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Travel Policy

General Travel Policies/Guidelines

The Southwestern Oklahoma State University travel policy has been developed in accordance with Oklahoma Statutes. This policy covers state officials and employees who are performing a substantial and necessary service for the State of Oklahoma and Southwestern Oklahoma State University.

Non-Employee Travel

Non-employee travel is covered under the policy if the travel expenses were:

  1. Incurred by a student traveling at the University’s request other than student activities.
  2. Incurred at the University’s request by an individual in the course of seeking employment with the University.
  3. Provided for in a grant or contract for a conference participant when no other honorarium or contract will be made for the individual’service or participation.
  4. Incurred by an individual who has volunteered his/her services and payment for the individual’s services will not be made.

Travel expenses incurred by a vendor or consultant must be included in the total amount of the contract awarded.

Justification for Travel

Travel must be necessary for the proper execution of official University business or in justifiable pursuit of the University’s educational objectives. Meetings and conferences attended must be of a professional nature that will increase the attending individual’s usefulness to the University.

Limitations on Expenses

  1. Reimbursement for University travel is based on actual expenses incurred,except for per diem (meals & incidentals); subject to the limitations established by the University’s travel policy.
  2. If travel expenditures are to be paid from a grant or contract account,travel policies of the grant or contract may specify reimbursement of the expenses at a rate different than the amount allowed by the University’travel policies. Documentation from the specific grant or contract must be attached to the travel claim.
  3. Expenses incurred at the official station of an employee will not be reimbursed. The “official station” is defined as the office headquarters or the designated location of an employee established in the field.
  4. The limits on travel – expense reimbursement specified in this policy are not to be an indication of the amounts that should be spent. These are maximum amounts which may be reimbursed.
  5. Specific policies, which apply to various types of travel expenses, are listed on the next several pages. If you have any questions about reimbursement of expenses, call the Travel Clerk in the Business AffairsOffice at Ext. 6778.

31 Day Travel Status Rule

No claim including more than thirty-one (31) consecutive days in travel status may be submitted. Claims for multiple months are allowed as long as actual days traveled are less than thirty-one consecutive.

Travel Performed Within 60 Miles

Business travel performed within 60 miles (one-way) from an individual’s home or office does not qualify for per diem or lodging if “overnight” stay is involved.

Transportation Expenses

  1. Transportation for persons traveling singly should be by common carrier(air, train, and/or bus) wherever practical. Advantage must be taken of round – trip rates when available. Travel must be by the most direct route possible. Any individual traveling by an indirect route must bear the extra expense.
  2. Regardless of the mode of transportation (including privately owned vehicles), reimbursement for out-of-state transportation shall not exceed that of round-trip, coach airfare, except in situations where a university vehicle was used.
  3. Travel by train or bus requires a receipt of ticket stub in order for reimbursement to be made.
  4. Automobile transportation may be used to save time when common carrier transportation cannot be satisfactorily scheduled to cover a number of outlying places or to reduce the expenses when two or more University employees are making the trip. Claimants traveling by a privately owned vehicles shall be reimbursed at the approved rate based on the distance on the latest ODOT mileage table or State Highway Commission road map.Distances from Weatherford to some common destinations are listed on the enclosed mileage sheet. Vicinity mileage refers to travel that is in excess of map mileage, preformed in privately-owned vehicle while conducting University business. If a claimant departs from his/her residence to enter travel status, the lesser of the mileage from residence to site or from SWOSU to site will be paid.
  5. University vehicles shall not be used or assigned on a long-term basis by an individual employee.

Public Transportation

Expenses for public transportation may consist of the following: airfare, bus ticket, train ticket, etc. The use of airplane travel is recommended when the cost of the employee’s time is an important factor or when the trip is long enough that other methods of travel would increase the lodging and meal expense. Accommodations must be limited to coach class. All air travel must be purchased in accordance with the Oklahoma Statutes, Department of Central Services travel: e.g. City/Pairs rates. Refer to “Rates-Air Travel” list on the website or call ext. 6778 for a roundtrip airfare quote from the City/Pairs state contract. This can be done by using the University purchasing system and purchasing directly from the vendor or requesting reimbursement on the State of Oklahoma Travel Claim after the trip’s completion. Expectations to the designated travel agency rule are as follows:

  1. If it can be proved that the air travel services can be secured at a lower cost, such as through an internet site, than can be secured through the designated travel agency.
  2. When the travel was initiated on an emergency basis, such as changing itinerary and route or emergency travel after hours.
  3. If air travel is originated from a location outside the state, making it impractical to arrange for air travel through the appropriate channels.
  4. When air travel is part of a package arranged by an organization scheduling a meeting or conference.

