1.15 Travel


Pursuant to ARS §15-1406B, a community college district may establish procedures and amounts for travel for a district purpose by a board member, member-elect, officer or employee. Such procedures and amounts may authorize reimbursement for lodging, subsistence, and travel expenses. The statewide travel policy as issued by the Arizona Department of Administration, is adopted by the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) Governing Board as the principal authority for travel by board members, members-elect, officers and employees. In addition, the MCCCD travel regulation has been designed to qualify as an accountable plan under regulations established by the Internal Revenue Service.

Student Travel. In general, student travel is governed by this regulation. Circumstances where student guidelines differ from the general travel regulation are identified as being specific to students only.

Non-Employee Travel

Non-employee travel is subject to the overall financial guidelines for reimbursement. However, the actual payment for non-employee travel should be processed via MCCCD’s purchasing process.

Funds shall be properly budgeted and total travel amounts shall be specifically approved by the Governing Board at the time of annual budget adoption, or as legally changed during the fiscal year.

Each college is responsible for providing direction and information concerning travel to their personnel, subject to the limitation of the travel and expense allowance outlined within this regulation.


  1. Academic Field Trip 
    A course related off-campus activity which involves travel for a group of students enrolled in a specific class. Academic field trips are limited to in-county with no overnight travel. Academic field trips do not require a travel authorization; however the activity must be approved via the college process for academic field trips prior to travel.  All other off-campus student activities/travel must adhere to 1.15.9 Student Group Travel.
  2. Approved Travel Status
    1. For a College/District traveler to be in approved travel status, the person must be conducting official College/District business with authorization as stated in 1.15.3 Approval Authority.
    2. If expenses are to be incurred and/or paid, a travel authorization must be completed and approved prior to travel. A conference brochure (or equivalent detailed document) should accompany conference-related travel requests. When travel expenses are not incurred or are paid for by another agency or individual, the traveler is still required to complete a travel authorization.
    3. The traveler assumes the financial risk and obligation for any travel purchase made prior to obtaining a fully approved travel authorization.
  3. Commute Miles 
    The distance between an individual’s residence and his or her duty post.
  4. Conference 
    Any event, including meetings, classes, educational workshops, etc., where the traveler is acting in an authorized/approved capacity for MCCCD.
  5. Conference Designated Lodging 
    The hotel where the conference is being held or the hotel(s) specified in the conference brochure (or equivalent detailed documents). (See 1.15.7 Lodging for additional information).
  6. Duty Post
    1. Employee 
      The place an officer or employee spends the largest portion of his or her regular working time or the place to which they return upon completion of a special assignment. An employee who has more than one place of work on a regular basis is deemed to have multiple duty posts. A duty post may also be a geographical area, such as different campuses or teaching locations or where the same routes are traveled frequently on one-day trips. Note: Commute mileage is to be based on no more than one round trip to/from duty post per day.
    2. Others 
      The duty post for members of boards, commissions, authorities, councils, and committees who are not full-time employees of the College/District served by the board, commission, authority, council, or committee shall be deemed to be their place of residence.
  7. Governing Authority 
    The individual or individuals authorized to approve travel. (See 1.15.3 Approval Authority)
  8. Ground Transportation 
    Tolls, taxi, shuttle bus, subway, light rail, streetcar, trains, ride share (Uber, LYFT), etc., use to and from airports, hotels, conference sites, train stations, or bus terminals as needed in order to conduct business is classified as ground transportation.
  9. Incidental Expenses 
    Expenses including, but not limited to, gratuities, laundry, baggage handling tips, and other tips. Incidental expenses are covered by per diem and are not eligible for separate reimbursement.
  10. In-County Trips
    Travel within Maricopa County and/or between MCCCD locations on official business.
  11. In-State Travel
    Travel on official business outside Maricopa County but within the state of Arizona.
  12. International Travel
    Travel outside of the parameters of the United States or its possessions or territories.
  13. Meals and Incidental Expenses (M&IE) 
    The cost to supplement sustenance as well as any incidental expenses while in approved travel status.
  14. Non-Employees 
    Any person who is not an employee of the District who is traveling for the benefit of or at the request of MCCCD. This includes, but is not limited to, District Governing Board Members, consultants, special speakers, accreditation committee members, Persons of Interest (POI), Contingent Workers (CWR), and grant recipients.
  15. Official Function 
    An activity or item that appears to be outside of the ordinary and necessary function of MCCCD as a public educational institution, but that provides a tangible benefit and links directly to MCCCD’s educational mission and is reasonable and commensurate in value to the tangible benefit that MCCCD will receive. Expenses incurred by a traveler for activities or events that are an official function must comply with the 1.16 Official Functions Administrative Regulation.
  16. Out-of-State Travel 
    Travel outside of Arizona, but still within the parameters of the United States, including U.S. possessions or territories.
  17. Per Diem Rate
    The daily maximum amount (or partial day, if applicable, see 1.15.6 Meal and Incidental Expenses) to reimburse meals and incidental expenses as established by the state of Arizona and accessible at Accounts Payable Travel Reference.

