campuses’ transition to Concur, a new software system designed to streamline pre-trip requests and travel expense reporting. The policy will go into effect at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Nebraska Medical Center and Central Administration on Sept. 10, the same date Concur “goes live” there.
A university-wide travel policy was among the recommendations of the Budget Response Teams, created in early 2017 to identify cost savings and best business practices across the system. The Travel BRT issued the first draft of a travel policy in January, kicking off a vetting period that led to a number of important revisions recommended by faculty and staff to better serve the needs of university travelers.
For example, travelers wanted the policy to make clear that Airbnb is an appropriate lodging option and that Uber and Lyft may be used for transportation. Additionally, campus feedback led to a staggered timeline for Concur implementation, allowing for a scaled approach aimed at ensuring a smooth transition.
The policy was also reviewed by the campus chief academic and business officers, chancellors and NU leadership prior to final approval.
Faculty and staff are encouraged to review the policy and contact the University of Nebraska travel manager Melody Stark if they have questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or (402) 554-3456. Further Q&A documents are being developed as implementation of the travel policy and the transition to Concur continue.
Director of Communications University of Nebraska