Timelines and Guidelines, Vehicle Use, Travel/Meetings, and Purchasing

Topics covered on this page include:
Graduate student timelines, forms for graduate studies, thesis guidelines, student insurance, vehicle use, travel reimbursement, and procedures for purchasing supplies and equipment.

Graduate Student Timeline

Before the student can begin:
1) Student completes a Graduate College application form.
2) Student supplies official copies of GRE scores, transcripts for all colleges attended, two letters of recommendation (using the FW form), and a letter of intent to the Graduate College.
3) Advisor provides the Program Director a memo expressing their willingness to take on the student as an advisee.

Near beginning of first semester:
1) Application for a Graduate Assistant is sent to the Dean of Graduate College to create a contract for new graduate student. Copies to Faculty Advisor, Department Head, Dean of School, and VP of Academic Affairs. GAs get waivers of tuition only up to a maximum of 18 credit hours per year.
2) Enroll student in classes.
3) Student pays fees (Student should be on list of graduate students provided by Academic Affairs that indicates tuition is to be paid by the University).
4) Student obtains I.D. to enable library privileges (after fees are paid).
 
By the end of the first semester:
1) Select thesis committee. At least two must be from program. Members from outside the University should have a M.S. or equivalent and must be approved by the Graduate Council following submission of a Graduate Faculty Request Form.
2) Develop program of study.

Within six months:
1) Develop thesis proposal following program guidelines.

After completion of 12 hours and removal of all "conditions" for conditionally admitted students:
1) Fill out candidacy form.

For the thesis:
1) Timelines and guidelines for the thesis.   

 


Does Arkansas Tech University offers student health insurance?
Yes. The Health Service at Arkansas Tech University offers student health insurance. Students who do not have hospital insurance policies may enroll in a basic policy which the University offers through a private agency. For more information, please contact at (479) 968-0329.


Vehicles and Fuel Purchases

BE AWARE that if appropriate procedures are not followed, a driver might not get reimbursed for use of their personal vehicle!

Permission to Drive for University Purposes:
Before ANY vehicle (personal or otherwise) can be driven for University purposes, a "Passenger Van Policy and Driver Agreement" and an "Arkansas State Vehicle Safety Program Authorization to Operate" form must be on file. These forms are available in the Secretary's Office.

Who to see:
Get permission from the person in charge of the budget to be used for paying mileage BEFORE you initiate travel (this is usually an advisor or a principal investigator on a project). The Biological Sciences secretary (968-0294) is primarily responsible for overseeing Biology Departmental budgets. The Research Projects secretary (968-0498) handles externally funded research projects. See the appropriate secretary for travel forms.  The Physical Sciences secretary may be able to help in a pinch.

To use a personal vehicle:
1) Fill out a travel form (from the office) BEFORE you travel.
2) Report actual mileage traveled to secretary upon return.

To use a university vehicle:
1) Call maintenance at 968-0314 to determine if a vehicle is available for the date you need it.
2) Fill out a travel form (from the office) BEFORE you travel.
3) Pick up keys, mileage sheet, and credit cards from maintenance.
4) Return keys, mileage sheet, and credit cards to maintenance after use (after hours return items in drop box near back door of Physical Plant).

To use a FW Program vehicle:
1) Sign out vehicle on white board or sign-up sheet hanging in FW building BEFORE you travel.
2) Get keys from white board before use, and enter information on mileage sheet in clip board in truck. Be sure to indicate the budget the mileage is to be charged; this is not the same as the purpose of the trip. Check with your supervisor if you do not know what this is.
3) Upon return, enter ending mileage on sheet in clip board in truck, PROMPTLY return keys to clip board in FW building, and give gas receipts to either Motor Pool Personnel or the Research Projects secretary.

Do Not:
1) Take a vehicle without signing it out.
2) Remove pencil, sheets, or clip boards used for signing out vehicles or for recording mileage charges.
3) Hold onto keys, EVEN IF no one else has the vehicle signed out.