    Note: the amount allowed for meals is not intended to cover the entire cost of a meal taken while in travel status. The amount is calculated to compensate the traveler for the estimated difference between the cost of a meal taken on the road and cost of a meal prepared at home.
  18. Penny Travel ($.01)
    A travel authorization that is completed with no expected costs to the employee or the institution.  Examples include third party paid travel.  These authorizations do not require the traveler to create an expense report and will be closed by the fiscal office.
  19. Personal Travel
    A traveler may be authorized to combine business and personal travel.  Only expenses incurred on the days the traveler is on Maricopa business will be reimbursed.  If personal travel occurs during time normally scheduled for work, the traveler must charge the time to annual leave.
  20. Professional Growth Funds 
    Money made available by the District to support development activities of its employees. Criteria under which professional growth funds are awarded may differ by employee group and are outside the scope of this regulation. However, all awards as part of professional growth fund initiatives are subject to the regulations and procedures outlined in this policy.
  21. Residence 
    The actual dwelling place of the individual without regard to any other legal or mailing address. Individual(s) required to reside away from their primary residence due to official travel away from their duty post may continue to claim such domicile as their residence if said residence is either inhabited by their dependents, or is held vacant at tangible expense. No reimbursement for lodging or other expenses shall be allowed on the premises of an individual’s residence.
  22. Student Group Travel
    Students traveling together for a common event or purpose with at least one MCCCD employee. One travel authorization is required bearing the total expenses and supporting documentation for the primary employee and all students. All employees traveling must have their own travel authorization.  All subsequent travel authorizations for additional employees must reference the primary travel authorization.
  23. Traveler 
    Any employee or non-employee of the District who is in approved travel status.
  24. Valid Receipt 
    Any proof of payment from an authoritative source (including scanned or Online receipts) that includes sufficient detail to identify the services and/or items purchased. For airfare, car rentals, hotels, and registration fees, the receipt should be in the traveler’s name. Exceptions, such as for expenses shared by two or more employees, may be approved by the Fiscal Office.

Approval Authority

Travel for the MCCCD District Governing Board, its employees and representatives must be authorized by the appropriate governing authority or its designees. All procurement practices must be followed, and a fully approved travel authorization must be completed prior to the travel. It is the traveler’s responsibility to ensure all approvals are in place before travel.

In order for travel to be approved, the traveler must check the box on the Travel Authorization to certify that their expenses comply with Administrative Regulations 1.15 and 1.18. Travel approval is delegated to each College President and each District Executive, or their designees, for all employees under their areas of jurisdiction. Travel approval for the Governing Board members shall be by the Governing Board President.  Travel approval for College Presidents and District Executives shall be by the Chancellor or their designee. A District Executive will countersign for the Chancellor's travel.

No District obligation exists to reimburse any employee for travel costs unless the traveler is in an approved travel status prior to trip departure. Trips supported by professional growth funds are subject to the rules and requirements stated in this policy. In some cases, the funding source (professional growth, external grants, etc.) may have more restrictive guidelines than this regulation. 

