Policy 8 – Travel

8.01 Introduction

The policy is designed to inform individuals of the nature, and eligibility of, reasonable expenses that can be claimed for reimbursement. Any questions related to the policy should be directed to the Administrative Unit or the STLHE Treasurer. STLHE shall provide reimbursement for reasonable expenses incurred by individuals while carrying out Society business or receiving awards, co-sponsored by STLHE. STLHE Board members are encouraged to seek financial assistance from their home institutions to assist with travel expenses associated with attending the face-to-face meetings of the Board and other face-to-face meetings where a board member(s) is / are representing the Board. Board members should provide the President of the Society with an appropriate contact at their home institution and the President will provide a supporting letter for the Board members request for financial assistance.

a. Definitions

Reasonable Costs – as per the guidelines referenced in the policy, sound judgement and moderation, reflecting consideration of accountability, efficiency, and value of money — should be considered when submitting a claim for travel cost reimbursement. These costs will normally not include alcohol or interest charges on personal credit cards. These costs should not be treated as a taxable benefit as defined by the Canadian Revenue Agency.

Approval – All planned Board member travel not specifically identified in the Travel Budget requires approval by the Board. The Administrative Unit is authorized to review claims submitted for re-imbursement for consistency with this policy and will prepare cheques for reimbursements to individuals. The STLHE Treasurer will approve all reimbursements for over $500. The STLHE President will approve reimbursements to the STLHE Treasurer for over $500.

8.02. Eligible Expenses

a. Accommodation

Reimbursement is limited to a single room rate per traveler or the pro-rata amount for a shared room, supported by an original hotel invoice marked “paid”. Travelers attending Society conferences should stay at one of the host accommodations at the designated attendee rate. If the traveler stays at a non-host accommodation they will be reimbursed up to the designated attendee rate. Accommodation will be reimbursed for the number of nights necessary to enable the traveler to participate in the Society business/event for which they are traveling. Costs for extending the stay either before or after the event will not be reimbursed. Where reservations must be cancelled, the traveller is responsible for ensuring the cancellation is made in advance. “No show” charges will not be reimbursed.

b. Travel

Travelers will be reimbursed for Economy airfare. All travelers are strongly encouraged to use advance booking as a cost saver. Boarding passes must accompany airfare (except when traveler has used an electronic boarding pass) and flight cancellation insurance claims. A kilometer allowance can be claimed for use of a personal vehicle for Society travel as set by the federal government rates established by the Public Service of Canada (see http://www.njc-cnm.gc.ca/directive/index.php?sid=97&lang=eng). The full cost for intermediate sized (or less) vehicle rental including purchased insurance coverage and gasoline will be reimbursed. Travel by rail will be reimbursed up to economy for day travel, or standard lower berth or roomette accommodation for overnight travel. If individuals choose road transportation or travel by rail, where air travel is also available, costs will be reimbursed up to and including Economy airfare and associated ground transportation, to the same destination. Travelers will be reimbursed for limousine, taxi and public transportation expenses to and from airports, hotels or meetings. The most practical and safe method of ground transportation should be selected. Travelers parking costs will be reimbursed. Financial penalties related to flight, car rentals, and rail changes or cancellations of non-refundable tickets/bookings are reimbursed; only if the change is made for a Society business reason.

c. Meals

Meal costs are reimbursed up to the federal government rates established by the Public Service of Canada (see http://www.njc-cnm.gc.ca/directive/index.php?sid=98&lang=eng). A per diem meal allowance may be claimed in lieu of actual costs based on the same rates. The per diem allowance will not apply where meals are included as part of another reimbursed item (e.g. conference, transportation). A traveler may host a group event where the meal allowance per the same rate is exceeded. Nevertheless, costs should be managed effectively. The following guidelines will assist in this regard:

  • Pre-select a menu if at all possible,
  • Pre-select non-alcoholic beverages if at all possible, and
  • Unless the venue specifies a service charge, which may be the case for a pre-selected fixed priced menu, add 15% of the total cost of food and non-alcoholic beverages to the bill; do not include taxes in the calculation.

d. Miscellaneous

Traveler personal expenses that will not be reimbursed include, but are not limited to: mobile calling and data usage charges, long distance calls, internet charges, and bar tabs. Reasonable incidental tip or gratuity charges are permissible without receipt. This does not apply to tips and gratuities included in other expenses (for example, meals).

8.03 Eligibility for reimbursement

a. Society business

Society business includes attendance at face-to-face meetings by STLHE Board and a member of the Administrative Unit who may attend any face-to-face meetings.

b. Awards

3M National Teaching Fellowship: Travel costs to a scholarly retreat in the year their Fellowship is awarded are reimbursed. Fellows are encouraged to approach their home institution for reimbursement of travel and registration cost to the Society’s annual conference in the year their Fellowship is awarded.

3M National Student Fellowship: Travel, accommodation, and conference registration costs to the Society’s annual conference are reimbursed.

Brightspace Innovation Award: A set funding amount to offset travel and the conference registration costs to the Society’s annual conference and Brightspace’s FUSION conference will be provided.

Alan Blizzard Award: A set funding amount to offset travel and up to Five (5) registrations to the Society’s annual conference will be provided.

College Sector Educator Award: A set funding amount to offset travel and conference registration costs to the Society’s annual conference will be provided.

Christopher Knapper Lifetime Achievement Award: Travel and conference registration costs to the Society’s annual conference are reimbursed.

TAGSA Award: Conference registration costs and a one year membership to STLHE.

8.04 Submission/Reimbursement of travel expenses

A completed travel expense report (Use this Dropbox link to the excel file) must be submitted with each claim (either hard copy or electronic). These reports should be submitted on a timely basis, ideally within fifteen (15) days of completion of the travel or from the date the expense was incurred. Any claim submitted after twelve (12) months of the travel or from the date the expense was incurred may not be reimbursed. Original receipts must support expense claims. Reasonable costs in a foreign currency will be converted to Canadian dollars at the exchange rate in effect at the date of the charge/purchase. Reimbursements will be issued by check within thirty (30) days of receipt of the appropriate documentation by the Administrative Unit. If business and personal travel is combined, personal costs are not reimbursed. Under some circumstances, exceptions may be justified. A brief note explaining the exception should accompany the travel expense report. Requests for exceptions will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the Administrative Unit and the Treasurer, and decisions made will not be considered a precedent.

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Minor updates and corrections were made on June 18, 2016.
This policy was approved at the December 10, 2015 Board meeting with a unanimous vote.