Understand Responsibility and Authorization

Understand Responsibility and Authorization

VCU will reimburse individuals traveling on official University business for reasonable and necessary expenses incurred. Travel expense accounts are open to the public and must be able to sustain the test of public review. When planning and paying for travel, economy, prudence and necessity are of primary concern. The use of State funds to accommodate personal comfort, convenience, and taste is not permitted. VCU assumes no obligation to reimburse for expenses that are not in compliance with this policy. Travel expenses for individuals not on official business for the University are not allowed.

VCU faculty and staff are required to book air and rail tickets for official business using University funds through Christopherson Business Travel. Business travelers are encouraged to utilize Christopherson Business Travel for lodging and vehicle rental as well to receive the benefits associated with VCU’s managed travel program.

All payments for meals, lodging, airfare, etc. funded solely from sponsored program funds are governed by the terms and conditions of the individual grant or contract. If the grant or contract is silent regarding these monetary reimbursements, the limitations VCU’s guidelines will apply.


Individuals traveling on behalf of the University must exercise good judgment with respect to incurring travel expenses and are expected to spend the University’s funds prudently. Travel related expenses will be paid by the University if they are deemed to be reasonable, appropriately documented, properly authorized and within the guidelines.

Schools and Departments

Each school must ensure that anyone traveling on behalf of the University is aware of and will abide by the University’s travel guidelines and to assign a hierarchy of responsibility to the preparation and approval of travel pre-approval and reimbursement based on VCU policies and guidelines. Schools, centers or departments may develop additional guidelines with more control than required by VCU’s guidelines, but never less. These guidelines must not be arbitrary or capricious and must be fully documented, and equally applied. Careful consideration should be taken to minimize the loss of efficiency and additional administrative time required. Travel Services should be consulted when developing guidelines.

Authorized Approver

Should be the traveler’s direct supervisor, cannot be the individual seeking reimbursement, and must always move up the chain of command from the expense owner, not down, to prevent the situation of a subordinate approving a supervisor’s expenses.

Must verify that expenses and expense reports meet the following criteria:

  • the travel expense was incurred while conducting University business,
  • the expenses were necessary and consistent with University policies,
  • the information contained on the expense report and in the attached documentation is accurate,
  • the expense meets any and all sponsor guidelines, if applicable

Fiscal Approver

Must be assigned by the department to have approval authority for the index(s) used in Chrome River.

Must verify that expenses and expense reports meet the following criteria:

  • expenditures are charged to the appropriate index(s) and are properly categorized
  • receipts provided are valid and reconcile with the claimed expenses
  • claimed expenses are in compliance with University guidelines and policies

For More Information

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Travel Services »
804-828-1077 (ext 3)

Locations & Hours

Office of
Procurement Services

Mailing Address:
Box 980327
Richmond, Virginia 23298-0327

Physical Address:
912 W. Grace Street, 5th Floor
Richmond, Virginia 23284
Phone: (804-828-1077)
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