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Travel Policies

  1. Vehicle Information
    1. Driver Certification Information
      1. Individuals wishing to become authorized to operate University owned, rented or leased vehicles must be 18 years of age, possess a valid driver's license, have a minimum number or no violations, and have successfully completed a Driver Alert on-line defensive driving module. Approved Driver form
      2. Applicant must initiate contact with Office of Public Safety to schedule access to the short Driver Alert courses. Provided a BMV check of the applicant's traffic violation record conforms to policy, after confirmation of a passing score the applicant's name will be added to the authorized driver list. NOTE: applicants with out of state driver's licenses must provide ONU with the most recent three (3) years driving record status. This can usually be obtained through the appropriate state's Bureau of Motor Vehicles website.
      3. A driver may be disqualified from the list and privileges revoked at any time due to increased traffic violations or at the Vice President for Financial Affairs or Director of Public Safety's discretion.
    2. Modes of Travel
      1. ONU Cars and Vans
        1. ONU faculty and staff may reserve a vehicle with the Physical Plant not more than 30 days in advance for vans and buses and ten days for cars. Scheduling must be arranged during regular work hours Monday through Friday.
        2. A trip ticket is to be picked up with the keys at the Physical Plant. The trip ticket is to include the purpose of the trip, account number, mileage at the time of departure and return, and driver's signature.
        3. Gasoline credit cards are in the key cases for each vehicle. These cards are only to be used for the vehicle to which they have been assigned. Cards may not be used for personal vehicles, even if the vehicle will be used for University business.
        4. ONU vehicles are generally parked in the lot on the corner of Lincoln Ave. and Union St., adjacent to the University tennis courts. In the event that a vehicle will not be picked up until after office hours or on the weekend, contact Office of Public Safety at 419-772-2222 or 419-772-2061.
        5. Return vehicle to the parking lot from which it was picked up. Return keys, gas cards, trip ticket and driver log, if applicable, to Physical Plant office or place items in drop box located near the door.
        6. The Physical Plant is to be notified of any mechanical problem and/or damage to the vehicle.
      2. ONU Buses
        1. Scheduling use of an ONU bus will be accomplished through the Physical Plant office.
        2. The buses will be scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis in respect to official University groups. Sports teams will be given preference. Other University groups or clubs may also reserve the buses on a first-come, first-served basis after requirements are met.
        3. Responsibilities of the driver include safe and lawful operation of the buses at all times, recording time and mileage spent on the trip, and insuring that the buses are parked in a safe area while on trips and when not in operation. The driver will not assume responsibility for chaperoning the group.
        4. The authorized user's responsibilities include providing a faculty or staff advisor/representative for the group, maintaining good group conduct, and paying all applicable charges. Charges include all toll and parking fees and established mileage charges.
      3. Chartered or Rented Vehicles
        1. Provisions of the ONU Travel Policies are applicable to all vehicles rented, leased, or chartered by Ohio Northern University.
        2. No student may contract for a rented or leased vehicle in the name of Ohio Northern University.
        3. Business Services will make all local arrangements for rental vehicles, including vans and buses. (This does not include arrangements that are made for rental vehicles after flying to other cities.)
        4. Copies of driver's licenses may be requested for some rental situations.
        5. No 15-passenger vans are to be rented or driven.
        6. All vehicles must be rented and/or leased in the name of Ohio Northern University and driven only by ONU authorized drivers.
        7. Insurance for vehicles rented within the U.S. is provided by the University's automobile liability policy. Additional insurance should not be purchased through rental agencies or by credit card.
        8. A physical inspection of the vehicle is the responsibility of the individual picking up a rented or leased vehicle to insure that defects are noted with the agency prior to signing the agreement.
        9. Rentals should be cancelled as soon as possible if not needed. Fees may apply for late cancellation.
        10. Fees will be assessed to the renter if a vehicle is delivered to campus and then not used.
      4. Personal Vehicles
        1. Any vehicle not owned, rented or leased in the University's name is considered a personal vehicle.
        2. The vehicle owner's auto insurance policy will provide primary insurance coverage, even if the vehicle is driven on University business.
