Q. Does UA Little Rock’s travel/auto insurance policy cover my personal vehicle if my vehicle is damaged while driving on university business?
A. Pursuant to UA Little Rock’s travel policy, the university assumes no responsibility for any maintenance, operations costs, accidents, fines, tolls, etc., incurred by the owner of the (private) vehicle while on official university business.
Q. What coverage does the university offer me if I am in an at-fault accident in my personal vehicle while on university business?
A. The employee’s personal insurance would be primarily liable for all claims from the other driver. The university’s auto insurance would serve as secondary insurance, in regards to liability only, for the other driver. AGAIN, UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES ARE ANY DAMAGES TO AN EMPLOYEE’S PERSONAL VEHICLE INVOLVED IN AN ACCIDENT WHILE ON UNIVERSITY BUSINESS COVERED BY UA LITTLE ROCK’S AUTO INSURANCE.
Q. Can I drive my personal vehicle while running errands or traveling on university business?
A. Yes. However, see the responses to the questions above regarding risk and liability.
University policy states that employees traveling on behalf of UA Little Rock should and will have reimbursable expenses, must have an approved Spend Authorization on file prior to travel.
As long as employees are on a bona fide business trip, with no reimbursable expenses, they will be covered by AD&D insurance and a spend authorization is unnecessary. A business trip is defined as a bona fide trip when an employee is “on assignment or at the direction of the Policyholder to further the business of the Policyholder.”
Q. Does the university have a recommendation regarding operating a personal vehicle while on university business?
A. It is highly recommended that if an employee is traveling on university business, he or she use a university-owned, motor pool, or rental vehicle (rented from one of our state contracted rental agencies). By doing so, liability shifts to the university rather than the employee’s personal insurance. However, the employee must be in the University of Arkansas System Vehicle Safety Program prior to operating a university-owned, motor pool, or rental vehicle.
Q. How do I get entered in the University of Arkansas System Vehicle Safety Program?
A. Complete the Authorization to Operate a Motor Vehicle form and return it with a legible copy of your driver’s license to the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Finance & Administration, Donaldson Student Services Center Rm. 425. It may also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q. Do I need to complete the Authorization to Operate a Motor Vehicle form if I am operating a university-owned, motor pool, or rental vehicle while on university business?
A. Yes. Under U of A policy, an employee, student, or guest of state must be an approved driver in the University of Arkansas System Vehicle Safety Program prior to operating a university-owned, rental, or motor pool vehicle.
Q. Do I need to complete the Authorization to Operate a Motor Vehicle form if I am operating my personal vehicle while on university business?
A. We ask that all employees be entered into the University of Arkansas System Vehicle Safety Program, even if operating a personal vehicle, as part of our due diligence in ensuring our employees are licensed and safe drivers.
Q. Do I need to complete the Authorization to Operate a Motor Vehicle form if I am traveling on university business but am not claiming mileage reimbursement or am traveling by some mode other than a motor vehicle?
A. We highly recommend that all of our employees be entered into the University of Arkansas System Vehicle Safety Program, even under these circumstances. This will ensure that if an emergency situation arises and our employee needs to drive on university business, we have done our diligence in ensuring that the employee is licensed and a safe driver.
Q. Once I complete the Authorization to Operate a Motor Vehicle form, where do I submit it?
A. The form should be submitted to the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Finance & Administration located in the Donaldson Student Services Center Rm. 425. The form, along with a legible copy of your driver’s license, may also be emailed to email@example.com.
Q. I have completed the Authorization to Operate a Motor Vehicle form and have submitted it to the appropriate office. How do I find out if I am eligible to drive on behalf of the university? How long is the form good for? Do I need to submit one for each trip I make?
A. A representative of the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Finance & Administration will notify the sponsor(s) or department head(s) of your eligibility to drive on behalf of UA Little Rock, who will in turn notify you. The form is good for as long as you are employed at UA Little Rock and you do not need to submit a new one for each trip you make.
Q. Do I have to complete the Authorization to Operate a Motor Vehicle form when I renew my license? Do I need to provide a new copy of my driver’s license?
A. No. The university is notified of any change in driver status or license automatically.
Q. I’ve let my driver’s license expire. What do I need to do to become active in the University of Arkansas System Vehicle Safety Program again?
A. The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Finance & Administration receives weekly status updates from the Department of Motor Vehicles on those persons in the driver database. If we receive an update that your driver’s license has expired, we will email you a reminder that you need to renew your license. You will not be able to operate a motor vehicle on university business until your license is renewed. You can forward us a copy of your renewed license to be immediately authorized to drive or wait until we receive the next weekly update, when we will be notified that your license is once again current.
