Professional Travel to Conferences

Professional Travel Funding Deadline: ongoing

Until further notice Travel at Bates is subject to the temporary measures implemented on March 12 and outlined on the College’s COVID-19 policies page.

Professional Travel Funds. The goal of Professional Travel Fund is to encourage scholarly activity by the faculty through partial support for travel costs associated with professional activity. Full-time faculty and those holding ongoing, long-term lectureships are eligible for this funding. This annual allowance is restricted to use for participation at a discipline-specific professional venue where scholarly activities are showcased after peer review. Qualified venues typically are national or international events, though faculty also may attend regional conferences. To assist full-time faculty in maintaining their scholarly work, the following provisions are in place for professional travel to conferences by faculty members:
If a faculty member is presenting (or engaging in an analogous activity) at one or more conferences, an annual maximum of $1,750 is available to defray the cost of conference travel.

  • If a faculty member is attending only(and not presenting), a maximum of $800 is available to defray the cost of conference travel. A faculty member can receive reimbursement for attending (and not presenting at) a meeting only once per year.
  • Should the faculty member attend one meeting and present at one or more other meetings, an annual maximum of $1,750 is available for reimbursement of travel expenses.
  • Faculty in the arts (theater, dance, music, and studio art) may use professional travel to attend exhibitions, studios, and performances.
  • Faculty athletic coaches may use professional travel funds to attend national, athletic conferences. To qualify for “presenter” funds, a coach must be an officer of a national association or committee and perform an active participatory role at the conference or must make a presentation to a national conference.
  • Faculty members are reimbursed after the completion of the travel. (More information and guidelines.)
  • Individual faculty travel allowances originate in the annual expenses budget. The fiscal year begins on July 1 and ends on June 30, and no funds can be carried over from a prior year, nor may funds be advanced against future years.

Bates Faculty Development Fund. Faculty increasingly attend multiple scholarly conferences. Faculty may apply for additional travel funding through the Bates Faculty Development Fund with deadlines in September, December, and April.

Reimbursement. The college rigorously follows all Internal Revenue Service regulations pertaining to employee travel reimbursement.

  • Bates Accounting can only make final charges to an account AFTER the completion of the travel in the fiscal year the travel occurred. Those traveling in June must by ready to submit the Travel Expense Report as soon as they return. If your travel straddles July 1 then the total trip expenses will be charged to the Conference Travel Fund for the fiscal year in which the preponderance of expenses occurred.
  • Requests for reimbursement for all professional activities should be made to Jason Scheideman promptly following those activities.
  • All expenses must be accompanied by original receipts. When requesting reimbursement for air travel, the original airline ticket receipt and/or electronic payment receipt must be provided as a receipt (an itinerary from the travel agency is not sufficient proof of purchase, per federal guidelines).
  • All travel-related expenses must be initially paid by the individual faculty and paid invoices or receipts must be preserved for reimbursement. The vendor, date paid, and amount paid must be clearly visible (yellow highlighter on credit card receipts will dissolve the invoice ink). Shared expenses paid on one bill should show your share written and circled.
  • Entries on a monthly credit card bill are NOT judged as legal receipts, and must be accompanied by receipts or invoices.
  • By federal regulation, the College cannot reimburse faculty members for personal expenses such as pet care, lawn care, laundry, house sitting, child care or physical fitness expenses while traveling.

Travel Advances. Faculty may request an advance for conference travel by completing an Advance Request form. Advances may be used for airfare, conference registration, and lodging.

  • The amount advanced is actually an interest-free loan from Bates to the individual. No account is actually charged for the reimbursement until the Travel Expense Report is submitted AFTER the travel. The individual is legally responsible for the payback of the loan by submitting the Travel Expense Report or by personal check.
  • All advances must be retired within ten days after the travel event by submission of the Travel Expense Report or a personal check.
  • Final reimbursement to the individual following a Travel Expense Report will be the total trip expense minus the advance.
  • See the Accounting Department’s website for more information.

Additional Information.

Travel Expense Report Attachments should include:

  • A copy of the cover page of the conference program;
  • A copy of the program page showing your name as a presenter, if applicable, to justify the presenter funding;
  • A MapQuest page showing personal car mileage traveled to be reimbursed using the current IRS mileage allowance;
  • All other paid receipts for reimbursement;
  • For safety in transmission and so as not to duplicate the task at each stage of the accounting procedure date-label a piece of 8.5 x 11″ paper for each calendar day and tape all receipts to the appropriate page;
  • If you share the meal bill with a colleague, write the amount of your share clearly on the receipt;
  • Out-of-pocket meals should normally be limited to $60.00 or less per day;
  • When total meal expenses do not exceed $35.00 per day, meal receipts are not required.

Supplemental Travel Funding. If, by the end of the academic year, additional funding is available to support conference travel for Supplemental Travel allocations, an email is sent to the faculty in the spring.