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Travel Management Policies

Scope of Policy

This policy applies to anyone who incurs travel expenses paid by Brown University regardless of the source of funds.

Departments may elect to impose stricter budgetary controls over travel expenditures than those required by this policy. The University reserves the right to apply more stringent requirements on individual travelers.

Travel charged to a sponsored project should follow the guidelines set forth by this policy unless the funding agency imposes greater restrictions.

Intentional disregard for the University's travel policy and procedures may be considered grounds for disciplinary action, and/or for prosecution in the case of fraudulent misrepresentation of travel expenses.

Purpose of Policy

The University appreciates the efforts of those who travel on University business. Travelers should be comfortable while traveling, understand all travel related policies, and obtain reimbursement quickly. At the same time, it is necessary to keep trip costs within reasonable limits and to follow consistent reimbursement procedures.

This policy is intended to provide:

  • Clear and consistent understanding of policies and procedures.
  • Compliance with state and federal regulations.
  • Guidelines that simplify travel arrangements and enable the University to manage its annual travel budget within available resources.

Policy for Key Staff

Key administrative staff members are encouraged to avoid traveling by air with colleagues, and under no circumstances will more than two key staff be permitted to travel together. Moreover, Vice Presidents and Deans with overlapping responsibilities should avoid group travel. Finally, the President, Provost and Executive Vice President and CFO are prohibited from traveling together on the same airplane, and are discouraged from traveling together by way of other modes of transportation.

For the purpose of this policy key administrative staff are defined as those staff that report directly to the President and their direct reports.

Responsibility of Traveler

University travelers are expected to spend Brown funds prudently and plan appropriately so costs do not exceed budgetary limitations. Business travel expenses will be paid by the University if they are reasonable, appropriately documented, properly authorized, and within the guidelines of this policy. The traveler should neither gain nor lose personal funds as a result of Brown travel.

Anyone traveling to an embargoed country may be subject to Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) regulations. These Regulations affect nearly all transactions with those countries without regard to content or purpose. Complete list of embargoed countries and prohibited transactions may be found on the U.S. Treasury website.

Signature Responsibility

  • It is the responsibility of the individual being reimbursed to provide an accurate and truthful representation of allowable expenses to be paid by the University. Proper receipts and documentation, including allocations between personal and business activities (if applicable) must be clearly identified on the request. Personal expenses are not reimbursable.
  • It is the responsibility of the approver (signatory) to review the expenses, ensure that the information contained on the report is properly documented and supported by attached receipts, in compliance with University policies, and to ensure that the expenses are for University business purposes. This individual cannot be a subordinate, and is typically in the position of department head or higher in the organization.
  • It is the responsibility of the departmental approver to ensure that the expenses follow University policies for allowable costs, and that the proper authorizations have been made. In case of expenses paid from sponsored projects, proper review must be made by the Office of Sponsored Projects.
  • The Controller’s Office has the responsibility for ensuring that the report complies with the IRS regulations. They may, in their judgment, request additional information or clarification of any expense item.