In those situations, the provisions of the more restrictive funding source shall be followed. Except for the differences outlined by the more restrictive funding sources, this regulation shall be applied consistently to all employees and to expenses paid from any source of MCCCD funds.

Official Functions: Expenses incurred by a traveler for activities or events that are an official function must comply with the 1.16 Official Functions Administrative Regulation.


Blanket Purchase Orders and MCCCD Purchasing Cards. Blanket purchase orders and MCCCD purchasing cards for travel expenses should only be used for approved travelers with an approved travel authorization. Travel expenses for companions of employees should not be included in Maricopa funding requests, regardless of intent to reimburse.

Most Direct Route. Reimbursement is limited to expense of travel by the most direct and usually-traveled route, by the most economical means of transport. When determining the most economical means, both cost and traveler’s time must be considered. That portion of travel that is by indirect route, which is not in the best interest of the College/District, or is for personal business, will not be reimbursed. Excess travel time will be charged to annual leave.

Submitting Expense Report. Expense reports must be submitted in the Financial Management System (FMS) within 30 calendar days after the end date of the approved travel authorization or by the last business day of the current fiscal year, whichever comes first. If an activity concludes during the last half of June, special efforts must be taken to submit expense reports by the last business day of the fiscal year for which the travel occurred. All reimbursement requests made after this timeframe require approval by the College President or designee and from the funding entity if professional growth funds are used.

Expense reports must be completed for every travel authorization, with the exception of Penny Travel ($.01) which are closed by the Fiscal Office, even if the employee is not seeking reimbursement.

Cost Overruns. Because estimates are used to develop trip budgets, travelers will be allowed a 10% tolerance level for over expenditures. No further approval by the governing authority is required. When the total expense of the trip exceeds 110% of the estimated total cost, reimbursement of the additional expense will be at the discretion of the governing authority that approved the travel authorization.

Funding Sources with Restrictive Guidelines. For travel situations that have more restrictive standards, such as external grants, professional growth, etc. the provisions of the more restrictive funding source shall be followed.

Mileage. Mileage only travel authorizations for a single type of activity, such as site visits, may  be created for an entire month or each individual trip.  Mileage only expense reports must be submitted in FMS within 30 calendar days after the end of each calendar month or by the last business day of the current fiscal year, whichever comes first.  No mileage may be claimed when using a College/District vehicle or when receiving a car allowance under an employment contract unless the travel is outside of Maricopa County, and then only for the miles outside the County.

Cash Advances. Cash advances for travel purposes will be approved only for student group travel. Supporting documentation that outlines how the advance amount was determined should be included as part of the travel authorization document. All Cash Advance requests must be fully approved at least 3 business days prior to departure for the payment to be received.  It is the traveler’s responsibility to check the status of approvals in FMS.  Every effort should be made to reduce the liability of the traveler(s) by pre-paying known expenses via purchase orders or charging expenses to a purchasing card. When settling cash advances, valid receipts (or signed meal forms when funds distributed to students; see 1.15.6 Meals for Student Group Travel are required and must be submitted within 30 days of completion of travel or the last business day of the current fiscal year, whichever comes first. Specific expenses as detailed in 1.15.11 Miscellaneous Travel Issues are not allowed. Any amounts paid to or on behalf of a traveler that have not been substantiated with an expense claim or valid receipts within 60 days of completion of travel will be deducted from the traveler’s wages.

In-County Travel. An approved travel authorization is required for in-county travel except when no costs are incurred.  An approved travel authorization is always required for student group travel. The Chief Financial Officer or Chief Operating Officer may approve travel expenses, including hotel stays, for certain conference formats that are held in-county.

Personal Travel.  If travel costs (transportation, lodging, meals) are increased due to a lengthened trip, the traveler is responsible for the increase and the traveler must pay for the travel costs using personal/non-Maricopa funds and be reimbursed for the business portion of the travel costs after the completion of the trip.

To determine the amount of reimbursement, determine what the cost of the business portion of the travel costs, independent of the personal portion, would have been.  The cost of the business portion of the transportation fare is the lowest fare that would have been or would be available for the business portion of the trip if the business travel were booked at least two weeks in advance of departure and neither the departure nor the return were to fall on a holiday weekend.

