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[Interim] Rule R3-030D: International Travel Safety and Insurance

  1. Purpose and Scope

    1. Purpose: This University Rule implements University Policy 3-030 Travel Policy, with regard to international travel activities for University purposes.

      The University of Utah supports and encourages international travel by its faculty, students, and staff. Because international travel may pose significant safety risks, this Rule is intended to support the international engagement of University community members in a responsible manner and to promote the health, safety, and security of all members of the University community while traveling abroad.

      The focus of this Rule is on registration of University-sponsored international travel, the provision of insurance coverage for such activities, and guidance concerning international travel warnings and restrictions.

    2. Scope: This Rule applies to faculty, staff, and students who participate in University-related international travel activities (as defined below). This rule does not apply to individuals who accompany faculty, staff, or students to international locations but are not acting in the capacity of an employee or student of the University for the purposes of the travel (e.g., family members of friends). The University of Utah strongly encourages any such independently travelling companions to investigate and enroll in publicly available international insurance coverage.

    3. Colleges, academic units, and other administrative subunits of the University may adopt supplemental rules and procedures that support this Rule.

  2. Definitions

    The definitions provided in Policy 3-030 apply for the purposes of this Rule. In addition, the following definitions apply for the purposes of this Rule and any associated Procedures only.

    1. “University-related International Travel” refers to any travel outside of the United States of America by any faculty member, staff member, or student of the University of Utah for any University of Utah academic activity, including both educational activity (either for credit or non-credit), and research-related activity. This includes any international academic activity sponsored, funded, coordinated and/or managed by the University of Utah.

    2. Travel outside the United States refers to travel to any country (including Mexico and Canada) or territory outside the continental U.S., Alaska and Hawaii. Travel to the non-contiguous US locations of American Samoa, Guam, Midway Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Wake Island is considered “International Travel” for purposes of this Rule to conform to the terms of University insurance coverage.

    3. “University Travel Registry” refers to the University database(s) used by the Office for Global Engagement for storing important details concerning each applicable University-related International Travel.

    4. “Health and Emergency Evacuation Insurance” refers to the insurance policies acquired by the University to cover registered University-related International Travel.

    5. “DOS Travel Warning” is a warning issued by the U.S. Department of State (DOS) when it determines that there are significant safety risks for travelers to an international location. A DOS Travel Warning may be issued for such things as an unstable government, civil war, ongoing intense crime or violence, or frequent terrorist attacks. The DOS recommends against non-essential travel to countries with a Travel Warning. A Travel Warning remains in place until the circumstances leading to the Travel Warning have changed.

    6. “CDC Travel Health Notice” is a notice provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) informing international travelers of issues that may arise from disease outbreaks, special events or gatherings, natural disasters, or other conditions that may affect a traveler’s health. The CDC issues three levels of notice. The highest alert notice is level 3 and warns travelers to avoid all non- essential travel to the specified location.

    7. “University-related Student International Travel” refers to any International Travel by any University student, which occurs as part of activities and/or events affiliated with the University of Utah. The types of activities and events included in this travel include but are not limited to:

      1. International trips organized and/or sponsored by the University of Utah which are part of or contribute to an academic course or degree program including internships, practicum, and research (i.e., “Learning Abroad Programs”);

      2. Academic-related international service learning, internships, practicum, research and volunteer opportunities organized and/or sponsored by the University (i.e., “independent student travel experiences”);

      3. Travel by members of a registered student organization who participate in the travel based on the organizational affiliation, regardless of whether the organization requires its student members to attend the activity or event (i.e., “international ASUU activities”);

      4. Other travel organized and/or sponsored by the University of Utah including the activities of sponsored student organizations;

      5. Travel to meetings of academic-related, professional associations including conferences

    8. “International Travel Safety Review Committee” refers to University committee established under this Rule with functions related to this Rule.

  3. Rule

    This Rule outlines the University’s minimum requirements for University-related International Travel including: (A) registration of University-related International Travel activities; (B) enrollment in University-affiliated international and emergency evacuation insurance; and, (C) the impact of active travel warnings and restrictions (medical and/or security).