Do:
1) Print out new sign-out or mileage sheets if needed.
2) Replace pencils if the person before you has violated rule 2 above.
3) Report any vehicle problems to your superior and Motor Pool personnel.
4) Keep vehicles clean.
5) Gas up vehicles as needed.

To gas-up a FW Program vehicle at the motor pool:
1) Get clipboard and key just inside door of maintenance immediately to the right on the wall.
2) Use key on clipboard to unlock nozzle.
3) Fill vehicle, and then record date, vehicle number, the odometer reading, and the gallons on the clipboard.
4) Return clipboard.
5) If maintenance gate is closed, you will have to contact campus security (call 968-0222 or find them driving around) to have them open the gate and the door to maintenance.

To gas-up a FW Program or University vehicle on-the-road:
1) Use only the Voyager fuel card designated for the particular vehicle being driven.
2) Voyager cards for University vehicles are obtained from the motor pool; those for FW Program vehicles are in the vehicle's glove box.
3) Voyager cards are generally accepted wherever VISA credit cards are accepted.
4) Voyager cards can be swiped or used manually if swiping does not work; select credit if given a choice for debit or credit.
5) If asked to enter a "PIN" number, enter the Driver Identification Number issued to you by the motor pool; contact the motor pool to get your number.
6) Get receipts for purchases and immediately upon return give them to motor pool personnel (University vehicles) or to the School's secretary in charge of grant accounts (FW vehicles).
7) DO NOT leave the Voyager fuel credit in plain sight; return card to envelope in glove box.
8) DO NOT purchase fuel for FW equipment with Voyager vehicle cards.
9) Only use Voyager fuel cards for on-the-road travel; use the motor pool for local refueling.

To purchase fuel for FW equipment (4-wheelers, outboards, etc.):
1) Purchase gas from a gas station; motor pool gas is for vehicles only.
2) Use Voyager fuel cards specifically designated for FW equipment; DO NOT use Voyager fuel cards designated for vehicles.
3) A Voyager fuel card for local purchases of fuel for FW equipment can be obtained from the School's secretary in charge of grant accounts.
4) DO NOT hold onto the Voyager card designated for local purchases of fuel for FW equipment, return it promptly.
5) For on-the-road purchases of gas for FW equipment, a Voyager fuel card can be obtained from a FW faculty member.
6) If asked for a "PIN" number, enter the PIN number specific to the Voyager fuel card being used; this is NOT your Driver Identification Number.
7) Get receipts for purchases and return them to the School's secretary in charge of grant accounts; tell the secretary which account to charge the fuel to.

Overnight/Meeting Travel

BE AWARE that if appropriate procedures are not followed, a traveler might not get reimbursed for travel/meeting expenses!

Who to see:
Get permission from the person in charge of the budget to be used for travel BEFORE you initiate travel (this is usually an advisor or a principal investigator on a project). The Biological Sciences secretary (968-0294) primarily oversees Biology Departmental activities and works with that budget. A different secretary (968-0498) handles externally funded research projects. The Physical Sciences secretary may be able to help in a pinch.

Travel Request:
1) Fill out a "Travel Request" form BEFORE you travel.
2) If you are going to a professional meeting where registration fees are required, photocopy the registration form (or "screen print" an on-line form) and submit it along with the Travel Request.
3) Check with your faculty advisor (or lecture instructor if travel is class-related) to be sure of what he/she can afford and to determine which budget (listed on the form under "Department" along with that faculty member's name, e.g., BIOLOGY-for Kellner, or FISH SURVEY-for Gagen).