Any questions concerning the purchase of air travel should be direct to the Travel Clerk at ext 6778.

If the claimant chooses to travel out-of-state in his/her own vehicle, the lesser of the two (mileage or airfare) will be reimbursed. A statement must be placed on the travel claim:

“_ _ _ # Of Miles Driven X current mileage rate = $ XXX.XX Total Ground Transportation. *Roundtrip Airfare $ XXX.XX, Roundtrip Mileage to Airport @ current mileage rage $ XX.XX, Airport Parking @ $5.00 Per Day $ XX.XX, Shuttle/Taxi Approx. $ XX.XX = $ XXX.XX Total Air Transportation.”

The rate must be the City/Pairs air travel services contract price. If specific city is not on state contract, use rates for closest airport. Then state whether it was more feasible to pay ground transportation or air transportation.

If the University purchased the airfare for the claimant, please state: “Airfare was purchased and paid for by Agency 665 for $XXX.XX at state contracted rates or less.” (No comparison is needed if using University vehicle on out-of-state business trips.)

If the Claimant purchases the airline ticket and requests reimbursement, the reimbursement amount can not exceed the state contracted rate.

Miscellaneous Travel Expense

  1. All miscellaneous travel expenses must be itemized on the Travel Claim with receipts attached for expenses of $25 or greater.
  2. Reimbursements may be claimed for the following miscellaneous expenses:
    1. Telephone, telegraph and fax charges may be reimbursed forUniversity business.
    2. If reimbursement is being requested for registration fees, please attach a paid receipt. If the University paid the registration in advance, the statement “Registration paid by Agency 665”must be placed on the claim. If meals were included in the registration fee, the number of meals provided should be indicated on the form. Deduct one-fourth (1/4) day of total per diem for each meal provided. This is deducted from the per diem (meals &incidental) column. Provide documentation for number of meals provided and also for no meals provided, if available. If no meals were included in registration fee, please state “no meal included in registration fee.” If registration fees are being processed against an established purchase order, the invoice must show the name and date(s) of the conference, workshop, etc. and the name(s) of the person(s) who attended. If the registration fee includes meals, the number of meals provided must also be indicated.

      NOTE: “Continental breakfasts” and refreshments such as coffee, tea, soft drinks, etc. provided during meeting breaks are not considered meals.

      Exceptions may apply if there were special circumstances that prevented the claimant from participating in the function at which the meal was provided. Examples of exceptions are special dress requirements, diet restrictions, transportation availability, etc. Payment or reimbursement would not be permissible in instances where the claimant chose not to attend the function. The reason the claimant did not attend must be stated on the Travel Claim.
    3. Parking fee charges (attach receipts).
    4. Optional business activities. Attach a paid receipt and itemize any optional business activities. These expenses should be “essential and necessary” activities that are related and connected with the general purpose of the conference, meeting, seminar, etc. If the optional business activity includes meals, this must be deducted from the meals and incidental reimbursement and described in the registration fee statement.
    5. Miscellaneous expenses may also consist of the following: gas receipts for University vehicle or rental car, typing service, tolls,airport parking, business phone calls/faxes, etc.
  3. Reimbursement may not be claimed for the following expenses:
    1. Personal services such as hair cuts, shoe shines, movies, bar tabs,etc.
    2. Gas, oil and repairs to privately owned vehicles. These expenses are covered in the reimbursement rate allowed for mileage.

