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College of Liberal Arts Travel Policy and Procedures 2019-20

Updates for the 2020-21 year coming soon!

CLA Travel Policy


  • The college has set aside $150,000 for professional travel support in 2019-20. Requests for travel are to be submitted for planning purposes in the fall (by Thursday, October 31) for the entire fiscal year (JUNE 15, 2019 through JUNE 15, 2020), and shall be part of the department’s travel projections for the year. Typically, travel that will be completed after JUNE 15, 2020, will be submitted for and processed in the next fiscal year. Requests for CLA-funded travel may be submitted for any tenured/tenure-track/lecturer faculty. Departments may augment faculty travel from discretionary funds only. Departments are allowed to develop and apply their own policies for this additional support, consistent with college and university policies.
  • Up to $1,500 or funding for one trip (whichever is less) is available in the 2019-20 AY for the following:
  1. Exhibits, Plays, Recitals, Conference and Workshop Presentations: Faculty may request travel funding to participate in a refereed art exhibit; to present a play, a musical or a dance recital; to present a paper, chair a session, provide substantive comments on a session, participate in a roundtable, make a poster presentation, and/or play some other official role at a meeting of a national, international, regional, or state recognized professional association.

    NOTE: Funding is not available for merely attending an exhibit, play, recital, conference or workshop. 
    1. If travel funding is requested for direct participation at a conference/event that does not fit this definition, the faculty member must provide information about the significance of the conference/event, its sponsors, purpose, and the process by which participants were chosen as part of the application process. This information will be used to determine if travel funding will be awarded.  
    2. Service to the Profession:
      Faculty may request travel funding to serve in an official capacity on a professional committee, as an officer in a professional organization, and/or on an editorial board of a journal. Other services will also be considered with appropriate documentation.
    3. Research: Faculty may request travel funding in order to conduct research. In this case, the supporting documentation must state the type of research proposed, discuss its methods, and explain both its significance and expected outcomes (scholarly presentation and/or publication, for example). A clear rationale for travel must be included, and a post-trip report must be submitted by the end of the quarter during which the travel took place.

Dean's Office Contacts: 

  • CLA-funded faculty travel
    Melissa Bodin
  • All other travel (e.g., unfunded and other professional travel, students, speakers, candidates, relocation): 
    Joy Sisler

30 Days Prior to Travel Date (for foreign travel) or 10 Days Prior to Travel Date (for domestic travel)

NOTE: Failure to submit forms listed below by these deadlines may result in denial of travel request.

Domestic (in-state) Travel

International Travel

Within 10 Days of Return Travel Date

For travel after January 1, 2020

For travel prior to January 1, 2020

Additional Travel Information

Instructions for Completing Travel Forms

  1. Download the form to your local computer desktop.
  2. Fill out all information requested (including pull down options).
  3. Print form, sign, date and obtain appropriate approval signatures.
  4. Retain a copy for your files.
  5. If traveling internationally, submit forms here.

Guiding Principles

  • Support for professional travel must be related to the faculty member’s assignment at the university and/or scholarly interests. There will be no priorities with respect to the categories of professional travel listed above. International, national, regional and state trips will be given equal weight.

  • Faculty who are on sabbatical (or difference-in-pay leaves) are eligible. Faculty who are on other professional leaves and who do not have access to other funds for professional travel provided by another institution or agency may also be eligible.

  • Lecturer, FERP and PRTB faculty are eligible for funding as a percentage of annual time base.


    Application Process for ALL Faculty Travel

    Please note: all information must be typed onto the forms. All forms are available as preformatted, typeable Excel (XLS) files. Please always use the CLA forms, downloading them from the CLA website at the time of each trip. BECAUSE TRAVEL REIMBURSEMENTS CHANGE CONSTANTLY, DO NOT REUSE OLD FORMS.

    1. Complete the CLA Travel Pre-Authorization Form (XLS). All faculty MUST file a pre-authorization form for any professional travel, whether funded or unfunded. If a faculty member must be on leave from campus for reasons other than professional travel (e.g., sick leave, personal holiday, other), please see your department chair and administrative coordinator for proper procedures and forms. PLEASE NOTE: Academic Year Faculty DO NOT have vacation/personal time for use during the academic term, except for the one (1) Personal Holiday. Personal travel or absences during the academic term may be subject to docked pay. 

      As state employees, travelers may be eligible for special rates on airfares and lodging. Please see Fiscal Services’ complete travel guidelines with this detailed information.


      Car rentals must be done through Enterprise Rent A Car, the university’s primary vendor.

      According to university policy, “In the event that the primary vendor is unable to provide service the secondary vendor must be used.” To book with National, call Giselle's Travel. 

      Employees must use one of the commercial car rental companies currently under contract with the State of California when renting a vehicle for Official State business travel. The University will not pay for the rental of a vehicle from a company that does not have a contract with the State. Unlimited mileage, insurance and airport fees are included in the State contract rates.

      In the event that employees rent from a company that does not have a contract with the State, their department or agency may be legally responsible for all damages (bodily injury, death and property damage) sustained by others as well as property damage to the rental vehicle.

