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Travel and Expense Project

Update - February 2016

Flying High Infographic

Past Announcement - January 2016

PSDS rolled out the new travel management program (TravelUVA) to the University January 4, 2016. Now travel arrangements can be made through TravelUVA online or with University-dedicated agents. Among the program’s many benefits, you will receive first-rate customer care and there is no cost for online booking.

Visit the PSDS site to learn more about the benefits of this program and to read more about the revised University policy on Travel, Meals, and Entertainment Expenses Incurred on Behalf of the University.

Throughout January, the PSDS Travel and Expense Services Team will host Town Hall sessions to provide more details on the new policy and services the program offers and labs to provide hands-on access to the online booking tool. We hope to see you there!  Please pre-register for the open lab sessions by visiting Learner Home in the Integrated System (Employee Self-Service).


Town Hall Meetings

Jan. 5

Newcomb Hall Theater

10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Jan. 7

Newcomb Hall Theater

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Jan. 11

McKim Hall – Leonard Sandridge Auditorium

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Jan. 13

Darden Auditorium

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Jan. 15

McKim Hall – Leonard Sandridge Auditorium

10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Jan. 26

Newcomb Hall Theater

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Jan. 27

Newcomb Hall Theater

10:00 AM – 12:00 PM


Labs (pre-registration recommended due to limited space)

Jan. 6

Michie Building North Training Room 219

9:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Jan. 8

Michie Building North Training Room 219

9:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Jan. 12

Michie Building North Training Room 220

2:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Jan. 14

Michie Building North Training Room 219

9:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Jan. 19

Michie Building North Training Room 219

2:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Jan. 20

Michie Building North Training Room 219

9:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Jan. 21

Michie Building North Training Room 219

2:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Jan. 22

Michie Building North Training Room 219

9:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Jan. 25

Michie Building North Training Room 219

2:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Jan. 28

Michie Building North Training Room 219

9:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Jan. 29

Michie Building North Training Room 219

9:00 AM – 11:00 AM

As part of our work on improving Travel and Expense Management, we are reframing the University’s Purchasing Card program. The card will be known as the Travel and Expense Card. We encourage those who travel on UVA business to sign up for a Travel and Expense Card. Later in the spring, we will roll out ExpenseUVA, a new expense management tool that will seamlessly integrate with the TravelUVA program. Those who use a Travel and Expense Card will experience the greatest benefits of the streamlined systems.

View the Power Point Presentation.

Past Announcement - October 2015

The Travel and Expense Management Project Team continues to make good progress toward the planned University-wide rollout of a new Travel system in January 2016 and a new Expense Management solution in early spring. In late September/ early October, the Travel Pilot Group was expanded to include seven additional departments from across the Grounds: the Center for Teaching Excellence, the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, the Office of Undergraduate Admission, the Darden Graduate School of Business, the Dean's Office in the School of Nursing, the School of Law, and the Office of Health System Development. All members of the Travel Pilot Group are now using Christopherson Business Travel and the Concur online booking tool along with revised travel policies.

Informational/demo sessions were held for the new members of the pilot group (10/5), Finance Outreach and Communication (10/7), and a School of Medicine Administrators meeting (10/15). There will be another session prior to the Fiscal Administrators meeting on October 21; additional sessions will follow into November. The Travel Project Team has reached out to all schools with an offer to provide information to faculty and staff about the project. If you are interested in having a member of the Travel Project Team share information with your group, please contact Raegan Harouff at or 924-4354.

Feedback from the Travel Pilot Group continues to inform our customization of the Concur online travel booking system to make it as user-friendly as possible for the UVA community. Based on pilot users’ requests, “shop by schedule” is now the default when searching for flights with “shop by fare” remaining available as an option. The Travel Project Team has added helpful messages to guide the user throughout the booking process and provide information on policy. We anticipate further refinements to the system as the expanded Travel Pilot Group provides additional feedback on their experiences using the system.

Past Announcement - September 2015

Find updates on the project on the Organizational Excellence Initiatives page.

Past Announcement - August 2015

Pilot of Travel and Expense Tools and Policies

The pilot of the new travel tool and expense policies is wrapping up.  There were six areas that have participated in the pilot with great results, and a number of improvements have been incorporated based on user feedback.  About 2/3 of the trips were booked by travelers, while 1/3 of the trips were booked by support staff, and there has been positive feedback on the online booking system’s ease of use.

