Policy 201-Travel

Statement of Policy

  1. Travel policy is set forth in sections 16.53 and 20.916, Wisconsin Statutes, and in the Uniform Travel Schedule Amounts (UTSA). In accordance with s. 20.916(8), Wis. Stats., the Secretary of the Department of Employment Relations, with the approval of the Joint Committee on Employment Relations, establishes the UTSA. These include: automobile, motorcycle and personal airplane mileage reimbursement rates; porterage tips; moving expense temporary lodging allowances; and meals and lodging rates. The approved travel schedule amounts are incorporated into the compensation plan under s. 230.12(1), Wis. Stats. Provisions in labor agreements for represented employes which apply to travel supersede the analogous provisions under the UTSA. All travel paid or reimbursed to employes from university-administered funds must be done in compliance with the university travel policies, regardless of the funding source, i.e., federal grants and contracts, auxiliary operations, general operating funds and restricted funds. At the discretion of an institution, and where not in conflict with union contracts, more stringent travel policies may be established.
  2. The UW System Travel Regulations are published by the UW System Travel Office. Revisions are communicated periodically through issuance of replacement pages. Information related to travel and changes in travel policy are communicated by the UW System Travel Office to Institution Business Representatives and Controllers. In addition, each institution has designated a Travel Coordinator who is responsible for travel-related communication and administration. UW institutions through UW System Administration, under delegation from the Department of Administration (DOA), are responsible for the audit of travel expenses to ensure compliance with the UTSA.
  3. Employes who travel are expected to exercise good judgment when incurring travel costs. An employe may be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary travel expenses actually incurred in the performance of official duties in accordance with the provisions herein.
  4. A claimant shall not seek reimbursement for goods or services provided free of charge, not personally paid for by the claimant, reimbursed by another source, or which will be paid or reimbursed from another source. Any reimbursement which is received by the employe from another source for the same costs reimbursed by the UW shall be deposited back to the UW funding source which was initially charged.
  5. Only travel expenses related to the conduct of UW business may be reimbursed. When an employe claims reimbursement for expenses incurred in providing services, such as guest speaker, to a non-UW entity, an explanation of the benefit to the UW must be provided. Generally, the non-UW entity would be expected to reimburse the employe for such expenses. Fees, honoraria and expenses reimbursed by non-UW sources, when the employe is acting as an official representative of the UW in the presentation of papers, talks, demonstrations, etc., must be used to reduce, dollar for dollar, any corresponding travel expenses paid by the UW and must be deposited in the State Treasury for the benefit of the UW.
  6. The State/UW has contracts with travel vendors. Use of the following contract vendors is strongly encouraged and, in some instances, may be mandatory, i.e., My Corporate Card, vehicle rental, Concur online travel booking tool, etc.
  7. Because of potential liability implications, all UW official business travel should be specifically authorized and approved by the employe's supervisor in advance of departure. The employe, and the employe's supervisor, along with any other approving authority, are responsible for ensuring the travel is appropriate and necessary to the mission, responsibility or duties of the department. Reference Section XXV for potential penalties relating to fraudulent claims.
  8. University employes while on official travel status may be covered by various insurances. In addition, other coverage is included in connection with contracts which the UW System has with corporate travel vendors such as corporate card, car rentals, etc. For more details on existing coverage, employes should contact their business or risk management office.
  9. An employe who seeks a disability-related accommodation for university travel should follow the institutional procedures for requesting a reasonable accommodation. The request should be in writing and should describe the nature of the claimed physical or mental disability, identify the functional limitations with respect to the disability, and identify the requested accommodation(s). If the accommodation request involves issues or expenses that are significant, the ADA representative should consult with the employe's supervisor before making a decision. Once a request is reviewed and approved according to the institution's reasonable accommodation policies and procedures, the approval should be communicated to Accounting Services. See Office for Equity and Diversity.


Dean/Director’s Business Office may e-mail uwtravel@bussvc.wisc.edu with questions.
Travelers and departmental staff should contact their respective Dean/Director’s Business Office for policy or procedural questions.