The allowable costs for lodging and meals include those that would have been covered for business only travel, independent of the personal portion.


Allowable expenses include airfare, personally owned vehicle mileage, bridge and road tolls, necessary taxi,  ride share, shuttle, light-rail, subway, train/railroad, bus, ferry or streetcar fares, vehicle rental, and necessary parking fees.

Reimbursement will be made only for the method of transportation that is in the best interest of the College/District considering the travel expense as well as the traveler's time. When more than one traveler uses the same privately owned vehicle, only one claim for mileage reimbursement will be allowed and other travelers should be identified. Reimbursement rates are set by the Arizona Department of Administration and are incorporated by reference.

Driver's License/Insurance

  1. Before any employee of the College/District operates any vehicle, including a personally-owned vehicle, while engaged in any work phase of their employment with MCCCD, either assigned or implied, they must:
    1. possess a valid Arizona driver's license, and
    2. have read the MCCCD Administrative Regulation 4.14 Motor Vehicle Usage.
  2. The operator of a non-District personally-owned vehicle shall have in force a personal automobile insurance policy consisting of bodily injury and property damage liability limits which complies with Arizona Revised Statutes. Such personal automobile insurance policy shall provide primary coverage.

The District’s insurance program may be considered excess coverage for operators of personally-owned vehicles in approved travel status once primary coverage has been exhausted.

The District’s insurance program provides coverage to authorized drivers of College/District vehicles when on official College/District business. Passengers must be on official College/District business. Personal property stolen or damaged in an accident in any vehicle is not covered by the District’s insurance program.

College/District-Owned Motor Vehicles

  1. Every effort should be made to use a College/District-owned vehicle in place of personally-owned vehicles.
  2. The use of College/District vehicles for transporting individuals not essential to the purpose for which the vehicle was dispatched is prohibited.

Personally Owned Vehicle

  1. A traveler using a personally-owned vehicle for College/District business with supervisory and fiscal approval may receive mileage reimbursement regardless of eligibility for lodging or M&IE reimbursement.
  2. When the travel begins or ends at the individual's residence, mileage shall be computed from the residence or the designated duty post, whichever is the shorter distance. Commute mileage is to be based on no more than one round trip to duty post per day.
  3. When an individual is required to report to a duty post outside of normal working hours, reimbursement for mileage from residence to designated duty post and return is allowable.
  4. A personally-owned motor vehicle may be used for out-of-state travel with supervisory approval. Reimbursement for mileage is limited to no more than the lowest cost mode of transportation (including hotel parking) and should be documented by traveler and approved prior to travel.
  5. When a personally-owned vehicle is authorized for travel, reimbursement will be at the rate set by the Arizona Department of Administration computed by odometer readings or Online navigation mapping system. When using an Online navigation mapping system to determine mileage, a printout of the program showing the addresses and the calculation must be included with the travel claim.
  6. If a traveler driving a personally-owned vehicle is involved in an accident and found to be at fault, his or her personal automobile carrier is responsible to the limits of the policy. If the claim exceeds that coverage, the District’s insurance program will at that time cover the amount over the policy limits if the traveler was acting within the course and scope of his or her employment. If a traveler driving his or her own vehicle on College/District business is involved in an accident, regardless of fault, the College/District will not reimburse the traveler for any physical damage to the vehicle, including claims by any passengers not essential to the purpose for which the vehicle is operated.

Rented Motor Vehicles

  1. Rented vehicles may be authorized when more economical means of travel are not available. Use of rented automobiles shall be limited to instances where it is to the advantage of the College/District and not for the personal convenience of the traveler. The governing authority is responsible for determining the type of vehicle rented as well as whether or not the advantages of using a rented vehicle outweigh the costs of other modes of transportation. Reimbursement of motor vehicle rentals must be substantiated by a valid receipt.
  2. Travelers using rented vehicles will not be allowed to claim mileage. Reasonable gasoline purchases will be reimbursable if receipts are provided.
  3. The use of a rented vehicle for transporting individuals not essential to the travel purpose for which the vehicle was rented is prohibited.   


