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POLICY #5.30 
SUBJECT: University-Authorized International Travel


I. PURPOSE

This Policy governs University-authorized educational, research, service, and outreach activities requiring international travel, i.e., travel outside the United States and its territories, which include American Samoa, Guam, Midway Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Wake Island.

If international travel is not approved and authorized under this Policy, participants who thereafter determine to travel without such approval and authorization do so at their own risk, assuming all responsibility for harm, complications, detention, and/or death, and thereby absolve and release the University from all risk, liability, and/or responsibility for or associated with the trip.


II. REFERENCES

  1. Fly America Act
  2. Southern Utah University Policy 5.27 Non-Discrimination / Anti-Harassment
  3. Southern Utah University Policy 5.37 Motor Pool
  4. Southern Utah University Policy 5.60 Sexual Misconduct
  5. Southern Utah University Policy 5.64 Minors on Campus and at University-Sponsored Events
  6. Southern Utah University Policy 6.28 Faculty Professional Responsibility
  7. Southern Utah University Policy 8.3.5 Termination of Non-academic Staff Employees and Disciplinary Sanctions
  8. Southern Utah University Policy 10.13 University Travel
  9. Southern Utah University Policy 11.2 Student Conduct Code
  10. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  11. U.S. Department of State

III. DEFINITIONS

N/A


IV. POLICY

  1. Travel Advisories
    1. Travel advisories issued by the U.S. Department of State (USDOS) fall into four (4) categories and are defined by the Department of State as follows:
      1. Level 1 - Exercise Normal Precautions:This is the lowest advisory level for safety and security risk. There is some risk in any international travel. Conditions in other countries may differ from those in the United States and may change at any time. (Code Blue)
      2. Level 2 - Exercise Increased Caution:Be aware of heightened risks to safety and security. The Department of State provides additional advice for travelers in these areas in the Travel Advisory. Conditions in any country may change at any time. (Code Yellow)
      3. Level 3 - Reconsider Travel:Avoid travel due to serious risks to safety and security. The Department of State provides additional advice for travelers in these areas in the Travel Advisory. Conditions in any country may change at any time. (Code Orange)
      4. Level 4 – Do Not Travel:  This is the highest advisory level due to greater likelihood of life-threatening risks. During an emergency, the U.S. government may have very limited ability to provide assistance. The Department of State advises that U.S. citizens not travel to the country or to leave as soon as it is safe to do so. The Department of State provides additional advice for travelers in these areas in the Travel Advisory. Conditions in any country may change at any time. (Code Red)
    2. The U.S. Department of State issues an overall travel advisory level for a country, but levels of advice may vary for specific locations or areas within a country. For instance, the Department of State may advise U.S. citizens to “Exercise increased caution” (Level 2) in a country, but to “Reconsider travel” (Level 3) to a particular area within the country. Area-specific advice should be treated with the same attention as the broader, country-wide travel advisory level designation.

      Travel advisories at Levels 2-4 contain clear reasons for the level assigned, using established risk indicators and specific advice to U.S. citizens who choose to travel there. These reasons include crime, terrorism, civil unrest, health risks, natural disaster, time-limited events (short-term events), and other potential risks.

