Due to continued escalation in cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the U.S. and abroad, PAU is taking additional, precautionary steps regarding international and domestic travel.

The University is suspending all nonessential international and domestic University travel, effective immediately through April 24. Essential travel is defined as supporting activities that are absolutely necessary, cannot be rescheduled, and must be done in person; individuals may petition for exceptions which must be approved in advance by VPAA Risa Dickson for faculty, Dean of Students Thom Shepard for students and Sr. HR Manager Holly Lindley for staff. Please know that the University remains deeply committed to international and domestic education and research, and we look forward to resuming normal activities when conditions allow.

We are suspending University-sponsored events and gatherings of more than 100 people effective immediately through April 24. At this time essential and small-sized scheduled performances events may be held with limitations on audience. PAU will host Interview Weekend for the March 14 implementing guidelines recommended by the CDC’s for event planners. Future Interview Weekends will be moved to an on-line format.

Personal International and Domestic Travel

All personal international travel is strongly discouraged. If you do undertake such travel, you travel during a time of global uncertainty regarding the restrictions that may be placed upon you by foreign governments and upon your re-entry to the United States and possible domestic restrictions for travel as well by the federal government. We also urge extreme caution and sound judgment when considering your personal international and domestic travel.  If you must travel over the spring break period, please note that evolving public health measures could make it difficult to return to campus in a timely way. We advise travelers to bring along any items that you may need if your return to PAU campus is delayed.

Please email your supervisor to inform PAU of your travel plans so that we may help coordinate information regarding your travel.


CDC Travel Warnings


Warning Level 3: CDC recommends travelers avoid all nonessential travel to destinations with level 3 travel notices because of the widespread Community Transmission of COVID-19 in these areas.

Alert Level 2: Because COVID-19 can be more serious in older adults and those with chronic medical conditions, people in these groups should talk to a healthcare provider and consider postponing travel to destinations with level 2 travel notices.

Watch Level 1: CDC does not recommend canceling or postponing travel to destinations with level 1 travel notices because the risk of COVID-19 is thought to be low. If you travel, take the following routine precautions:

  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.

Procedure for Refunds on Cancelled Travel 


  • In conjunction with Section 4.11.1 - BUSINESS TRAVEL EXPENSES of the Palo Alto University Employee Handbook, revised 1/7/2020, this procedure addresses the actions that staff, faculty and students (“Employee”) should take in the event that a business-related trip, reimbursable by Palo Alto University, is canceled.  
  • A Travel Requisition, approved by the Employee’s Manager and/or Division Head is required to refund any portion of a cancelled trip.
  • Purchasing Manager will run a monthly report of pending Travel Requisitions and follow up with Employees to confirm trip cancellations, and that airfare reimbursements are managed according to this Procedure.



  1. Within 48 hours of learning that a trip will need to be cancelled, Employee should email PAU’s Purchasing Manager to close the Travel Requisition (“TR”).
    1. Included in the email should be:
      1. either the date of departure and destination city -or- TR# if available
      2. whether or not Employee has incurred any charges which require reimbursement by PAU
    2. Purchasing Manager will reply to Employee with further instructions (detailed below):
  2. If no charges have been incurred on Employee’s credit card, and Employee has not received reimbursement from PAU, then no further action is required; the Purchasing Manager will close the TR.
  3. If Employee has already been reimbursed by PAU for any pre-paid fees, before the actual travel date - Employee must reimburse PAU via a personal check:
    1. Employee should email the Purchasing Manager with the following details:
      1. either the date of departure and destination city -or- TR# if available
      2. the amount that the Employee has been reimbursed
    2. Purchasing Manager and/or Accounts Payable Supervisor will reply to Employee with confirmation of the amount, and check mailing instructions
  4. If charges have been incurred on Employee’s credit card (airfare, conference fees, hotel, etc.) Employee should directly contact the vendors to request a credit back to Employee’s credit card.   Note:  Most airlines will provide a full refund if cancelled within 24 hours of booking the ticket, or if after 24 hours they will provide a credit/voucher for future use within 12 months of the original purchase date (usually by the same traveler, but in some instances the credit can be transferred to another traveler).
    1. For non-refundable expenses incurred on the Employee’s credit card (i.e., cancellation fees), Employee should submit a check request,  including supporting documents/ receipts.
      1. The check request will be approved by Employee’s Manager/Division Head and will route to for reimbursement. 
      2.  Questions regarding reimbursement can be directed to the Accounts Payable Supervisor.
    2. If the airline issues Employee a travel credit/voucher for future travel:
    3. Employee should forward the voucher to the Business Affairs Executive Assistant for tracking and future use:
    4. If Employee has not already received reimbursement from PAU for the airfare, Employee should submit a check request, including a copy of the original ticket and the credit/voucher.  The check request will be approved by the Manager/Division Head and will route to for reimbursement.
    5. If and when the Employee can use the voucher for future business airfare, Employee should contact the Business Affairs Executive Assistant, who will track internally and provide further guidance to Employee.
    6. When Employee uses the voucher to book their new airline ticket, Employee will be reimbursed for the cost of the new ticket, less the amount of the voucher/credit applied and any changes. Employee must submit a Check Request, including an itemized airline receipt as described above.
    7. The Business Affairs Executive Assistant will reach out once a month to remind Employees who have outstanding credit/vouchers.
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