  1. Airfare may be purchased via a purchase order with an approved travel agency, with a valid purchasing card, or as a reimbursement after travel has taken place. To reduce the liability to the traveler, every effort should be made to use a purchasing card or purchase order to an approved travel agency. Reimbursement for commercial airfare is expected to be at the lowest rate available.  However, if this rate does not allow for seat selection at the time of purchase, the lowest fare that includes seat selection is allowable. Receipts are required for baggage fees. Reimbursements are limited to one bag except for reasonable allowances (examples are team travel or international travel).
  2. Flight insurance purchased by the traveler is not reimbursable.
  3. If a trip is canceled, every effort must be made to recover the credit. The following situations describe the factors to consider when reimbursing for cancellations:
    1. When the cancellation of the trip was within the traveler’s control: 
      1. The traveler must reimburse the District/College for the cost of the ticket.
    2. When the cancellation of the trip was outside of the traveler’s control and:
      1. No credit is issued – the District/College will cover the cost of the ticket.
      2. A credit is issued – the credit must be used for MCCCD business travel or the traveler can “buy” the credit from the District/College for personal use. If the credit can’t be used, the District will absorb the cost of the ticket.
  4. Change fees
    The purpose of the change fee must be clearly documented in order to be reimbursed.
    1. Change fees can be reimbursed if the change was due to a circumstance or event outside the control of the traveler.
    2. Change fees will be reimbursed if the change enabled the traveler to decrease the cost of the trip by returning earlier than originally planned.

Railroads and Buses

Railroad or bus travel may be used when convenient or economical and if excessive travel time and additional expenses do not result.

Ground Transportation

  1. Tolls, taxi, buses, shuttle, light-rail, subway, train, streetcar, ride share, and parking are classified as ground transportation and are allowable.  The most economical means of transportation shall be used. Ground transportation for personal activities, such as sightseeing or travel to restaurants, is not reimbursable.  The business purpose for the ground transportation claimed must be identified.
  2. Ground transportation 
    1. Receipts are required when the sum of ALL ground transportation expenses is equal to or exceeds $25.00.  Receipts are not required when the sum of ALL ground transportation expense is less than $25.00.  For ground transportation such as subways, buses, streetcars and light rail where receipts are not provided, the traveler may submit a ground transportation log in lieu of receipts.
  3. Parking includes airport parking, hotel parking, conference parking, and site parking and is allowable.
    1. When departing Arizona, parking for personally-owned vehicles at the airport is reimbursable at the economy lot rates. If a traveler is dropped off at the airport, parking is not reimbursable. When the traveler is picked up at the airport, up to one hour of parking may be reimbursed. 
  4. Tips for transportation and baggage handling, as well as storage charges are to be paid from the traveler’s M&IE allowance.

Meal and Incidental Expenses (M&IE)

A traveler shall be allowed reimbursement for actual cost of meals and incidentals in accordance with these rules not to exceed the per diem allowance rates. To be eligible for M&IE the traveler must be away from their residence or duty post substantially longer than an ordinary day’s work and be in approved travel status.  See 1.15.9 Student Group Travel for additional M&IE information specific to student group travel.

Meal Allowances. Regardless of any circumstance or condition, a traveler may not claim more than three (3) meals in any single calendar day or in any period of twenty-four (24) consecutive hours. Meals and incidental expenses shall not exceed those amounts allowed by Travel Regulation. To claim any meal expense, the traveler must show where and when the trip begins and ends.

Rates. Rates for per diem allowances for both domestic and international travel can be found at Accounts Payable Travel Reference. Travelers are NOT required to provide receipts when claiming per diem.  When determining the rates for travel to Alaska and Hawaii, only the “Local Meals” rate column is eligible for per diem.

Note: The amounts allowed for meals are not intended to cover the entire cost of a meal taken while in travel status. The amounts are calculated to compensate the traveler for the estimated difference between the cost of a meal taken on the road and the cost of a meal prepared at home.