      Travelers are also advised to consult the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for current Travel Health Notices for the countries of intended travel. The CDC issues three types of notices:
      1. Watch Level 1: Practice usual precautions (code green)
      2. Alert Level 2: Practice enhanced precautions (code yellow)
      3. Warning Level 3: Avoid nonessential travel (code red)
  2. Student International Travel Requirements
    1. Student international travel arranged, facilitated, and/or led by a University faculty or staff member (hereinafter the “Program Director”) must be authorized by the Office of Learning Abroad prior to departure. The Office of Learning Abroad will not authorize student travel led by a Program Director to countries or regions under a USDOS Level 3 or 4 travel advisory. Such travel to a country or region under a USDOS Level 4 travel advisory will not be permitted under any circumstances. Student travel to a country or region under a USDOS Level 3 travel advisory and not authorized by the Office of Learning Abroad may be permitted with the authorization of the University president in consult with the Chair of the SUU Board of Trustees. Requests for such authorization should be directed to the Office of Learning Abroad at least five (5) weeks prior to planned departure (see Section IV.D.2.b. below). Students who hold a passport of a country under a USDOS Level 3 or 4 travel advisory are exempt from this restriction.
    2. Each student, prior to participating in University-authorized international travel, must complete, sign, and submit a “Student Travel Authorization Request” form to the Office of Learning Abroad. This completed form, along with a copy of the student’s passport information page, proof of insurance meeting SUU’s minimum coverage requirements for international travel (posted on the Office of Learning Abroad website), and medical information form, must be received by the Office of Learning Abroad a minimum of three (3) weeks prior to the start of the University-authorized travel. Completed “Student Travel Authorization Request” forms and associated documents will be retained by the Office of Learning Abroad, which will provide copies to the Dean of Students upon request, for the duration of the approved travel period.
    3. A minor accompanying a parent or guardian on University-authorized international travel must, for the duration of the trip, be under the direct supervision of the parent or guardian. Upon approval of the Office of Learning Abroad, a minor may accompany a University employee or approved accompanying adult on University-authorized international travel that includes an SUU student or students. However, the Program Director must be available at all times to respond to student needs and emergencies; for this reason, Program Directors are recommended not to be accompanied by a minor. SUU students under the age of 18 will be permitted to participate in University-authorized international travel only upon completion and submission of an “International Travel Parental Informed Consent” form, along with a completed “Student Travel Authorization Request” form and associated documents.
    4. Prior to departure, all students must read the “SUU International Travel Code of Conduct” and sign and submit a form to the Office of Learning Abroad indicating they have read and understood it. Students are expected to adhere to all local laws and respect local customs.
    5. On University-authorized international travel led by a University faculty or staff member designated as the Program Director, the Program Director has the authority to enforce compliance with University policies by all persons participating in the program.
    6. Students who are U.S. citizens are required to register their travel with the U.S. Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) prior to departure. STEP is a free service to allow U.S. citizens and nationals traveling and living abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Students who are non-U.S. citizens are encouraged to register their travel with their home country’s embassy in the country of their travel destination, if possible.
  3. Faculty and Staff International Travel Requirements
    1. Faculty and staff international travel must be authorized by the employee’s supervisor and organization financial manager prior to departure via the University’s travel authorization request system. Travel to a country or region under a USDOS Level 4 travel advisory will not be permitted under any circumstances. Travel to a country or region under a USDOS Level 3 travel advisory and not authorized by the Office of Learning Abroad may be permitted with the authorization of the University president in consult with the Chair of the SUU Board of Trustees. Requests for such authorization should be directed to the Office of Learning Abroad at least five (5) weeks prior to planned departure (see Section IV.D.2.b. below). SUU employees who hold a passport of a country under a USDOS Level 3 or 4 travel advisory are exempt from this restriction.
    2. Faculty and staff traveling with or without University-authorized student groups must obtain proper University travel authorization prior to departure, read the “SUU International Travel Code of Conduct” and sign and submit a form to the Office of Learning Abroad indicating they have read and understood it, provide proof of insurance meeting SUU’s minimum coverage requirements for international travel (posted on the Office of Learning Abroad website), adhere to all University policies and procedures at all times, adhere to all local laws in the countries in which they travel, respect local customs, and complete University travel reimbursement forms in a timely manner upon return as specified by University travel procedures.
    3. Faculty and staff who are U.S. citizens are required to register their travel with the U.S. Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) prior to departure. STEP is a free service to allow U.S. citizens and nationals traveling and living abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Faculty and staff who are non-U.S. citizens are encouraged to register their travel with their home country’s embassy in the country of their travel destination, if possible.
    4. In the event of an emergency, faculty and staff should follow the instructions of local authorities and contact the Office of Learning Abroad, the administrative head of department or unit, and/or University Police as soon as possible.
  4. University Response to U.S. Department of State Travel Advisories

    Prior to departure, the student or employee who wishes to travel internationally under University auspices must review the U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory for the country to which s/he is traveling. Upon determining the Travel Advisory Level, the traveler should follow the University guidelines below.
    1. Advisory Level 1 – Exercise Normal Precautions and Advisory Level 2 – Exercise Increased Caution

      A student or employee who wishes to travel under University auspices to a country, state, province, region, or other designated area within a country for which the U.S. Department of State has issued a Level 1 or Level 2 travel advisory must follow the requirements in Sections IV.A.-B. above, as appropriate.
    2. Advisory Level 3 – Reconsider Travel

      No student or employee shall be required to participate in an educational activity under University auspices in a country, state, province, region, or other designated area within a country for which the U.S. Department of State has issued a Level 3 travel advisory.

      A student or employee who wishes to travel under University auspices to a country, state, province, region, or other designated area within a country for which the U.S. Department of State has issued a Level 3 travel advisory may do so only under the following conditions:
      1. The traveler must consider carefully the risks described in the travel advisory and, weighing those risks against the value of the educational opportunity, make their own determination about whether to continue with the planned travel activity. The traveler should also take into consideration the possibility that, if s/he encounters difficulties abroad, the University and even the U.S. Department of State may be unable to assist.
      2. As noted in Sections IV.B.1. and IV.C.1. above, students, faculty, and staff who wish to travel to a country under a U.S. Department of State Level 3 travel advisory must request permission for authorization to do so from the University president in consultation with the Chair of the SUU Board of Trustees. Requests for such authorization should be directed to the Office of Learning Abroad at least five (5) weeks prior to planned departure.
      3. Prior to departure, the traveler must complete and submit to the Office of Learning Abroad an “International Travel Informed Consent” form. Travelers who hold a passport of a country under a USDOS Level 3 travel advisory are exempt from this requirement.
      4. If a trip was planned to a country or region prior to the update of a USDOS travel advisory to Level 3, students or employees who no longer wish to travel to the country or region due to the elevated travel advisory will not be required to do so. Should a planned University program or activity be canceled because the U.S. Department of State updates a travel advisory to Level 3, travelers may not be reimbursed for personal expenses related to travel to, from, and/or within a country or region.
    3. Advisory Level 4 – Do Not Travel

      No student or employee shall be required to participate in an educational activity under University auspices in a country, state, province, region, or other designated area within a country for which the U.S. Department of State has issued a Level 4 travel advisory. No student, faculty, or staff shall be authorized to travel to or in a country, state, province, region, or other designated area within a country for which the U.S. Department of State has issued a Level 4 travel advisory. Students and employees who hold a passport of a country under a USDOS Level 4 travel advisory are exempt from this restriction.
  5. Authority of University Administration

    At all times, but particularly when a USDOS travel advisory has been updated from Level 1 or 2 to Level 3 or 4, the International Travel Emergency Management Team (see Section IV.I. below) has the authority to cancel a trip. Such decisions will be based on a standard of “reasonable and prudent.”

    In any situation involving a U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory, the special conditions that caused the Level 3 or 4 notice to be issued may warrant additional or different University rules and responses. In such a case, the International Travel Emergency Management Team has the authority to establish such rules and responses in consultation with others as deemed appropriate under the circumstances. Responsibility for monitoring USDOS travel advisories lies with the Office of Learning Abroad.
  6. General Provisions
    1. Driving Motor Vehicles
      1. The use of University vehicles on international travel is prohibited. The use of public transportation abroad is strongly encouraged.
    2. Use of Communication Technology

      The responsible Program Director or University employee must secure mobile communication service in the country to which they are traveling. The contact number associated with this service should be communicated to the Office of Learning Abroad within one (1) day of the traveler’s arrival in the destination country.
    3. Use of Medicines and Drugs

