This policy addresses the authority of the Board of Regents as it relates to university travel policies created under Wis. Stat. s. 36.11.(56).


The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance to all UW System institutions regarding the implementation of the Board of Regents’ statutory authority and resulting responsibility to establish travel policies for all university-paid business travel and a schedule for the payment or reimbursement of travel-related expenses incurred in the course of university business.

Policy Statement

Under Wis. Stat. s. 36.09 (1), the Board of Regents is vested with the primary responsibility for the governance of the University of Wisconsin System.  In discharging this responsibility, it is the Board’s policy to comply with Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Regulations regarding the provision and payment or reimbursement of business-related travel and to ensure IRS “accountable plan” rules are met for employer-paid business travel.  As required by IRS and federal grant regulations, all travel paid or reimbursed from university-administered funds must be in compliance with university travel policies, regardless of the funding source (i.e., federal grants and contracts, auxiliary operations, general operating funds, and restricted funds).

The Board of Regents seeks to strike a balance among various elements of university travel including:  meeting the needs, comfort, and security of individual travelers; consolidating volume to leverage supplier discounts; increasing services to travelers; obtaining technical and administrative efficiencies; achieving overall cost containment; and ensuring accountability to the public.

In order to achieve these objectives, it is the policy of the Board of Regents that the University of Wisconsin System administers a managed travel program.  The UW System travel program encompasses all aspects of University travel, including policy development, processes, planning, data management, communication, and preferred supplier services and contracts.  After appropriate institutional input, training, and communication, institutions are expected to ensure compliance by faculty and staff with all aspects of the systemwide travel program in order to realize the potential savings and efficiencies achievable under the program.

The UW System travel program will include policies covering, but not limited to, the following:

  1. airfare;
  2. meals;
  3. lodging;
  4. transportation (including mileage reimbursement rates, vehicle rental, and other ground transportation);
  5. incidentals;
  6. hospitality and UW sponsored events; and
  7. relocation.

Oversight, Roles, and Responsibilities

The Board of Regents delegates to the President of the UW System the authority to implement and maintain a managed travel program for all university-paid travel.  Each UW System institution shall consistently apply the travel policy and related processes.

The institution travel manager or travel management staff at each UW System institution must: (1) ensure compliance with systemwide travel policies and processes; (2) provide travel-related training and assistance to UW System institution employees; and (3) collaborate with the systemwide travel governance committees to develop and maintain consistent policies, processes, and communications about the UW System travel program.

UW System employees are responsible and accountable for following all travel policies and IRS requirements for the timely and accurate reporting of all travel expenditures, including advances and pre-paid expenses.

Related Regent Policies and Applicable Laws

Wis. Stats. s. 36.11(56)


History: Res. 10166B, adopted 02/07/2013, created Regent Policy Document 21-5

See Also:

SYS 400 Series: Travel

SYS 171, Recruitment/Retention of Students (formerly F26)

SYS 235, Personal Services Payments (formerly F31)

SYS 240, Relocation (Household Moves) and Temporary or Indefinite Work Assignments (formerly F19)

SYS 312, Official Functions (formerly F6)

[UW System Administrative policies are included for reference and are separate from Regent Policy Documents adopted by the Board.]