Meals and Lodging Expenses

  1. Reimbursement for meals and lodging shall not begin more than twenty-four (24) hours before or continue more than twenty-four (24) hours after the objective of the trip has ended. Indicate on the State of OklahomaTravel Claim the nature of the official business, the meeting dates, and starting and ending times. If travel is adjacent to weekend or holiday travel, this rule extends to seventy-two (72) hours in both cases. Verify dates of conference and start/end times.
  2. If meals and lodging are furnished as a package plan, reimbursement maybe based upon a combined receipt but at a daily rate not to exceed the rate that would be allowed for separate meals and lodging (the receipt must reflect a breakdown between meals, lodging, registration, etc.)
  3. Reimbursement for documented Meal and Incidental Expenses
  4. For each full course meal provided (e.g. luncheon, banquet) deduct ¼ of total per diem rate. Provide documentation for number of meals provided and also for no meals provided if available.
    1. Meal and incidental expenses include the cumulative cost of a meals and other objects of purchase incidental to travel undertaken for business reason.
    2. There will be reimbursement for meal and incidental expenses only in connection with overnight travel status.
    3. Reimbursement for meals and incidentals (per diem) will vary depending on the location of travel. See listing below and web site address for this information.
  5. Reimbursements for Lodging
    1. Direct purchase of lodging from facilities operated by theOklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department can be made by obtaining reservations directly with the facility and then processing a requisition in the Purchasing System. The travel request form must be approved and sent to the Business AffairsOffice prior to the traveler’s departure and must included the following information: dates lodging will be required; name and social security number of individual(s) for whom lodging is to be provided; location; and purpose of trip. Each employee requesting lodging at one of these facilities will be required to provide identification indicating they are a current state employee. There are five of these facilities:

      Lake Murray State Lodge, Ardmore, OK 73402
      Lake Texoma Resort, Durant, OK 73439
      Quartz Mountain Resort, Lone Wolf, OK 73655
      Western Hills Resort Park, Wagoner, OK 74477
      Roman Nose Resort, Watonga, OK 73772

    2. Requests for reimbursement for lodging must be accompanied by an itemized paid receipt from the hotel, motel, etc. reflecting a zero ($0.00) balance.
    3. Receipt must show a single room rate. If the balance due is not zero, obtain a copy of the credit card receipt/statement or personal check (front and back) to prove lodging was paid. Determine if lodging was designated by the conference or if lodging was available at the conference site. Rates for lodging reimbursement will vary depending on location of travel. See Rate schedules elsewhere on the web site address for this information.
    4. If a hotel/motel is designated by the conference or if lodging is at the conference site, the actual single occupancy rate will be paid. However, documentation must be attached to confirm either of those situations; i.e., conference literature. The single room rate must be specified on the conference literature or the invoice. Any taxes paid in connection with lodging rates are reimbursable up to the expense limit.
    5. Persons attending meetings, workshops, or conferences which are conducted at a designated hotel, motel, or other public lodging facility who choose to acquire less expensive public lodging shall be reimbursed the actual lodging expense not to exceed the single occupancy rate charged by the designated lodging facility. Documentation must be provided to confirm the optional lodging facility cost is less than the designated or conference site. When choosing this option, the claimant will not be reimbursed for local transportation cost incurred traveling between such optional lodging and the designated public lodging place.
    6. An agency may designate lodging by arranging in”advance”the blocking of rooms at a special rate or with other conditions.A designated lodging form is available in the Business AffairsOffice or under SWOSU’s web page as Designat.doc to be completed in order to specify these criteria. The form will indicate the actual lodging dates, the employees traveling, and the travel objective. The Director of Business Services must approve this form in advance.
    7. Reimbursement for other charges (business phone calls/faxes,hotel parking) appearing on the lodging receipt must be justified in writing. These reimbursements should be included underItemized Miscellaneous Cost on the Travel Voucher. Meal charges are included with the per diem amount being claimed on the reimbursement voucher. These charges are not to be included in the lodging reimbursement. (Movies are not reimbursable.)

Authorization to Travel

All travel must be pre-approved by the appropriate supervisor and/or budget manager. All out-of-state trips require approval by one of the following: Provost, V.P. for Administration & Finance, Athletic Director or President. Forward your request to the person your area reports to on the organizational chart. A 30 day prior notice is recommended for out-of-state travel. Forward all original requests 8 to the Business Affairs Office.

Local Transportation

Local transportation refers to transportation at the destination site and may include the following: taxi, limousine, bus, subway, rental car, airport shuttle, etc.

Reimbursement for automobiles leased or rented within this state from car rental agencies or private parties, to be used in lieu or a privately owned vehicle on official business for the state, shall not exceed the rate provided for the use of privately owned automobile. The actual cost of leasing or renting an automobile outside of this state to be used on official business for the state shall be reimbursed subject to approval by the Director of Business Affairs. OSF questions the use of rental cars in conjunction with designated lodging sites if no official off-site visits are required.