      No non-prescription narcotics, illegal drugs, or other controlled substances may be in the possession of, or used by, any person engaged in University-authorized international travel.
    4. Traveler Conduct and Safety
      1. Each student traveler is expected to comply with all applicable provisions of Policy 11.2, each faculty traveler is expected to comply with all applicable provisions of Policy 6.28, and each staff traveler is expected to comply with Policy 8.3.5 during the trip. In addition, students, faculty, and staff must obey all applicable provisions of the law of the state and nation in which travel takes place. All participants are individually responsible for their personal conduct while traveling abroad, and the University has no obligation to intercede or undertake to protect participants from the legal consequences of violations of law for which they may be responsible.
      2. Any accident, injury, illness, or other occurrence causing physical harm to persons or property occurring in the course of University-authorized international travel should be reported promptly to appropriate University officials (typically, the Office of Learning Abroad, Dean of Students, administrative head of department or unit, and/or University Police.)
      3. In the event of illness or injury involving hospitalization of a program participant, the traveler or Program Director (or designee) must contact the Office of Learning Abroad, Dean of Students, administrative head of department or unit, and/or University Police, as soon as possible. Emergency contacts (e.g., parents and spouses) will be notified and determinations made relative to alternate travel, companionship, and other needs specific to the circumstances. The International Travel Emergency Management team will make such determinations (see Section IV.H. below).
    5. Fly America Act

      Any foreign travel that is paid from federal funds, including foreign travelers coming to the U.S., must be accomplished through U.S. flag air carriers, as required by 49 U.S.C. 40118, commonly referred to as the “Fly America Act,” which can be accessed at the Federal Travel Regulation website. Other information about this regulation can be found on the “Fly America Act” website.
  7. Administrative Unit Responsibilities
    1. The administrative head (or designee) of each department or unit sponsoring student travel abroad shall be responsible for notifying students of the requirements of this policy, for collecting files of all required documents, for providing copies of “Student Travel Authorization Request” forms to the Office of Learning Abroad, and for following and enforcing all University policies related to travel and conduct of program participants.
    2. The administrative head (or designee) of each department or unit that sponsors student travel abroad shall submit an “International Travel Notification” to the Office of Learning Abroad at least three (3) weeks prior to the students’ departure. This document should provide the travel itinerary, the name of all participants (including the Program Director), overseas contact information for the Program Director, and U.S. Embassy contact information for the country in which the travel will occur.
    3. Prior to departure, the sponsoring University department or unit must conduct an orientation program, which all participants must attend. This orientation should explain program expectations related to academic work, appropriate behavior, cultural nuances, travel plans, emergency plans, and other relevant information.
    4. Travelers to European Union (EU) countries will be subject to the provisions of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), as it relates to the privacy of any personal data supplied to or created within an EU country. The GDPR privacy laws, which are different from U.S. data privacy laws, may affect the transferability of data from the EU to the U.S. For information about data protection within the EU, visit the website linked below in Section V.
  8. Sanctions
    1. Violations of this University Authorized International Travel policy may be the basis for appropriate sanctions, including the initiation of formal charges under applicable provisions of Policies 11.2, 6.28, and/or 8.3.5.
    2. While engaged in University-authorized international travel, the responsible Program Director may enforce the provisions of this University Authorized International Travel policy by withdrawing or limiting a student’s privileges, or, in the event of repeated violations, by excluding the offending student from further participation and arranging to return the offender to the campus or to convey him/her to the nearest point of public transportation for return to the campus. The cost of such return transportation may be charged against University funds, but the University reserves the right to obtain reimbursement from the offender.
    3. As noted in Section IV.F.4.a. above, students participating in University-authorized international travel will be held to the SUU Student Code of Conduct; violations will be reported to the Dean of Students for review and possible adjudication.
  9. Emergency Response

    An International Travel Emergency Management Team will be in place in the event of an emergency involving an SUU student or employee overseas. The team will consist of the following members, who will communicate and convene as necessary.
    • SUU Chief of Police
    • Director of Safety & Risk Management
    • Office of the President designee
    • Vice President of Student Affairs designee
    • Assistant Vice President for International Affairs
    • Director of Learning Abroad
    • General Counsel
    • Director of Marketing & Communication

VI. QUESTIONS/RESPONSIBLE OFFICE

The responsible office for this Policy is the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs. For questions about this Policy, contact the Office of Learning Abroad.


VII. POLICY ADOPTION AND AMENDMENT DATES

Date Approved: March 26, 2010

Amended: August 7, 2020