Modification to Travel and Entertainment Policy Announced
After consultation with members of the Travel and Entertainment Policy Initiative team, the University is discontinuing its relationship with BTI Travel. As of Monday, May 23, faculty, staff and students may book air, hotel and car reservations through travel websites other than the Concur web portal and no longer need to provide supporting documentation for lower fares. All existing travel reservations remain active and valid for use. This refinement applies to all University travel, including sponsored research and grant-funded travel. All other aspects of the policy remain in effect until further notice.
This policy change was announced May 20 in a letter to faculty and staff from Vice Chancellor and Provost Michele G. Wheatly after meeting with initiative team leaders and review of December 2015 campus survey results.
“The intended goal of this policy truly had the campus community’s best interest at heart,” Wheatly stated in the letter. “But after assessing your feedback, I also understand that we need to be flexible and demonstrate our ability to adjust policies so that they work better for everyone.”
At the request of Chancellor Kent Syverud, the Travel and Entertainment Team reconvened in January 2016 to address concerns raised by faculty, staff and students related to the travel policy that took effect Sept. 1, 2015. The team, led by Professor of Physics Alan Middleton and Executive Vice President Lou Marcoccia, reviewed the Travel and Entertainment Policy and the University’s relationship with BTI and Concur. In addition, the team reviewed the travel survey results and developed recommendations based on best practices and input from the campus community.
“The travel team has dedicated members from a cross-section of campus who bring a great deal of knowledge, including their own travel experiences for research, study, athletics and administration,” Middleton says. “The team thoroughly reviewed the campus survey results, conducted research on practices at other institutions and examined prices and potential savings.”
Wheatly said the University will continue to explore other options and policy refinements to ensure the most competitive rates for travelers and improve traveler satisfaction. She will update the campus community on any further progress.
Individuals who have any questions or feedback related to this refinement should contact Director of Purchasing Douglas Freeman at 315-443-2038 or firstname.lastname@example.org.