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Travel Policy and Procedures

Clarke University will bear all reasonable and necessary business-related expenses that are incurred by authorized travelers. The University wishes its employees to travel in reasonable comfort, but expects employees to exercise prudent business judgment.

These guidelines do not specifically apply to expenses covered under other guidelines, such as relocation, interviewees, purchases of services or equipment, or meetings and customer events.

Athletics abides by different travel policies for group and recruiting purposes.  Questions regarding athletics travel should be directed to the Director of Athletics.



Travel arrangements and accommodations are the responsibility of the employee. Use corporate credit for all business related travel, lodging, meals, and allowable expenses.

Air Travel

  • Clarke University encourages the use of the Dubuque Airport whenever possible.
  • Reservations should be made for economy class on the lowest cost carrier meeting appropriate time considerations.
    • Clarke does not pay for the purchase of upgrades, awards or for any co-pays associated with the use of upgrade awards.
    • Clarke will pay for upgrades to main cabin (premier or preferred seating for any flight over 2.5 hours.
  • Frequent flyer or promotional discount coupons issued by airlines and not received in cash may be used by employees.
  • Employees must not bias the selection of the vendor to benefit themselves, resulting in increased cost to the University. Obtaining a refund for a lost ticket is the employee’s responsibility and may be accomplished by filing a claim with the carrier.

Fleet Vehicle

  • Fleet cars are available for University business and should be utilized when available though some days are blocked out for Admissions use.
  • Reserve a Fleet Car.
  • Sign Usage Agreement, and obtain insurance and gasoline fleet card in the Business & Finance Office prior to departure.
  • Fleet Car receipts should be taped to an 8 ½ x 11 sheet of paper. Submit them to the Administrative Assistant in Business & Finance with the account number and two authorized signatures within two weeks of your return.
  • Return vehicle full of gasoline and free from interior clutter or trash
    • A $25 fine will be charge to the department if the car contains litter.
  • Report all damage immediately to Facilities.

Personal Vehicle

  • Proof of Insurance must be on file with Accounts Payable prior to departure.
    • Insurance must show effective dates.
    • Minimum liability coverage of $100,000/$300,000 is required and is usually found on the declaration page of the insurance policy.
    • Submit copy of insurance here or to
  • Mileage will be paid up to 500 miles round trip from the University.
  • Employees choosing to drive their personal vehicle for trips greater than 500 miles may do so, but will only receive reimbursement for 500 miles.
  • Employees will be reimbursed at the rate of 42 cents per mile for use of their personal vehicle. This covers all transportation and operating costs including fuel and oil. The University does not reimburse employees for gasoline expenses, but rather for mileage; therefore, DO NOT use the University credit card or fleet card to pay for gas in your personal vehicle.  The University also does not reimburse for mechanical repairs incurred during travel or for items considered vehicle maintenance.

Rental Vehicles

  • A rental car should be used for trips exceeding 500 round trip mi
  • Use CDP code 1708334 and the Collision Drive location to obtain Clarke’s contracted price with Hertz. You may also utilize other rental car companies if it results in a lower overall cost.
  • A 3 week advance reservation may lead to substantial savings for out of town rentals.
  • Insurance coverage is provided under the University’s insurance policy for University-related travel, employees should decline supplemental automobile rental insurance, which includes collision damage waiver, personal accident insurance (PAI), and property damage.
  • The prepaid fuel option should be refused.
  • Request an insurance and fleet card from the Business Office.
  • All auto accidents must be reported immediately to the automobile rental agency and to the Business Office.

Distracted Driving

The University prohibits employee use of cell phones or similar devices while:

  • At any work site at which the operation of such a device would be a distraction to the user and/or could create an unsafe work environment for the user or others, and
  • Operating a personal vehicle on behalf of the University, operating a University-owned or leased vehicle, or operating other vehicles on behalf of the University, including but not limited to snow removal machinery, lawn mowing machinery, and maintenance machinery.

This policy includes the use of hands-free, voice-activated operation of cell phone or other similar devices.


Multiple Destinations: Travel to multiple destinations requires a chronological Mileage Log to be attached to the Travel Reimbursement Request Form.

Tolls and Parking Fees:  Tolls and reasonable parking charges will be allowed in addition to the mileage allowance.  Receipts for tolls and parking must be submitted with the Travel Reimbursement Request Form or Credit Card Statement.

Other Transportation: Taxi, hotel airport shuttle, or bus service will be allowed between the employee’s departure point, such as an airport, and the location of the event, meeting or conference. Hotel airport shuttles or complimentary transportation services must be used whenever available.  Receipts are necessary for all ground transportation.



  • Should the room(s) need to be cancelled for any reason, it is the responsibility of the employee to make appropriate arrangements.
  • Employees are expected to utilize commercial rates and discounts whenever possible and stay at a hotel that offers continental breakfast and free Wi-Fi.



This policy pertains to meals taken only while traveling on University business. Meals taken locally or while entertaining are addressed in the “Business Meetings and Entertainment” section of the policy.

The reasonable cost of meals, including tips, is allowed to employees while traveling away from home on University business.

