News and Notes

A Newsletter for Faculty and Staff of Idaho State University

July 28, 2008 — Vol. 24 No. 26

This year’s “Get Connected at the White Tent” event is scheduled Wednesday, Aug. 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Hutchinson Quadrangle. Campus groups interested in hosting a booth should contact Libby Howe, in the Office of University Relations, at howelibb@isu.edu by Aug. 19. The popular event is an opportunity for campus groups to introduce themselves to new and continuing students, faculty and staff. (ISU Photographic Services)

In this Issue

ISU researchers use spy cams to gather critical info about sage grouse

Maxwell Smart, James Bond or Ethan Hunt and other tinsel-town spymasters have nothing in the way of tricky gadgets over Idaho State University researchers who are trying to determine which predators are eating the eggs of sage grouse. The researchers employed miniature, camouflaged infrared cameras to gather irrefutable evidence of what predators were eating sage grouse (read more...)

Qwest gift benefits ISU adaptive horse riding program

A $7,471 donation by the Qwest Family & Work Development Fund will benefit the Idaho State University adaptive horse-riding program. “Without this kind of support we couldn’t function,” said JoLynn Angle, director of the Idaho State University Riding Instruction Development and Education (RIDE) program. “We’ll use this donation to purchase an adaptive saddle and other adaptive (read more...)

ISU Public Safety, IDFG take steps to corral cougars seen on ISU campus

The Idaho State University Public Safety and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game are working together to locate a cougar or cougars that have been sighted on the ISU campus. The latest sighting was Sunday, July 20, at approximately 11 p.m. when an adult cougar was reported to be chasing two deer in the area (read more...)

‘Mr. ISU’ Earl Pond leaves lasting legacy

Earl R. Pond, known locally as ‘Mr. ISU’ and for whom the Idaho State University Pond Student Union Building is named, died Monday, July 21, from a sudden illness. “We are truly grateful to Earl Pond for his leadership and commitment to Idaho State University and our community,” said Arthur C. Vailas, ISU President. “He will (read more...)

Idaho State University to co-host international nuclear-systems analysis workshop in Idaho Falls

A workshop that begins Monday, July 21, at University Place in Idaho Falls on the validation and verification of nuclear-systems analysis will put an international spotlight on eastern Idaho, says Idaho State University’s nuclear engineering department chair. “This event will contribute to the enhanced recognition of eastern Idaho organizations – Idaho State University, Idaho National (read more...)

Faculty/Staff Update

From James A. Fletcher, vice president for finance and administration: Effective immediately, Buddy Frazier, affirmative action director, will report directly to the vice president for finance and administration. In the near future, his office will move from its current location in the Museum Building to the Administration Building, and will be located within the Office of Human Resources. Corey Schou, Ph.D., associate dean of information systems at the College of Business, professor of informatics and director of the ISU Informatics Research Institute, chaired The Colloquium, a Dallas gathering of more than 300 people that addressed and examined critical national cyber security issues. At The Colloquium, the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) held a joint ceremony to honor the Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education (CAE/IA). ISU’s Informatics Research Institute and the National Information Assurance Training and Education Center (NIATEC) were recertified as a CAE/IA by NSA and DHS. In 1999, ISU became one of the first seven CAE/IA schools and has been recertified each year since. The Idaho State University Faculty and Staff Diversity Center is looking for someone to be a part-time faculty coordinator. This person will be instrumental in helping to establish, promote and provide resources for the center. For details, visit the center online (http://www.isu.edu/facstaffdiversity). The center is a new and developing resource on campus. The vision is for it to become a leader on diversity-related issues among higher-education institutions in the region. It will promote a campus environment that fosters respect and understanding of the benefits of diversity; which values cross-cultural dialogue; and which advocates for full participation of historically under-represented groups. The center will support the University’s mission in developing “citizens who learn from the past, think critically about the present, and provide leadership to enrich the future in a diverse, global society.” The center eventually will be housed on the third floor of the Early Learning Center building, near the Student Diversity Resource Center, accessed from the Pond Student Union Building.

NewsBites

“Idaho State University Magazine,” formerly the tabloid “Outlook,” is now available online as a complement to the print version. Accessed through the ISU Web site, the digital version of the summer 2008 issue makes it easy to access, read, and pass along to family and friends via e-mail. The Web edition includes everything that’s in the print edition. It also offers extras that space limitations inherent in the print edition couldn’t accommodate. The new issue includes stories about:
• Idaho State University’s GIS Training and Research Center, which is marking its 10th anniversary this year;
• the work of ISU – Boise’s Galen Louis, Ph.D., who is helping to improve HIV/AIDS services in rural Idaho communities;
• ISU librarian Philip Homan’s research into the life of the Kittie Wilkins (1857-1936), nationally famous in her day the “Horse Queen of Idaho”;
• a remembrance of Robert F. Kennedy’s 1968 visit to Idaho State University not long before he was assassinated.

From Public Safety: Following reported sightings of mountain lions on campus, ISU Public Safety has been working closely with the Idaho Fish and Game to locate and capture any of the animals for relocation. Sightings have yet to be confirmed.
Fish and Game officials have employed scent-tracking dogs and live traps, but have yet to discover evidence of the animals’ presence. Campus officials will continue working with Fish and Game in a vigilant manner. Any confirmations or other information pertinent to reported sightings will be shared with the public through timely warning systems and other means as necessary.

