In accordance with good governance practices as guided by the revised Internal Revenue Service Form 990, the Washington and Lee Board of Trustees adopted the policies set forth herein.
There are no definitions applicable to this policy.
When W&L employees travel for University business, they should travel by the least expensive means available, which means air travel in coach class, preferably under advance purchase options, and not by first class or charter travel, unless exceptions have been made by the Treasurer or President. If an employee desires to upgrade to first class or business travel, that employee is personally responsible for any such upgrade, absent prior authorization by the President or Treasurer.
IRS regulations provide that any reimbursement for companion (spouse, domestic partner) travel is considered taxable income to the employee unless the companion travel is a) for a bona fide business purpose, b) benefits the University, and c) is documented.
Under the accountable travel plan as described by the Internal Revenue Service, all expenses must be documented and receipts provided. In addition, when companion travel is covered, the following conditions must be met in order to exclude the travel costs from the taxable income of the employee:
- the companion attends and contributes to the official function, and
- the purpose of the travel, the activities of the companion relating to University business and the expenses incurred are fully documented
At its regular May, 2006 meeting, the Board of Trustees officially recognized the need for the President's spouse to travel with the President on official University business. Specifically, while performing his/her official duties in the areas of advancement, alumni relations, and other business of the University, the President may be accompanied by his/her spouse, who is expected to make an important contribution to achieving the purposes of the travel or events. In those cases, the University's policy is to authorize payment of all travel and related expenses of the President's spouse.
Reimbursable travel by companions of other University employees is to be approved in advance by the Vice President for Finance and Treasurer and only if the travel meets the IRS qualifications noted above.
In recognition of the unique role of the president, the University requires the president, as a condition of employment, to live in a residence on campus and to use the premises frequently for University-related functions and activities.
Pursuant to Internal Revenue Code section 119, the value of University housing is not taxable to the president because s/he is required to occupy University-owned housing for the convenience of the University.
No W&L employee will be reimbursed for use of his or her private residence for University business purposes or functions unless they have advance approval from the Vice President for Finance and Treasurer, and only under extraordinary circumstances.
W&L shall not join a health or social club with institutional fees unless approved by the President, and only if the membership is necessary for University business purposes. The University maintains a institutional membership in the Lexington Golf and Country Club (Club) for University business purposes for use by the President and Vice President for Advancement, and other W&L employees at the discretion of the President. All fees and expenses for personal use of the Club and any other organization to which W&L may belong shall be reimbursed to the University.
No employee is expected to perform personal, non-business related services for any W&L supervisor, director, manager, or any other W&L employee. The University maintains custodial services at Lee House, and provides event planning services and support for the President for presidential functions.