Financial Procedures for Faculty or Staff-led Education Abroad Programs
The Office of International Programs – Education Abroad (OIP-EA) works as an academic support unit for CSU departments to facilitate the administration of education abroad programming. The OIP-EA unit acts as an administrator or liaison for departments in many capacities. The following information is intended to outline the financial protocols for faculty and/or staff interested in leading an education abroad program.
Setting the Budget
Program budgets should be discussed and tentatively set approximately 12-18 months prior to a program’s start. Advanced planning of program budgets allows for appropriate time for adhering to Procurement policies related to requests for proposals and contracting as well as preparation of UCC course requests and promotion plans. Departments and faculty members should work closely with the Education Abroad team to develop an estimated budget, which includes tuition, accommodations, vendor services, faculty support, insurance and other program fees.
Tuition and Departmental Related Fees
- CSU sponsored programs, which receive CSU credit, must work with the EA unit for all course creation and fiscal management.
- CSU credits offered abroad must be approved by the University Curriculum Committee and usually are noted with a special “Study Abroad” course designation.
- CSU Online/DCE disburses approximately 68% of tuition revenue from course registration to the OIP-EA accounts. This tuition revenue is intended primarily to pay for faculty teaching salaries and fringe benefits.
- After faculty salary distributions, any additional revenue can be reinvested in the form of program fee discounts (given equally to students), program development, or other departmentally approved support – with the intention to benefit the future success of the program.
- Faculty and/or staff leading non-credit EA programs will be compensated for travel expenses. Teaching salary cannot be compensated without tuition revenue.
- Faculty teaching on programs should be permanent employees. Part-time instructors or Graduate Teaching Assistants should not have primary responsibilities for leading programs.
- Honorariums can be paid with extra additional tuition revenue or in some cases can be contracted with job descriptions for the work completed.
Education Abroad Program Fees
- Program fees function much like regular course fees in that they are estimated on actual cost of supporting the non-tuition related expenses for the program. Travel expenses related to education abroad must be completed using the most economical means available.
- Program fees are intended to support the students on the program equally. Individual student discounts or a sliding fee scale are not permitted.
- Education Abroad budgets are typically based at a 10 students to 1 faculty member ratio.
- Unused program fees in excess of 5% will be returned to students at the time of billing or after the program account is reconciled.
- To keep costs low for students, full per diem is not paid for education abroad programming because the faculty member is receiving teaching salary from tuition revenue. Some per diem is acceptable for expenses incurred during program excursions and should be accounted for with actual itemized receipts.
- Departments may choose to pay the full per diem rate, less lodging and group meals, for their faculty members. An account number will need to be provided and the expenses will be added to the travel authorization prepared by OIP-EA.
- Budgets for Education Abroad Program fees should not be used to pay for activities or administration on the CSU main campus or at a distance from the students, who are paying the fees and should be receiving the direct benefits. This includes new program development, on campus staff salaries, or teaching salaries (which should be covered by CSU tuition structures).
- Program fees cannot pay for personal benefits such as more than a one bedroom accommodation to host faculty or staff families, travel compensation beyond the program activities, etc.
- Program fees should be managed out of CSU departmental accounts, which must adhere to the CSU Financial Rules and Procedures. Under no circumstances should faculty or staff members use personal accounts to collect and disburse student funds. This leaves an individual personally liable and can leave the person in a vulnerable situation should there be an audit. In the event that a non-credit program or travel is run independently from the OIP-EA unit, another CSU departmental unit should collect and distribute the funds based on CSU fiscal guidelines.
Contracting for Support Services
- Service providers and vendors must be contracted through a competitive bid or have a strong sole source justification. Competitive price, safety, and quality should be considered in selection process.
- Conflicts of interests with vendors or services should be avoided and disclosed early in the process. In the event that a vendor relationship appears to be inappropriate, a competitive bid should be reinitiated.
- After the application deadline and minimum enrollment is met, faculty or staff members in collaboration with Education Abroad staff should obtain a competitive airfare quote from a State Approved Travel Agent.
- If a ticket is purchased separately, a quote from State Approved Travel Agent must be included with travel paperwork to demonstrate a competitive price.
- The quoted prices should then be emailed to the EA liaison to compare budgeted estimates and to provide Kuali TEM number and account number for payment.
- EA does not recommend purchasing group airfares because of early deposits and varying travel plans of most groups. Exceptions to this rule apply when groups are traveling to a higher risk destination.
- Travel upgrades or personal flight deviations cannot be paid for using student monies collected through OIP-EA program fees. The cost difference for those additional services must be paid for with faculty or staff member’s personal funds.
- OIP-Education Abroad will initiate the paperwork online, which includes the Kuali Travel Authorization with an automatic Risk Management Registration and DCE course creation paperwork.
- The online Kuali document will be routed to the respective faculty member and Department Head / Dean for electronic signatures.
- To the greatest extent possible, the program fee should be paid in advance by Education Abroad, so that faculty members do not have to carry an excessive amount of money abroad or in their personal accounts.
- Travel Advances can be issued in excess of the standard $1500 limit to pay for program related fees, which cannot be paid in advance by wire transfer, credit card or check. It is the faculty member’s responsibility to provide itemized documentation for all expenses; otherwise, repayment of Advance may be required.
- The Travel Advance will be deposited automatically into your personal bank account 10 days prior to the start of travel.
Things to Remember
- Obtain & submit ALL receipts related to program expenses. If individual tickets cannot be collected for group events, provide a sample ticket with a bank statement showing a total group payment.
- Obtain and submit itemized receipts for hotels, meals, ground transportation or other expenses. The receipts must show a zero/paid balance.
- A receipt book is recommended for documenting cash-based transactions under $25, which are not easily obtainable (e.g. for taxis, etc.). A receipt book should not be used for more than 10% of expenses or for any expenses over $25.
- Alcohol may not be purchased with program fees and should not ever be purchased by faculty/staff for students.
- Using a travel card is highly encouraged for expenses incurred while abroad. This card must be applied for through the academic department and will help to keep program expenses separate from personal expenses. o Bank statements are an alternative way to document actual expenses and current exchange rates.
- EA program fees should be used for excursions or activities that benefit all group members.
Reporting Program Expenses
- All expenses must fall within the CSU Financial Rules for Travel. They must also be documented with itemized receipts for all group and individual purchases related to the program expenses.
- Please contact your OIP-EA liaison if you have any questions regarding allowed expenses or financial documentation prior to purchase, otherwise repayment cannot be guaranteed.
- Please use a receipt log to number and document your receipts and expenses. Submit those to your OIP Education Abroad liaison within 2 weeks of the return date. Financial Procedures for Faculty or Staff-led Education Abroad
- OIP-EA asks you to organize the receipts, and then OIP-EA will prepare a post trip reimbursement in Kuali.
- If receipts are submitted without indicating the exchange rate, then the rate will be is determined using OANDA, typically based on at least a weekly basis or possibly daily basis in periods of great economic flux.
- Faculty or staff will be contacted to schedule a time for questions and post-trip signatures.
- Personal monies used to pay program fees are typically reimbursed by the Travel Office to faculty/staff within three to six weeks.