As announced in October 2018, Ohio University has partnered with Christopherson Business Travel (CBT), to implement a comprehensive travel program with goals of implementing user-friendly processes, improving service to the traveler, and providing access to discounts that save the University money. This program is expected to launch in early April 2019 and will include an updated travel policy and procedures, the roll-out of a new user Concur & Travel Expense interface, new options of paying for travel, and bring the University into compliance with the requirements of the Governor's mandate on Affordability & Efficiency.
How does the travel program impact the traveler?
There are a number of changes that will impact the way the University community travels under the new travel program. The most significant change is that booking travel through the University travel provider, CBT, will be required. There will be two ways to access this service; through a travel agent, or by booking directly through Concur Travel and Expense.
The travel policy will be updated to reflect the new requirements but is not expected to change significantly otherwise. Processes and procedures will be updated to align with the new policy and provide better guidance to the traveler.
The Travel Services Work Group has been formed to assist the University in:
- Drafting a new travel policy
- Making recommendations related to University travel services
- Providing guidance and feedback on travel practices
- Advising on training, communications and job aids that assist the traveler and those that book travel
To get a better sense of how CBT and the travel policy can meet the needs of those that travel, a series of conversations has been scheduled in December and January. This is an opportunity to draw upon the experiences of, and gather input from, those that will be most impacted. This information will guide the development of an effective University travel program. The following represents the type of activities that have occurred, or will be occurring:
- Needs Assessment: In February 2018, faculty and staff participated in a travel survey that helped to identify opportunities for improvement and lead to the selection of the new provider, CBT.
- Faculty Senate Focus groups: Throughout December, Faculty Senate is participating in focus groups for faculty and researchers to provide input regarding travel needs and potential changes to the travel policy. A remote session is scheduled for regional and extension campus representatives. These sessions were scheduled and communicated through Faculty Senate.
- Planning Unit Meetings: In December and January, meetings are being held with planning unit representatives that either travel on a regular basis, or book travel for others, to gather input regarding travel policy.
Specialty Travel Services: In December and January the travel provider will be meeting with areas that handle large group travel and have related specialty travel needs. Groups identified to date include the Office of Global Opportunities, Student Affairs, Advancement, and Athletics.
Finance will be working to develop a travel web page that will initially include links to all communications associated with the project, frequently asked questions, the project team and advisory groups. As the project progresses, information related to decisions made regarding the travel program will be posted.
These topics as well as an overview of the project schedule and training approach will be discussed at the December Business Forum on December 13. In addition, campus will receive updates about every two weeks, for the duration of the travel project. If you cannot attend the December Business Forum, please direct comments or questions to email@example.com or the Travel Services Work Group.