Washington State University

Revised 6-12
Travel Services

Speaker Travel and Speaker Fees

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Departments frequently conduct programs which include individuals with expertise who present or participate in lectures, seminars, productions, or conferences. Prior to hiring a speaker or conference participant, the sponsoring department must decide whether the individual should be hired as an employee or as an independent contractor.


An independent contractor presents material based upon personal experience, specific expertise, or other information. An independent contractor does not have continuing responsibility. See 70.50 and 60.01 for definitions of an independent contractor.


An employee is responsible for conducting a class which includes presentation of the material, evaluation, and related responsibilities. The duration of the class is not a factor. Faculty who team teach a course are considered employees. These faculty titles may be visiting professors or visiting lecturers.

If proposed duties are employee duties the individual should be hired as a University employee. See Chapter 60 for personnel procedures.

Foreign Speaker

If the speaker is a nonresident alien, refer to 60.05 or contact Payroll Services for special instructions; telephone 335-9575.


If the proposed speaker is an independent contractor, the department must complete the appropriate form to authorize the travel expenses and/or the fee. The department selects the authorization form based on the fee amount, as indicated below.

$10,000 and Over

The department completes a Departmental Requisition to authorize the fee and any necessary travel expenses if the proposed fee is $10,000 or more. See 70.50.

Under $10,000

The department completes a Travel Authority to authorize the travel expenses and/or fee if the proposed fee is less than $10,000. Refer to the example in the PDF version of page 95.25.3. See 95.05 for general Travel Authority instructions.


After the event or program, the department must complete the appropriate form to claim payment for expenses associate with speaker and conference participant expenses. The department selects the form based on whether or not the claim includes travel expenses. (See below.)

Claim Includes Travel Expenses

If the claim includes travel expenses, the department prepares a Travel Expense Voucher to claim payment for the speaker and conference participant expenses associated with expenses. The department enters the fee under Other Expenses.See the PDF version of page 95.25.4 for an example.

Claim Does Not Include Travel Expenses

The department uses a State of Washington Invoice Voucher to claim a fee payment for the speaker or conference participant if the claim does not include travel expenses. See 30.45.

Taxpayer Identification

Obtain the speaker's taxpayer identification number, i.e., social security number or employee identification number. Enter the number on the Travel Expense Voucher or Invoice Voucher. WSU uses this number to meet IRS reporting requirements.