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Policies and Procedures

Policy 1301 – University Business Travel

December 1, 2000
Last Updated
April 2, 2015
Last Reviewed
August 21, 2013
Responsible University Officer
Director of Systems and Operations
Responsible Unit
Systems and Operations

Policy Statement

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a public institution governed by the State of North Carolina.

All business travel must support the mission of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, receive the appropriate approvals, and be carefully planned to ensure that expenditures are necessary and prudent, and that costs are held to a minimum. A University employee traveling on official business is expected to exercise the same care in incurring expenses that a prudent person would exercise if traveling on personal business and expending personal funds. Excess costs, circuitous routes, delays or luxury accommodations and services unnecessary or unjustified in the performance of official business are not acceptable under this standard.

University officers, faculty, staff and employed students may have their travel expenses reimbursed by the University, subject to the limitations contained in these regulations. Students, who are not University employees, may be reimbursed subject to these limitations, provided approval by the department head was obtained in advance. Non-University employees traveling on University business whose expenses are paid or reimbursed by University funds are subject to all University travel regulations, including statutory subsistence allowances.

For international travel, employees are required to register in advance on the UNC Global Travel Registry and are required to enroll in advance for coverage in the travel insurance program established by General Administration for the UNC System. More information on International Travel Insurance can be found in Policy 1409.

When senior University administrators travel on official business on behalf of a third party (e.g., AAU, NACUBO, NCAA, etc.), travel expenses may be funded by this third-party organization. Although pre-approval for such travel is not required, such travel shall be reported for informational purposes only to the individual responsible for approving the senior University administrator’s travel.

To comply with auditing guidelines, all University travel advance/reimbursement requests must be certified as true and accurate by the traveler. To accomplish this, cover pages accompanying travel requests must be personally signed and dated by the traveler. Any request missing the traveler’s signature will be deemed incomplete and will not be processed.

Reason for Policy

The policy was created to ensure compliance with state and University regulations; establish guidelines for approval, control and accounting for employees and others who travel on University business; and ensure fairness for both the traveler and the University.


Travel expenses to be reimbursed by a third-party organization are not subject to the regulations.

Special Situations

Payment of travel and subsistence expenses (lodging and meal costs) for attendants to disabled travelers may be reimbursed if advance approval is obtained from the department head.


  • 1301.1 – Reimbursing University Affiliates Travel
  • 1301.2 – Reimbursing Student, Non-Employee Travel

Additional Information

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: My geology class requires that I take a field trip in the Spring. May I claim my travel expenses based on the state travel rates?
A: No, students involved in field training are given a travel allowance based on their field-training fees.

Q: I work for a doctor whose travel expenses to a medical conference should be paid by UNC Healthcare. May I submit the travel expense and request a reimbursement from the Hospital?
A: No, UNC Healthcare has a travel process entirely separate from the University.

Q: I chose to use a rental car rather than public transportation during a trip so I could go to dinner with my best friend. My department manager will not reimburse me for the rental car cost. Is this legal?
A: Yes, employees are responsible for unauthorized costs and any additional expenses incurred for personal preference or convenience.

Related Data

Office of State Budget Management Budget Manual, Section 5

General Statute (G.S.) 138.5, Per diems and allowances of state boards, etc.

General Statute (G.S.) 138.6, Travel allowances of state officers and employees

General Statute (G.S.) 138.7, Exceptions to 138.5 and 138.6

UNC Global Travel Registry

Policy 1409 – Insurance for Study and Travel Abroad

Travel-Related Reminders


Travel Provisions Travel Services 919-962-0210 919-962-2356
Travel Policy Systems & Operations 919-843-5098 919-962-2356


April 2, 2015: Added information to Related Data section.
August 21, 2013: Added information to Related Data section.
May 1, 2013: Added information about travel for senior University officials.
June 2, 2011
May 1, 2002