Expense vendor selection

The University has selected Chrome River’s expense reimbursement solution.  Chrome River’s automated expense solution will allow users to submit electronic receipts, route expense reports automatically through online workflows, and include ‘smart rules’ that take the guess work out of policies.

The expense solution is currently scheduled to go live in the Spring of 2016.

Travel workbook improvements

Until the expense tool is fully operational and integrated, the travel workbook has undergone a number of significant improvements!  Per diems are now built into the workbook, and there is a link to a new currency conversion tool.

Past Announcement - June 2015

Advisory Group Update

The Travel Advisory Group, comprised of about three dozen staff members from around Grounds, has met several times over the past few months to provide feedback regarding proposed changes to UVA’s existing travel program.  The group has suggested improvements to the travel policy such as simplifying expense substantiation requirements, changing approval limits, and making one set of rules for State and Local Funds.  The group has provided valuable insight into the feasibility of these changes and potential impact on the traveler and support staff. 

 Piloting of the New Travel Tool and Policies for Expense Submission

The Travel and Expense Management Redesign Project team will be piloting policies, procedures, and processes in the summer of 2015.  The pilot will afford the project core team an opportunity to test the future state design of travel and expense and will target specific areas that represent a spectrum of diverse and often complex stakeholder requirements: Alumni & Parent Engagement and Annual Giving, several teams in Athletics, the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering the Department of Biomedical Engineering in SEAS, the McIntire School of Commerce, the Department of Medical Education in the School of Medicine, and Procurement Services. 

The pilot is scheduled to commence in early June and be complete by the end of July.  During the pilot phase, travelers and their assistants will book trips using the University’s recently selected travel partner, Christopherson Business Travel.  Travelers may arrange trips using either the self-service online booking tool or by contacting a dedicated full service UVA travel agent at Christopherson.  Another important aspect of the pilot is testing improved and simplified reimbursements.  Based on these activities, the project core team will gain invaluable insights as to what works well and what might need further refinement in order to best meet the needs of the UVA community before the improvements are introduced to the entire institution later this year.

Past Announcement- More Good Travel News - April 2015

Procurement and Supplier Diversity Services ("PSDS") and Organizational Excellence have been working on redesigning and improving travel and expense services.  The team recently selected a full-service travel management partner to provide travel management to the University, including travel agency and online booking services.

Christopherson Business Travel currently has 26 other college and university customers.  The company is excited to leverage their higher-education travel expertise, and brings full service agency services, along with online booking, mobile technology, and better air, hotel, and rental car pricing to the U.Va. travel community.  PSDS is planning to pilot the solution before full University implementation.  Please review the Frequently Asked Questions regarding this announcement.

Other Travel Policy and Procedure Updates

Late travel workbooks accepted!

Addressing layers of unnecessary work and frustration (and an already time-consuming and complicated process), workbooks submitted more than 30 days after travel without written explanation will no-longer be rejected.  PSDS still encourages timely reimbursement requests and continues to require all standard approvals.

State Pcards can now be used to pay for any hotel!

It is now easier to plan travel and pay for accommodations.  Visit the Pcard site to learn how to lift the hotel restriction on your card.  As always, personal expenses are not permitted on Pcards.

Past Announcement- Advisory Group Kickoff! - March 2015

The Travel and Expense Management project achieved another milestone - the creation of the Travel Advisory Group.  Over the next few months, this group will offer feedback on many aspects of the new program – everything from simplifying the travel policy to identifying ways to reduce duplication.  Members of this group represent many schools and units from across Grounds, and are charged with offering input on how travel can be improved – both for the traveler and support staff.  Members will take an active role in simplifying and streamlining the Travel and Expense program at UVA and help us answer the “What If?” of travel. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2015 was the first session of the Travel Advisory Group, and the group engaged in discussing how change is normally handled at the University, and how this initiative is taking a ‘design thinking’ approach to change.  This project will affect change using a people centric and innovative approach, with a special focus on the aspects of UVA’s unique culture that affect travel.  One of the group’s first activities was to review and provide feedback on a prototype of the travel process

Several overarching themes were discussed during the prototyping process.  They included:

  • Simplify the fund rules
  • Streamline the current process without adding any additional layers
  • Provide more information directly to the traveler either prior or during the trip
  • Ensure the freedom to do whatever is easiest for the traveler and support staff

The Advisory Group will take ideas learned from this session and share it with their respective departments.  They will collect feedback from those departments and provide it to the Travel and Expense Management project team to ensure that the solution will provide the most solid value and simplified processes to the to the University.