Reimbursement for Travel Expenses

  1. After completion of travel, an individual may request assistance from the departmental secretary of the Business Affairs Office Travel Clerk in filing a State of Oklahoma Travel Voucher. After the voucher has been completed, it will be returned to the claimant for signature. The claimant must sign the bottom of the form only and send it to the Business Affairs office. Please verify all information such as tag number, social security number, claim amounts, etc. Double check whether univ. vehicle or personal vehicle was used and if mileage should/shouldn’t be claimed.
  2. Enter each expense amount in the appropriate space. If you have any questions regarding completion of the form, call the Travel Clerk at ext. 6778
  3. The following items should be forwarded to the Business Office for auditing and processing:
    1. The completed and signed Travel Voucher. The claimant should initial corrections to the Travel Voucher before submitting it to the University’s Business Affairs Office.
    2. The original of all required receipts (lodging, transportation registration fees, rental vehicle charges, shuttle/taxis, airport parking, gas, oil and repairs to a University vehicle, etc) If the original receipts are not available, please send copies.
    3. The signed original of any required memos of justification to explain unusual expenses or amounts claimed.
  4. Reimbursements may be expected within seven to ten business days from the date the Business Affairs Office receives the travel claim.

Filling Out the Travel Claim

  1. ACCOUNT NUMBER – Please enter the 16-digit account number. if more than one department is being charged, use the top of the form to enter any additional account numbers and state how much each account is to be charged. The following is a break down of the account number and what each section signifies.
  2. FUND – Please enter the appropriate three – digit fund number. Fund 1, 290 (1-000XX-XXXX-X-20000), Fund 4, 765 (4-XXXXX-XX51-X-200000), Fund 2, 430 (2-XXXXX-XXXX-X-2000X).
  3. AGENCY – this is always 66500.
  4. CLAIM NUMBER – Business Affairs Office personnel will fill this in.
  5. CLAIM OF – please enter the claimant’s name in this section, as it
    appears on payroll.
  6. IS CAR GOVT. OWNED? – Please check YES or NO. If no, please type in the claimant’s tag number. If no mileage is being claimed for a private vehicle, leave map and vicinity columns blank.
  7. IS CLAIMANT AN OFFICIAL STATE EMPLOYEE? – Please check YES or NO. Public school employees do not qualify as state employees.
  8. ACCOUNT – this account code comes from your 16-digit account number. It will always start with 00, and the 4-digit function.
  9. SUB-ACTIVITY – this number is always 00001.
  10. This is the 4 digit object code. For reference, these are listed on the reimbursement voucher. For a non-state employee all expenses are totaled together using object code 2131 only.
  11. CFDA – leave this blank.
  12. AMOUNT – this is the total amount being claimed for each object code.
  13. OFFICIAL DUTY STATION – please state where the claimant’s main operation of University business is located. (SWOSU/Wford or SWOSU/Sayre or SWOSU/OKC location or SWOSU/Lawton location.)
  14. NATURE OF OFFICIAL BUSINESS – Please state the purpose of the travel (name of conference or workshop, etc.)
  15. TRAVEL STATUS SECTION – all points of travel must be shown in this column. For every reimbursable expense from a point visited, each point visited must be listed on the claim. If travel is greater than one day, list “Wford to ______ on one line & Return” on the second line.If the claimant goes to Oklahoma City, it would read “Weatherford to Oklahoma City & Return.” Abbreviations are allowable here as long as they are understandable; for example, “W’ford to OKC & Ret.”
  16. DATE – beginning and ending dates of travel are listed here. For example: 12 / 20 in the excel worksheet, (On pcs, if you used the edit command on the cell, the line “/” will stay in the date.) If travel is greater than one day, list the beginning date on one line and the ending date on the next line.
  17. MAP AND VICINITY MILEAGE – for map mileage use Okla. State Dept. of Transportation (ODOT) mileage chart. A partial list is in the back of this section for copy of ODOT mileage chart, see address on Vicinity mileage is anything in excess of map mileage.
  18. TRAVEL STATUS HOURS – list the starting and ending times in military time format. It may be necessary to format this column to text so the hours don’t change to decimal numbers. If travel status is more than one day, list the start time on the same line as the beginning date and the end time on the same line as the ending date. A chart of military times is listed at the back of this section. This column is necessary to figure total per diem allowance when applicable.
  19. NUMBER OF DAYS AND HOURS – calculate total number of days and hours per trip. Use the edit command to leave the “/” line in this column.
  20. PER DIEM RATE – list each days/hours rate (e.g. 30, 30, 15). Location of travel determines which rate(s) goes in this column. See rate chart & website address for per diem rates.
  21. PER DIEM AMOUNT (MEALS & INCIDENTAL) – insert total per diem claimed in this column. (Be sure to deduct meals provided at conference, if necessary). See rate chart & website address for per diem
  22. LODGING AMOUNT – amount of lodging receipt, excluding any phone calls, room service, movies, parking, etc. not to exceed the maximum unless designated lodging or conference site lodging. See maximum rates & web site address at the end of this section for this information.
  23. TOTAL M&I AND LODGING – add per diem and lodging together and put the total in this column.
  24. MODE OF PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION – this is for airfare. If the claimant purchased his or her own airfare, this is where the amount goes. If airfare was purchased by the University, the  required information needs to go here (see public transportation section in guidelines).
  25. ITEMIZED LOCAL TRANSPORTATION – this area is for shuttles, taxis, rental cars, etc. (See local transportation section in guidelines).
  26. ITEMIZED MISCELLANEOUS – this area is for registration fees, parking, business phone calls/faxes, airport parking, tolls, etc. (See misc. travel expenses section guidelines).
  27. I, … -- please fill in the claimant’s name in the affidavit blank requiring it.
  28. CLAIMANT SIGNATURE – claimant signs here (at bottom of form).
  29. “ASSIGNMENT” – this section, including claimant signature, is left blank. 