Q. Who is the Travel Administrator on SA’s, ER’s, and Special Meeting Forms?
A. The travel administrator will be your respective chancellor, vice chancellor, athletic director, dean, or associate vice chancellor. These positions may assign signatory authority to others but only if in writing and directly presented to Procurement Services. In no case can the traveler and the travel administrator be the same person.
Q. Who should sign as the Travel Supervisor?
A. Travel supervisors are the travel delegates in Procurement Services for Spend Authorizations and Expense Reimbursements.
Q. Who is a Guest of State?
A. Guests of state are visiting persons that are NOT employees of the State of Arkansas (at UA Little Rock or any other institution or department of the state). Students can be considered guests of state. Meals for the guest of state are NOT subject to federal per diem meal limits but accompanying state or federal employees are.
Q. Where can I find a summary of the university’s insurance policies?
A. This is located on the Office of Vice Chancellor for Finance & Administration’s website under Insurance.
Q. How do I, as an employee, ensure I am covered on the university employee AD&D travel accident insurance when traveling on behalf of UA Little Rock?
A. Employees are provided limited coverage under the university’s AD&D travel insurance when traveling on official UA Little Rock business.
Q. I am an employee and will be traveling internationally on university business. Will I be covered under the university’s travel accident insurance?
A. Yes. Employees traveling internationally on university business are covered under the AD&D travel insurance policy. However, there are exclusions and it is suggested that you contact the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Finance & Administration (firstname.lastname@example.org or 501-916-3202) or Risk Management at 501-686-2940 for further clarification.
Q. Are Graduate Assistants considered employees of the university?
A. Yes. While serving in an employee capacity, they are subject to travel procedures of a university employee.
Q. Do Graduate Assistants who are traveling on university business in their capacity as a student need to be listed on a Student Trip Authorization form, since they are technically employees of the university?
A. The Student Trip Authorization Form (STA) serves two purposes. First, it gives authorization for the trip to even be conducted in the first place. This authorization is needed for any student who is traveling on university business, according to policy. Secondly, it is the mechanism in which trip organizers purchase travel insurance for student travelers (including Graduate Assistants) that covers them for the entirety of the trip (to, from, and at the destination), which is also required by policy.
Graduate Assistants, while students, are also employees. If they are traveling in their capacity as an employee, please refer to the FAQ section above for employee travelers for guidance.
Q. Do Graduate Assistants need to be in the Arkansas State Vehicle Safety Program if operating a motor vehicle on university business?
A. Yes. This applies if they are operating any motor vehicle, whether personal, university-owned, motor pool, or rental.
Q. I am a graduate assistant and I travel frequently on behalf of my department. Am I covered by the university’s auto or travel insurance?
A. Graduate assistants are covered under the same policies that cover faculty/staff travel, including employee AD&D travel insurance. However, you must be an approved driver in the University of Arkansas System Vehicle Safety Program by completing the Authorization to Operate a Motor Vehicle form. See the employee section above for further information.
Q. I am an advisor for an RSO making a trip next month. What exactly are my responsibilities under the student travel policy?
A. Your primary responsibility is to make sure that the students going on the trip are aware of the policy, have read it, and are taking the necessary steps to comply with it. In addition, you may need to facilitate the purchasing of the student travel accident insurance (see section below).
Q. If I am a sponsor and I am going on a trip with my students, why is it necessary for someone here in Little Rock to have copies of emergency contact information?
A. Should an accident occur while in route to your destination, for example, then the dean of students’ office would have someone to contact should any of that information be needed.
Q. How do I purchase student travel accident insurance and how much does it cost?
A. Student travel accident insurance is purchased when the Student Trip Authorization form is filed with the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Finance & Administration. A list of the students who will be participating in the class trip along with their student ID numbers must be attached to the Student Trip Authorization form. The cost of the insurance is .60 per student, per day, for vehicle travel and .80 per day for travel by airplane. The department or student organization will be back charged for the insurance expense following completion of the trip.
Q. What does student travel accident insurance cover?
A. Student travel accident insurance covers students for accidents incurred from the beginning to the end of the trip, not only while traveling in a vehicle. Students are also covered when traveling internationally, although they must purchase additional insurance that will cover evacuation in case of injury. Contact the Office of International Services, 501-916-5815, for further information.
