Academic Field Trips/Travel (archived 11/24/2014)

Overseas Program

The college recognizes that travel for both faculty and students is a valid and important part of the process of learning and development. The cost of such travel is also a legitimate educational expense. However, constraints on the college budget restrict the funds available for travel. Site visits to monitor internships are funded by the Academic Planning and Experiential Learning budget. Faculty travel for professional development and/or college business other than instruction is paid for from the professional travel budget or other college budgets. All other academic travel is paid for through program budgets. Because of potential issues of legal liability to faculty as well as to the college, faculty are strongly encouraged to use college vehicles or public transportation for all college travel. The college is obligated to offer a reasonable option of travel in a state vehicle or public transportation on all field trips. Students are adults, however, and we have neither the need nor the power to require them to travel in state vehicles. When planning field trips, faculty should remind students that travel in their private vehicles will typically cost them more than travel in college-provided vehicles. No travel authority form or trip ticket will be authorized for the use of private vehicles on field trips without the budget dean's signature.

Travel procedure:

A travel authority form will be submitted whether or not there is any cost to the college for any travel construed as college business and/or on "college time." This includes students. If a group is going on a college-related trip, all may be listed on a single travel authority. The faculty or program secretary (at the faculty's request) will reserve college vehicle(s) at the motor pool and submit the proper forms. Faculty or their program secretaries must make their own public transportation and hotel/motel reservations. The business office will be notified through the travel authority of dates of travel and methods of transportation. Faculty must sign the travel authority prior to departure . Travel expenses should be submitted as soon after the trip as possible, and no later than the tenth day of the following month. (For more details on travel procedures, see Section IV-D-8

State vehicles:

The college has a motor pool: vehicles can be reserved in advance. If no college vehicle is available, college motor pool personnel will make other arrangements either through the state motor pool or through a private rental agency. Non-motor pool or private rental vehicles must be picked up and returned to the state motor pool by the user, but satisfy the definition of college-provided vehicles. Recharge rates for the use of college vehicles are set by the college motor pool in consultation with the using units. State vehicles are only to be used on official state business.

Driver's license requirements:

In order to qualify as a driver of a college motor pool vehicle, the operator must possess a valid driver's license. (Note that some private rental agencies may impose additional requirements, such as that the driver must be 21 years of age or greater.)

Insurance coverage:

The college does not maintain insurance on its vehicles. Instead, the college participates with the rest of the state agencies in a self-insurance program. Under this program, the college is primarily liable for all claims if the driver of a motor pool vehicle involved in an accident was on official college business and was acting in good faith.

Trips charged to your program budget:

Faculty or their program secretaries must fill out the travel authority and motor pool trip ticket. Sign both forms, return the travel authority to the program secretary, and take the trip ticket to the motor pool where you will be given keys for the vehicle(s).

Trips Financed by Program Participants:

1. The faculty or program secretary must complete a travel authority, trip justification, trip ticket, and field trip authorization form (sample attached). On the authorization form list the destination, miles to be traveled, and the number of students and faculty going. Sign both forms using budget number 1-11725.

2. Collect cash from students (divide the cost of the vehicles according to the motor pool rates then in effect by the number of students to get each participant's amount), then deposit the cash with the field trip authorization form at the Cashiers Office. The cashier will verify and receipt the deposit.

3. Take the cashier's receipt, stamped field trip authorization form, travel authority and trip ticket to the motor pool to pick up vehicles. If travel is outside Washington, the provost must sign all three forms before you present them to the motor pool. If travel is outside the United States, the president must sign.

Precautionary measures:

Although waivers are required for only particularly hazardous field trips and for all foreign travel, faculty are strongly encouraged to require their students to sign voluntary waiver, release and indemnity agreement forms (available in the provost's office) before every field trip. (See appendix in section 7.400 of this Handbook.) Faculty and students are also reminded to wear their seat belts at all times!