In the past, there has been some confusion regarding non-salary disbursements and purchasing for faculty travel and research expenses. It is important to follow the College’s financial guidelines.

Please note: This is not intended to be completely inclusive, but does serve as a reminder of some of the major points. Faculty members should review the Travel and Business Policy for more information.

General Principles

The College’s research and travel funds are based upon a reimbursement-of-expenses system. It is recommended that you use purchase orders and check requests to vendors whenever possible.

The most important points to remember are:

  1. Typically, funds must be expended during the fiscal years for which they are awarded. The College’s budgeting system is based on the fiscal year (July 1 - June 30). Please note that the reimbursement process takes a minimum of two weeks. Therefore, funds must be expended and submitted for reimbursement no later than two weeks before the deadline communicated by the Finance office. Unfortunately, there can be no exceptions to this deadline.
  2. Tenured, tenure-track and term faculty on three-year appointments will be permitted to carry forward unused departmental funds up to two years over three-year period. For more information on this, consult your department or the Office of Academic Affairs.
  3. Reimbursement requests must be submitted within 30 days of the date the expenses were incurred or the trip was completed. Emerson College will not reimburse expenditures if they are not submitted within IRS guidelines.
  4. Awards granted for a specific period cannot be extended.
  5. Most travel and business expenses may be paid using the College Purchasing Card. This is the preferable method. Department admins have access to these cards, and can also create supplier invoices, purchase orders, etc. Faculty members should meet with their department admins well in advance to handle their expenses.

Expenses Related to Travel


  • First class travel is not allowable nor is business class generally allowable unless there is a rare exception. Exceptions are approved by the relevant supervisor and Vice President and documented on the expense report. 
  • Budgetary restrictions will supersede college policy. Stricter rules governing trips being charged to a sponsored grant may apply. 
  • Travel by private automobile is reimbursed at the IRS standard milage rate.
    • If you are traveling by automobile, you must visit and enter your start and finish points, clearly displaying your route of travel and distance. Please submit printout along with your expense report and receipts.
  • The College will pay for one checked bag used to transport the traveler’s personal belongings. The costs to check any baggage necessary to support the business purpose of the trip (ie. meeting materials and equipment, etc.) are reimbursable.

Expenses related to travel and transportation will be reimbursed ONLY after the travel is completed, and must be accompanied by appropriate documentation such as tickets or taxi receipts.

Airline tickets may be purchased in advance through the college’s travel vendor. For more information, please contact your academic department or Academic_Affairs [at] (subject: Travizon%20Question) (Academic Affairs)title="Academic Affairs".

Per Diem Rates:

  • While traveling away from the campus, you may be reimbursed for per diem costs, which are dependent upon the city of travel. The figures for individual cities can be found at under “Most requested links” on the homepage.
  • You will receive 75% of the total per diem rate on the first and last day of travel and full amount all days in between.
  • Unless otherwise specified in the granting letter, groceries are not considered an appropriate expense.


  • For travel and expenses outside of the United States, you must calculate the current exchange rate, and provide documentation of the dated source of that rate.

Purchase Orders, Consultants, Honoraria, and Expense Reports:

  • If you require the purchase of equipment, you must contact your academic department or Academic Affairs (for FAFG) to generate a purchase order through Workday.
  • The auditors require a copy of the conference program that indicates the dates and location of the conference as well as your participation.
  • Only original receipts may be used as documentation of an expense. Printed online statements are acceptable on credit card purchases only. Please make copies for your records.
  • The college will reimburse for business meeting meals up to a maximum of four (4) individuals, all of who must be listed on the expense report. Any number of individuals exceeding four must be pre-approved by Academic Affairs. All original receipts are required. Reimbursement is based on the current meal per diem for the area, which can be found at
  • If you are hiring a consultant, you must receive an invoice from the consultant and have them fill out a W-9 form. All forms can be found at You must also create a requisition/PO, which can be done through Workday. Contact your department administrator(s) for more information.
  • When faculty members are contracting with outside vendors (consultants, other services), the Acknowledgment of Payment Form needs to be signed by the vendor and the faculty member. Emerson College is only agreeing to facilitate the payment to the vendor on behalf of the faculty member, but are not a party to the contract legally. Along with the invoice and W-9, the Acknowledgment of Payment Form must be sent to the department administrative assistant to initiate a requisition/PO.
  • If an honorarium is being given, you must receive an invoice from the individual, as well as a W-9 form. A Create Supplier Request Form must be completed through Workday to add the individual into the system. If the honorarium is $600 or more, a Requisition/PO must be completed. Otherwise, an Invoice Request may be used. Both of these forms are found on Workday
  • You must not pay the consultant directly as we cannot reimburse you for the amount paid, the consultant must be directly reimbursed through the college. The consultant must generate an invoice and indicate: the amount of the expense, the date the expense was incurred, where the expense was incurred, and the nature of the expense.
  • The Procurement and Payment Method matrix shows what payment method should be used for various spending activities at the College.
  • You are responsible for completing all of the appropriate forms. Forms may be discussed with your department assistant or by contacting the Academic_Affairs [at] (subject: Finance%20Forms) (Office of Academic Affairs)title="Office of Academic Affairs" (The appropriate account number will be added by your academic department or Academic Affairs).

Please fill out expense reports carefully, including dates and a brief explanation for the expenses.