   Maximum allowed costs of meals, including tips:

  • Breakfast $10
  • Lunch $15
  • Dinner $23 

Non-allowed Meal Expenses:

  • Breakfast, if departure is made from home, time of departure is irrelevant.
  • Breakfast, if hotel offers a continental breakfast.
  • Meals, or food provided at meal time, that are provided as part of an event
  • Dinner, if returning home prior to 8:00 p.m.
  • Tips exceeding 15%.

Itemized receipts are required for all meals.  A copy of the event schedule/agenda must be attached to the Credit Card Statement or Travel Reimbursement Request Form.  Reimbursement of qualifying meal expenses without appropriate documentation will be delayed until the schedule/agenda is received.

Group Meals with University Employees

In situations where University employees may be traveling together, one employee (“host”) may purchase a meal for other employees (“guests”).  In this instance, the host employee must claim the actual meal expense for that meal and submit receipts or other supporting documentation, including the names of the guest employees, with their Travel Reimbursement Request Form.



IRS regulations require itemized receipts and documentation.   Receipts submitted with the Travel Reimbursement Request Form cannot be returned to the employee. Smaller receipts should be taped (several to a page) onto a full size (8 1/2” x 11”) piece of paper to guard against loss.  Do not fold receipts or tape over the print on the receipts.  All details on each receipt should be visible once taped to a larger piece of paper.

For international travel, note currency conversion rates for all receipts and charges.  When travel involves multiple locations and currencies, note for each individual receipt the currency used for the specific charge.  The backup documentation, either on the individual receipts or in an attached schedule, should clearly show how the U.S. dollar amount was calculated for reimbursement.

If receipts are not available, complete and attach the Missing Receipt Affidavit to the Travel Reimbursement Request Form, detailing the nature of the expense, date, amount, and reason receipts are not available.



  • All reported expenses for business meetings and entertainment must include the business purpose.
  • Meals require a list of everyone whom the meal covered. Recognition lunches for employees may be reported as business meals.
    • Alcohol is not allowed except for donor meals.



Items identified as follows are normally allowed and reimbursable and should be reported on the Travel Reimbursement Request Form.

  • Parking and tolls, other than normal commuting costs (receipts should be obtained whenever possible).
  • Tips (taxi, luggage, bell persons, etc.) are reimbursable to $5 per day.
  • Business postage and baggage handling charges.
  • Meal tips and gratuities are part of the maximum meal allowance.


Expense Report Process Procedures

  • All information, receipts, conference schedules etc. must be turned in within 30 days of travel or with University corporate credit card statement.
  • A properly completed and approved Travel Reimbursement Request Form explaining the nature of and purpose for expenditures must be submitted to Accounts Payable in order to receive reimbursement for business travel and entertainment expenses.
  • All expenses must be typed, itemized and reported in the proper spaces provided.
  • Multiple travel and entertainment reports may be submitted for a trip if necessary (to cover early booking of airfare, for example). Be sure to submit itemized receipts for all reimbursements.
  • All reimbursements for university employees will be direct deposited to the employee’s bank account. An employee’s reimbursements will not be processed until direct deposit information has been provided through My Info.

University Corporate Credit Cards

  • University purchasing cards should be used for University travel and business entertainment expenses whenever possible according to the Purchasing Card Policy.
  • If the traveling individual does not have a Clarke credit card, they may elect to use their own personal charge cards and must submit a Travel Reimbursement Request Form for reimbursement after the expense is incurred.

Travel Advances

  • Group travelers or one-time travelers who need a travel advance should submit a Travel Advance Request Form.
  • Travel advances should not exceed the traveler’s estimated out-of-pocket expenses for the particular trip. The IRS has instituted a regulation (Temp Reg 1.62-2T) that states that all or part of any travel advance may be considered taxable income to the employee if not reconciled in a timely manner.



The University will not reimburse (or pay) for the following expenses:

  1. Travel insurance
  2. Breakfast when leaving from home
  3. Dinner when arriving at home prior to 8:00 p.m.
  4. Tips greater than 15% unless it is a large group gratuity
  5. Alcohol
  6. Upgrades to hotel rooms (or suites)
  7. Books, magazines or newspapers for personal use
  8. Movies
  9. Health and beauty spas
  10. Physical fitness equipment or gym fees
  11. Shoe shine services
  12. Tennis court/racquetball fees
  13. Golf/greens fees
  14. Childcare, Babysitting, housesitting, pet sitting or kennel charges
  15. Commuting between home and campus
  16. Costs incurred by traveler’s failure to cancel transportation or hotel reservations in a timely fashion.
  17. Evening wear  rentals
  18. Formal wear expenses
  19. Flowers
  20. Haircuts
  21. Passports, vaccinations and visas, when not required as a specific and necessary condition of the travel assignment
  22. Traffic fines, court costs, parking violations, or auto repair
  23. Laundry/dry cleaning (unless the trip is longer than seven (7) consecutive days)
  24. Travel expenses of family members
  25. Personal side trips or vacations taken in conjunction with business trips
  26. Gifts for co-workers (if reimbursed by the University, the gift is taxable to the recipient – See the Gift Reporting Policy)
  27. Corporate credit card finance charges or delinquency fees
  28. Any other charges deemed unacceptable

Revised 12/6/2019