      5. Aircraft
        1. It is expected that long distance travel will be done on commercial airlines if the cost of air fare is less than travel costs by vehicle.
        2. Travel by unscheduled or private aircraft of any type is not a recommended mode of travel for University business. If this is necessary, contact Business Services for additional insurance requirements and information.
        3. Large groups traveling by air are encouraged, when feasible, to split into two or more travel groups and use different flights.
    3. Standard Operating Procedures
      1. All vehicle occupants must wear seat belts while the vehicle is in motion.
      2. Smoking is not allowed in any University vehicle.
      3. Consumption of alcohol is not permitted within 12 hours prior to driving a University vehicle. No alcohol containers, open or closed, will be allowed in any University vehicle.
      4. Use of a cell phone by the driver is strongly discouraged. Texting by the driver while the vehicle is moving is prohibited. Per Ohio Revised Code, texting while driving is against the law.
      5. University vehicles are to be used for University business and only for out of town trips.
      6. Vehicles are to be kept only for the specified time that has been scheduled and must be returned to the Physical Plant immediately upon return to campus. Keys and trip sheets must be returned to the Physical Plant office immediately upon return to campus.
      7. Reserved vehicles that will no longer be needed should be cancelled by calling the Physical Plant as soon as possible.
      8. Drivers of University vehicles are subject to laws and restrictions that govern vehicles in that operating area. Any violations or fines are the responsibility of the driver, not the University.
      9. All drivers are responsible for supplying the Director of Public Safety with a copy of their valid driver's license upon request.
      10. All drivers must have certification on file stating that they have completed the defensive driving requirement and license check as required by Office of Public Safety.
      11. Contact Business Services prior to vehicle travel outside the U.S. for proof of insurance coverage and instruction for purchase of additional auto insurance.
      12. Use good judgment when traveling in inclement weather. Check weather and driving conditions at
    4. Disciplinary Action
      1. A conviction of any vehicle violation while operating an owned, rented or leased University vehicle may be cause for disciplinary action.
      2. A driver operating an owned, rented or leased University vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol will receive disciplinary action, including possible termination of employment. Students may also face disciplinary action.
    5. Accidents
      1. While traveling on University business, immediately report any accidents to local law enforcement or state highway patrol. Dial 911 on any land line or cell phone if there are injuries.
      2. In the event of an accident involving a University vehicle, the accident report in the glove box should be filled out immediately at the scene by the driver and turned in as soon as possible to Business Services or Office of Public Safety. The details of each accident are reported to the University insurance company, even if there are no apparent injuries.
      3. Accidents involving rented or leased vehicles must be reported to Business Services (419-772-2057) and a full report must be made to Office of Public Safety as soon as possible.
      4. If you have immediate questions or problems while at the scene of an accident call Office of Public Safety at 419-772-2222 or 419-772-2061 for additional instructions.
    6. Fleet Vehicle Checklist
      1. When picking up keys and a trip sheet for a reserved vehicle, drivers must also sign a Vehicle Checklist agreeing to abide by the ONU Travel Policies. Vehicle Checklist
  2. Student Travel
    1. Guidelines for University Student Travel
      1. Many students, as well as faculty and staff advisors of University organizations, are involved in University group travel. These travel guidelines do not pertain to situations including, but not limited to: internships, rotations/clinicals, student abroad and student teaching. The Dean's Office will maintain information for these exceptions. These guidelines are provided to ensure that University risk management requirements are fulfilled and appropriate information is available to those individuals who may need to contact travelers in an emergency.
      2. Any group sponsoring/hosting/co-hosting such an event where alcohol is present must also have a faculty/staff advisor or representative present.
      3. Students Onboard
        1. No driving after midnight. Typical driving hours are between 5 am and midnight. If extenuating circumstances occur, approval must be gained by the department chairman or director before proceeding to drive after midnight. Information must also be logged with Office of Public Safety by calling 419-772-2222.
        2. Drivers must alternate or take a break after every two hours of driving.
        3. Using ONU Fleet Vehicle
          1. Vehicles traveling more than 100 miles from the University require at least two authorized drivers per vehicle.
          2. Vehicles traveling more than 250 miles from the University require at least two authorized drivers per vehicle and require the completion of a driver log.