    1. Registration of University International Travel

      1. The University Travel Registries

        The University maintains confidential and secure travel registries (databases) to track key information regarding University-related International Travel involving members of the University community (faculty, staff, and students). Registration of University-related International Travel activities is required by the University’s provider of Health and Emergency Evacuation Insurance. The information documented in these travel registries will assist the University in identifying, locating, communicating with and providing support to University travelers in the event of health, safety and security emergencies and incidents overseas. The University may not be able to provide assistance services to members abroad or arrange for emergency evacuations if participants in University-related International Travel do not register their travel plans with the University.

        The University’s Office for Global Engagement has primary responsibility for creating and maintaining the International Travel Registries.

      2. Registration of University-related International Travel and Registration Fees

        1. Registration with a University Travel Registry

          1. All University of Utah faculty, staff, and students who plan to participate in University-related International Travel must register in the appropriate University Travel Registry. Travel registration must be completed as early as possible, which should be as soon as any associated travel arrangement bookings are initiated, and no later than two (2) weeks before the anticipated date of departure. If changes are

            made to a registered travel itinerary, updates must be made to the registration, including but not limited to any additional countries that might be added to travel plans.

            Participants who fail to register University-related International Travel may not be able to claim insurance coverage under the University’s Health and Emergency Evacuation Insurance and may risk personal liability exposure for operating outside the parameters of this Rule.

          2. The Office for Global Engagement will charge a reasonable fee to all University participants in registered University-related International Travel. These fees cover the costs of the University’s Health and Emergency Evacuation Insurance coverage as well as the costs of creating and maintaining the Travel Registry. In addition, these fees cover the costs of providing travel insurance and assistance resources to all University community members abroad before, during, and after University-related International Travel, as well as managing and coordinating emergency response efforts for University members in international locations.

            Charges incurred to University community members for this service (registration and insurance) are generally eligible for reimbursement by the University if University funds are being used to support the trip.

        2. Registration with Travel Services Required for Trips Funded by the University

          University community members traveling on university funds, either individually or as the leader of a student group, must obtain a Travel Number from Travel Services at least three (3) weeks prior to departure date. The University Travel System will distribute appropriate instructions to the Travel Planner and will notify the Office of Global Risk Management with the details of the trip.

          International Travelers are also encouraged to use University travel agents to book airfare in order to take advantage of contract pricing and to ensure that complicated itineraries are part of a University database, which will help the Office of Global Risk Management locate travelers while on travel status.

        3. Registration with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (U.S. Dept. of State)

          The University recommends that all travelers who are U.S. citizens register their trip with the U.S. Department of State Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (“STEP”). STEP is a free service provided by the U.S. Government to U.S. citizens who are traveling outside of the United States. STEP registration allows the State Department to inform

          U.S. citizens about important safety concerns in any country they are to visit, and to better assist U.S. citizens in the event of an emergency.

          The University recommends that non-U.S. citizens contact their home country governments to inquire about additional available registration and support.

      3. Travel Reimbursement for University-related International Travel

        University community members who timely register University-related International Travel pursuant to this Rule may seek reimbursement from the University for appropriate travel expenses pursuant to Policy 3-030. University-related International Travel that is not timely registered pursuant to this Rule will be rejected for University reimbursement absent an exception given from the Cognizant Senior Vice President.

    2. University Health and Emergency Evacuation Insurance

      The University of Utah has purchased Health and Emergency Evacuation Insurance to provide (a) comprehensive health insurance coverage, (b) travel assistance and support, and (c) emergency evacuation coverage for faculty, staff, and students who register their University-related International Travel activities in the appropriate University Travel Registry.

      All faculty, staff and students who participate in University-related International Travel are required to register their travel in the appropriate Travel Registry, and enroll in the University Health and Emergency Evacuation Insurance regardless of whether the traveler has other related insurance coverage.

    3. International Travel Safety Review Committee

      The International Travel Safety Review Committee is established, with membership and leadership to be determined by the President of the University. The proposed members of the inaugural committee include:

      • Global Risk Manager

      • Associate Chief Global Officer

      • Learning Abroad Representative

      • University Health Services Representative

      • Academic Senate Leadership Representative

      • Office of General Counsel Representative

      • Office of the Dean of Students Representative

      • Marketing/Communications Representative

      • SVP for Health Sciences Representative

      • SVP for Academic Affairs Representative

      • University Campus Safety Representative

      • University Emergency Management Representative

      • University Travel Management Representative

      • Student Body Representative (AASU)

      The Committee shall have the functions described in this Rule and such related functions as may be assigned to it.

