BSU/NTC Travel Procedures

Effective June 1, 2021, approval of individual employee requests for domestic travel will return to the president or their designee. All travel will continue to be subject to adherence to guidance and local advisories.

Below are the current Travel Requests & Employee Expense forms. Both are fillable. If registering for a virtual conference with no travel involved a Travel Request does not need to be completed. You can obtain supervisor approval via email before purchasing. The email should include the details of the virtual conference, including cost and the cost center.

Before Traveling

Before travel can occur for faculty, staff or students, a Travel Request or Student Travel Request must be completed and approved. Please refer to the below routing section for required approvals.

Attached to this request should be documentation of the conference, meeting or other activity, including the dates (e.g. conference web page, an email confirming a presentation or performance or a description of who you will be meeting with and what activities you will be engaged in). The Travel Request should not be approved without this information.

After Traveling

Once your trip is completed, a final expense report should be submitted with applicable, itemized receipts. See the sections on ‘Employee Expense Report’ and ‘Receipts’.

If you purchase an airline ticket, pay a registration fee or incur any other expense related to your travel more than 60 days prior to your trip date, you must submit your paid receipts along with an expense report before the 60-day deadline in order to avoid tax implications. You will be reimbursed for those ‘pre-trip’ expenses and then you will follow up with the remainder of your expenses at the end of your trip.

Form Routing Process

Forms are routed from:

  1. Employee
  2. Immediate Supervisor or Department Chair
  3. Director or Dean
  4. Vice President
  5. Special Accounts Coordinator (PDF, PIF, PIG) or President (for international travel)

The form should then be submitted to the Business Services Travel office, box #5.



When the Expense form opens — download, click ‘Open with Adobe Acrobat DC’

Travel Contact and Questions

  • Phone: (218) 755-2850
  • Box #5

We hope to answer the usual questions regarding State of Minnesota travel rules. BSU/NTC attempts to secure a fair and reasonable reimbursement for most, but not necessarily all expenses, which you incur on official university business trips.

Please note that BSU/NTC does not make all the rules. Most regulations must be done through negotiations of collective bargaining agreements and legislative process.

Please be sure to visit the IRS Tax Policy on Expenses section to ensure you submit your documents on time to avoid tax!

Types of Travel

Any out of state travel requires that the Travel Request be approved by a Vice President.

If travel is occurring out of country the Travel Request must also be signed by the University President and should include a signed Additional International Travel Form* form. Employees should ensure that the travel location is not under a travel warning.

Purchasing Plane Tickets

After travel has been approved, employees have two options when purchasing plane tickets.

  • BSU/NTC will only allow for the lowest cost airfare.
  • Purchase personally & seek reimbursement via Employee Expense Report. Paid receipt should be attached. Remember to seek reimbursement within 60 days of purchase to avoid tax implications.
  • Charge ticket to Travel Office purchasing card. In order to set up a day and time to come up to purchase your ticket please contact the Travel Office.

BSU/NTC cannot reimburse for any type of travel insurance, travel protection or seat selections. These would be a personal cost.

Mileage Instead of Airfare

An agency may authorize out-of-state travel for employees requesting travel who use their personal vehicles under special circumstances. Please note this requires prior approval to travel and should be indicated on your Travel Request.

An agency may authorize out-of-state travel for employees requesting travel who use their personal vehicles under special circumstances. The reimbursement for transportation to and from the trip destination (including any additional expenses that result while en route such as mileage, additional meals or lodging) is limited to the lowest round trip airfare (based on the number of days the employee would have attended if traveling by air). If the lowest round-trip airfare can only be obtained by the employee arriving early and/or staying an additional night(s), the cost of the additional necessary hotel accommodations and/or meals may be included in computing the amount of the lowest airfare for the purpose of determining the expense reimbursement. An airfare itinerary must be attached to the Authorization for Travel form. The lowest round trip airfare must be listed on the Employee Expense Report or in the description of the expense in Self Service business expenses. If additional hotel accommodations and/or meals are included in computing the lowest airfare, these additional costs must be itemized and attached to the out-of-state authorization.

Commercial or public transportation should normally be used for out-of-state travel except to communities which border Minnesota (for example, Fargo-Moorhead). Travel to border communities is treated as in-state travel.

Minnesota State requires any credits or other benefits issued by an airline, hotel, credit card or other reward programs to a public employee, who uses public funds to pay for BSU/NTC travel, to accrue to the benefit of the public body providing the funding. This includes hotels that may provide free lodging after staying a specified number of days. Employees or board trustees who frequently fly and have airline frequent flyer programs for their personal travel shall obtain a separate airline frequent flyer program number to record and report receipt of credits or other benefits when using state funds or remove the frequent flyer number before booking travel. Employees must certify that they have not claimed frequent flyer rewards or hotel rewards for personal use when applying for travel reimbursement. Any benefits received belong to the state.