Full-Day Allowance. Except as may be otherwise provided, a travel day of fourteen (14) or more hours shall be considered a full day and entitle the traveler to reimbursement for up to three (3) meals. Exceptions include circumstances under which the traveler is provided one or more meals during the course of a day by some other means (such as meals served at a conference or on a plane). Reimbursement shall not exceed the daily per diem.

Partial-Day Allowances. When the travel day is less than a full day as described above, the following guidelines shall be applied to amounts for M&IE:

  1. Breakfast - when departure is prior to 7:00 a.m. and/or return is after 9:00 a.m.
  2. Lunch - when departure is prior to 11:30 a.m. and/or return is after 1:30 p.m.
  3. Dinner - when departure is prior to 5:00 p.m. and/or return is after 7:00 p.m.

Departure and return are measured from the time the traveler leaves and returns to their residence or duty post. Allowances for departure times prior to a mode of transportation leaving (i.e. airplane) may be considered reasonable. Partial day allowances for domestic and international travel are available at Accounts Payable Travel Reference

Meals Provided. If the traveler is provided a meal in the cost for other travel-related expenses, the traveler is not eligible for reimbursement for that meal. Regardless of menu, continental breakfast is considered a provided meal.

Cost of meals included with other charges: The traveler is not entitled to a meal allowance for meals provided free at an institution, on an airplane, included in conference registration fees or provided on a complimentary basis by the facility at which the traveler is lodged.

Special dietary needs: Meals satisfying special dietary needs will generally be provided by airlines, conferences, hotels, etc. if requested by the traveler. It is the traveler’s responsibility to make the necessary arrangements for such special meals on a timely basis. In order to claim a reimbursement for a meal when a traveler’s request for a meal satisfying a special dietary need has been denied, the traveler must provide a statement (with appropriate support) that details and certifies all of the following: 1) to whom such request was made; 2) by whom such request was denied; 3) the reason given for the denial; and 4) the special dietary needs of the traveler that could not otherwise have been accommodated.

Meals for Student Group Travel. The applied per diem amount for student group travel may be less than the published per diem rate. Whenever an employee (i.e., advisor or coach) receives funding for group or team meals, the meal form must state how the funds are being distributed and be signed when the distribution occurs. The use of prior signed meal forms is prohibited. Valid receipts are also required in instances when funds are not distributed to students, but the meals are paid for the group as a whole, or when all meals are paid from the advance.

Meals for a Group of Employees. When a group of MCCCD employees are traveling together and one employee pays, the host must have an approved "Official Functions Form" that was submitted in advance of the event. The "Official Function" activity will be reimbursed separate from the employee's travel expense. A valid receipt and list of participants must be submitted to substantiate the cost of the meal. Participating employees who did not pay shall not claim under the per diem rate for this meal. Official Function activity shall be limited to one meal per trip. Exceptions to this limit may be approved by the Chancellor, Chief Operating Officer, or Chief Financial Officer.

Incidental Expenses. Incidental expenses are included in the per diem rates for meals. No receipts are required.



Lodging costs are allowable for out-of-county, out-of-state, and international travel and can include room rate, taxes, resort fees, and fees associated with room rate. Lodging is allowable when the traveler is required to be away from their residence or duty post substantially longer than an ordinary day’s work, and would not be able to return to their residence or duty post by 9:00 p.m. (Arizona time). Lodging must be at a commercial establishment, excluding private residences and/or airBnB or similar establishments.  The traveler is required to request the lowest available rate (government, commercial, corporate, conference, etc.).  Lodging costs incurred may be allowed if an emergency exists and the governing authority approves as designated in section 1.15.3 Approval Authority.

The Chief Financial Officer or Chief Operating Officer may approve in-county lodging for certain conference formats which requires prior approval.

Hotel Folio and Receipts. It is the traveler’s obligation, to ensure that the establishment can provide a detailed folio/receipt containing the room rate, taxes, resort fees and fees associated on the establishment’s letterhead or invoice.

Reimbursement Amounts. The allowable amount includes room charges and applicable taxes, and should not exceed the Arizona Department of Administration rate index. See Accounts Payable Travel Reference 

Note: Allowable amounts shall not exceed the actual amount of travel-related expenses.

