From the University of St. Thomas Travel Committee
The newly formed University of St. Thomas Travel Committee has been working for the past two months to define St. Thomas travel requirements, review vendor proposals and select preferred travel vendors.
The work of the committee is occurring at the direction of the university’s Board of Trustees and is consistent with the Bulletin Today announcement by Dr. Mark Dienhart and Dr. Susan Huber on May 21.
The Travel Committee has selected Vanguard Travel and Schilling Travel as the university’s preferred travel vendors. Effective immediately, St. Thomas faculty and staff are asked to book all individual and small-group travel through Vanguard Travel and bid all group travel of 10 or more individuals between Vanguard Travel and Schilling Travel.
For individual and small group travel, Vanguard Travel has an online booking system (Cliqbook) which may be used for quick and easy trip planning. This system holds all of the major airlines, hotels and car rental agencies so that individuals can quickly and easily see all of their options.
In addition, the system has discounted rates negotiated by St. Thomas, Associated Colleges of the Twin Cities, Educational and Institutional Procurement, and Vanguard to help St. Thomas get some even lower-priced options than those on consumer sites.
Consolidating travel vendors will ensure that St. Thomas has excellent consolidated reporting that will be useful for identifying travel-savings opportunities. This reporting also will help with things like emergency preparedness and reporting our carbon footprint for the University President’s Climate Commitment. It will also allow the university to participate in rewards programs. This will allow individuals to continue to earn their own frequent-flyer miles while also earning free tickets for the university.
Travel is defined as air transportation, ground transportation and lodging. Academic, service and athletic group travel that uses on-site program providers (for example, lodging in monasteries, residence halls or research sites) will continue to use on-site providers. All other travel needs related to these programs should be purchased through preferred travel vendors. All other group travel should also be directed to Vanguard and Schilling.
There may be times, due to the specific nature of the trip, that another vendor resource may be considered. St. Thomas faculty and staff are asked to have exceptions of this nature pre-approved by Purchasing Services.
The university’s faculty and staff participate in travel for professional conferences. Often these conferences offer discounted lodging prices that are negotiated specifically for the conference. These conference rates should be booked through St. Thomas’ preferred travel vendor. Individuals can book the rest of their travel through the on-line (Cliqbook) system and enter the conference hotel details in the agent notes section for booking.
This will enable the university to capture all components of travel in appropriate reporting. Such reporting will be used for travel analysis and continued travel-policy recommendations. We recognize that there are times when a conference registration fee includes lodging and cannot be booked through an agent. Please include this information in your expense reporting.
As noted above and effective immediately, St. Thomas faculty and staff are asked to book all individual and small-group travel through Vanguard Travel and bid all group travel of 10 or more individuals between Vanguard Travel and Schilling Travel. Please contact Purchasing Services to be set up for access to Vanguard Travel’s on-line system, Cliqbook.
The on-line site, Cliqbook, is intuitive and training is not required. However, for those who do a lot of travel or manage travel for others, training is recommended. Purchasing Services is offering training this summer and fall through the university’s Leadership Academy. The first classes are scheduled on both the Minneapolis and St. Paul campuses.
We do recognize that trips already may be booked for fall travel. Those reservations should remain as planned. Please feel free to contact Purchasing Services with questions.
Members of the St. Thomas Travel Committee, and alternates, are: