Travel Requests

Handbook of Operating Procedures 3-1210

Travel Requests

The University of Texas at Austin

Executive Sponsor: Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer



The following policies and procedures govern travel on official business for The University of Texas at Austin and are in accord with Rule 20801 and Rule 31005 of The University of Texas System Board of Regents' Rules and Regulations. The prior approval requirements shall be met for all absences from the campus or other regular place of work for periods of half a day or more during the normal working period whether or not there is a cost to the University.


  1. Prior approval of travel
  1. Domestic travel:


    Final approval is delegated to the immediate supervisor; e.g., to the Principal Investigator for members of a research group, to the Chairperson for faculty, to the Dean for Chairpersons, or to a Director for administrative offices. Each unit shall establish appropriate supervisory lines of authority to approve official travel required for proper discharge of University business.

  1. Foreign travel:
  1. Foreign travel expenses (except Mexico, Canada, and U.S. possessions) to be paid from state funds (14 and 20 accounts) require advance approval by the Dean's or Vice President's Office. (This policy does not apply to foreign travel paid from Advanced Research Program or Advanced Technology Program Funds because of specific statutory exemptions.) Advance approval by the Dean's or Vice President's Office is required for trips with a foreign destination even if the applicable funds are to be used only for the domestic portion of the trip.
  1. Dean's or Vice President's approval must be given in writing or electronically via routing of the Request for Travel Authorization (RTA) to a signer in the Dean's or Vice President's electronic office.
  1. When any foreign travel expenses are to be paid from grant and/or contract funds, any required approvals must be obtained. Such approval may be a letter from the appropriate financial officer giving approval for use of funds for such travel or specific authorization for the travel may be stated in the approved grant or contract. It is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator to secure all necessary approvals; failure to do so will result in disallowance of the travel expenses.
  1. Persons requesting approval of travel to a nation that is subject to a Travel Advisory issued by the United States Department of State constituting a warning against or restriction on travel by United States citizens to such nation must include with the travel request a separate written and signed statement indicating that the person is aware of the Travel Advisory and the potential risks associated with travel to the nation under the advisory.
  1. Any modification to an approved travel request which results in either a change in departure or return dates greater than 72 hours or a change in expenses greater than 5 percent must be submitted for re-approval.
  1. Centralized billing::
  1. If charges such as airfare are to be centrally billed, the RTA provides the authorization to charge the specified account. Therefore, it must be signed by an individual with signature authority on that account. In the event the individual approving the absence is not an authorized signer, an additional signature will be required. For example, if a different department is paying for the airfare, the RTA will require the signature of the traveler's supervisor as well as the signature of an authorized signer for the other department's account.
  1. Appropriate arrangements for disposition of the faculty or staff member's normal duties must be made in advance of the travel. If classes are to be missed, a qualified member of the instructional staff shall be identified to and approved by the departmental Chairperson as a substitute instructor. Under normal circumstances, classes should not be rescheduled.
  1. Travel expenses shall be reimbursed only from funds appropriated or authorized for travel. All travel shall be planned to achieve maximum economy and efficiency and to ensure that expenses for transportation, meals, lodging and incidental items are the lowest possible considering all relevant circumstances.
  1. Travel expenses may be reimbursed only when the travel is clearly for the conduct of official University business. A clear statement of the purpose of the travel and the benefit to the University must be provided on the Travel Request Voucher.
  1. The University of Texas at Austin travel reimbursement policy, procedures and guidelines are described in The University of Texas at Austin Handbook of Business Procedures Part 11. These policies apply to all funds under institutional control. The institutional policy is subordinate to any more restrictive specific terms, conditions or provisions required by a specific funding source, such as a particular gift, grant, contract or State approved fund


Previously HOP 7.28