1.Purpose

In keeping with UNC Greensboro’s Mission and Vision to be a “global university integrating intercultural and international experiences and perspectives into learning, discovery, and service,” the University recognizes the educational, research, and scholarship benefits of international travel. The purpose of this policy is to establish processes and procedures for University-related international travel. Additional policies and procedures may also apply.

2.Scope

This policy governs all international travel that is University-sponsored or University-related. It applies to all University faculty, staff, and students, and for all international educational travel programs, whether credit-bearing or not, as well as research, scholarship, and creative activity.

3.Standards

The University strives to apply procedures and tools consistent with international higher education sector best practices, reflected primarily in Developing Tools for Education Abroad Risk Management from the University Council on International Programs (UCIP) of the University of North Carolina System.

4.Definitions and Roles and Responsibilities

4.1Definitions

4.1.1University-Affiliated International Travel

Any international travel that is tied to academic credit, or is accompanied by a UNC Greensboro faculty/staff member (“program director”), or uses any University financial resources (including, but not limited to, study abroad programs, undergraduate, graduate, faculty and staff research, scholarship and creative activity, service learning, and independent study courses).

4.1.2Regional Risk Rating

Destination risk will be evaluated by consulting a location’s U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory Level, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Travel Health Notice Level, and other risk rating information as may be applicable, including, but not limited to, Drum-Cussac Country Security Profiles to determine a Regional Risk Rating. The International Programs Center will maintain and update a rubric defining current Regional Risk Ratings and maintain a list of Regional Risk Ratings by destination. Locations will be designated with the following Regional Risk Ratings: Lower Risk Locations, Moderate Risk Locations, or High Risk Locations.

4.1.3Approved Travel Locations

Approved Travel Locations are regions designated as Lower Risk Locations. Moderate Risk Locations are also Approved Travel Locations as long as the travel does not involve students. This travel requires no petition to the University-Affiliated International Travel Review Committee, however travelers are responsible for complying with the stipulations of the UNC Greensboro International Travel Checklist.

4.1.4Unapproved Travel Locations

Unapproved Travel Locations are all High Risk Locations. Moderate Risk Locations are also Unapproved Travel Locations when the travel involves students. Travel in these instances requires approval of a petition to the University-Affiliated International Travel Review Committee. If a petition is approved, travelers are also responsible for complying with the stipulations of the UNC Greensboro International Travel Checklist.

4.2Roles and Responsiblities

4.2.1Provost

The Provost provides University-wide leadership and decision-making on University-affiliated international travel with the support of the University-Affiliated International Travel Review Committee and the International Programs Center.

4.2.2University-Affiliated International Travel Review Committee (the “Committee”)

Appointed by the Provost, the Committee will meet as needed to review petitions for travel to Unapproved Travel Locations as described in this policy and provide recommendations to the Provost. The Committee is chaired by the Associate Provost for International Programs. Permanent members include one representative each from Undergraduate Studies, the Office of Research and Engagement, and the Office of Institutional Risk Management. The Dean of each college or school and the Dean of the Graduate School will each recommend one member to the Committee to serve for a period of 3 years. In addition, the Associate Provost for International Programs is authorized to exercise the discretion to appoint additional members to the Committee to provide additional expertise, including but not limited to individuals from the International Programs Center and experts on a specific location(s).

4.2.3International Programs Center

The International Programs Center (“IPC”) is responsible for monitoring University-affiliated student travel, both credit-bearing and non-credit-bearing. IPC regularly monitors country data to identify health and safety risks. IPC is responsible for updating the Regional Risk Ratings semi-annually and as major changes take place.

4.2.4Office of Research Integrity

The Office of Research Integrity (“ORI”) is responsible for monitoring University-affiliated faculty/staff travel when conducted for research, scholarship and creative activities. ORI monitors the Commerce Control List of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) as well as the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). ORI is responsible for updating EAR, OFAC, and ITAR information when major changes take place or when export control policy and/or processes change acutely.

5.Policy

5.1University-Affiliated International Travel

All UNC Greensboro students, faculty, and staff engaging in international travel that is affiliated with the University (including, but not limited to study abroad programs, undergraduate, graduate, faculty and staff research, scholarship and creative activity, service learning, and independent study courses), must register their travel with the International Programs Center four weeks in advance of travel for risk management and emergency support services. Registered travelers must also enroll in the University’s international travel health insurance plan.