Rates. The rates published in the Arizona Department of Administration rate index are limits for actual expenses and are not meant as a per diem for lodging expenses. If a situation exists that makes compliance with the maximums impractical, and the governing authority approves, actual lodging costs in excess of the Department of Administration’s rate index may be allowed.

Conference Travel. For conference travel, approval may be made at conference lodging rates. In these instances, the allowable amount will be the actual lodging cost, plus tax and hotel fees, of the conference designated hotel(s).

  1. When no vacancies exist at the conference designated hotel(s) the traveler can request reasonable accommodations at alternate hotels in the immediate vicinity of the conference.
  2. If the conference hotel rate in the conference designated hotel(s) is not available, the traveler can request reasonable accommodations at the conference hotel for the actual lodging costs.
  3. If the conference designated hotel(s) has vacancies and the traveler chooses to stay in a hotel other than a conference designated hotel, approval will be for the actual lodging cost, plus tax and transportation or parking, provided the total cost (including transport from hotel to the conference and back or parking fees) does not exceed the conference designated hotel cost.

Shared Lodging. When lodging is shared with another individual on College/District business, reimbursement will be made to the traveler who paid. When lodging is shared with an individual not on College/ District business (such as a spouse) the expense shall not exceed the single room rate plus tax.

Miscellaneous Business Expenses. Communication charges, including telephone, internet access in any location, faxes and copies that are required for business purposes only are allowable. Such charges and the business necessity should be identified on the travel authorization. Travelers should note the party to whom business calls were made and/or purpose. Personal phone calls are not allowable.

International Travel

All international travel, regardless of funding source or designation, must follow the International Travel Policy.  The Chancellor or their designee has final approval of all international travel, regardless of funding source or destination. College Presidents have first line of authority for all international travel involving students, faculty, and staff at their colleges. District Executives have first line of authority for all international travel involving staff in their divisions. The Provost has the authority to recommend for the Chancellor’s approval any proposed student education abroad, faculty exchange, or curriculum development initiative or reject the proposals because outcomes are not clear, criteria are not met, or program is not rigorous enough.

An International Travel Proposal is required for all international travel.  

Travel funded partially or entirely by outside sources. Travel funded by any outside source requires full compliance with the International Travel Policy, including completion of an International Travel Proposal.

Approval of expense reports. Traveler’s expense reports shall be approved by the traveler’s supervisor and the College/District Fiscal Office. Expense reports for College Presidents or District Executives are to be approved by the Chancellor or designee. Expense reports for vice presidents are approved by the College President. Governing Board Members’ and the Chancellor’s expense reports will be approved by a District Executive or designee. Reimbursement exceptions may be granted in extenuating circumstances upon review by the Chancellor, Chief Operating Officer, or Chief Financial Officer. When an individual is to remain in approved travel status for longer than 30 days, the Governing Board must approve the claim of lodging and M&IE.

International travel is generally prohibited in instances where either the learning or professional growth opportunity exists in the United States or its territories. See the International Travel Policy for exceptions.

Reimbursement. Reimbursements are limited to those travelers in approved travel status. If expenses are to be incurred and/or paid, each employee must complete an International Travel Proposal prior to travel. For group travel (students only), the International Travel Proposal must include a list of students participating in the trip. For travel involving conferences, a conference brochure (or equivalent detailed documents) must accompany the travel proposal. For travel not involving a conference format, documentation to support estimated costs must accompany the travel proposal.

U.S. Department of State (US DOS) allowances will be used for reimbursement amounts for all international travel. The listed amount includes allowances for both lodging and M&IE. Links to information regarding reimbursement amounts for foreign areas is available on the Accounts Payable Travel Reference website. 

M&IE. The daily total amount available for out-of-country M&IE should be allocated between meals, when necessary, using the following percentages (these percentages include allocating the incidentals that the US DOS identifies separately):

  • LUNCH 25%
  • DINNER 55%

The partial day M&IE reimbursement rates are available on the Accounts Payable Travel Reference web, in the State of Arizona Accounting Manual.

Lodging. Please reference previous language within section 1.15.7 on allowable lodging expenses.