If an employee is combining personal travel during their work travel, the employee can only be reimbursed for expenses that are incurred during the work portion of the trip. Ex: if you are flying and leaving three days prior from your work event because those three days are personal travel, you will need to pull an estimate flight for just the days required to travel for the work event. This document will need to be included with your Travel and Vehicle Request.


Employees are to claim actual expenses for meals, but reimbursement cannot exceed the maximum amounts listed below. Maximum rates are set by labor negotiations and Department of Employee Relations. These rates may change for any or all of the different Unions each time contracts are re-negotiated.

Certain major out-of-state metro areas are reimbursed at a higher rate.

Food Cost Limits

For members of bargaining units: Commissioner’s Plan, MSCF, Administrator’s Plan, Managerial Plan, MSUAAF, MMA, MNA and IFO.

The MnSCU Administrator and MSCF plans provides for higher meal reimbursement rates for Hennepin and Ramsey counties in Minnesota as well.

Meal In-State & Out-of-State High-Cost Metro Areas
Breakfast $10 $12
Lunch $13 $15
Dinner $19 $23

For members of bargaining units: AFSCME, MAPE and MGEC.

Meal In-State & Out-of-State High-Cost Metro Areas
Breakfast $9 $11
Lunch $11 $13
Dinner $16 $20

Meal Reimbursement Eligibility Requirements

Meals in Bemidji are non-reimbursable when in travel status. Bemidji is considered an employee/student “home” location.

The breakfast meal is allowed when your trip begins before 6 a.m.

The dinner meal is allowed when your trip ends after 7 p.m.

The noon meal is allowed when the employee is 35 or more miles from his/her work station providing that the assignment extends through the normal lunch period.

Special meals, such as banquet meals exceeding the maximums, require the filing of a Special Expense Request in advance of the event.

According to IRS regulations, reimbursements for meal expenses on trips not involving an overnight stay are taxable income. Therefore, when the expenses are paid, federal, state, FICA and Medicare taxes will be withheld from the employee’s pay and the amount of the expense will be included in wages on the employee’s W-2 form. The overnight stay distinction applies whether or not the employee incurs a lodging expense. (For example, if the employee stays with friends or relatives at no charge, any meal expenses for that trip are considered Meals With Lodging (not taxable,) even though there will be no lodging expense reimbursement.)

Employees are asked to use their discretion in selecting reasonably priced accommodations. Remember to ask for the Government Rate, many motel/hotels in MN have cheaper rates for State employees.

Employees must stay at a licensed lodging facility. Employees cannot be reimbursed for staying at the house of a relative, friend or personally-owned property. (this includes Airbnb, VRBO, campsites, etc.)

Things to Remember

  • Original receipts are required for all types of lodging, including campground fees.
  • If lodging costs were shared between employees, it should be noted on the expense report. One employee should use the original receipt for reimbursement and the other should use a copy.
  • The State of Minnesota allows reimbursement at a single rate. The employee should have the establishment certify single rate on the receipt.
  • For student hotel rooms — see Travel Office Purchasing CardIf you have to pay for student hotel rooms personally, an approved Special Expense Request needs to be completed & approved.

Conference registration fees can either be paid personally and reimbursed via Employee Expense Report or if you are able to pay online, you may contact the Travel Office to set up a day/time to come up and use the Travel purchasing card.

If registration is exceeding $1000 per participant; a Special Expense Request needs to be completed & approved. Make sure to check ‘Employee Expense Report’ at the top.

Students traveling for BSU/NTC should complete & have a Student Travel Request form approved prior to travel. The same travel procedures listed on this page apply.

If students are taking a personal vehicle and will have other students as passengers; you must be approved to drive through a driver’s license check. This is completed by submitting a Vehicle Use Agreement form to Rosanne Erickson — box #2. Also, a copy of current insurance card with coverage limits should be attached to the Student Travel Request

Vehicle Use Agreement should be submitted a minimum of 2 weeks prior to travel

Upon return, if expenses need to be reimbursed, a student should submit a Student Expense Report with applicable, itemized receipts. If the travel that occurred was related to student club/organization, a Student Expense Report Clubs expense form should be used.

Student hotel rooms — see Travel Office Purchasing Card

In order to travel Internationally, a Travel Request must be approved. Remember, it will also require the University President’s approval and should have a signed Additional International Travel Form needs to be attached if you are traveling to a country that is under a warning. Faculty or staff will want to ensure the location traveling to is not under a travel warning.

Things to Remember

  • You will be reimbursed at the current high cost out of country travel meal rates.
  • Make sure to convert your amounts into US dollars.
  • Receipts are required for all lodging, transportation, conference registration, currency exchange expenses.
  • You cannot be reimbursed for passport expenses. This is personal property and a personal expense.