    The claim is now ready to be forwarded to the Business Affairs Office Travel Clerk of processing.

Travel Rate Tables


See “ Rates – Per Diem and Mileage” on SWOSU website.


See “ Rates – Per Diem and Mileage” on SWOSU website



Per-diem Rates
Find current fiscal year
Click on specific state to find rate.
Scroll down to bottom to download the entire per-diem rate file.

SWOSU mileage rates change frequently, please refer to the “Rates – Per Diem and Mileage” chart on the SWOSU website.

Object Codes

52131o – Travel Reimbursement – Non State Employee at SWOSU or Any Other Agency. This also includes Public School system employees.

In-State Travel Out-of-State Travel
521110 – In State Mileage/Private Vehicle 521210 – Out-of-State Mileage – Private Vehicle
521120 – In-State Per Diem – Meals 521220 – Out-of-State Public Transportation
521130 – In-State Public Transportation 521230 – Out-of-State Per Diem – Meals
521140 – In-State Miscellaneous 521240 – Out-of-State Local Transportation
521150 – In-Sate Lodging 521250 – Out-of-State Misc
  521260 – Out-of-State Lodging

Military Times

12:00 A.M. - 12:59 A.M. 0:00 - 0:59
1:00 A.M. - 1:59 A.M. 1:00 - 1:59
2:00 A.M. - 2:59 A.M 2:00 - 2:59
3:00 A.M. - 3:59 A.M. 3:00 - 3:59
4:00 A.M. - 4:59 A.M. 4:00 - 4:59
5:00 A.M. - 5:59 A.M. 5:00 - 5:59
6:00 A.M. - 6:59 A.M. 6:00 - 6:59
7:00 A.M. - 7:59 A.M. 7:00 - 7:59
8:00 A.M. - 8:59 A.M. 8:00 - 8:59
9:00 A.M. - 9:59 A.M. 9:00 - 9:59
10:00 A.M. - 10:59 A.M. 10:00 - 10:59
11:00 A.M. - 11:59 A.M. 11:00 - 11:59
12:00 P.M. - 12:59 P.M. 12:00 - 12:59
1:00 P.M. - 1:59 P.M. 13:00 - 13:59
2:00 P.M. - 2:59 P.M. 14:00 - 14:59
3:00 P.M. - 3:59 P.M. 15:00 - 15:59
4:00 P.M. - 4:59 P.M. 16:00 - 16:59
5:00 P.M. - 5:59 P.M. 17:00 - 17:59
6:00 P.M. - 6:59 P.M. 18:00 - 18:59
7:00 P.M. - 7:59 P.M. 19:00 - 19:59
8:00 P.M. - 8:59 P.M. 20:00 - 20:59
9:00 P.M. - 9:59 P.M. 21:00 - 21:59
10:00 P.M. - 10:59 P.M. 22:00 - 22:59
11:00 P.M. - 11:59 P.M. 23:00 - 23:59


ODOT Mileage Chart Address

To find the ODOT mileage from one location to another in Oklahoma, click on this link: 

Call the Travel Clerk for approximate mileage to cities in other states; or