Reimbursement:
1) Travel reimbursement (other than mileage) is allowed only for overnight travel and meeting expenses. Meals are not covered for day trips.
2) Reimbursement may include such things as meals, camping fees, hotel rooms, airline tickets, meeting registrations, parking fees, or other appropriate expenses, but never annual dues for an individual.
3) Travel Requests are based on estimations, so after a trip work with a secretary to submit a Travel Reimbursement request (TR-1) to document actual costs. Receipts are required for all reimbursable expenses, except meals. Rental cars are strongly discouraged and would require prior approval by the V.P. for Administration and Finance.
4) Unless your advisor tells you otherwise, it is generally best for each traveler to submit their own Travel Request, pay their own expenses (e.g. have the hotel split the bill when a room is shared), and submit their own TR-1's. Your name should be on the hotel receipt and it must show a $0 BALANCE.
5) For multi-day professional meeting, funds can be requested ahead of time to minimize the need for reimbursement. To follow this option, start the Travel Request process early and request an "Advance" check. This must be submitted at least a week before travel and preferably several weeks ahead of time. A check is produced through the Accounting Office for < 90% of the estimated cost of the trip.

NOTE:
The maximum payment the University allows and what a particular faculty member is willing to allocate (or what a budget allows) for a specific trip may not be the same thing. So, be sure to coordinate your Travel Request with your supervisor BEFORE you travel. 

Purchasing Supplies and Equipment

BE AWARE that if appropriate procedures are not followed, purchasers of supplies and equipment might not get reimbursed!

Who to see:
Get permission from the person in charge of the budget to be used for a purchase BEFORE you initiate a purchase (This is usually an advisor or a principal investigator on a project). The Biological Sciences secretary (968-0294) primarily oversees Biology Departmental activities and works with that budget. The grants secretary (968-0498) handles externally funded research projects. The Physical Sciences secretary may be able to help in a pinch.

State Contract Items:
Certain items are on what is called "State Contract", meaning they can only be purchased from a certain vendor (or expect to not get reimbursed). Thus, it is safest to check with a secretary beforehand. These are predominately items used in offices or shops rather than specialized scientific items.

Petty Cash:
It is possible to purchase inexpensive items directly and be reimbursed through a process called "Petty-Cash". Petty-cash slips (forms) are available in the main office. The specific budget used should be listed on the form under "Department"; thus, it could be BIOLOGY, but it could also be the name of a funded project. A faculty person's name must be somewhere on the form if the budget is BIOLOGY to help the secretaries track the money flow and get the reimbursement to you (e.g., BIOLOGY-for Kellner, or PADDLEFISH PROJECT). The limit for petty cash is $75.00 per store including tax. The cashier must sign the form to show that you did pay, then you sign the form and submit along with your receipt. You cannot have two slips from the same store, dated the same day, if their total exceeds $75.00. Furthermore, you are not permitted to make multiple purchases to circumvent the $75.00 limit. The Biology Department secretary is given purchase information for items to be charged to the Biology Department, and the secretary in charge of grant accounts is given purchase information for items purchased on other accounts.

Purchase Orders:
For more expensive items or groups of items, the University's Purchasing Department will issue a "Purchase Order" (P.O.) based on your request which is called a "Requisition". Requisition forms are available in the main office and they include a line for "Department" which really means budget, as above, and should be approved by an appropriate faculty (identified by name). All of this must be completed and submitted to the secretary for electronic processing BEFORE ordering. This process applies to repairs (for which you will need an estimate of cost) and reviewing books prior to purchase. Thus, you cannot initiate a purchase of > $75 except through the requisition process or by using a P-card (see below). The secretary must be aware when the supplies, equipment, or repaired item have (or has) been received so that you can sign the "Green P.O. (a copy)" which will allow the University to pay the invoice.

Purchase Cards:
P-cards or Purchase Cards can also be used to purchase supplies and equipment. P-cards are credit cards that can be used for specific accounts. A P-card is available for the general Biology Department account, and your advisor may also have a card for his/her research accounts. Individual transactions are limited to $500, and monthly dollar limits are determined by the card holder. Larger purchases must be obtained using a Purchase Order. In ALL cases, a receipt or printed invoice (for on-line purchases) AND the name of the account to be charged must be given to the secretary responsible for the account. This will be the Biology Department secretary for the Biology Department P-card, and the secretary in charge of grant accounts for other P-card purchases. Use of P-cards is restricted to the card holder.
©