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Penn State University Libraries

Policies and Guidelines




All travel incurred on behalf of the University is to be settled through the Employee Reimbursement System (ERS). This system applies rules outlined in the Penn State Travel Policy, such as per diem amounts, to all travel reports on a consistent basis. All ERS reports also follow an approval path as established by the Financial Officer, and expenses submitted shall be disallowed if found not to be reasonable, appropriate or in compliance with University policy.

Within 30 days of the completion of travel, an Employee Travel Reimbursement Form must be completed in order to request reimbursement for expenses. Please include a detailed business purpose and any notes that would help clarify the details of your trip.

Please provide a detailed itinerary for your trip, this information will be entered into ERS and will generate the per diem rates for your specific location. Please also indicate whether personal travel was combined with your business trip and provide the dates of personal travel.

Original receipts and a completed/approved Employee Travel Reimbursement Form must be forwarded to the Libraries Business Office within 30 days of the completion of the travel. This form will be used to create the ERS report mentioned above.

All receipts must be taped on all four sides to an 81/2 x11 inch sheet (required for scanning). Receipts must be provided for the following types of expenses:

  • Original receipt supporting the mode of transportation (i.e. air, rail, bus)
  • Original car rental receipt indicating that the balance was paid in full
  • Original lodging receipt indicating that the balance was paid in full (room and associated taxes only are to be included as cost of lodging. Receipt must include the amount of the charge, the date, the name and location of the establishment and an explanation of the charge). Express checkout service, where the hotel bill is placed under the guest’s door on the morning of departure, is an acceptable receipt if the traveler has reviewed it and the above requirements are stated. Charges for lodging, meals, phone calls, parking or other services must be itemized.
  • When a hotel is booked online, the online receipt printed when the hotel is booked will serve as an acceptable receipt provided it reflects the dates of the traveler’s stay, the location, and the amount charged.
  • Original taxi/shuttle receipt (if receipt not provided reimbursement is subject to $5 per day provision for miscellaneous expense)
  • Original registration receipt (if registration was paid by traveler)
  • Original baggage receipts

Receipts are not required for meals. Meal expenses and any tips related to meals will be reimbursed based upon the meal and incidentals per diem. The meal allocation is 20% for breakfast, 30% for lunch, and 50% for dinner. Meals included in the cost of registration should be excluded from your reimbursement request if the Business Office paid for them as part of the registration. If the traveler paid for the registration, the meal will be reimbursed through per diem. If reimbursement is requested for a one-day trip, the reimbursement is taxable.

For administrative travel, the form must be routed to the appropriate Associate Dean for signature (See chart below).

Type of Travel Send to for Required Signature for Reimbursement
Dean’s Administrative Travel Assistant to the Dean
UP Libraries Administrative Travel Appropriate Assoc. Dean’s Administrative Support Coordinator
Commonwealth Campus Libraries Administrative Travel CCL Administrative Support Coordinator
Libraries-Supported Staff Travel Appropriate Assoc. Dean’s Administrative Support Coordinator
UP Libraries Professional Travel – Travelers with an Allocation Only Traveler required to sign
Commonwealth Campus Libraries Professional Travel – Travelers with an Allocation Only Traveler required to sign
Travel paid from Endowed Position Accounts (Huck Chair, Sieg Chair, Paterno Librarian, Benzak Business Librarian, Foster Communications Librarian) Budget Administrator for the Endowed Position Account
Travel paid from other Endowed funds (Fred Waring’s America, PA Centre for the Book) Budget Administrator for the Endowed Account



Other Policies/Guidelines in this manual should also be referenced, especially the following:

UL-TR01 – Types of Libraries Travel
Guideline UL-TRG01 – Requests for Travel
Guideline UL TRG02 – Making Travel Arrangements
Guideline UL-TRG04 – Reimbursable Costs
Guideline UL-TRG06 – Responsibilities of Travel Roles
Guideline UL-TRG07 – Libraries-Supported Staff Travel Funds

Form:  Travel Request Form
Form:  Employee Travel Reimbursement Form (staff only)

Request resource in an alternative format

Effective Date: July 2003
Date Approved: July 2003 (Dean)

Revision History (and effective dates):

  • June 2014 - Revised; Editorial, additional clarification on signature requirements
  • November 2009 - Revised; Editorial
  • August 2007 - Revised; Editorial, additional information regarding completion of Travel Support Form, Information regarding "Settlement Calculator," Information regarding who should receive completed forms
  • July 2003 - Revised
  • July 29, 1997 - New guideline

Last Review Date:  June 2014