      In addition, please realize that that the State contract rates are guaranteed statewide, and that liability insurance (up to $500,000 per occurrence for bodily injury and property damage combined) is included in the rate. Non-State rates do not include insurance and Cal Poly will not reimburse you for adding insurance.

      Please also see Fiscal Services’ rental car guidelines.
    2. Complete and attach the CLA Travel Pre-Authorization Addendum Form (XLS)which documents class coverage and laptop computer use information. Acceptable arrangements for class coverage include having a guest lecture given by a colleague, having a film shown by a colleague or graduate student, having a test proctored by a colleague or eligible graduate student, or having students complete a relevant library or other extra assignment. Office staff and/or undergraduate students cannot be asked to provide class coverage. Graduate students eligible to proctor tests are those who have been trained to deal with possible cheating and plagiarism. Contacts are available through the Dean’s Office. Payment to graduate students for class coverage services is the responsibility of the department. Canceling class is not an option.

      Faculty should also be aware of procedures involving travel with state-issued laptops. Please indicate on the CLA Travel Pre-Authorization Addendum Form (XLS) whether you are taking your state-issued laptop with you (see Section C). For in-state and other domestic travel you should have a current CLA Computer Use Form filed with the CLA Dean’s Office (via CLA Techs) and carried with the laptop; no additional form is required. For international travel, you will need to complete an on-line CLA Computer Use Form: International Travel for each international trip; however, it is highly recommended that you use a checkout laptop instead. Please refer to the CLA Computer Use Policies and Procedures for the types of information that CANNOT be on your computer when you travel and procedures to follow to help the information on your state-issued laptop remain secure and virus-free.
    3. Submit the completed and signed Travel Pre-Authorization Form (XLS) and the CLA Travel Pre-Authorization Addendum Form (XLS) to the CLA Dean’s Office (not your department office) at least 10 days in advance of travel in the U.S. and at least 30 days (45 days preferred) in advance of international travel. The Travel Pre-Authorization Form and the CLA Travel Pre-Authorization Addendum MUST be submitted on time or the travel risks not being approved or funded.
    4. Pre-authorization for travel in the United States requires filing these forms at least 10 days in advance. Pre-authorization for international travel requires Provost’s approval, additional forms and purchase of CSU-Approved Foreign Travel InsuranceThese forms must be submitted at least 30-45 days in advance (high hazard travel requires three (3) months). Please plan accordingly. 
      • If NOT Requesting CLA Funds, signatures of the traveler, the department chair, and the Dean’s Office will be required. State account information should not be included and the totals should be listed as zeroes, unless other state funds are being requested. Please have your administrative coordinator review the request for accuracy and completeness, including the dates and times of departure and return.
      • If Requesting CLA Funds, the request must be signed by the traveler and approved by the department chair and the Dean’s Office. Please have your administrative coordinator review the request, especially the dates and times of departure and return and the account numbers. Account numbers and totals should be filled out.
      • If Requesting CLA Funds, please select the box corresponding to either Exhibits, Plays, Recitals, Conferences and Workshops; Service to the Profession; Research or Other (with explanation) on the CLA 1A Travel Pre-Authorization Form (XLS) and fill out the other information accordingly.

        In addition, faculty are required to include:
        1. A short statement indicating the intended professional objectives of the particular trip.
        2. Supporting documentation, such as a confirmation of paper acceptance, with the form. The CLA Travel Pre-Authorization Addendum Form (XLS) also asks travelers to indicate other sources of support, if any, for the trip.
      NOTE: The completed, typed forms and attachments MUST be sent through your department coordinator so they can include the correct funding information, check the form for overall accuracy, and obtain needed signatures. Please do not include any personal address information on the forms. Forms will be sent back if any information is missing, left blank, or incorrect OR if personal address information is included. Not filing a pre-authorization form puts the traveler at risk for covering all costs associated with the travel, including those arising from accidents.
    5. Within 10 days of your return, complete the CLA Travel Expense Form 262 (XLS) 2019 for travel prior to January 1, 2020 or the CLA Travel Expense Form 262 (XLS) 2020 for travel after January 1, 2020 for all professional travel, no matter what the funding source (state, discretionary, or a combination of the two). Please see your department coordinator for information on allowable expenses and reimbursement rates.

      The CLA Travel Expense Claim​ Form 262 (XLS) must be completed and submitted within 10 days of returning from the trip or the traveler risks the loss of reimbursement. Do not include any personal address information on the forms or the receipts (this may mean thoroughly crossing out personal address information on airline, car rental, hotel and other receipts). Do not attach boarding passes or Google maps. Please include original receipts for air, lodging, parking, and auto rental. Receipts must be affixed with tape (on edges only — not covering the text of the receipt), not staples, to the back of the expense form and/or on a separate 8.5” X 11” sheet of white paper, if necessary. Please see your department coordinator for special instructions involving foreign travel and reimbursement rates.

      NOTE: The completed form and attachments MUST be sent through your department coordinator so they can include the correct funding information, check the form for overall accuracy (including dates and times of departure and return and claims for meals), and obtain needed signatures prior submitting to the Dean’s Office. Forms will be sent back if any information is missing, left blank or incorrect, or if personal address information is included. 

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