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Travel

The Sociology Department works with Liberal Arts Centralized Business Services Group 1 (CBS 1). All forms and up-to-date information can be found on the CBS website.

When using DocuSign PowerForms, be sure to use your EID email address so you can find your form later, e.g., abc123@eid.utexas.edu. Completed and signed Purchasing Exception Request forms, Travel Reimbursement Exception Request forms and late TAR memos should be forwarded to CBS for processing.

For the latest travel updates, see the University travel guidelines and COLA travel requests.

Travel Authorization Requests

An electronic Travel Authorization Request (TAR) must be submitted by traveler at least two weeks prior to travel. This includes personal travel as well as business travel. To request a travel authorization, please complete the University's TAR form. In recognition of this policy, if authorization has not been requested prior to travel, traveler will be asked to complete a signed memo acknowledging that s/he did not previously know that a TAR was necessary and submit this with any reimbursement request. Three exceptions at most will be allowed per fiscal year per traveler; the fourth request will be denied.

  • The application process requires an EID.
  • TARs are required for all travel-related absences from campus for periods of half a day or more during the normal working period, whether or not there is a cost to the University.
  • Faculty who will miss a class must specify on the form the professor who will be handling their class while they are away. TAs are not authorized to cover classes.
  • For travel during the first and last week of classes and finals periods, prior approval from the Chair is required. Chairs must review travel dates, missed classes, name of faculty member who will oversee missed classes, final exam dates and how exams will be administered, a plan for on-time grade submission, and a method of contact for student queries. The TAR document notes must confirm the Chair's approval.
  • Completing the form:
    • After completing all required (*) fields, click "Create Request." Please note this merely creates a document of the request and does not route it for approval.
    • At this point users may choose to save their progress and route the form at a later date by clicking "Save," or if they are sure all information is accurate they may route the form by clicking "Save and Assign." (Do NOT click "Save and Finalize.")
    • On the next page under Choose Assignment Type, choose "Profiled UT EID or Group," and "COLA Centralized Business Services - Group 1 (00001)" should be selected.
    • In the Assignment Note section, please indicate again which of your account(s) to use. If funded by or expecting funding by a Faculty Travel Grant, please indicate again here as well, and list a back-up account to use. Faculty must apply for Faculty Travel Grants separately. See Faculty Travel Grant section below.
    • Finally, click "Assign." This completes the request and routes it to COLA for processing. Users will receive an RTA/TAR number once processing is complete. An RTA/TAR number is necessary for booking business-related air travel.

A TAR is not required if the person is:

  • Traveling for personal reasons while they are on leave.
  • Traveling for personal reasons if travel occurs during the summer and they are not teaching.
  • Traveling during the fall or spring sessions for personal or business purposes, but travel only takes place on the weekend or after the final exam period or during the intersession.

If the faculty member is teaching, but traveling for personal reasons during the days/times they teach, a TAR is required by COLA. Please include the name of the faculty member who will teach the classes or supervise the TA. Include the days and times the classes are in session. The University does not require TARs for personal travel, but COLA requires them if classes are in session or impacted. If traveler expects to conduct research while on personal travel, the specific work dates have to be indicated prior to travel in the notes of the TAR.

For further information, consult the Travel Policies in the Handbook of Business Procedures.

Travel to Restricted Regions

Travelers cannot be reimbursed for travel to a Restricted Region unless they have received advance approval from the International Oversight Committee (IOC) in the Texas Global office for such travel. Policy and procedural information related to Travel to Restricted Regions is available on the Texas Global website: global.utexas.edu/risk. Procedures for COLA approval can be found here.

  • Requests for Travel to Restricted Regions must be completed and approved in advance of the begin date of travel (see the Texas Global website for specific deadlines). This policy applies to all Restricted Regions travel, regardless of funding. The only exception is travel that is 100% personal vacation. It is suggested travelers submit requests at least 5 weeks in advance.
  • In compliance with IOC policy, the College of Liberal Arts cannot accept late requests for travel to Restricted Regions. Corresponding requests for travel reimbursements will not be accepted.

Faculty Travel Grants

Faculty may request $1,200 annually in travel funds through the University's Faculty Travel Grant application program.

  • A TAR form must also be completed. See Travel Authorization Request section above.
  • The FTG application must be submitted at least two weeks prior to travel (RTA admin/departmental signer is Zeinab Alzuhairi, EID: za3782).
  • See the graduate school's website for travel grants for details.
  • The purpose of the travel grant is to support presentation of the applicant's original research or creative effort. Attending a meeting or chairing a session does not qualify, nor does accepting an invitation to present a seminar or giving a colloquium at another university.
  • Before beginning the application, be sure to gather the following:
    • An abstract (not exceeding one page in length) of the paper or presentation to be given;
    • Either a copy of the meeting program showing applicant's name, paper, or presentation topic, and date or a letter from the meeting organizer accepting the paper or presentation and confirming their part in the program.

