Integrated CSU Administrative Manual



Section 3000 Policies

Policy Number:  3601.01

Policy Title: Travel Policy

Policy Effective Date: April 1, 2013

Last Revision Date: April 1, 2013
(see revision history)


This policy articulates the California State University (CSU)'s requirements related to official University business travel to assure that funds allocated towards travel are appropriately used, properly authorized, supported by a documented business purpose, substantiated by applicable receipts, correctly processed for payment, and in compliance with all applicable regulations.


I. General

The California State University pays or reimburses for 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.

This policy applies to all CSU employees, students, and others traveling on official University business and where the University will be paying for the travel. The terms set forth in an extramural funding agreement govern only when such terms are more limiting than the University's travel regulations. The campuses, if desired, may adopt more restrictive documentation, review and approval policies than what is presented here.

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. Where the provisions of this policy are in conflict with the collective bargaining agreements pursuant to HEERA, the collective bargaining agreements shall take precedence.

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

Exceptions to this policy must be in writing, documented and approved by the Chancellor, campus president, or their designee.

II. 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 business travel to be aware of and follow this policy and related procedures in effect at the time of travel.

The approving authority is the University employee who has been granted authority, by way of the University delegation of authority process, to approve the use of funds.

A University designated travel reimbursement office will review and audit documents for compliance with policy.

III. Authorization to Travel

Authorization to travel must be obtained from appropriate administrators within the employee's organization as determined by the organization's identified delegation of authority. Individuals traveling on official University business are responsible for ensuring they have documented authorization in advance to travel. Employees should review specific procedures with their management.

IV. Travel Related Expenses

Travelers are expected to 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. Travel expenses not directly related to official University business are not reimbursable.

Reimbursement limits and documentation requirements for various destinations and lengths of stay are provided in the CSU Travel Procedures. Exceptions for expenditures that are typically non-reimbursable, and arise because of special or unusual circumstances, must be authorized or approved and documented by the appropriate approving authority.

V. Miscellaneous

Any altering of business-related travel for personal convenience is permitted as long as there is no additional cost to the State or loss of productivity.

It is expected that individuals traveling on University business 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.

This policy and the related procedures are to be reviewed and updated periodically by the Financial Services Department of the CSU Chancellors Office.

VI. Travel Procedures and Regulations

Travel Procedures G-001

Benjamin F. Quillian
Executive Vice-Chancellor/Chief Financial Officer

Approved: April 1, 2013




April 1, 2011


Useful Guidelines:

Related Principles:


Sound Business Practices:


Laws, State Codes, Regulations and Mandates:

  • Policy Mandates
  • EO-37, Authorization and Appointment of State College Presidents to Approve Sabbatical Leaves
  • EO-181, Provisions for Extension and Summer Sessions Independent Study Programs Involving Foreign Travel
  • EO-688, Delegation of Authority - Approval of Travel Requests
  • EO-731, Designation of Chief Financial Officer
  • EO-760, Procurement Cards
  • EO-761, Hospitality, Payment or Reimbursement of Expenses
  • EO-842, Competitive Bid of Goods & Services
  • EO-849, CSU Insurance Requirements
  • EO-715, California State University Risk Management Policy
  • EO-1000, Delegation of Fiscal Authority and Responsibility
  • EO-1041, CSU Student Travel Policy


CO Manager:

Mr. George Ashkar
Assistant Vice Chancellor, Financial Services
CSU Office of the Chancellor

Subject Expert:

Ms. Lauri Reilly
CO Accounts Payable Manager, Accounting
CSU Office of the Chancellor


Affinity Group:

Accounts Payable Managers and Financial Officers Association