          3. When signing out vehicles, the driver and/or advisor must sign a copy of the Vehicle Checklist indicating agreement to comply with the ONU Travel Policies.
      4. Same Day University Travel Guidelines
        1. A same day trip is defined as any travel in which students leave and return to campus on the same day.
        2. A faculty/staff advisor or representative is encouraged to attend all University travel. The advisor must only attend if the students are traveling via university rented/owned bus
        3. The Travel Itinerary and Roster form must be submitted one day prior to the trip.  
      5. Overnight University Travel Guidelines - 1-5 Nights
        1. A faculty or staff advisor/representative should attend all University travel on overnight trips.
        2. The Travel Itinerary and Roster must be submitted one day prior to the trip.  
          1. If there are extenuating circumstances, the faculty or staff advisor/representative can select a Trip Supervisor (a member of the University community--faculty, staff or student) to serve as a proxy in his/her absence.  The Travel Itinerary and Roster must be submitted by the Trip Supervisor one day prior to the trip.  
      6. Overnight University Travel Guidelines – 6+ Nights
        1. A faculty or staff advisor/representative must attend all University travel for trips of 6 or more nights.
        2. The Travel Itinerary and Roster for the overnight trip must be submitted one day prior to the trip. 
          1. If there are extenuating circumstances, the faculty or staff advisor/representative can select a Trip Supervisor (a faculty or staff member) to serve as a proxy in his/her absence. The Travel Itinerary and Roster must be submitted by the Trip Supervisor one day prior to the trip. 
    2. Campus Communications
      1. The Ohio Northern Switchboard in Business Services will maintain the Travel Itinerary and Roster information for all trips. 
      2. If notified at least six weeks prior to departure, the Office of University Advancement may be able to assist with the trip by encouraging alumni and/or friends of the University in the vicinity to host or support planned activities.
    3. Faculty or Staff Advisor/Representative Responsibilities for University Student Travel (before departure)
      1. Collect complete student and faculty/staff names, addresses, and cell phone numbers in a list format.
      2. Designate separate lists by different group destinations (e.g. Habitat scheduled for two different locations) so information about who is traveling to each location will be available in the event of an emergency.
      3. Complete the Travel Itinerary and Roster. Information will include contact information for the attendees (addresses and cell phone numbers), dates and times of events, travel arrangements and accommodations (including phone numbers). This information must be submitted by the required deadline for the trip.
      4. Determine airline baggage and check-in requirements, if applicable, and disseminate information to all travelers.
      5. Request travel advance, if needed, from the Office of the Controller at least two weeks prior to scheduled departure.
      6. Contact the Office of Student Affairs to arrange for on-campus housing related to a University sponsored travel event when the residence halls are closed. Prior to the trip, the Director of Residence Life should be given students' names, halls, room numbers and the date and approximate times access will be needed by the students.
      7. Ensure students are aware and agree to the following statement:
        1. As an Ohio Northern University student, I agree to engage in behaviors that are responsible and mature. I will comply with all applicable laws and with the University's Codes of Conduct during the entire travel event. I will also follow any guidelines/procedures set forth by my student group. Failure to comply may result in my removal from the University student group and the travel event. If I fail to comply, I understand that I may be individually responsible for all costs related to the travel event as well as any additional costs for damages or unanticipated expenses.
  3. Faculty/Staff Travel
    1. Transportation
      1. Travelers must use the most economical coach airfare available. In some circumstances staying an additional night will reduce the airfare and actually reduce the total cost of the trip. The University will, in situations where net savings result, reimburse the traveler for the hotel and meals associated with the additional stay. Supporting documentation should be provided with the request for reimbursement. The University will not reimburse items not included in regular coach airfare. If private automobiles or means of transportation other than commercial aircraft are used for trips exceeding 1,000 miles round trip, the University will pay only the equivalent of airfare to the city of the meeting or 1,000 miles, whichever is less.
