Stark Faculty Travel FAQs
Q: I didn't realize that I was supposed to request authorization for travel before I left for a conference, performance or exhibition. Now that I'm back, can I still request reimbursement if I have all my receipts and proof that I gave a paper at the conference, performance or exhibition?
A: No. Even though you have to pay your expenses up front and are reimbursed after you return, you can be reimbursed only if you submit travel authorization request by the relevant deadline. University regulations dictate that travel be pre-authorized.
Q: Who approves faculty travel requests?
A: Faculty Travel Approval and Funding Requests are overseen by the Professional Activities Advisory Committee (PAAC). PAAC makes recommendations to the assistant dean, who must officially approve all requests for travel funds. Apply for Faculty Travel Approval and Funding.
Faculty Travel Approval Requests are directly submitted to and reviewed by the assistant dean who must officially approve all faculty university/professional travel. Apply for Faculty Travel Approval.
Q: What kind of travel is covered by the faculty travel fund that PAAC oversees?
A: This fund is allocated exclusively to travel to professional conferences, performances and exhibitions that are relevant to your scholarship of discovery and teaching.
Q: My artwork is often in exhibition for anywhere from a month to a year. What can I be reimbursed for in relation to exhibition expenses?
A: Your allocated fund can be used for mailing the art or travel to deliver it, to install the art, attend the exhibition opening, present an artist talk at the exhibit, and dismantle and return (or mail back) the art.
Q: Who is eligible to receive travel money?
A: All full-time faculty, whether TT or NTT, are eligible for travel funds from their first semester on this campus. Adjunct faculty are currently not eligible due to budgetary constraints.
Q: How much travel money can I get each year?
A: At present, all full-time faculty members (TT and NTT) are eligible for up to $1,500 per year. The travel year begins on July 1 and ends on June 30.
Q: Does the university reimburse 100% of my travel expenses?
A: The amount of your reimbursement depends on your role in the conference, performance or exhibition:
a) Attendance only, office holder, session chair, representative, curator, director: Up to 45%
b) Presentation of paper or poster, performer or exhibitor: Up to 90%
Q: I'm confused. I was not reimbursed for per diem (meals or lodging) when going to Columbus for a conference. I didn't stay overnight to save money.
A: IRS regulations prohibit providing per diem (meals or lodging) when there is no overnight stay. Even if you have receipts for meals you paid for you will not be reimbursed for meal expenses. For a one-day event with no lodging in the state of Ohio, 50% of allowable expenses are reimbursed (registration, mileage, etc.) This rate applies regardless of the extent of your participation, that is, attendance, office holder, presentation, performer, artist in exhibition.
Q: I stayed with relatives to save money while attending a conference, but then was told that I couldn't get all my expenses reimbursed. Why?
A: The IRS requires an over-night stay to be eligible for meal per diem. In cases where personnel have no hotel expense due to staying with friends or relatives, the traveler must document where they stayed. They may do this by simply including the name and address of where they stayed in with their receipts or in the comment section of the expense reimbursement form.
Q: Flights and hotel deposits are expensive. Can I get reimbursed in advance if I have to pay for these expenses ahead of time?
A: Unfortunately, the method of reimbursement for faculty travel is upon return from the trip. This has always been the case. Since faculty are reimbursed a percentage of their expenses, no deposits, advances, prepayments, etc. are allowed. As we cannot reimburse canceled trips, we cannot reimburse for trips that have not happened yet.
Q: I didn't use all my travel money last year. Can I add the amount I didn't use to my allocation for this year?
A: No. On June 30 of each year the slate is wiped clean. On July 1 everyone starts out with a new allocation.
Q: I don't plan to travel at all this year, but a colleague of mine is taking several big trips. Can I give my $1,500 to him/her to use?
A: No; the money is not transferable, and there's a good reason why. The amount allocated for each faculty member is based on recent travel patterns with a good measure of guesswork thrown in. In reality, if every single full-time faculty member used $1,500, we'd quickly run out of money before the academic year was over. There is not, in short, a bag of money with your name on that is just waiting for you to use it.
Q: What are the deadlines for submitting travel requests?
A: Requests must be submitted by the 15th day of the month preceding that in which travel departure date will occur. For example, requests for travel beginning any time during the month of October should be submitted by September 15. Early requests are always welcome.
Q: I lost track of the deadlines and didn't get my request in on time. I can still get money, can't I?
Q: Do you really mean that?
Q: You mean that I'll have to pay for the entire trip myself?
Q: But I'm entitled to $1,500 no matter what, right?
A: No. Full-time faculty are eligible for up to $1,500 in travel funds each year, but they must follow the proper procedures -- just as your students must meet the deadlines you set for your class. If the smartest student in the class doesn't show up for the test, he or she can't get credit for it, no matter how deserving he or she might be.
Q: The travel form indicates that I have to submit documentation of acceptance, but I haven't heard yet whether my proposal is accepted or not. Can I wait to apply for funds? What should I do?
A: You need to apply by the deadline no matter what or you will not get funding. When you submit your request, you should also send a message to PAAC in which you explain your situation. If everything else is in order, PAAC will recommend that your request be funded pending acceptance. When you receive your official acceptance, you must forward it to PAAC immediately. You must make sure that PAAC has your acceptance prior to leaving to get funding. If your proposal is not accepted after all, notify PAAC so the overall budget can be adjusted.
Q: I've used all my travel money, but I still need to go to another conference, performance/exhibit. Is there any other way that I can get money?
A: Yes. You can apply for additional funds from the University Teaching Council (UTC) and/or the Division of Research, Graduate Studies (RAGS).
- UTC for "reimbursement for travel and related expenses associated with efforts to advance teaching pedagogy at Kent State University"
- RAGS for "research/scholarly activity support request:"
Q: What should I do if I still have questions?
A: The best way to reach us is to email StarkTravel@kent.edu.