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Travel to Destinations of Elevated Risk

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Policy 510.2

1 Introduction

Appalachian State University’s mission includes a commitment to prepare students to lead purposeful lives as engaged global citizens. Through the curriculum, co-curricular activities, relationships with scholars and students from around the world, education abroad programs, grants and scholarships for collaborative research abroad, and numerous cross-cultural programs, the University creates opportunities for students to understand the world and be active participants in it. This commitment to internationalization leads many faculty members, students, and staff members to travel internationally each year.

The purpose of this policy is to articulate protocols governing proposed travel to countries for which the United States Department of State has issued a Travel Advisory Level 3 (Reconsider Travel) or Level 4 (Do Not Travel) or the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a Travel Health Notice Level 3 (Avoid All Non-essential Travel) for the country or area of travel.

2 Scope

2.1 This policy applies to all Appalachian State University employees and students when they engage in University-Sponsored Travel.

2.2 This policy applies to all co-leaders, lecturers, approved guests, and any other individuals (whether or not they otherwise have an affiliation with the University) who accompany University faculty, staff, or students on University-Sponsored Travel.

3 Definitions

3.1 Faculty

Individuals designated in the Faculty Constitution as members of the University’s faculty.

3.2 Global Health and Safety Committee

An ad hoc Committee composed of individuals designated by the Office of the Provost to provide recommendations regarding requests for exceptions to travel restrictions pursuant to Section 4.2 of this policy. The Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education will chair and convene the Committee. The composition of the Committee will vary from case to case and will include, where feasible, individuals with expertise in the region or country in question, the purpose of the travel, familiarity with University policies and procedures relating to travel abroad, or other expertise helpful to considering the request for an exception to travel restrictions. The Director of Education Abroad will serve as a permanent member of the Committee.

3.3 Destinations of Elevated Risk (DoER)

A destination of elevated risk is determined according to the following factors:
  1. A Travel Advisory Level 3 (Reconsider Travel) or Level 4 (Do Not Travel) issued by the United States Department of State.
  2. A Travel Health Notice Level 3 (Avoid All Non-essential Travel) issued by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

3.4 University

Appalachian State University, a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina system.

3.5 University-Sponsored Travel

Travel which is led by a University employee or for which academic credit is awarded, or any other travel administered by, conducted under the direction of, or with financial support from, any University department, program, or office.

4 Policy and Procedure Statements

4.1 Travel Restrictions for to Destinations of Elevated Risk

4.1.1 As a general rule, the University will not support travel to destinations of elevated risk.

4.1.2 Regardless of a destination’s risk status, the University reserves the right not to approve support for international travel, or to rescind previously approved support, any time when, in the University’s sole discretion, the University determines that travel should not be supported for reasons of health or safety.

4.2 Requests for Exceptions to Travel Restrictions

4.2.1 In rare instances based upon compelling circumstances, an exception may be granted allowing travel to a destination of elevated risk.

4.2.2 A request for an exception to travel to destination of elevated risk may be made as follows:

  1. Requests for exceptions for faculty-led travel to destinations of elevated risk must be made at the time the Office of International Education and Development proposal for establishment or renewal of a program is due. If the risk level changes after the program application process has begun, a request for exception must be filed within two weeks.
  2. Any other request for an exception (e.g., individual faculty or staff University-Supported Travel, individual student travel for research, field work, internship, or any other University-Supported Travel) must be submitted in writing (email is sufficient) to the International Travel Safety and Health Committee, c/o the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, at least 90 days before travel is to begin.
  3. The request for an exception must include the following materials:
    1. Statement of why the experience in the Travel Warning country, area or region is unique and necessary for completion of a University degree, University research, or other University-related purpose.
    2. Proposed full travel itinerary.
    3. Detailed information regarding the security/health situation in the country, area or region to be visited. Resources for this information may include the United States Department of State, the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC), the World Health Organization (WHO), the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as well as any relevant sources known to the traveler through their professional networks or organizations.
    4. Explanation of precautions the traveler will plan to take in order to mitigate the risks to themselves and any other travelers on the trip.
    5. Documentation of a reasonable emergency contingency plan supported by an on-location institution, agency, or other entity. This contingency plan must include the contact information for the on-location institution, agency or other entity.
    6. Enrollment in the University’s international travel health insurance plan.
    7. Certification of willingness to sign assumption of risk and waiver forms acceptable to the University.

4.2.3 The Global Health and Safety Committee will consider the materials supporting the request for an exception, as well as any other information it deems relevant and helpful to make a reasonable and deliberate assessment of the request. The Committee will make a recommendation to the Associate Vice Chancellor for International Education and Development.

4.2.4 The Associate Vice Chancellor for International Education and Development will consider all relevant information, including the recommendation of the Global Health and Safety Committee, and make a recommendation to the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor. The Provost takes any approval recommendations to the Chancellor for final approval.

5 Additional References

United States Department of State International Travel/Alerts and Warnings, as amended
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Travel Health Notices,as amended

6 Authority

The University of North Carolina Policy Manual and Code, The Code Section 502

7 Contact Information

Office of the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor (282-262-2070)

8 Original Effective Date

October 21, 2015

9 Revision Dates

March 7, 2018
July 14, 2021