      2. The use of personal vehicles for University business will be reimbursed at the standard IRS rate, plus tolls and parking. IRS rates are generally updated January 1 each year and are posted on the Controller's website. Any non-University vehicles, including the passengers within, are the sole responsibility of the vehicle owner. The owner is responsible for insurance coverage. Travelers using personal vehicles or University vehicles will not be reimbursed for any type of traffic or parking violations.
      3. The cost of car rental is an allowed reimbursable expense if such an expense is essential to the business trip. The University will reimburse the traveler the cost of the vehicle rental, based on the invoice paid to the rental company. The traveler will also be reimbursed for any gasoline purchased separately that is not included in the cost of the rental, provided an original receipt is included with the Travel Voucher.
      4. Travelers are encouraged to use taxis and hotel shuttles instead of rental cars when expenses are expected to be below that of a rental car.
    2. Multi-Purpose Trips
      1. When a trip involves traveling for both University business and personal purposes, the individual is to separate the expense between the University and personal activities. For example, a university employee who combines a conference with a vacation may seek hotel and meal reimbursement only for the conference portion of the trip.
      2. Travel expenses for any other non-University person(s) will not be reimbursed by the University. For example, if a hotel increases the room rate because a family member has joined the University employee in the room, the additional cost is not covered.
    3. Lodging
      1. The hotel or motel at which a meeting takes place and one or more hotels convenient to that location are normally designated by the organization involved. These facilities usually have prearranged group rates and should be used whenever possible. Lodging at non-conference meetings should be made at available hotels in the moderate price range. Individuals are responsible for reserving their own accommodations. Expenses for any non-University person(s) are to be paid personally by the traveler. The itemized hotel bill must be submitted showing the daily posting by the hotel.
      2. Any meals charged to the hotel room, if not shown on the hotel statement, must be substantiated with proper documentation (i.e. the receipt from the food provider)
    4. Meals
      1. The University will reimburse reasonable and actual expense for meals, plus tips. Individuals who pay for group meals must list the names of the persons for whom the meals were paid. When meals are included in the price of a workshop, meals taken elsewhere will not be reimbursed.
      2. Individuals should be conscious of cost and use good judgment. The supervisor or department head approving the expense report should review these costs.
      3. When the traveler is dining or entertaining other individuals for business purposes the expense must be reported on the Travel Voucher. The IRS requires documentation for all business meals and entertainment expenses.
      4. Receipts must be obtained for all expenditures over $75.00. Each receipt must have the following noted:
        1. Name of company where purchase was made
        2. Location of company
        3. Date of purchase
        4. Amount
        5. The number of people served in the event of a restaurant receipt
      5. In addition to the receipt, the employee must note the business purpose of the meal or expense and, if an entertainment expense, the names and business relationship of the persons entertained, duration of entertainment, and any business discussion that occurred directly before or after the entertainment.
      6. Abbreviated forms of restaurant receipts will be accepted if they contain the above five (5) required items. Many "credit card receipts" only have the first four items but not the fifth (number of people served) If these abbreviated receipts list the number served this will satisfy the receipts. Otherwise, a more detailed receipt must be submitted. Note: According to the IRS, reimbursements made without the proper documentation must be reported as taxable income to the employee.
    5. Alcoholic Beverages
      1. Alcoholic beverage expenses may be reimbursed. As with all reimbursable expenses, good judgment and moderation are expected.
    6. Entertainment
      1. Entertainment expenses are considered personal expenses and are not reimbursed, unless entertaining guests of the University, in which case expenses of both the guest and University representative will be allowed. Examples of expenses which are not allowed unless entertaining guests include in-room movies and video games, cinema, theater, concerts, night clubs, sporting events, golf, admissions to museums and area attractions, bowling, billiards, and other similar expenses.
  4. International Travel
    1. International travel receipts will be reimbursed at the currency exchange rate for that given date based on the internet currency rate website (, unless substantiating documentation of currency exchange is provided by the traveler. Such documentation may include credit card statements that show the charge and rate of exchange, receipts from banks or other establishments that exchange currency which provide date, currency type, and rate of exchange
    2. If you are traveling internationally for University related matters, you need to complete the Faculty/Staff International Travel Registration form.


Business Services
Fax: 419-772-1988
Business Services Building
525 South Main Street
Ada, Ohio 45810
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