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CUNYfirst Travel and Expenses

CUNY/State Employees - Travel Guidelines and Resources

When using tax-levy funds, all requests for travel approval and expense reimbursement must be processed via the CUNYfirst Travel and Expense Module.  Utilizing this self-service application will expedite the process for approving travel requests and receiving reimbursement for travel expenses; thus eliminating the paper process.

To gain access to the Travel and Expense Module, employees must complete the CUNYfirst Travel Expense User Access Request Form (PDF). Research Foundation employees must first be set-up as "a person of interest" by the Office of Human Resources. 

Travel Guidelines and Forms

Understanding Travel Authorizations

Travel Authorizations ensure that travel requests meet a business purpose, and that the budget is available and set aside for the trip. Travel Authorizations must be approved by the employee's supervisor and department approver before the travel event.

  • Travel Authorizations are mandatory for overnight and/or out-of-town travel.
  • It can be created in CUNYfirst by the Employee (or their Proxy). 
  • Supporting documentation must be uploaded to CUNYfirst (ex. conference invitations, estimated airfare, etc.) 
  • It must be future-dated, approved, and budget checked prior to travel. 

How To... Before Travel Event

How To... After Travel Event (Expense Reports)

Create a CUNYfirst Expense Report - An expense report must be submitted within 5 days after the travel end date. Expense Reports must be copied from an Approved Travel Authorization.  In addition, all receipts, conference booklets, and final costs must be uploaded into the Expense Report. Create Expense Report (Net-Card or Employee Paid) (E-Learning)

Important Reminders

  • Employee must change the chartfields when charging the expenses to a different department (Example: Dean, Provost, etc.). Chartfield information should be provided by the department approving the expense.
  • If you are a member of the PSC, select PSC under the expense type.
  • Regardless of purpose, all travel must be approved in advance of purchasing any tickets and/or making travel arrangements.
  • All out-of-town travel requires an approved Travel Authorization in CUNYfirst.
  • Concur is the preferred method for securing all travel arrangements. It ensures an easy booking process for all NYS travelers; including government rates, when available, for flights and hotels and allows for refunds in the event the travel does not occur. Recommended exceptions include: emergency situations, when the non-contract fare saves $200 or more per round-trip ticket, or contract flights would require the traveler to incur unnecessary overnight lodging costs. All travel expenses whether done through the Agency or independently must be based on the best available economy rate. Exceptions to this must be preapproved by the College's Fiscal Officer/AVP for Financial Operations.The State of New York reimburses for lodging, meals and incidentals based on travel destination (see Per Diem Rates).
  • Per New York State Travel guidelines, lodging costs that exceed the stated per diem rates must be requested in writing and approved by the Fiscal Officer (see Request-to-Exceed-Hotel-Travel-Allowance Form).

Individuals using their private personal vehicles for college travel purposes are entitled to a mileage allowance which changes periodically based on New York State Travel Mileage Rates.

Non-CUNY/State Employees - Travel Guidelines and Resources

Lehman College will pay or reimburse reasonable expenses to faculty and ECP candidates who visit the College to meet with the search committee and other individuals. Please see the complete Guidelines for Candidate Travel (Faculty and ECP searches only)Appendix 1  and Appendix 2c.

In addition, OTPS funds can be used to reimburse other non-employees such as speakers and other visitors to the College. Travel related expenses such as Amtrak ticket, taxi fare, and commercial air fare can be reimbursed with receipts. The cost of lodging and meals will be reimbursed according to the allowable government rate ( with receipts. The following State of New York Travel reimbursement forms are required along with itemized receipts:

Other Business Expenses

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