    4. Advance Approval of Travel for Locations with Travel Warnings and Alerts

      1. All participants in University-related International Travel are strongly encouraged to inform themselves fully about the travel risks involved with travel to their foreign destination(s). In particular, before making travel arrangements, travelers should review the information available on the U.S. Department of State and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention websites for updated information regarding Travel Warnings and Travel Health Notices.

      2. All faculty, staff, and students planning University-related International Travel to or through any country for which an active U.S. Department of State Travel Warning or a CDC Level 3 Travel Health Notice has been issued must submit their travel plans in advance for review and approval by the International Travel Safety Review Committee. Travel plans should be submitted to the Committee for review as early as possible, which should be as soon as any associated travel arrangement bookings are initiated, and no later than two (2) weeks before the anticipated date of departure.

      3. In determining whether to approve the travel, the Committee will consider:

        1. the academic need and appropriateness of the travel;

        2. the travelers’ demonstrated knowledge of the relevant travel risks;

        3. the traveler’s demonstrated understanding of relevant risk mitigation strategies; and

        4. the University’s understanding of access and availability of international support and assistance to a member in the foreign location.

      4. In consultation with the International Travel Safety Review Committee, the President of the University reserves the right to prohibit or suspend University-related International Travel to any destination at any time if it is determined that: (1) health, safety, or security concerns pose unacceptable risks; (2) travelers have violated laws, regulation, or University policy (including the Student Code of Conduct); or (3) there is other good cause. If the U.S. Department of State issues an active Travel Warning or the CDC issues a Level 3 Travel Health Notice for a given country or region, the University may require a University member currently traveling in such to depart that location or to request approval to remain in that location.

      5. The University will make efforts but cannot guarantee full cost and academic credit recovery to students in the event of a government or University- mandated withdrawal or evacuation.

    Note: Parts IV-VII of this Regulation (and all other University Regulations) are Regulations Resource Information - the contents of which are not approved by the Academic Senate or Board of Trustees, and are to be updated from time to time as determined appropriate by the cognizant Policy Officer and the Institutional Policy Committee, as per Policy 1-001 and Rule 1-001.

  4. Rules, Procedures, Guidelines, Forms and other Related Resources

    1. Rules (reserved)

    2. Procedures (reserved)

    3. Guidelines

    4. Forms (reserved)

    5. Other related resource materials (reserved)

      R3-030D Memo (PDF)
  5. References

  6. Contacts

    1. Policy Owners: (primary contact person for questions and advice):

      1. Chief Global Officer

      2. Global Risk Manager

    2. Policy Officers: Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

      These officials are designated by the University President or delegee, with assistance of the Institutional Policy Committee, to have the following roles and authority, as provided in University Rule 1-001:

      "A 'Policy Officer' will be assigned by the President for each University Policy, and will typically be someone at the executive level of the University (i.e., the President and his/her Cabinet Officers). The assigned Policy Officer is authorized to allow exceptions to the Policy in appropriate cases... . "

      "The Policy Officer will identify an "Owner" for each Policy. The Policy Owner is an expert on the Policy topic who may respond to questions about, and provide interpretation of the Policy; and will typically be someone reporting to an executive level position (as defined above), but may be any other person to whom the President or a Vice President has delegated such authority for a specified area of University operations. The Owner has primary responsibility for maintaining the relevant portions of the Regulations Library... [and] bears the responsibility for determining which reference materials are helpful in understanding the meaning and requirements of particular Policies... ." University Rule 1-001-III-B & E.

  7. History

    Rule 3-030D was implemented on October 31, 2016 [as an Interim Rule] so that the University could immediately implement a University wide health and emergency evacuation insurance program for all University sponsored travel. It is anticipated that a more expansive permanent regulation will be drafted to replace this Rule and may cover other subjects such as required travel approvals, orientations and emergency management.

    Revision History

    Current Version - Revision 0

    Approved by the Academic Senate: October 31, 2016

Date: October 31, 2016
Last Updated: 1/30/17