Conversion Rates. Conversion of foreign exchange should be completed by the traveler prior to submitting the reimbursement request. Conversion may take place prior to leaving Arizona or during travel with a receipt from an official banking establishment specifying the date, conversion rate, and amount converted. Conversion rates may also be calculated using the date each actual expense was paid from an official conversion web site of the traveler’s choice. Copies of the conversion table should be attached to the travel expense report.

Ground Transportation. Receipts are required for ground transportation amounts claimed above $25.00. When receipts are not available, the destination and expense should be noted on the ground transportation log.


Student Group Travel

One travel authorization bearing the total expenses and supporting documentation for the primary employee and all students is required.  Additional employees traveling with the group must have a separate approved travel authorization that references back to the group travel authorization.  A list of students participating in the trip must accompany the travel authorization, if known at the time of submission.  If specific students are not known at the time of the travel authorization submission, a headcount of students participating must be included.  A list of students participating must accompany the expense report.  Student group travel also requires all appropriate student travel forms (i.e. Travel Assumption of Risk and Release of Liability, emergency contact, forms specific to student international travel, etc.) to be retained by the college apart from the travel authorization.

Meals.  Student group meals may be computed to a per person amount not to exceed 80% of the allowable per diem rates established by the state of Arizona and accessible at Accounts Payable Travel Reference.  Councils or activities may have more restrictive guidelines.  The travel day begins at the time the student is required to report for the activity and ends when they are released from the activity.

Travel.  Student group travel always requires an approved travel authorization.

Travel and M&IE for Out-of-State Candidates and Finalists for Employment

The Governing Board authorizes the reimbursement of travel and M&IE expenses for out-of-state finalists for employment for Classified Staff Grade 125 and above; finalists for residential faculty positions; and candidates and finalists for Chancellor’s Executive Council positions under the following circumstances:

  1. The Chancellor, appropriate District Executive or College President verifies the need for an on-site interview and identifies appropriate funds to cover the costs of reimbursement.
  2. Reimbursement will be limited to actual expenses and valid receipts. The most economical means of transportation that is available should also be used.

Miscellaneous Travel Issues

Miscellaneous Travel Issues

Consultants. Travel for individuals not specifically covered by this Administrative Regulation, including consultants and other non-employees, should be included in the negotiated contracted for services.

Out-of-State Use of Equipment. Any out-of-state use of College/District owned equipment, including vehicles, must be specifically approved by the governing authority (as defined in 1.15.3). The guidelines set forth in 1.11 Off Premises Property Loan also apply.

Non-Reimbursable/Non-Allowable Expenses. The following expenses are NOT reimbursable under any circumstances:

  1. Alcohol
  2. Airline or social club membership dues
  3. Babysitting or childcare costs
  4. Clothing, luggage, briefcases
  5. Credit card delinquency fees/finance charges/annual fees
  6. Expenses for travel companions/family
  7. Early boarding
  8. Fast pass for TSA
  9. Frequent flier miles
  10. Health club facilities, saunas, massages
  11. Helicopter services for airport transfers
  12. Kennel fees and pet care for pets while on travel status
  13. Loss/theft of cash
  14. Loss/theft of personal property (lost baggage, etc.)
  15. Magazines, books, newspapers, or movies
  16. Optional travel or baggage insurance
  17. Parking or traffic fines
  18. Personal accident or property insurance
  19. Personal car repairs/routine maintenance or locksmith charges
  20. Personal entertainment/grooming/gifts/souvenirs
  21. Personal sightseeing/tourist activities
  22. Preferred seating
  23. Priority check in
  24. Overweight/oversize baggage fees (except with approval)
  25. Trip cancellation insurance
  26. Valet parking (except for when self parking not available)
  27. Wifi (except for MCCCD business purpose)

FAQs.  Additional clarifying and procedural information can be found in the Travel Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) document available on the District’s Accounts Payable Travel Reference website.  The FAQs are intended to address business processes or questions that arise as travel is reviewed and approved and will be updated as needed.  

Other. Any travel issues that are not specifically addressed within this regulation require review by the Chief Financial Officer or the appropriate designee.