Past Announcement- Travel Documentation Made Easier- December 2014

Through the Travel and Expense Management Redesign Project's extensive outreach regarding the travel process at University of Virginia, Procurement and Supplier Diversity Services (PSDS) has heard many ideas for improvement.  The most common feedback we've received is confusion around the need for a boarding pass.  You asked that we remove this requirement -- done!  

Effective immediately, there will no longer be a requirement to produce boarding passes!  A traveler only needs to provide support that a flight was taken with the class of flight.  This can be accomplished with a ticket stub, receipt or itinerary and a receipt confirming that the trip occurred (hotel receipt, taxi receipt, etc.).  We hope this makes the travel experience easier, and we would like to thank the faculty and staff who provided this valuable feedback to us.

Please share this information widely with all traveling colleagues in your area.  For any questions you may have, please contact PSDS at 434-924-4212. Happy travels!

For more on this project, please review this overview.

Past Announcement- Project Background- November 2014

The University currently has no unified approach to travel planning with each school and unit utilizing a different reservation process layered with departmental and University policies. Additionally, the reimbursement process is manual, paper-based and time-intensive. This project, led by a team with representatives from several schools and units, audit, and Procurement and Supplier Diversity Services, in partnership with Organizational Excellence, seeks to streamline processes, increase value, and enhance service.

The project goals are to:

  • Streamline and simplify
  • Enhance Duty of Care reporting
  • Ensure Export Control compliance
  • Improve pricing

Safe. Simple. Savings.

Completed Activities:

  • Map end-to-end processes
  • Analyze policies and procedures
  • Conduct focus groups, including both faculty and support staff
  • Research peer institution best practices
  • Establish guiding principles
  • Conduct change readiness assessment
  • ‘Leading with the culture’ visioning exercise
  • Establish success metric

Current Activities:

  • Analyze current state strengths and opportunities
  • Synthesize best practices from peer institutions and UVA departments
  • Simplify travel policy
  • Document Requirements
  • Evaluate and select possible solutions
    • Pros/Cons
    • Cost/Benefit
  • Prototype future state

Future Activities:

  • Prototype design with focus groups/advisory group
  • Deploy communication and change management plans
  • Plan and implement chosen design
  • Measure and monitor impact

To learn more, see additional information here, or contact John McHugh at 924-4214 or

Past Announcement- Travel and Expense Management Redesign Project- August 2014

UVA Students, Faculty, and Staff travel extensively to advance the mission of the University, and those travel activities directly relate to the Cornerstone Plan pillars of Advancing Knowledge, Providing Educational Experience, Assembling and Supporting a Distinguishing Faculty, and Stewarding Resources. 

Anyone who has traveled for University business has experienced our complex travel and expense processes.  This project seeks to streamline processes, increase value, and enhance service.

The University spends approximately $20 million annually on travel related services (air, hotel, rental car).  Currently, there is no unified approach to travel planning with each school and unit utilizing a different reservation process layered with departmental and University policies.  Further, the reimbursement process is manual and time-intensive.

Procurement and Supplier Diversity Services, in partnership with Organizational Excellence, has undertaken an initiative to simplify and streamline travel and expense management.  The project is led by a team with representatives from  several schools and units, audit, and procurement. The team is engaging stakeholders all across grounds to guide its work.

The project goals are to:

  • Increase ease of use and efficiency by streamlining the travel booking and expense management processes
  • Enhance duty of care and safety - travel policy alerts and messaging, location and assistance to faculty and staff during travel emergencies
  • Improve cost savings through travel management supplier consolidation and by establishing airline, national hotel, and car rental contracts
  • Provide better expenditure reporting for planning purposes, both at the aggregated University level and at the unit/department level
  • Enhance compliance with export controls
  • Integrate travel booking and expense management systems for efficient, streamlined processing

By setting up a booking tool and funneling our travel through that format, the University can negotiate better rates than an individual traveler can obtain. With an integrated travel and expense management system, expenses can be integrated the payables system electronically, reducing time spent filling out forms and processing receipts.  These changes enable time and funds to be reallocated to University core mission activities - education, research and scholarship – and strategic priorities.