Travel Arrangements

Airlines Reservations

  • A Travel Authorization Request (TAR) must be completed prior to booking.
  • Faculty, staff and students may use any online travel reservation system for travel arrangements in addition to the University's online tool, Concur. If using an online reservation tool other than Concur, the purchase receipt and form submitted for reimbursement (see Travel Reimbursements section below) must include the traveler's statement: "Online selection is best value as consistent with institutional priorities."
  • Agent-assisted reservations should continue to be made through the University's contracted travel agencies, Anthony Travel or Corporate Travel Planners. An RTA/TAR number is still necessary for booking business-related air travel through Concur, Anthony Travel, or Corporate Travel Planners. If using Concur, travelers must register for an account and confirm the registration within 24 hours (remember to save the password).
  • Exceptions to the agent-assisted reservation rule include: study abroad, group travel reservations, students who receive a travel scholarship award, and travelers mixing business with personal trip where included personal destination is a different city from the business destination (must include a copy of a cost comparison for the business round-trip airfare in reimbursement request - see Travel Management guidelines).
  • State of Texas contract airfares remain available only through Concur or one of the contract travel agencies.
  • Please refer to the University's Travel Management website and guidelines for more details.

Car Rentals

  • All business-related car rentals must be reserved through any of five contracted companies: Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz or National.
  • Travelers may book rentals through one of the travel agencies and, for a fee, through the online booking tool. No reservation fee will be assessed when booking directly with their chosen rental car company.
  • Exceptions: None of the vendors noted above are able to provide the vehicle type necessary at the location and date required, or traveler obtained a rental rate lower than that offered by any of the five contracted vendors, including collision and liability coverage.

Travel Reimbursements

To process travel reimbursements, traveler must complete the COLA Travel Reimbursement Request form and email it along with receipts to cbs1@austin.utexas.edu. Alternatively, they may submit the form and receipts directly online and assign to CBS Group 1 (00001). These items will be processed by COLA.

  • Travel reimbursement requests must be submitted no later than 45 days after the last approved travel date. An approved TAR prior to travel must be on file. In recognition of this policy, if authorization has not been requested prior to travel, traveler will be asked to complete a signed memo acknowledging that s/he did not previously know that a TAR was necessary and submit this with any reimbursement request. Three exceptions at most will be allowed per fiscal year per traveler; the fourth request will be denied.
  • Personal travel cannot be reimbursed. If traveler expects to conduct research while on personal travel, the specific work dates have to be indicated prior to travel in the notes of the TAR.
  • The travel itinerary must be included with the request.
  • A list of items for which receipts are required is available here.
  • All University employees are EXEMPT from Texas State hotel occupancy taxes when traveling for University business. The University cannot reimburse any Texas State occupancy taxes unless the hotel refuses to honor the exemption certificate.
  • More information about reimbursement limits can be found here. For instance, if traveling overnight in Texas on local funds, the combined actual lodging and meal expenses cannot exceed $260 ($51 for meals) per day. Meals are normally paid by meal allowance (per diem), $51 on local funds. Meal receipts are not required to receive meal allowance.
  • The University cannot reimburse a split bill (such as hotel) that does not have the UT Austin payee's name, and will not accept private invoices for split bills - it is up to individual travelers to reconcile any private agreement.

Expenses that can be reimbursed include, but are not limited to:

  • Airfare - original receipt clearly showing that payment was made. (If using an online reservation tool other than Concur, the purchase receipt and form submitted for reimbursement must include the traveler's statement: "Online selection is best value as consistent with institutional priorities.")
  • Lodging - original hotel bills are required showing itemized room rate and taxes, and showing a zero balance. Non-commercial lodging cannot be reimbursed without prior authorization.
  • Meals - at current per diem. If traveler will be out of town for more than 30 days and wishes to be paid for a meal allowance beyond the 30 days, approval is needed from the department.
  • Registration fees
  • Parking fees
  • Cab/Bus/Train fares - receipts are not required, but recommended, if travel within the city, receipts are required for travel between cities.
  • University business telephone calls and internet service - reimbursed via the hotel bill.
  • Hotel occupancy taxes - reimbursed via the hotel bill.
  • Gasoline for personal car - if not claiming mileage reimbursement.