From the Office of Finance and Administration: The following information is provided as part of Accounts Payable’s ongoing effort to better communicate with its customers.
Idaho State University is working on a new travel section for the Manual of Administrative Policies & Procedures (MAPP) that will be issued in the near future.
New for FY 2009:
Travel Reimbursements
Two additional items will need to be included with the Travel Reimbursement Request for the reimbursement to be processed by Accounts Payable. These items will enable Accounts Payable to accurately determine reimbursement amounts.
1. When an employee attends a conference or workshop, he or she must attach a conference/workshop agenda or brochure to the reimbursement request. If the employee departs earlier than one day before or stays later than one day following the conference/workshop, justification should be provided for the additional expenses incurred.
2. Employees who choose to fly will need to provide enough information for Accounts Payable to determine if a purchased flight is a first class or coach/standard flight. The receipt or itinerary can be used if this information is provided. If not, then the boarding pass should be included with the reimbursement.
Business Purpose of Travel
As has always been the case, in the “business purpose” section of the Travel Authorization form, the traveler should include a statement detailing the business purpose for the travel.
New this year, and as part of this explanation, the traveler also needs to explain how this travel will benefit the department and the University. If there is insufficient space on the travel authorization form to explain the benefit, a supplemental travel benefit information form is available from Finance and Administration.
Reminders of existing policies
Travel Authorizations
A travel authorization is required for all travel away from an employee’s “official workstation.” Faculty and staff who teach classes or work at other campus locations in addition to their official workstation will be required to file a travel authorization for their travel to and from the secondary location(s).
This can be accomplished by completing a blanket travel authorization. The blanket travel authorization expires at the end of a fiscal year and must be resubmitted for the next fiscal year. The traveler should complete a mileage and meal log, available from Finance and Administration, to track their mileage. Reimbursements are not required to be submitted for each trip, but must be submitted at least monthly if any travel has taken place during the month. The mileage log should be attached to the reimbursement form and it should reference the blanket travel authorization number.
Travel Authorizations and Reimbursements
Travel Authorization forms must be filed before the employee travels and not at the time of reimbursement. Employees should fill in all requested information on the Travel Authorization and Travel Reimbursement Request forms. They must include the travel authorization number on all travel reimbursements and complete the right hand corner of the reimbursement form with all travel advance information.
All authorizations must be signed by the traveler and their supervisor. Whenever possible, the authorized signer should be the traveler’s direct supervisor or their designee. (The designee cannot be someone supervised by the traveler.) The travel process at ISU falls under what the Internal Revenue Service refers to as an “Accountable Plan”.
Processing travel under this type of plan permits ISU to classify the reimbursement to the employee as a non-taxable payment. However, there are certain criteria we must meet in order to maintain the accountable plan. The most important of these requires that all travel be reconciled and accounted for within a reasonable time frame. Therefore within 10 working days of returning from a trip, the traveler is expected to furnish the necessary documentation and receipts to support the travel and any travel advances. Original receipts must be attached for reimbursement; copies are not acceptable.
Repayment of travel advance funds to the University is the responsibility of the traveler. If not repaid in a timely manner, the traveler may not be allowed future advances and the University must incur additional resources to exercise its option to recover the advance through payroll deduction, as authorized by the traveler when signing the travel advance authorization.
Blanket Travel
Blanket travel authorizations are designed to accommodate employee’s assigned duties at an off-campus site that are frequent or continuous in nature and take place over an extended period of time. Reimbursement on blanket travel authorizations is limited to travel within the State of Idaho. On a case by case basis, vehicle travel to adjacent states will be considered but only when the frequency of such travel is documented and justifies a blanket travel authorization.
Reimbursements for travel under a blanket travel authorization should be filed in a timely manner. This means at least once a month if airfare and lodging are not involved or after each trip if expenses include airfare and lodging.
Bi-Campus Travel ISU employees are not reimbursed for their commute to their official workstation. It is the responsibility of each employee to get to and from work. When secondary work locations are involved, special circumstances apply. For example, if an employee lives in Idaho Falls (their home area) and commutes to the Pocatello campus (their official workstation) for regular work hours but teaches an evening course in their home area, ISU will reimburse the employee’s mileage from the secondary campus location to their home if that added mileage exceeds the mileage of their normal commute. ISU will not reimburse mileage to and from the Pocatello campus (their official workstation) or for meals in their home area.
Travel Advances
When requesting a travel advance, employees must provide the date the advance is needed and clearly indicate if more than one advance is needed. All travel advance requests must be in Accounts Payable at least three days before the advance is to be picked up. Whenever possible, it is helpful to have the requests earlier. Outreach centers should include a fax number with their request for a travel advance.
Once advances are processed, an e-mail will be sent to the traveler advising them that their advance is ready to be picked up. Advances requested 60 days prior to the departure date require proof that an expense has occurred. A copy of the paid receipt should be attached to the Travel Authorization Form submitted to Accounts Payable. Do not send proof of payment if your advance date is less than 60 days from the departure date.
Automobile Rental
Automobile rental may be authorized when the use of such conveyance is the most economical and practical means of transportation. In most cases, commercially rented vehicles for passenger use are limited to subcompact, compact, or intermediate sizes. The rental of larger units is acceptable with approval of the department chairperson/director. A written justification should accompany all requests to authorize vehicle rentals. ISU has a contract with Enterprise Car Rental that provides a discount to our employees. Whenever possible, this contract should be utilized for car rental needs.
P-Card Usage for Travel
P-Cards are not to be used for any type of travel unless prior approval has been granted by Finance and Administration. Using your P-Card for unauthorized travel expenses will jeopardize your P-Card privileges.
For more information related to the travel policy, call x2594 or x4207.