Travel Overview

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Start here if you are new – Introductory information to help you understand CSU travel regulations and responsibilities relating to Travel Services.


About CSU Stanislaus Travel Policy

The CSU Stanislaus President delegates authority for the oversight of University Travel Policy to the University Chief Financial Officer (Vice President of Business & Finance).  The University pays or reimburses for Official University Business Travel related expenses that are ordinary, reasonable, not extravagant, and necessary to conduct official University business.  All expense reimbursements and business travel arrangements must comply with University policies and procedures, prudent accounting practices, and applicable collective bargaining agreements.

It is expected that University employees and students will act in an ethical and responsible manner, regardless of whether a particular rule or policy statement addresses a specific situation.  Travelers may be held accountable for their conduct under any applicable University or campus policies, procedures, collective bargaining agreements, and/or applicable provisions of the California Education Code.  

The University assumes no financial responsibility for expenditures incurred by individuals who fail to adhere to policy. 


About Student Travel

Pertains only to students not employed as a Student Assistant.  Student Assistants participating in student travel must submit a separate travel request so as to be covered by employee insurance.

Student Field Trip (Course Related)

  • One or more student traveling for a course-related field trip.
  • Per Executive Order 1062, Field Trip Policy & Procedures, a field trip is a university course-related off-campus activity led by a faculty or staff member and designed to serve educational purposes.  A field trip would include the gathering of data for research (such as at a geological or archaeological site), museum visit, participation in a conference or competition, or visits to an event or place of interest.  The duration of a field trip may be a class period or longer, and could extend over multiple days (see matrix for procedure).
  • Faculty Coordinator must consult University Risk Management if the academic field trip involves overnight stay, hazardous or strenuous activity, or potentially dangerous locations.  A customized field trip liability release form may be required.

Student Travel (Other, Non-Course Related)

  • One or more student traveling as part of a trip for University-related business or professional development opportunities sponsored by the University, but not as a course requirement or Faculty-led Field Trip (i.e.; attendance at a conference, seminar, exhibit, or competition).
  • Student organizations are registered with the Student Leadership and Development (SLD) Office, and are required to sign a Release of Liability which places the members at their own risk for off campus activities/trips.

Student Recreation Center Activity

  • One or more student traveling as part of an activity organized by the Student Recreation Center.
  • Student Recreation Center must consult University Risk Management if the trip involves overnight stay, hazardous or strenuous activity, or potentially dangerous locations.  A customized trip liability release form may be required

Student International Travel – University Related

One or more student traveling as part of a trip for University-related business or professional development opportunities sponsored by the University, but not as a course requirement or Faculty-led Field Trip (i.e.; attendance at a conference, seminar, exhibit, or competition)
How To get authorization for student international travel – university related

Student International Travel – Faculty-Led Study Abroad

Course and Program Requirements

Both state support and self-support Study Abroad courses and programs at CSU Stanislaus are under the direction of the Office of International Education in Academic Affairs.  Course and Program approvals are made through the Office of the Provost, in consultation with the University Risk Management Officer and the Office of International Education (OIE), followed by review by the Chancellor's Office and signature by the President.

For Complete Detailed Information see Study Abroad Course and Program Planning and Approval Process.

Guidelines for Program Planning

The following guidelines are to be observed when planning Study Abroad courses or programs and are sourced from the WASC "Principles of Good Practice in Overseas International Education Programs for non-US Nationals"


About Responsibilities

It is the responsibility of each individual who spends funds related to official University business travel, and for each administrator and approving authority who approves use of funds related to official travel, to be aware of and follow the policy and related procedures in effect at the time of travel.  Authorization to travel must be obtained from appropriate administrators.

About Traveler Responsibility

  • Individuals traveling on official University trips must familiarize themselves with and adhere to the CSU Stanislaus Travel Policy and Travel Procedures and Regulations. 
  • Travelers must ensure they have documented authorization to travel prior to embarking on the trip and/or prior to making non-cancellable travel arrangements
  • Individuals traveling on official University trips who have not submitted the proper paperwork may not be covered by University Insurance Policies.
  • Travelers should make certain that the trip related expenses they incur are ordinary, reasonable, not extravagant, and necessary for the purpose of the trip.
  • Traveler will utilize CSU preferred vendors and CSU negotiated terms and conditions whenever possible.  Use of additional waivers and discounts available to governmental employees is strongly encouraged.
  • Traveler will take all steps to minimize risk to themselves and the University.  This includes utilizing safe transportation and lodging options and acquiring appropriate insurance coverage.
  • The person due the reimbursement for travel costs incurred is responsible for:
    • Submitting travel claims within 30 days from the return of the trip.
    • Providing the purpose and inclusive dates of each trip.
    • Providing the start and end times of the trip and any personal travel that is included.
    • Certifying he/she:
      • Received authorization to travel.
      • Actually spent the amount for listed expenses. 
      • Has verified that the amount due is accurate.
      • Has not and will not seek reimbursement for (1) a duplicate claim or (2) from any other source.
    • Returning to the University within 30 days, any reimbursement or payment issued by the University which subsequently results in a refund to the individual.

About Approving Authority Responsibility

The approving authority ensures all expenses are reasonable in terms of price, purpose, and necessity, and is responsible for:

  • Ensuring expenses charged to his/her accounts are supported by sufficient funds and ensuring appropriateness of use of funds.
  • Ensuring expenses requested are ordinary, reasonable, not extravagant, necessary, and supported by a business purpose or justification, as appropriate.
  • Validating, to the extent possible, that the expenses listed were actually incurred by the employee and that appropriate supporting documentation is attached.
  • Reviewing and approving the business purpose and ensuring the request is in compliance with any applicable sponsored project/grant requirements.
  • Approving/denying payment of the travel claim in a timely manner.
  • Denying expenses not directly related to official University business.

About Travel Office Responsibility

  • Periodic review of Defensive Driving and Form 261 status on employee travel.
  • Paying registration fees in advance if a part of the proposed travel.
  • Audit and pay all claims within 10 business days of receiving them.  The Travel Office cannot pay claims for more than the amount listed on the original travel request.
  • Provide campus training sessions for new employees and/or refresher courses for staff and faculty.
  • Ensure that all pending travel for current fiscal year is encumbered before year-end.
  • Ensure that all pending travel for grants that expire within the fiscal year is encumbered before grant expiration date.


About Defensive Driving Clearance

University personnel who will be driving an automobile (personal or rental) on official trips must have current certification that the Defensive Driver course has been completed.  Defensive Driver certification is received after completing a two hour online course.  The course covers advanced defensive driving techniques to reduce risk associated with driving a motor vehicle.

Once the course is completed an online certificate of completion is available for printing.  A copy of the certificate should be emailed to Kellie Marshall KMarshall@csustan.edu.  The certificate is valid for four years.

The Defensive Driver log of valid certifications is maintained by Risk Management.