Q. The student travel policy is applicable if “the university will benefit from the representation in a substantial manner.” How does one determine if this is the case? Are there some examples of trips that would fall under this? Are there examples of some that wouldn’t?
A. Examples of this would include attending conferences when a department or registered student organization expressly asks you to go, attending a field trip in connection with a class as a class, and running errands specifically related to the mission of the university on behalf of a faculty or staff member. Some examples of travel that do not fall under this would include personal conference travel, travel to social activities (such as a formal dance in Little Rock), or running personal errands on behalf of a faculty or staff member.
Q. English majors with SCED minors who take certain courses are required to travel to schools to perform observations or internship teaching in those courses. Do such students need a driver authorization form? Do such students need an open-ended TA for the term in order to be covered by the university insurance? Are they allowed to be covered in this way?
A. No, student interns do not need a driver authorization form, student trip authorization, or open-ended TA. The student travel policy applies if “the university will benefit from the representation in a substantial manner” or “official university business.” Examples of this would include attending conferences when a department or registered student organization expressly asks a student to go, attending a field trip in connection with a class as a class, and running errands specifically related to the mission of the university on behalf of a faculty or staff member.
Students participating in an internship or observation (teaching, nursing, social work or other major) as part of their course requirements would be exempt from the student travel policy. Traveling to a site off-campus to complete course requirements is the equivalent to traveling to the university to attend class on campus. Therefore, the university does not require driver authorization, student trip authorization, TA, or student travel insurance for any student interns as this is not considered “official university business.”
Q. If students are asked to attend an off-campus lecture and a group of students ask their professor for a ride over, would that constitute a class trip?
A. If it is a university-sponsored activity and students will be participating as official representatives of the university, then it would constitute a class/student trip and need to be authorized. It would be up to the professor or sponsor to determine if the trip meets these definitions. Please refer to the Student Travel Policy for further details, because there are exceptions. In addition, student travel accident insurance would need to be purchased otherwise the professor would be personally liable (through his/her automobile insurance) if there was a vehicle accident resulting in injury. The Student Trip Authorization form accomplishes both of these purposes.
Q. I am a student attending a conference on my own and am paying all my expenses to go to this conference. Do I need to follow the student travel policy?
A. If you are choosing to attend a conference on your own (i.e., you have an interest in biology and choose to go to a biology symposium on your own), you do not need to follow the student travel policy. As mentioned above, if a registered student organization or campus department has expressly asked you to go, even if you are paying out of your pocket, you need to follow this policy.
Q. Do students and student employees need to be in the Arkansas State Vehicle Safety Program if operating a motor vehicle on university business?
A. Yes. This applies if they are operating any motor vehicle, whether personal, university-owned, motor pool, or rental.
Q. I am a student employee and need to run an errand in my personal vehicle as a part of my job. Am I covered by the university’s auto or travel insurance?
A. If you are being paid by the university while on an errand, you are covered by the employee AD&D travel insurance and the applicable limits of auto insurance. However, you must be an approved driver in the University of Arkansas System Vehicle Safety Program by completing the Authorization to Operate a Motor Vehicle form. See the employee section above for further information.
Q. Can students drive other students in their personal vehicle to a field trip, off-campus event, or other school-sponsored event?
A. Yes. However, student drivers must be authorized to drive according to the University of Arkansas System Vehicle Safety Program and an approved Student Trip Authorization must be on file. Further, no other student may substitute as a driver unless he or she is also an authorized driver and listed on the approved Student Trip Authorization.
Exceptions to Student Travel Policy
The following are exceptions to the UA Little Rock policy, Travel for Students Representing UA Little Rock:
- Students traveling under the aegis of the Men or Women’s Athletic Department as athletes.
- Passengers riding in university-operated vehicles between portions of the campus located in the same city or its suburbs.
- Off campus trips organized, conducted, or sponsored by a student organization in its own interest. Such trips are not made on behalf of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock as official travel, and the university will accept no responsibility for any liability arising from them.
- Dispatching of a student on a personal errand for a faculty or staff member in a city where the student is regularly enrolled.
- Students on an official Study Abroad program are required to follow official Study Abroad travel procedures.
- Graduate students and other students who are traveling as paid employees of the university.
- Students driving themselves to Little Rock National Airport (LIT) or any other airport in the Little Rock area.
- Students voluntarily driving themselves in their private vehicles to locations in the Little Rock metropolitan area or to locations near their residence do not have to obtain the travel accident insurance or complete the Authorization to Operate a Motor Vehicle form.