Travel Refinements and Further Training as Travel Team Reconvenes
At the recommendation of the Travel and Entertainment Initiative Team, the University is taking the following actions to address the immediate concerns raised by faculty, staff and students related to the Travel Policy that took effect Sept. 1, 2015. While these updates are implemented, the Initiative Team will continue to work toward meeting the goal of significant reduction in travel spending, reducing administrative burdens and providing a one-stop resource for University travel.
The reconvened Initiative Team has reviewed the Travel and Entertainment Policy and the University’s relationship with BTI and Concur. In addition, the team reviewed the December 2015 survey results and is developing recommendations based on best practices and input from the campus community. During this time of review, and up until its recommendations and any agreed-upon policy changes, the following refinements are effective immediately:
- University travelers will receive a 2-percent discount on all domestic and international Delta Airlines airfares. This volume discount is a preliminary offering as a result of the successful strategic alignment achieved for partnering with a travel service. All airfare usage will be monitored and analyzed through next spring, when additional discounts will be negotiated.
- Travelers may purchase lower-cost airfare on travel websites other than Concur if documentation is provided that verifies lower cost for the exact same flight (i.e., same departure time and location, same arrival time and location, same flight number and same airline). Documentation from both websites must accompany the travel voucher or credit card reconciliation to support the processing of the expenditure.
- Travelers may reserve lower-cost hotels and car rentals on websites other than Concur if documentation is provided that verifies lower cost for the same type of room and car class (i.e., same dates and locations). Documentation from both sites must accompany the travel voucher or credit card reconciliation to support the processing of the expenditure.
- Non-refundable airfare will be available through the use of Concur or BTI-assisted travel booking.
“The travel policy team now includes more faculty members and has assigned tasks to subgroups to review the travel survey, the policy and our relationships with BTI and Concur. The insights provided by faculty, students and staff have been very useful,” says Alan Middleton, professor of physics and faculty sponsor of Operational Excellence Travel Initiative Team. “The team welcomes feedback, will provide information about survey results and progress, and will provide further recommendations by the middle of the semester.”
In order to ensure that faculty and staff have sufficient training on how to use the services, additional Concur training sessions have been added through June 2016. The sessions available include:
Wednesday, Jan. 20 10–11:30 a.m. 010 Crouse Hinds Hall Auditorium
Wednesday, Feb. 24 3:45–5:15 p.m. Maxwell Auditorium
Wednesday, March 9 1:30–3:00 p.m. 010 Crouse Hinds Hall Auditorium
Wednesday, April 20 3:45–5:15 p.m. Maxwell Auditorium
Wednesday, May 18 10–11:30 a.m. 010 Crouse Hinds Hall Auditorium
Wednesday, June 15 10–11:30 a.m. 010 Crouse Hinds Hall Auditorium
Your assistance in implementing this policy is appreciated. For more information, the travel policy can be accessed on line at http://supolicies.syr.edu/admin/travel.htm.
Questions or feedback regarding the travel policy can be directed to Doug Freeman at 315-443-2038 or firstname.lastname@example.org.