5.2Guidelines on Travel Locations

5.2.1Approved Travel Locations

Travel to regions designated as Lower Risk Locations are Approved Travel Locations. Travel to regions designated as Moderate Risk Locations are also approved as long as the travel does not involve students. A petition is not required for Approved Travel Locations. Travelers are responsible for complying with the stipulations of the UNC Greensboro International Travel Checklist.

5.2.2Unapproved Travel Locations

Unapproved Travel Locations are all High Risk Locations. Moderate Risk Locations are also Unapproved Travel Locations when the travel involves students. A petition is required for approval to travel to Unapproved Travel Locations. Factors contributing to the designation of Unapproved Travel Locations include:

  • Regions covered by a current level 4 U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory or;
  • Countries that have a Drum-Cussac Security Profile overall country risk rating of “High” or “Extreme”. Drum-Cussac Security Profiles are available through GeoBlue, the UNC System international insurance provider or;
  • Regions covered by a CDC warning to “Avoid Nonessential Travel”.

For travelers seeking an exception from this policy, see section 5.4 Petitioning for an Exception.

Additionally, University-affiliated faculty/staff international travel for the purposes of applied (non-fundamental) research, scholarship and/or creative activities will not be approved to:

  • Engage with entities on the OFAC fully sanctioned lists or;
  • Travel to countries with partial embargoes without being coordinated with the ORI to determine if there are any licensing requirements from the OFAC.

5.3Restrictions on University-Affiliated International Travel

Travel may be terminated or restricted at the discretion of the Chancellor, Provost, or in alignment with UNC system guidance.

5.4Petitioning for an Exception

In rare instances and based upon compelling circumstances, an exception for travel to Unapproved Travel Locations may be granted, provided the request is reviewed following the proper application process defined in this policy. Faculty, staff, or students looking to travel to locations that exceed the University’s risk tolerance for University-affiliated international travel must petition for an exception following the process outlined in the supporting documents.

Petitions for an exception must be submitted in writing (email is sufficient) to the Committee, addressed to the Associate Provost for International Programs, at least sixty (60) days before travel is to begin.

Petitioning for an exception requires completion and submission of the Application for Exception to Policy on University-Affiliated International Travel, with the attachments described in the Application.

Decisions for exceptions will be based on the nature of the travel warning, including the locations most affected by the warning, the experience and training of program organizers and local support staff, the importance and academic relevance of student involvement, how the program will minimize risks to participants, the extent of the safety and security orientation provided and the program’s willingness to obtain participant’s informed consent.

The Associate Provost as the Chair of the Committee will make a final recommendation on all applications to the Provost, who will decide if an exception will be granted. Applications will be reviewed individually and per instance of travel request with a possibility of monthly or quarterly reexamination in cases of regular travel to a specific destination.

6.Compliance and Enforcement

It is the responsibility of staff, faculty, and the sponsoring unit (e.g., department, institute, center, etc.) to comply with and enforce the Policy on University-Affiliated International Travel. Violations of this policy may result in termination or suspension of program travel, in whole or in part, with a recommendation of the Committee to the Provost where such action is reasonable to protect the University or program participants. UNC Greensboro will not reimburse travel expenses incurred in conjunction with international travel that does not comply with this policy. Travelers are responsible for complying with the stipulations of the current UNC Greensboro International Travel Checklist.

Any violation of this policy by a University student is subject to the Student Code of Conduct in the Student Policy Handbook. A violation of this policy may subject faculty and staff to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal in accordance with applicable employment policies. Academic credit sought in conjunction with international travel that does not comply with this policy will not be awarded by UNC Greensboro. This includes, but is not limited to, independent study credit or transfer credit.

Additionally, if violation of the policy also results in a violation of law, the violation may be referred for criminal or civil prosecution.

7.Additional Information

7.2Related Policies

7.4Approval Authority

Chancellor

7.5Contacts for Additional Information and Reporting

- International Travel Policy. Retrieved 05/15/2021. Official version at https://policy.uncg.edu/university_policies/international-travel-policy/. Copyright © 2021 The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.