OSU Extension Travel Guideline Clarification

June 24, 2021

New travel guidance has been issued by the university and can be found here: https://busfin.osu.edu/news/2021/06/07/new-fiscal-year-2022-travel-guidelines.

Effective July 1, 2021, the university will allow business-related travel in line with updated health and safety requirements and our continued focus on fiscal responsibility.

Faculty and staff are expected to exercise prudent fiscal management when considering FY22 travel arrangements to determine whether in-person or virtual attendance at any event, program or other circumstance will be most effective. Travel has been restricted since March 2020 because of the pandemic, and we should utilize the lessons learned about our ability to conduct business in flexible and efficient way.

Travel Approval Process and Travel Policy Updates

Travel Approval Process

  1. Traveler confers with supervisor to determine if the travel is necessary and in line with the guidance above.  Departmental/unit financial resources should be considered as part of the decision.
  2. Traveler or designated department staff person enters a Spend Authorization at least two weeks prior to departure date for domestic travel (out-of-state), six weeks prior for international travel.

·         International travelers are required to sign the International Acknowledgement of Understanding Form and attach to Spend Authorization prior to submitting a Spend Authorization for approval.

  1. Spend Authorizations will automatically workflow to all required travel approvers (e.g. cost center manager, department/unit leader, etc.). 
  2. Once the Spend Authorization has completed workflow, the traveler will receive a confirmation email noting the approval and health, safety and risk responsibilities. 

NOTE:  The university will continue to monitor compliance of Spend Authorizations for international travel and/or locations experiencing elevated exposure rates.  

Other Travel-Related Updates

The university updated travel policies effective January 1, 2021.  The complete travel policy is located at (Travel Policy 2.11).

Summary of Travel Policy Updates:

  • Updates to ensure university and traveler compliance with IRS tax laws (Procedure I.A, p. 3).
  • Updates of parameters regarding travel expenses for spouses, partners, children, and guests of university employees (Policy Details II, p. 1, Procedure XI, p. 5).
  • Requires the use of contracted travel suppliers (Procedure I.B-C, p. 3).
  • Updates travel rewards and incentives guidance (Procedure VI, pp. 4-5).
  • Updates personal travel in conjunction with business travel (Procedure VII, p. 5).
  • Does not allow use of PCards for airfare (Procedure XVIII.A—Payment options, p. 6).

  [6/14/21 Director's email]